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How to Future-Proof Your Organization in 2018

Brianna Foulds

Vice President, Talent

Reprinted from ERE Media (

What does the future of hiring look like at my organization? Who should we be hiring to set ourselves up for long-term success? How are we helping talent get from where they are now to where they want to be?

As head of talent acquisition at Cornerstone OnDemand, I've been thinking about these questions lately as we prepare to ring in a new year. With artificial intelligence and machine learning entering the space at breakneck speed, not only will the role of talent acquisition shift, but the industry as a whole will evolve.

There are a lot of forces of change at work here.

The unemployment rate in the U.S. has dipped to 4.1 percent — the lowest we've seen in the last decade –and employers are feeling the impact. According to the 2017 Manpower Talent Shortage Survey, 40 percent of employers currently report talent shortages.

Plus, the gig economy continues to grow. A study by Intuit predicts that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers will be independent contractors. This is a new type of candidate, one who is more interested in having short-term work, a flexible schedule, and the ability to jump between gigs rather than permanent work. Beyond this, influencing everything, is the fact that we are experiencing a technological revolution –not only are job demands evolving, but employees' skills and work styles are also changing. A talent transformation is inevitable in the next three years, McKinsey research predicts, and we need to be ready.

Here are four ways talent acquisition professionals can future-proof their organizations in 2018.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive With Your Talent Pipeline

Technology is dramatically changing the skills your future hires will need. Just a few years ago, handling accounts payable was a manual task — you needed someone to look at each invoice, evaluate it and pay it. Now, there are systems in place that largely automate the process, and you need someone who understands technology to manage it.

Given this rapid pace of change, it's critical for talent acquisition to work with leadership and HR to evaluate how they expect the business, as well as specific roles, to transform. Once there's a clear vision, start planning how to upskill employees to ensure they live up to future role expectations.

Take time to identify critical skills and talent needed for the next three to five years. Determine how prevalent these skills are in the market and in your current workforce. Finding the right candidates could require bringing in university talent and shaping them through learning and internships, or setting up internal training programs for existing employees. Identifying talent and skill gaps early will enable you to build a pipeline and be proactive instead of reactive as your company evolves.

Use Learning to Shape Potential Candidates

Just because you didn't hire a candidate the first time doesn't mean you won't in the future. For promising external candidates that you don't hire, provide them with specific learning criteria to help them prepare for a future position with your company. Create a tangible path forward with specific competencies and skill sets they can learn. You can also provide them with an internship or apprenticeship and train them directly for potential future opportunities.

With internal candidates, think about how you can create your own "gig economy" within the organization. Creating opportunities for employees to learn new areas of the business, meet others in the organization and retain your talent by engaging them in new ways with new work they love.

Take Charge of Your Story

As always-on technology blurs the line between work and life, it's becoming more important for candidates to connect with companies on a deeper level and be passionate about their work. Glassdoor found that a candidate looks at 18 sources of influence to learn about a company before applying to a job. Make content readily available across these channels to help candidates connect the dots. Build profiles on sites like The Muse, Glassdoor and BuiltInLA, bolster your employees' social presence and create articles or listicles that share your company culture and clearly communicate your purpose and values in a genuine way.

Customize Your Interview Process

With competition for talent rising and candidates becoming more selective, recruiters need to personalize the interview process for individuals. Bots, machine learning and automation will help accomplish this by giving recruiters the freedom to become interviewer concierges instead of administrators.

While it's easy to get caught up in the future talent needs of your organization, don't forget to take some time to be critical of your own role. Do you have the skills you need to lead your organization into the future of work?

Photo: Creative Commons

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