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Keeping it Personal – The Human side of Digital Agility

Keeping it Personal – The Human side of Digital Agility

Agility isn’t only applicable to insurance – it’s cross industry and in our industry etc etc… job search on the go, flexible working, tailor made careers …

It’s not only Insurance that needs to limber up! Our world has changed – we are digital. We expect digital. The world is at our fingertips and we can’t see why everything shouldn’t be done on the move.

Gone are the days of plain old library books – even the task of choosing a real physical book is now something that requires an online presence.

We don’t do waiting. We do google.

And recruitment is one of those areas that agility is crucial in. The downtime during the daily commute = job searching.  Scrolling through a FB feed = personalised Ads.   Flexible working patterns can relate anywhere as the City truly needs never to sleep now the online world is global. The old rules need not apply anymore – jobs can be truly mobile and work can be done anytime, any place, anywhere..

Recruiters need to harness this mobile world and use it to bring a truly agile service to the industries they serve.

Luckily – Recruitment lends itself to digital agility easily. A strong online and mobile presence , the ability to search and be searched for from all devices, a social media savvy frontage are all the precursors to providing a personalised recruitment offering.

Networking sites, job boards and online applicant systems are all ways that technology has revolutionized recruitment; radically changing how employers and recruiters find potential candidates. Applicant tracking systems and new AI software can help HR departments manage the massive influx of resumes that online digitally agile job hunting leads to.

AI-powered systems can do a great job sorting through candidates, but the risk is that non-traditional candidates or candidates with unusual experience that could offer an alternative perspective on a role could fall through the rules-based system, even such a one that can”learn” and therefore improve with ‘experience’,

Applicant tracking systems might be the most noticeable way technology has impacted recruitment ,however behind the scenes there are more changes afoot. Technology has changed recruitment forever, and how the industry has had to adapt – and become agile , just like the candidates it is trying to recruit!!

Data Data

Big Data is certainly a useful tool in the world of recruitment and many other businesses can’t get enough of it. The old adage of “knowledge is power” certainly seems to be being applied to the collection of data. But what good is that knowledge is it is applied incorrectly, or worse, not applied at all?

More data can mean more confusion, allowing tiny details to “skew process and drive people to take action on things that don’t matter, while ignoring the real underlying problems with the recruiting function.”

Analytics and AI are becoming increasingly sophisticated and “intelligent” – with some able to sort CVs at a thousand paces. But with Big Data comes big responsibility – which is where the human touch still maintains a critical role.

Bias

Going Digital can also help businesses not only remove unconscious bias by removing anything from a resume that might identify gender or race. However it can also help bring a specific positive bias into the recruitment process; for example, if a company looks at their workforce and realizes they have predominantly male developers, they can use technology to target female developers in the recruitment process. This can be as straightforward as helping companies to rewrite their job specs to remove any biases in the phrasing. Studies have shown that even unconscious gendered wording can bring about a hiring bias.

AI based systems(assuming the algorithims are correct!) don’t have any selection biases involved!

Global Search Capacity

Geography is no longer the boundary it once was. Global job boards and online application have made job search a truly global affair.

Telecommuting and true agile working mean that recruiters can draw from a candidate pool they may have previously had to overlook. A more diverse talent pool enables recruiters to find professionals with far more specific skill sets than ever before. This talent diversity and ability to provide agile working environments helps drive competition which in turn raises the innovation and service that a company provides.

Flexibilty vs Control

Companies don’t relinquish control easily – and it is probably this aspect of agile working that has been found the most difficult by many! However a company that is prepared to truly embrace a more flexible approach to the traditional world of work is likely to reap the rewards. If we are prepared to accept a 24 hour society in other aspects of our lives then it stands to reason that the world of a basic 9-5 may well have seen its heyday.

Allowing employees the freedom to work however and wherever they work best – whether from home, in an office or from a coffee shop – creates a paradigm shift where employees work from a position of “desired duty” instead of “required duty.”

This mindset shift creates an overall sense of ownership; employees feel like they own their own career pathways. Technology presents endless tools and resources for agile working and the best way to utilise them is to start with a scientific approach : Observe, question, hypothesize, experiment and analyze. Look at new sourcing channels, try new regions, or leveraging social media to build mindset and trust. If employees can (and should!) work in new ways then change your recruitment approach to match!

The new rule is that there are no rules…

The War for Talent – Are you part of the problem or the solution?

The War for Talent – Are you part of the problem or the solution?

We are in a race for talent and the winners will be the organisations who recognise that it is a war, and who can design, implement and execute a talent attraction and retention strategy that is fit for purpose – it has to be a competitive advantage!

In Europe:

  • There are more retirees than youth – more 80 year olds than 5 year olds.
  • 50 Years ago – there were 2 workers for every non worker.
  • In 15 years time – the prediction is 1 worker for every 2 non workers.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed that the number of UK job vacancies in this period last year was the highest on record since 2001; at 777 000!

