Ranjini is a People Leader, with an enriched experience spanning well over 18 years. With deep understanding of talent development at executive leadership levels, she has attained certification in Talent Management from the esteemed institute XLRI, Jamshedpur. A proven behavioural analyst, she also holds a DISC certification. With her laser sharp vision , she has been a change-maker throughout her professional journey. Ranjini, firmly believes in ‘Transformation’ across various levels in an organisation. Be it technology, infrastructure, processes and policies, values and culture, strategy etc, for her ‘transformation and change’ are central to future-forward entities that are steering towards success.
With the mounting need to deliver a more resilient workforce, the job of talent acquisition is continuing to look much different, than what it was back in 2019. HR leaders are perennially at a fork end when it comes to evaluation metrics of driving hiring efficiencies and recruiting strategies. For no matter, how interesting may be the solution, the employee preferences are changing and shifting every quarter, if not month.
First thing first, since pandemic has set off a trend of unpredictability , the organisations are constantly pacing up with the everchanging market conditions. And this pace of change is not expected to slow down either. In such a scenario forecasting future talent acquisition trends is nearly impossible. With such volatility , a lot of redesigning is setting in at every level. While on one hand its pivotal to the success of the organization to attract and retain just the right talent, on the other, such turbulent times are tipping the scales of balance and consistency.
Enlisted below are some of the points that are contributing to these challenges, especially in the IT sector –
- It’s the ‘candidates world’, well quite literally ! As they are holding multiple offers / opportunities in hand to negotiate for more. In fact, offer rejections are at an all-time high right now, which is also impacting hiring budgets drastically.
- Job content or brand value is at a back burner. In the prevailing WFH scenario, candidates are continuing to prioritize ‘money over matter’. Since the employee experience of working for an organization is at an ultimate low, therefore candidates are giving precedence to compensations and pay checks alone, over growth, work profile or even brand name.
- Hybrid work model is impacting and shifting loyalties . Pre-Covid times candidates gave much consideration to job location, commute time, distance from home, accessibility or connectivity, since these factors are no longer relevant mostly in IT sector, where almost everyone is WFH or location this trend is setting a complete change of perspective and loyalties. Virtual work and convenience has taken over available opportunities, candidates are now contemplating and weighing options much before finalizing and settling for what they want.
- Drop in average employee life in IT sector. Given the current state of the industry and market, candidates are not looking at anything with a long-term vision or stability. The employee life in IT sector which was earlier about 3-5 years, has come down phenomenally and unapologetically, so!
- ‘Notice period is a mere trade-off’. In the given scenario, notice periods are having a huge impact on hiring. Organizations, specially across IT sector, where 90 days’ notice period is a norm, are losing out as candidates are using this period to trade off time and seize many opportunities. With more offers in hand, this is working as an arm-twisting tactic for pay-hike.
- ‘No Show or Blackout’. Talent acquisition teams are in a tizzy specially as number of ‘no-shows or blackouts’ are on a rise in the IT sector. For a recruiter ‘Blackout or Backout’ is a situation when candidates act flippant and don’t show up on the day of joining, citing inane reasons or sometimes none.
Given the above status-quo, let’s look at a few ways to pave a way ahead, and make organizations resilient and future -ready-
- Mental health a necessary pit-stop. One thing that we have learnt over last one and half year, is the importance of mental and emotional well-being and its pervading impact on employees’ motivation and morale. HR is and must continue to take the challenge thrown by this global pandemic, in its stride and step-up efforts to keep regular checks on employees’ burnout and mental health.
- Upskilling or re-skilling for a future forward economy. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that no one has control over the future — not markets, individuals or even the economy as a whole. Therefore, the time for employee reskilling and upskilling is now. In truth, some of the industry giants have jumped on the upskilling train long before the pandemic. Amazon, for instance, invested $700 million into reskilling and upskilling programs, and Mastercard has been running its own retraining program since 2016 to gain a competitive advantage over startups. There are many upsides to upskilling and reskilling; such programs always improve employee engagement and retention, attract new talent, increase collaboration between departments and speed up the adoption of new trends within the company.
- Creating Compelling Employee Value Propositions (EVP). As employees / candidates are stacked with tons of options and are increasingly becoming highly discerning picking their choose, it will be well-timed move for organizations to make compelling EVPs to attract and retain talent, especially for niche roles. The modern day definition does not restrict EVP to monetary and non-monetary benefits, but implies offering an ecosystem of support, recognition, and values to employees , so they achieve their highest potential at work.
- Introduction of new work-ethics and best practices. Although every organization has its own set of no-compete and anti-poaching policies, however talent is always acquired from competing organization or clients. So, if a candidate says, “I have another offer in hand”, the best way to approach the matter could be to drop the candidature. This will help bring equanimity with compensations and opportunities to most deserving profiles and applicants.
Other than the above key points, small steps like- use of social media to showcase and build the company’s credentials and reach; focus on employee referrals and creation of a diverse referral program; internal job postings encouraging vertical, horizontal and lateral growth and inducting freshers to take the mantle of skill and culture of the organization forward, can play an interesting role in making the organizations future ready!
In the end I would like to conclude by saying, “In order to build a rewarding employee experience, you need to understand what matters most to your people.” – Julie Bevacqua