Editor’s Note:This is a guest post by Michael Deane. His opinions are his own.
In an age defined by disruptive technological developments, economic crises, and sociopolitical upheavals, companies are starting to realize that their most reliable asset is their employees. With a trained workforce under its command, a company can profit immensely under favorable circumstances, and survive unscathed during times of downturn. For this reason, talent acquisition is among the top priorities for every modern business.
However, the same factors that are destabilizing our world are also making it more difficult for companies to fill their ranks with qualified workers. The process of attracting talent, screening promising candidates, and hiring those with the most potential is now more complex than ever, making life difficult for recruiters. With so much at stake, recruiters need every advantage they can get, and we are here to help.
Our contribution comes in the form of a short primer on the state of work in the 21st century and beyond, followed by a list of suggestions on how to tackle common problems recruiters are starting to face in this new environment.
The nature of work has changed substantially in recent decades. The digital revolution has created countless new jobs, and some were made obsolete in the process. People’s attitude towards work has changed as well, reflecting the cultural shift inaugurated by the creation of the World Wide Web. These tendencies have produced three major consequences for the process of recruitment:
Employment for life is no longer something workers expect or want. The idea itself became somewhat outdated once technological development reached its current breakneck speed. It is now no longer possible to finish learning a job, as pretty soon, some new invention or technology will force you to update your knowledge. So instead of learning a profession, workers are now geared towards mastering work-related skills according to personal preference and market demands. This means that recruiters should look into the specific skills each candidate offers, instead of typecasting them into strictly defined roles
Tech-based automation is not a new phenomenon. The entire history of civilization can be seen as progress towards greater automation of labor. What is new is the scale at which this tendency is presently being manifested. Practically any digital job that involves rote, repetitive activity has the capacity to be performed by an automated system such as an AI. This means that diligence in performing such tasks is no longer a skill in high demand. In contrast, skills such as creative problem solving, producing original content, or communicating across different channels are more needed than ever. Recruiters should take care not to look for candidates for jobs that are likely to be replaced in the near future with automated systems.
The fact that most work today is performed in a digital environment means that it is no longer necessary to have employees gathered under a single roof. From an employer’s perspective, this can be seen as a boon thanks to savings in equipment and office space. Employees seem to prefer remote work as well, as it allows them to work from an environment where they are at their most comfortable. The prevalence of remote jobs has also made it easier to access an international talent pool. This means that finding the right person for the job is no longer a question of if, but one of when.
Now that you are better acquainted with the modern state of work, we can move on to more practical recruitment advice. These tips will help you capitalize on the current trends in the labor market, as well as prepare you for future trends.
The modern-day job market is defined by uncertainty. A worker can never be certain if their employer will go under in a couple of months if some new technology will make their skills obsolete, or if their fellow employees will have a completely different work ethic than the one they subscribe to. As a recruiter, you can help reduce this uncertainty by being upfront about what your company needs and expects from candidates applying for a particular position. Being transparent is a clear sign of goodwill, and candidates will appreciate you for it.
Tangible rewards such as money, stock options, or goods used to be the main reason why people got up in the morning to go to work. Today, the situation is somewhat different. While employees are still looking for the things outlined above, they are also after more intangible goods. Among these, the option to acquire new skills ranks highest. Learning something new is intrinsically rewarding, and expanding your arsenal of skills is essential in order to survive in the modern labor market. By highlighting the growth options your company provides, you can sway candidates that would otherwise be on the fence about taking up a new job.
The hiring process itself has undergone substantial changes over time. It is no longer sufficient to read a resume and conduct an interview to find a suitable candidate for a job opening. What is now needed is a more comprehensive approach to hiring, one that involves analyzing candidates in much greater detail. And social media are indispensable for the achievement of this goal. By examining the entire online portfolio of each candidate, specifically their LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, you will have an easier time determining whether they are a good fit for your company.
Recruiting in the 21st century is a complex endeavor. There are more factors to consider when hiring than ever before in history, and recruiters were caught slightly off-guard by the fact. Fortunately, things are slowly falling into place, and new methodologies are being developed as we speak. In this article, we have tried to bring up to speed with some of these changes, and provide some pointers on how to handle them more effectively. We hope that we have succeeded, and that your next recruitment campaign will be a major success.
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