A shortage of talent has made hiring a challenge for many global organizations — but if it seems hard now, consider that you also need to be thinking about the jobs you’ll need to fill five or 10 years from now, some of which might not even exist yet. The speed of innovation can mean your business will look very different by then.
“Every board in America is talking about talent driving business,” says Kurt Heikkinen, president and CEO of Montage, which provides on-demand video-interviewing solutions. “We’ve moved away from a manufacturing-driven economy to a talent-driven economy, and those organizations that can attract and retain top talent are the organizations that win.”
Here’s what you need to know to hire for the jobs of the future.
Sharpen Your ‘Job Brand’
“People are more focused on careers than ever before, just not careers with one company,” says Bill Boorman. As a result, what attracts people and why they consider working at different organizations will be through a different lens; they’ll want to know what they get out of the job, not their time with a company.
To meet that change, employers will need to switch from an “employer brand” to a “job brand,” Boorman says. “Companies are still working on attraction around a message of ‘come and work with us and you can stay with us forever,’” he says, but increasingly, that message will not resonate with people. Instead, candidates will be looking at jobs on the microlevel — considering who their peers will be and what they can learn from them.
“They’ll want to develop that relationship with groups of people through connections and conversations, not content,” he says. “We have to reexamine what that conversation is, particularly as chatbots and live chats will enable people to self-filter out of consideration.” As employers look for people who will complete individual projects and gain skills rather than look to stay on for years, they’ll need to focus on how they build those relationships, Boorman says. “The employer positioning will need to enable people to connect and have those conversations easily.”
Harness the Right Tech to Keep Pace
As you consider these changes in recruiting strategy, know that technology will play an even bigger role than it does now. “Companies will anticipate vacancies through advanced analytics and AI,” says Ira Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions, an employee-assessment company. “Flight risk will be assigned to every key employee and retention strategies implemented. But some talent will leave, and new jobs will open up. Companies will have a well-defined blueprint they’ll use to deep-dive into the talent pool and nurture relationships well in advance of a job opening.”
The technology organizations use to interact with candidates will need to be mobile, responsive, fast and engaging, Wolfe says. Employers will need to embrace tools that help them predict whether a candidate would make a good employee; possibilities include assessing for a candidate’s likelihood of successful training even if they don’t have the skills they need now.
Future-Proof Your Hiring Strategy
Hiring for the jobs of the future will require an entirely new talent-management strategy. New models such as project-based and contract work will upend the balance of focusing on aptitude, talent and culture fit for new positions, Heikkinen says. Through it all, employers will need to focus on where each person’s skills will meet future business needs — and how those may be enhanced for emerging challenges.
Traditional educational institutions haven’t been able to keep up with pace of change, says Daniel Fogarty, director of growth at LaunchCode, which helps job seekers enter the tech field. “Future hiring strategies must be more focused on skill set, rather than seeking out individuals with specific qualifications, like college degrees,” he says. People who possess cutting-edge skills in fast-paced industries shouldn’t be expected to have a lot of years of experience in them — because no one will.
With that in mind, retool your hiring strategy to identify the skill shortages your organization will face as your business meets new challenges. “Knowing that there are shortages in skills — and there will be in health care and IT — determine how you’ll identify talent when the experience isn’t there, and how you’ll need to develop it,” Heikkinen says.