Organizations are struggling to hire quality talent as only 16% of new hires possess the needed skills for both their current role and the future, according to Gartner, Inc.
To hire quality talent, recruiting leaders must shift their strategies from replacing the workforce to instead shaping the workforce by defining needs based on skills, sourcing talent more broadly and creating responsive employment value propositions (EVPs).
Historically, the value of the recruiting function has been to acquire quality talent with critical skills to meet the organization’s short- and long-term objectives. Accomplishing this objective centered around replacing the workforce through a similar set of candidate profiles from known talent pool sources that were attracted to existing EVP attributes.
“Traditional recruiting methods are unable to compete with the large-scale shifts to the workplace and the labor market,” said Lauren Smith, vice president in the Gartner HR practice.
Macro-Shifts Affecting The Workforce
Gartner TalentNeuron data shows that existing roles may require up to 10 new skills by 2021. Today’s current environment of economic instability due to COVID-19 has made traditional talent pools less viable for sourcing talent as high-quality candidates with traditional qualifications are unlikely to leave their current positions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced employers to rethink how to best get work done and what skills their employees will need to adapt in this new context. Candidates are scrutinizing organizations’ responses to the pandemic, looking to see how companies have treated employees during this time.
Shifting From Replacing to Shaping the Workforce
Leading organizations have shifted their focus from replacing the workforce to shaping the workforce through strategies based on the realities of the new recruiting landscape. Shaping the workforce means acquiring new skillsets from a diverse skills market that influences an organization’s EVP. Specifically, recruiting functions need to make three key shifts:
- Define talent needs by prioritizing skills instead of hiring profiles
- Uncover the total skills market instead of targeting known talent pools
- Create responsive EVPs, not just responsive candidates
“The best recruiting functions that excel in these workforce-shaping behaviors see a 24% increase in quality of hire,” added Ms. Smith. “High-quality talent can have a significant impact on business outcomes, including individuals who successfully perform in their roles 20% faster and teams that get a 19% boost in their ability to meet future challenges.”
Prioritize Skills Acquisition
Hiring managers often focus on candidate profiles, recycling the last job description and adding new desired skills to the list, which creates an impossible task for recruiters to find these “unicorn” candidates.
Leading organizations are shifting the focus of needs-definition conversations towards defining the essential skills needed to get the job done. To be effective in this new approach, recruiters need to understand skill needs in the larger context of the organization-wide strategy. To equip recruiters with this knowledge, the best organizations leverage HR partnerships to map future skill needs. Recruiters can then consult the business on how to best align job strategy with organization-wide objectives.
Target The Total Skills Market
Recruiters have long sourced skills from known talent pools based on credentials and background. This strategy misses out on highly skilled candidates, as Gartner research shows that 43% of candidates today are self-taught in one or more of their role’s requirements. In addition, organizations are increasingly developing high-value skill sets in employees through accelerated training programs.
HR leaders should also consider where their search criteria can be broadened. For instance, can the organization look at candidate potential over candidate credentials or hire based on where the talent is located, not where the business is located? HR leaders should also audit their entire hiring process for exclusionary practices that advantage one talent segment over another.
Drive EVP Responsiveness
Gartner research finds that 65% of candidates have cut short the hiring process because they found certain aspects of the job (e.g., work-life balance, development opportunities, company culture) unattractive.
“To deliver on changing candidate expectations, the best organizations are leveraging labor market insights – direct candidate feedback, competitor EVP offerings, employee needs – to inform and adapt their EVP to today’s environment,” Ms. Smith said. “Progressive organizations use these insights to inform job design and new employee experience initiatives.”
Gartner clients can read more in the Gartner report, “Advancing Recruiting’s Value Through Uncertain Times: Shaping the Workforce.”
CHROs and HR leaders can learn more about how to lead organizations through the disruption of coronavirus in the Gartner coronavirus resource center for HR, a collection of complimentary Gartner research and webinars to help organizations globally respond, manage and prepare for the next phase of COVID-19.
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