According to research from McKinsey, 50 percent of work activities are automatable using currently available technology—including a lot of tasks we talent acquisition professionals perform.
On first read, this might sound a lot like the "robots are coming for your job" rhetoric that is all too common today, but the reality is more aspirational. We can finally say goodbye to the countless hours we spend scheduling interviews, sorting resumes and working on many of the other rote mundane tasks that have monopolized our time for too long.
The rise of automation in our role has come at a critical moment. The unemployment rate is one pf the lowest it has been in the last decade (4.0 percent), meaning as talent acquisition professionals, we have to be more strategic in our approach to sourcing, recruiting and enticing talent if we want to stand a chance of filling one of the nearly 6.6 million open positions in the U.S. alone (that doesn't even include the rest of the globe!).
With some extra time in our days...hopefully, we have the rare opportunity to rethink and rewrite what we do, how we do it and focus on the most critical aspects of our work that fills positions with top tier talent. Looking in my talent acquisition crystal ball I see three ways our roles will evolve to not only increase our impact across the entire organization (by filling roles faster, retaining talent longer, matching candidates to open positions and enhancing candidate experiences), but also ensuring we fulfill our role as strategic leaders.
1) Get to Know Your Data
Our jobs are changing thanks to technology, and so is the traditional resume—all for the better. The resume of the future will make all kinds of candidate data available to recruiters. Instead of a one-page resume filled with past job titles, recruiters will have a whole aggregated Dropbox-like digital portfolio of each candidate's technical abilities, certifications, accomplishments, skills, social profiles and personality assessments. But what good will that do if we don't know how to draw insights from the data about whether or not a candidate is a good fit for our organizations? Or what role they will be most successful in? It will be our job, to utilize A.I. to look at historical hires and use algorithms to figure out which qualities (soft skills, hard skills, credentials, certifications, performance) determine success in a role and which candidates have matching skills and experiences.
This will be even more important in the future because candidates won't apply for a specific job. Rather, recruiters will be responsible for matching candidates of the gig economy to roles, projects, internships and apprenticeships they are the best fit for within the organization. As effective recruiters and strategists this includes forecasting which jobs are likely to open, based on historical data, growth and company goals, throughout the year at your organization and proactively building relationships and pipelining talent for those future roles.
2) Create Your Own Talent Pipeline
Candidates today don't have the skills they need for the future. A recent McKinsey report found that around 14 percent of the global workforce will have to reskill as digitization, automation and advances in artificial intelligence (AI) disrupt the world of work. Not to mention, according to Manpower Group's 2016-2017 U.S. Talent Shortage Survey, 46 percent of employers have difficulty filling jobs. How are we supposed to find qualified talent if they don't exist?
Enter: collaboration with training and development. We will have to work strategically with our organization's training and development team to create our own talent pipeline rather than waiting for the right talent to find us. Candidates might not come equipped with all the skills they need to be successful at a job, but it doesn't mean they won't have the potential to learn them. Talent acquisition will be responsible for identifying which critical skills promising candidates are missing using data from their resume. We will then work with the learning and development team to create customized training plans that ensure candidates get up to speed either before they are hired or right after they start. Developing a sophisticated upskilling training program and funneling the right candidates into it in a timely fashion will help ease talent shortages due to the skills gap.
3) Create Online Communities to Build a Talent Reserve
Recruiters are so busy right now they typically only have time to pursue candidates that fit roles they are actively working to fill. On average, each open corporate position receives 250 job applicants. But as technology and automation become more sophisticated we will be able to move from reactive to proactive recruiting. This means instead of starting outreach when it's mission critical, we will be able to expand our ability to build relationships with candidates for predicted future open positions. With our focus over the past years on recruitment marketing we have become experts at connecting with people on Facebook, LinkedIn,Twitter and Instagram who display shared interests or relevant experiences. Instead of immediately marketing job opportunities, the focus will shift to building up relationships over time. By maintaining a community of engaged potential candidates on social media and within our community network, you will have a talent pool to tap into when the need arises and be able to fill positions faster.
As automation and new technology take over many of the tasks that used to be considered a necessary part of the talent acquisition role, we have the rare opportunity to decide for ourselves how we want to evolve and revolutionize our roles. By finding new and meaningful ways to use data, upskill talent and build communities we set ourselves and our organizations up for success in a challenging talent market.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. What aspects of talent acquisition would you would change if automation saved you a few hours each day? Together we can figure out how to make our work more thoughtful, strategic and impactful.
