Mahe Bayireddi is CEO of Phenom, a global HR technology company with a purpose to help a billion people find the right job.
The way HR teams now operate is like nothing we expected.
For the first time in years, it’s no longer a candidate’s market because the talent supply surpasses the demand. Record-breaking unemployment, the need for new skills and the immediate execution of innovative virtual strategies have become the norm.
Organizations must adapt or be at a severe disadvantage in the talent market. At Phenom, we have regular conversations with hundreds of CHROs, and they are facing unprecedented challenges. Fortunately, there are solutions, but implementing them will require changing how we perceive the talent experience.
The pandemic ushered in the future of HR more quickly than many companies anticipated, but with advances in technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, we can be ready. Let’s explore what this means for your organization, job candidates and current employees.
Your Organization’s Experience
The needs and desires of enterprises are different than what they used to be. Virtual hiring is the new normal for most companies and will become more accepted even after the pandemic is over. Other firms are prioritizing internal mobility to maximize the versatility of their workforce, which a stagnant economy prevents them from growing.
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Considering the hiring obstacles organizations now face, many are taking the time to reflect on their values, purpose and goals. After all, the decision to apply and work for a company is no longer solely based on wage; job seekers are evaluating a company’s beliefs and culture with greater scrutiny than ever before.
While a culture change must come from within, AI-driven technology and automation can help HR find the right fit faster. Companies are realizing the value of actionable, data-driven insights that unwrap what truly makes up best-fit candidates for specific roles. AI collects this data and helps identify traits that align with companies’ cultures. It also enables more diverse hiring, which is key to building well-rounded teams with a mix of perspectives.
For enterprises that have accelerated virtual hiring, the automation of repetitive and tedious tasks — like screening and interview scheduling — is critical, especially for smaller HR teams with limited bandwidth. AI is a real game-changer for recruiters because it improves their productivity and creates more opportunities for them to focus on building meaningful relationships with candidates and hiring managers.
Chatbots infused with AI and machine learning are also an essential resource that companies are using to automate conversations and specific recruiting activities, such as sourcing and answering candidate FAQs.
Your Candidate Experience
Job candidates’ priorities have changed across the board as companies adapt to pandemic-related concerns like safety, job security, remote work and caregiving. Instead of prioritizing salary, office perks and commute, many job seekers are looking for flexibility in the form of working from home and a reasonable work/life balance.
Weaving empathy into the company brand can help attract the right candidates. Organizations are also building credibility around their brand by sharing testimonials and employee stories across email, SMS and social media. Hearing from employees empowers candidates to feel more confident in their decision to apply, reducing the chance of a poor culture fit within the organization.
As video continues to rise as one of the most engaging and consumed types of content, HR should leverage it throughout the candidate experience. With many companies now operating remotely, video interviewing and screening, in particular, enables talent acquisition teams to more efficiently connect with job seekers.
Your Employee Experience
Similar to candidates, employees are prioritizing different aspects of work. They’re harboring new concerns about what it’s like to be part of their company now, under extenuating circumstances. Along with physical and emotional safety, employees want a sense of belonging, which can be more difficult to establish when teams are remote. Regardless of where they work, employees are also juggling more personal responsibilities and financial considerations as well as changing team dynamics and duties.
These changes not only underscore the need for work-life balance but also a clear career path. Few people stay at a company where they can’t envision their future. Though job security is especially important right now, many employees continue to reevaluate their purpose and professional trajectory.
Internal mobility, gig work, and learning and development will be essential to providing the opportunities that existing workforces desire. Organizations can advance employees’ goals by assigning them to projects based on the skills they contribute. This not only fills critical skills gaps in growing or high-demand sectors of the business, but it also sets employees on a learning and development path that reinforces their value within their company.
AI-powered employee experience platforms can lend even further personalization and automation, expediting the time it takes for employees to discover internal work opportunities and even employee resource groups that foster community and diversity. By providing internal opportunities that meet the needs of both the business and employees, companies will be more likely to retain valuable members of their team.
Keeping Pace With The Digital Transformation Of HR
A CHRO’s job is harder than ever, but HR is in a unique position to adapt and evolve based on what we know. The priorities across organizations, candidates and employees have shifted, but there are clear steps we can take now to ensure we’re delivering the experiences we have all come to expect.