In the past few years, there has been a sea change in recruitment practices. These changes have occurred to keep the hiring practices in sync with the business demands which in turn has been in constant flux due to the VUCA environment. Gone are the days when a recruiter could take months to hire for a vacant position, today, he must think on his feet and deliver in a few days.
The changes can be categorized into two broad areas and I will succinctly deal with each of them below.
The Technological Dimension: The first one has been the changes in the tools, the hardware aspect, of the recruitment practices. Digitization has ensured that the recruiter is involved 24*7 with the hiring process and with all the aspects of hiring i.e. the pre-hiring, hiring, onboarding, and retention of the candidates. Unlike earlier days, where the role was in silos, today the recruiter is more of an engagement manager. I will be touching more on this later. The digital tools have helped the recruitment process to be extremely organized, cost, and time effective and build up a strong big database of the prospective candidates.
The use of Artificial Intelligence is increasing each day in the hiring process. AI is helping in identifying the competencies for the role, matching it with the candidates’ capabilities, and giving recommendations on the way forward. The results have been outstanding. More and more processes of the recruitment process e.g. on-boarding, background verification, linking the selected candidate’s data with the main database of employees are getting into AI and this is bound to increase. It is also guiding the hiring managers and human resources members to focus on the key aspects of the candidates rather than having a superfluous, repetitive interaction which has been the case many a time.
The use of psychometric and neuroscience tools is providing valuable insights into a candidate’s persona and this is helping the recruiter in finding the right match. If earlier using these tools were optional, today it is a critical part of the recruitment process and cannot be done away with. These neural tools are helping the recruiters to match the job fitment more precisely and accurately which in turn is having a long-term positive impact on the employee engagement and retention of the employee.
The Softer Side: The second dimension of changes in the recruitment practices, which I think has been incredibly significant, is on the softer aspects of hiring practices.
If in earlier days, the employer and therefore his representative, the recruiter, used to have an upper hand in the relationship equation- today it has been democratized with each party having an equal power equation. This change happened during the years as more options got opened for the candidates leading to a talent crunch for the established employers. Today, in the top management and technical campuses, these established employers must compete equally hard with the start-ups to get the best talents.
This has impacted the recruitment practices in another aspect. Now, the recruitment practices are more of experience management, employer branding process with the companies redefining and improving their processes to give the candidates a rich experience.
The rise of the gig economy and the temporary employees have broad-based the hiring pool. With platforms like LinkedIn, Upwork, and others, the pool of various types of employees available for various duration and types of work has increased significantly. This has increased the efficacy of selecting the right candidate while reducing the dependency on the recruitment consultants and head-hunters. The hiring cost has become more focused on creating an employer brand proposition and less on paying consultants.
There are many other significant changes coming into the recruitment practices with the evolution of technology and the solidification of a matured workplace culture. These changes will revolve around a long-term relationship between the employers and the candidates which will enrich the economy in the long run.
Author – Chandrajit Pati, Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources, Reliance Industries Limited
As a Business and HR Leader ensure the long term success of the Organization in making it customer focussed and agile to the changing demands of the business environment.