(low point of 432 000 in May 2009 and an average of 603 000 from 2001-2017)

In August 2017 the ONS showed the UK employment rate as 75.1% (the proportion of people in work aged 16-65) – the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

Every sector and Geographic location is experiencing growth – whilst skills are in decline.

For example- there is a shortfall of c30 000 engineers in the UK alone.

The government short skills register has grown from 30 skills to 73 in the last year.

Total fertility rates, which can be defined as the average number of children born to a woman who survives her reproductive years (aged 15-49), have decreased by approximately half since the 1960s.

Europe is ageing. On average, each woman has 1.58 children. This is substantially below the 2.1 children needed to sustain the current population (and therefore workforce) level.

Brexodus:

The number of foreign tech job applications are down 50% since the EU referendum vote.

The number of foreign recruits in the UK candidate pool has halved since Brexit – a worrying trend in a country where 10% of workers, including a third of those in the all-important tech industry, are international

The latest net migration figure of 246 000 was 81 000 lower than the 327 000 recorded in March 2016 (ONS).

By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce.

Nearly 33% of new hires look for a new job within their first 6 months on the job. Among Millennials this percentage is even higher – and it happens earlier!

Only 32% of talent leaders considered retention as a top priority (LinkedIn recruitment trends)

Analysis of salaries of 42 500 entry level jobs from more than 770 organisations across the Uk show that entry level STEM roles within the software development or engineering could see an increase of wage by 19% to £30 973 and 17% to £30 37 respectively, making these the highest paid entry level roles in the country (Korn Ferry 2016)

Approximately only 1% of candidates / applicants are hired – Lever 2017 (Inside the recruiting Funnel: Essential Metrics for StartUps and SMBs 2017)

We are heading into the “Perfect Storm” – where supply and demand are heavily biased towards the candidate – why should they choose to work for you?

You can no longer buy talent; you can only sell to them – the candidates are your customer. Are they always right? Are you catering for their needs?

  • Company Culture
  • Is talent a cost or an investment?
  • Is talent a HR problem or a business problem?
  • Is your talent strategy aligned with your business strategy?
  • Are your line managers adequately trained?
  • Is your interview process fit for purpose?
  • Is your social media strategy fit for purpose?
  • How effective is your retention strategy?

If we accept that talent is the principle differentiator for a company’s success in a global, complex, extremely competitive and dynamic environment, then you have to ask the following question.

What are you doing to ensure that you have access to that talent?

  • Are you asking that question?
  • What are you doing about it?
  • Ignoring it is not a solution!

 

Why do we need diversity in HR? Does diversity breed creativity and productivity?

Why do we need diversity in HR? Does diversity breed creativity and productivity?

How can the least diverse sector be the lead in changing the diversity paradigm?

Diversity (or lack of) is one of our key focus areas. Saxus is strongly committed to building a diverse future – with particular focus on cognitive diversity rather than the broad-brush gender /race / sexuality diversity of yesterday. A diversity based on true self rather than extrinsic factors…

This search for greater creativity and spark has led me through many thought processes and one in particularly is this:

HR is, quite possibly, one of the least diverse sectors in business. It is the one area of the C suite where women outnumber men. The majority of HR graduates are women…

Is this a case of women rising – or is this in fact a lack of diversity issue that we seem comfortable to ignore?

HR has historically been a “people-focussed” side of the business with a strong leaning towards administrations. Historically women have been the mainstay of secretarial functions and so the move to a career in HR has been an easy one. In fact, for many women the move to HR was clearly a step in the right direction – the pay was better, the career opportunities better and perhaps more importantly – the dinosaur (male) bosses of the 1970s were comfortable with women in this so called more “caring” profession. Today 73% of HR Managers are women. (source: 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics)

So – the real question here is… Is this a problem? The rise of women in the workforce is a good thing, the inclusion of greater numbers of women in the C suite can only be beneficial – and – let’s face it – historical work patterns do lead towards a gender bias in other professions (think nursing and teaching!). But if we have realised the need for less gender bias in these professions – then why are we still so secure with the world of HR being a female only zone?

HR is the gatekeeper to our organisations. If diversity breeds more creativity and productivity – then why wouldn’t your Human Resources department be the first place you look to change the status quo? Talk of diversity is cheap when the first people you interact with are not showing the way as role models themselves.

So, do we need to change?

Well I would argue that this is a resounding YES. Diversity is an all-encompassing factor in the way we improve all aspects of our world of work. A greater diversity in HR will filter through to the rest of organisation.

As with most things – the path to change starts with enlightenment – it’s about changing education and perceptions. A male nurse 20 years ago would have been a standout feature of medical care – now it’s just a healthcare professional.

Graduate programmes need to actively encourage men to consider a career in HR –and job descriptions need to show less gender bias. HR is not purely an admin role. It is strategic and critical to business success. After all, if we all agree that our people are critical to our organisation – then surely the department geared towards those people is an integral part of corporate success?

First impressions matter.

If diversity matters – then perhaps it’s time to change the face of HR?

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