Last month AMS joined a roundtable with global HR industry analyst, Josh Bersin, and senior talent representatives from six major multinationals. The discussion was centered on key trends in the talent landscape, and how they’re changing the market and powering success.
Here are the five key things we learnt:
1. The future is skills-based
The trend away from the traditional, role-based hiring model to a skills-based approach continues. Some roundtable participants had already begun taking on skills-based hiring projects and pilots. The group started their discussion by focusing on some of the most common teething problems. As with all major transformations, getting used to doing things differently takes time.
Scaling up skills-based hiring away from project-based skills hiring is proving to be a challenge. Moving away from role taxonomies to skills architecture is a huge undertaking.
Most organisations don’t yet have a handle on the skills that exist in the workforce, nor do they fully understand what the critical skills for their organisation in the future are. Getting agreement on the key skills and finding a way to track hidden and transferrable skills in their workforce is a significant feat. For example, how do you know what skills specific employees have without relying on employees for their own input?
A change of mindset is also needed with hiring managers and recruiters. Moving away from ‘experience’ to ‘skills’ requires stepping out of comfort zones. Learning to value ‘power’ skills (such as curiosity and life-long learning) is key.
2. The role of the recruiter is changing
The role of the recruiter is changing, and 'talent advisory' is increasingly in demand.
recruiters need to use data to demonstrate the availability of skills, to hiring managers and to provide alternative approaches to hiring that are cost effective and sustainable”. To exploit new technologies, they need to be data interpreters and move away from opportunistic sales to consultative insight. Sourcing like this is giving definition to TA careers, boosting the reputation of the industry to new talent, and powering internal change.
“Alongside skill-based hiring, there’s a need to upskill the recruiting role,” explained Bersin. “Skills-based hiring requires recruiters to become talent advisors,” and TA needs to recognise and get ahead of that shift.
“People often have overly high expectations of what a skills project will do for them – it is important but not just a technical solution,” explained Bersin. “Skills hiring is being manifested in tools and AI to help recruiters. But, as you know, finding the right person for the right job is a 'human' problem.”
3. A focus on skills will help retain early career talent
The sparkle of drawn-out graduate programmes has gone. Jobs lasting more than two years are no longer the norm, and early careers Gen Z talent expect and plan to move around. A skills-based approach aligns with this shift.
Fostering transferable skills allows organisations to satisfy their employees’ thirst for change and to embed internal mobility in place of a culture of movement outside of organisations. It also allows companies to train their people for those critical roles, outside the structures of graduate/traditional pathways.
4. TA has a seat at the table and is influencing change
“When executives are focussed on recruiting and put TA in a strategic position, that leads to success,” explained Josh Bersin.
This was one of the strongest areas of agreement around the table: Talent leaders need to stay connected to business strategy because they’re best placed to advance it when the market improves.
Businesses should avoid making their talent acquisition teams a victim during recessions. Instead, they should apply the transferrable-skills model and transition their teams into other areas of the business, such as research advisory or AI technologies. So when hiring starts again, businesses have retained their key people.
5. AI is changing the game, but we’re still the players
“AI is a phenomenon picking up speed like a snowball,” said Bersin. Online, mobile, cloud technologies, and AI are changing everything. But AI needs to be demystified to increase uptake and encourage meaningful deployment.
Businesses need to move towards AI technology, not fear it. And this comes from top-down leadership.
As with other industries, AI is enabling valuable efficiencies and offering keen insights, but human instinct and experience remains crucial in recruitment decision-making. TA teams need to reposition themselves around the skills agenda, not hand over responsibility to algorithms.
So, is your TA team set up for success?
To speak to AMS about how to progress skills-based hiring in your organisation, embed transformative AI, streamline hiring strategies, and upskill your talent teams, get in touch today.