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| 6 minutes read

Unlocking the power of AI: Imperatives for talent acquisition

As the challenges of recruiting the right talent continue to escalate, it is evident that these hurdles are only going to become more complex. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with talent leaders in India to understand how they are navigating this increasingly demanding talent landscape.

It is apparent that companies must adapt and innovate to keep pace with the evolving job market. This includes implementing skills-based practices and fostering internal mobility. Additionally, optimising technological infrastructure, considering strategic outsourcing, and empowering recruiters to act as strategic advisors, are some critical steps towards achieving success in this dynamic environment.

Recently, AMS India hosted a conversation with Bill Pelster, Co-founder of The Josh Bersin Company, joined by talent leaders in two locations Bangalore & Mumbai. During our session, Bill and I explored the rapidly evolving talent and technology landscape, with a particular focus on the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI).


Navigating the shift

Globally, we are witnessing a persistent labour shortage, signalling a notable transformation in the employer-employee dynamic. An important element that has changed in the talent market is that we have very quickly moved from a talent surplus market to a talent shortage market. This shift heavily favours employees, accentuating their position of power in many parts of the world. Failing to recognise this fundamental change risks overlooking a crucial aspect of the evolving landscape.

Secondly, organisational reinvention is becoming widespread across industries. Large organisations like Disney and Netflix, are actively transforming their identities to adapt to evolving market demands.

Another critical theme revolves around the transformative impact of AI. Over the past year, AI's impact has become increasingly pronounced. Those who underestimated its potential to revolutionise various aspects of business were at risk of being left behind. Despite the challenges it presents, understanding and embracing AI's capabilities is essential for maintaining competitiveness.

Employees are increasingly vocal about their expectations and preferences, making it important for organisations to transition from traditional employee experience models to a focus on employee activation. This approach requires companies to respond promptly to employee signals and adapt strategies accordingly, similar to how consumer product companies react to market demands.

Redefining recruitment

Traditional recruitment methods are increasingly inadequate against the backdrop of today’s evolving business environment. Organisations must embrace a more holistic strategy that emphasises on internal mobility, upskilling, reskilling and reinventing to meet complex business objectives effectively. 

AMS's innovative approach has garnered recognition, illustrating the importance of aligning talent strategies with broader organisational goals. Considering the underlying dynamics, it is crucial to influence the global market, particularly amidst ongoing debates about recession and job growth.

Despite headlines suggesting job losses, the reality is more nuanced. Job openings are often swiftly filled, reflecting a seismic shift in global demographics. This presents significant challenges for talent acquisition professionals and highlights the need for innovative approaches to address evolving workforce dynamics. 

Traditional notions of lifelong employment within a single industry are replaced by a new paradigm where individuals prioritise experiences and versatility over long-term loyalty to a single employer or industry. This shift is particularly pronounced among younger generations, who are more willing to switch jobs in pursuit of fulfilling experiences.

An analysis of LinkedIn data reveals a remarkable trend: nearly two-thirds of job changers are now switching industries, reshaping traditional recruitment norms. Recruiters are urged to adopt a skills-based approach, acknowledging that conventional boundaries between industries are becoming less relevant as skill sets continue to evolve. 

In response to these challenges, HR and TA professionals must adopt a holistic approach to talent management. This includes upskilling and reskilling initiatives to align with evolving job demands, and actively encouraging open conversations about career transitions within the organisation. Instead of defaulting to mass layoffs, organisations should explore opportunities for internal mobility and skills development, capitalising on the transformative potential within their current workforce.

Adopting a skills-based recruitment strategy

By adopting a skills-based recruitment approach, promoting internal mobility, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and development, organisations can effectively navigate these challenges and position themselves for success in a rapidly changing global landscape.

Traditionally, employers held the upper hand due to an ample supply of talent. However, the landscape is changing, marked by the dwindling talent and the widening talent gap. We are transitioning into a post-industrial era where traditional HR practices may no longer suffice.

In this new paradigm, work and skills take precedence over job titles, demanding that organisations leverage technology for talent intelligence and create dynamic talent marketplaces. This approach promotes more flexible and responsive workforce management, aligning with the evolving needs and expectations of both businesses and employees.

By focusing on skills, organisations can uncover latent potential within their workforce. This approach aligns with the concept of "licensed work", which prioritises human capabilities over repetitive tasks, fostering a more adaptive and innovative environment.

Harnessing AI 

Just as Excel revolutionised the approach of data analysis, AI is poised to revolutionise how we approach work. By harnessing AI, organisations can optimise processes in areas like recruitment and career mobility. For instance, Starbucks has streamlined its hiring process to make it as easy as ordering a cup of coffee, demonstrating the power of removing friction in high-volume recruitment.

Similarly, AI is reshaping learning and development, thereby unlocking new opportunities for skill enhancement and career advancement. However, it is crucial to distinguish between AI as a mere feature and AI as a foundational solution. True integration of AI requires a fundamental shift in mindset and approach, heralding a new era of workplace efficiency and effectiveness.

When evaluating technology solutions, it is essential to discern between those merely augmented with AI and those fundamentally built on AI principles. This transition towards AI-native applications poses a significant challenge for established industry players like Oracle, SAP, and Workday, as they grapple with retrofitting their platforms for seamless AI integration.

The talent acquisition landscape is saturated with vendors offering a multitude of solutions. Partnering with experts like AMS, who bring valuable insights from the real-world experiences of hundreds of clients, can be transformative. As talent intelligence grows in importance, the use of AI in recruitment processes becomes crucial. For instance, AI can uncover additional skills not explicitly listed on resumes, thereby broadening the candidate pool and enhancing the alignment between job roles and applicants.

Consider the concept of "top of license" for recruiters, where they focus on the crucial 20% of the hiring process that requires human intuition and emotional intelligence. AI can manage the transactional aspects, freeing recruiters to focus more on assessing cultural fit and soft skills. While AI boosts efficiency, it is the human touch that remains irreplaceable for evaluating candidates’ suitability, particularly in aspects that require a nuanced understanding of personality and team dynamics.

These advancements herald a new operating model for HR, characterised by systemic HR practices. This paradigm shift compels a deeper understanding of AI-native technologies and their transformative potential for HR success. By embracing AI and effectively leveraging its capabilities, organisations can gain a competitive edge in talent acquisition and management.

The imperatives for the future

The  research on systemic HR emphasises the need to rethink the HR function to operate more horizontally, directly aligning with the business's primary concern: efficiently filling vacancies with the right talent. This involves breaking down traditional silos and fostering collaboration across HR domains, such as recruitment, retention, re-skilling, and job re-design.

Organisations must also redefine work processes in environments where skills are scarce, enabling employees to operate at their full potential. This means that departments, which have historically operated independently, must now collaborate in unprecedented ways, laying the foundation for systemic HR.

In India, where the pace of technological change is swift, it is crucial to embrace advanced concepts like AI in recruitment and agility in adapting to evolving skill sets. By aligning these concepts with organisational needs, businesses can effectively navigate the complexities of talent acquisition and management, ensuring a responsive and competitive stance in the global market.


Click here to learn more about what AI means for the talent world.


Interested in learning more about the Talent Climate? 

Our Talent Climate Series is a set of quarterly reports created in partnership between AMS and The Josh Bersin Company. They explore today's challenging and turbulent world of talent, providing up-to-date and in-depth market insights, trends, and solutions for how to tackle the changing global conditions – so you can stay ahead of the talent forecast. 

Click here to explore the series.


ams, artificial intelligence, digitial & technology sector, future of work, hr tech, innovation, rpo, technology, talent climate