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4 Ways to Expand Your Social Media Recruiting Strategy
Social media is ubiquitous, and companies are using it in many different and innovative ways for enhancing their sales, marketing and customer services. So why is it then that many HR departments still fail to see social media as more than a job board? Outside of the office, the same HR people happily engage with friends on Facebook, share news and ideas on Twitter, look at pictures on Instagram and send snaps on Snapchat. But when they put their work hat on they seemingly forget why they use social in the way they (and hundreds of millions of other users) do every day, and resort back to just posting jobs (in a boring way) on social media! Of course there is nothing wrong with job posting, and it's often an effective approach to reaching an audience, but not all of the time. According to LinkedIn, only 12 percent of the working population are actively seeking new employment. So, if all you do is post jobs on your LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook page, you are consciously ignoring the other 88 percent of the working population who might be interested in hearing more about your company in general. Creating and sharing interesting content about your company such as employee stories or volunteer days help bring your employer brand to life. It might even trigger people to reach out to you and find out more about your job opportunities. In truth, mixing up your social media feeds with a variety of content will provide more depth and candidate engagement. Here are four ways to expand your social media strategy and engage with new potential candidates. 1) Candidate Sourcing With people using an average of more than five social networks, sourcing talent via social media makes absolute sense. Branch out from just using LinkedIn and look to sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to search for and engage with prospective talent. Try search tools like Followerwonk to search Twitter bios for keywords and job titles, a clever Chrome browser extension called Intelligence Search that easily searches Facebook and using the search bar at the top of Google+. They will help you identify new talent. If you are looking to build social media pipelines then try Hello Talent. It is a great free tool that allows you to build talent pipelines from many different social networks by using a browser extension. 2) Competitor Monitoring Social media is a fantastic source of information and data. By using tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, you can monitor the social media activity of your competitors. Both of these tools allow you to set up search columns, where you can enter things like keywords, hashtags, Twitter names and track when any of these are mentioned on sites such as Twitter. You can use the interact or use the insights accordingly. 3) Resources for Candidates Consider your Facebook page (or Twitter channel) as a real-time customer services channel for you to engage and communicate with both new and existing candidates in the recruitment process. Provide links to your social media pages to candidates at all stages in the process and encourage them to visit the pages and ask questions about any part of the process. You can also share useful information about working for the company, including locations, employees and other relevant news. 4) Live Recruitment Events Not everyone can attend the many recruitment events happening every month. But by using social media like Twitter, Facebook Live, Instagram and Snapchat, you can easily provide live commentary for these events you attend or host. Real-time video via Facebook Live and interaction via Twitter chats are superb examples of ways to regularly engage with a live audience of potential candidates. With social media firmly established in our working lives, I question how much more evidence HR departments will need to fully embrace this "new" form of candidate engagement. Photo: Twenty20
Cartoon Coffee Break: Unconventional Recruiting
Editor's Note: This post is part of our "Cartoon Coffee Break" series. While we take talent management seriously, we also know it's important to have a good laugh. Check back every two weeks for a new ReWork cartoon. Missed the Recruiting Trends conference? From the state of recruiting automation adoption, to the role that the human element still plays in recruiting, our recap covers everything you need to know. Header photo: Creative Commons
The Latest Office Benefit Is Tackling Student Debt
Modern companies are more than just employers — increasingly, they are also gyms, cafeterias and even laundromats. As perks like yoga class, free lunch and complimentary dry cleaning become the norm, companies continue to push the boundaries on ways to attract and retain top talent by providing much more than a paycheck to employees. The latest in the slew of new workplace benefits? Student loan assistance. In April, Chegg partnered with Tuition.io to give full-time employees extra cash for student loan reduction. Then in September, consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers announced it would provide up to $1,200 to help employees pay off loans annually. As a benefit, student loan assistance programs are certainly still in their infancy— one survey found that only 3 percent of companies offer such a benefit. But experts say that may soon change as companies seek to differentiate themselves in a competitive hiring environment. "We think student loan benefits are poised to be the next big benefit; similar to what 401(k) matching was when it was first introduced," says Dana Rosenberg, who leads employer and affinity group partnerships at Earnest, a lender that offers student loan refinancing and works with companies to create loan pay-down programs. The Burden of Student Debt Such programs could be extremely attractive to debt-laden Millennials. Around 40 million Americans collectively carry $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, and the graduating class of 2015 was the most indebted class in history with an average debt of $35,000 (a superlative they won't hold for long come May 2016.) For employers looking to adjust benefits to correspond to the changing demographics of their employee base, student loan programs hit the mark. "In 2016, our employees will be 80 percent millennials, and we also hire close to 11,000 employees directly out of school each year," says Terri McClements, Washington Metro managing partner of PwC. With student debt often preventing young people from participating in 401(k) plans and reaching traditional life milestones, the benefit could potentially make a large impact on employees' financial and personal well-being. A study from the American Student Association found that 73 percent of people with student loans reported putting off saving for retirement or other investments due to their debt, 75 percent reported delaying a home purchase and 27 percent reported it was difficult to buy daily necessities. "Student loans can be a very stressful thing to deal with, so if we can give our employees peace of mind, that's great," says Caroline Gennaro, corporate communications manager at Chegg. The Allure for Employers Student debt assistance programs aren't just attractive to employees, either. Rosenberg says there are significant benefits for the organizations that offer them as well. "Employers that offer programs to help their employees get out from under their debt load are seeing big benefits: increased retention, more competitive recruiting and, perhaps most importantly, happier employees who have additional cash flow to put towards their life goals," Rosenberg explains. Rosenberg says happier employees are more engaged employees, who tend to be more productive. Studies show that companies with high employee engagement experience lower turnover and have double the rate of organizational success than their less-engaged counterparts. Student loan benefit programs may also lead to a more diverse workforce, attracting employees whose financial backgrounds meant they had to take on more debt for their education. "Diversity and inclusion are also very important to us, so the ability to offer this benefit can help minorities who come out of school with a higher debt burden," says McClements. A Promising Response Companies say the response to their student loan assistance programs have been overwhelmingly positive. Chegg has had more than 80 people sign up since they started their program this summer, and they've already eliminated roughly 86 years of collective loan repayments for their employees. Companies are also finding these programs are a way to differentiate themselves from organizations that may offer more generic benefits. "As a company in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are always looking to attract the best and brightest in the industry, and this benefit is a big draw," says Gennaro. Photo: Shutterstock