The past year has been defined by uncertainty and complexity, particularly in the realm of recruitment. Organisations, hovering on the edges of “what if”, have struggled to manage the unexpected changes to how people work while simultaneously trying to retain and source the best possible talent.
Today, the dynamics are changing as companies slowly adapt to a blend of work-from-home and the office, as they explore new markets and opportunities, and as they revisit the employment strategies derailed by the global pandemic.
According to Angus Young, director at Prime Reason, there are several key trends influencing recruitment in 2021 and companies that pay attention to what people want and need will be the ones catching the big, talented fish.
“The candidate experience has become critically important,” says Young. “Right now it’s a seller’s market, with highly skilled individuals carefully considering the companies they will work for, before they sign on that dotted line. They want to work with organisations that have learnt from the pandemic, that are aware of burnout, and that offer flexible and interesting approaches to work.”
Employees, especially the ones organisations are desperate to attract, are tired of being treated like children who have to be watched over in the office. They realised that they can get more done at home, that they can create a far better work-life balance. They want to be measured on outcomes, not presence.
Some people prefer the office – they need the human contact, the water cooler chat, and the dips in and out of meetings. For the business, this means that they need to consider a more holistic approach to working conditions than they did in the past. One size fits all isn’t going to cut it anymore.
“In the past, measurement of performance was done by KPI and heads down at the desk,” says Young. “Now, future-forward organisations are measuring people by their outcomes alone. If a person has completed their work by lunch, why should they sit at their desk until 5pm? Organisations that recognise the immense value of this proposition, and implement it intelligently, are adding something unique and valuable to their offering.”
Putting value front and centre
As Young points out, it’s the company value proposition that’s really going to hold the attention of the increasingly sparse talent pool. In the insurance, financial services and technology sectors, skilled and experienced people are hard to come by, and essential to retain. Their rarity means that they need to be approached intelligently, and managed seamlessly. It’s easy to put a perfect package in front of a candidate, but their overall experience has to be engaging from the outset. This means that benefits are market-relevant, and that processes are transparent. Perhaps most importantly is the first touch of the recruitment process – from engaging with the right candidates, to nurturing them effectively – all in a seamless, candidate-centric experience.
“On the other side of the employment coin are the roles that require less specialised resources, such as admin or call centres,” says Young. “Due to the extraordinarily high levels of unemployment right now, organisations receive thousands of applications for a single role – sometimes as many as 2 000 for one job. A graduate position can attract up to 10 000 applicants. This is a challenge for the business that’s looking for the right fit in a sea of potential.”
Companies need to put the right platforms and systems in place that will help them to manage the high-end talent, and filter the volumes for the more junior roles. An intelligent system designed to manage applications can be customised with filters and specific settings to help a company whittle down the applicants to those who suit their unique business offering.
“These tools can make all the difference,” concludes Young. “Companies can leverage the technology to refine their value propositions to attract high-end, global talent, and to pin down the perfect applicants when they’re inundated. These solutions can save time and money, and help companies navigate the uncertain times that lie ahead.”
About Prime Reason
Prime Reason helps companies unlock potential – intelligently. We provide you with a blend of market-leading talent acquisition and management expertise with next-generation platforms and toolkits to provide a boutique talent and HR solution that meets changing market needs. For more, visit primereason.co.za.
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