Last week, I sent an Outlook invitation to a client’s Head of People and her team for our standing QBR (Quarterly Business Review) meeting. I received this response, “We’re just too busy with Recruiting right now to meet. It’s all hands-on deck with my team. Let’s push to late summer / September.” These QBR’s are part of our standard client delivery methodology and are events in which clients find a lot of insight and value, so I was surprised.
But maybe I shouldn’t have been. You’d have to be trapped under a rock or stranded on a deserted island to not realize that unemployment rates are at historic lows and competition for talent is fierce. Here in Massachusetts these pressures are among the highest in the nation.
What happened next was even more surprising! It happened again…with another client…with the same issue, “We’re too busy with hiring talent right now. Let’s skip to Q3”.
This made me start wondering what specifically these clients were dealing with, and I found some answers at a pair of conference sessions.
I was scheduled to attend an upcoming breakfast seminar on the topic of hiring entitled, “How to Hire Talent in a Tight Labor Market” sponsored by Broadreach Staffing Solutions. Timing was great and so was the content.
Right off the bat, it became clear that organizations today must handle a more complex mix of business requirements as well as requisitions which are highly specialized and, in many cases, unfamiliar to the recruiting teams. For instance, 20% of current requisitions are for roles with which the recruiters are unfamiliar, and it takes 38% longer to fill these unfamiliar roles. In addition, 58% of the heads of recruiting have difficulty acquiring the talent to maintain the current business and 64% of the heads of recruiting are having difficulty acquiring the talent to support a change in strategy. And finally, specialization is the name of the game where 71% of organizations recruit for more specialized roles than they did five years ago.
I next had the opportunity to attend the Flex Summit sponsored by Fuze here in Boston. It was a great experience focused on engaging in the future of flexible work. The closing speaker that afternoon was Liz Kiehner of IBM who spoke about how their clients are digitizing the workforce. I wrote about IBM’s success and investment in recruitment digitization as well as optimization back in my March blog (“HR recruits AI”).
According to Ms. Kiehner, IBM has realized a net benefit of $239 million and an ROI of 195% since “re-imagining HR with cognitive technology”.
We know that technology will continue to augment and disrupt our future work, and employees will continue to demand that their work experience mirror the daily consumer experiences. Investment and innovation will need to stretch across the HR domain from Talent Acquisition, Development and People Operations. Not only will these investments free up HR’s time during these critical “battles” for talent but the payback is significant.
As the result of these recruitment challenges, we’ve pulled together the following recommendations;