A Journey with Many Destinations… 672

A Journey with Many Destinations


Today, recruiting the best talent has become a more convoluted and difficult process than ever before. Candidates care about everything like the ‘culture’ and the ‘brand’. Recruiters understand that since candidates are the ones driving change in the talent market, they need to develop and communicate an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to them in the same way marketers present products to the customers. Recruiters who think like marketers and more strategic in the way that they map their candidate experiences have the edge in today’s candidate-driven talent market.

“There is a lot at stake to not get this right. The fact is no matter how airtight our plan is, there will always be a “future” in the making and we must anticipate disruptions as we transition into this future.”

In the talent market, your recruiters are the marketeers of your brand. They are responsible to use the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) most effectively to attract talent and are regarded as the face of the organization in the market. The candidate experience that they manage matters a lot in this age of social media as it’s very easy to land up with damaging comments and ratings. The recruitment function is also characterized by KPIs & Dashboards that have the attention of the business leaders. Recruitment is, therefore, often referred to as the Sales & Marketing function of Human Resources. No wonder, recruitment is usually one of the most progressed and sophisticated parts of a company’s HR digital story.

Many big organizations have already embarked on a journey to create their future of recruitment through digital transformation. I feel that we are in one of the most exciting and yet most challenging times because we have only begun to see the application of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big data in this area and there is more to come! There is a lot at stake to not get this right. The fact is no matter how airtight our plan is, there will always be a “future” in the making and we must anticipate disruptions as we transition into this future.

Following are some of the considerations that are worth thinking about as we continue to evolve:

Let’s Not Adopt Something like a “Fashion Trend”

Digital transformation

Digital transformation will no doubt enable HR to become more strategic but it is not a magic wand. Sometimes, it looks as if organizations are in a race to have a digital story without a purpose or foundation in place. They spend millions and end up with a tool or a platform that does not justify the ROI. This happens mostly because the journey is broken or not integrated for the transformation to truly come alive.

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Normally, we see that in the Sales, Marketing and Customer Service functions, the transformations are mapped to the customer to create CXX (Customer Experience Excellence) as a business driver. If we even keep this as the benchmark, then the approach adopted to create transformations in the HR function is often questionable. Let’s look at some recruitment specific scenarios:

1.1 How many clicks does it take for someone to apply for a job on a company website?

1.2 Are candidates proactively updated about their application status?

1.3 How many times is feedback closed with unsuccessful candidates?

Wondering if these are important? Let’s just ask INDUSTRY NEWS RECRUITMENT 32 ALL THINGS TALENT JULY 2020 ourselves if we believe it would impact the candidate experience?

Analytics and More of Analytics

All credit to the digital world we are in today, we have the 3V’s of data – Volume, Velocity & Variety. Forget the ability to just process structured data, now there is a huge appetite for unstructured data. How can an organization with so much data not use it to make data-driven decisions? Yet surprisingly, only a handful of organizations as per various industry reports are close to using data analytics to its advantage. Again, data analytics in the context of Sales and Marketing is normally given more importance and so, unfortunately, many end up even thinking it is not relevant to HR professionals. Thankfully, HR analytics is gaining awareness and attention it deserves because of its potential. As I learnt very recently from a leader, analytics is all about asking the right questions. If we are satisfied with the information on how effective and efficient our recruitment is, then that’s the answer we will always get. The raising of the bar to predictive and prescriptive analysis will elevate HR by leaps and bounds in its strategic contribution to the business.

Competencies of Future Recruiters

We need to remember that as we progress into the future, the complexities and the challenges it brings along will keep changing. The spectrum will range from hiring a gig workforce to managing Robots as a part of a hybrid team. No matter whether in recruitment or any other function in HR, we cannot afford to not understand how the newer technologies will impact or change the way we work at a business level.

“We need to remember that as we progress into the future, the complexities and the challenges it brings along will keep changing. The spectrum will range from hiring a gig workforce to managing Robots as a part of a hybrid team.”

We already discussed analytics above so let’s take another example. Blockchain is not new but when we heard about it first, did we fathom the use of technology in the HR domain? With blockchain, recruitment can be focusing on aspects that matter more to get the right talent for a role rather than checking references, scrutinizing the candidate’s CV, accreditations or professional certifications.

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A proactive outlook of the recruiters for improving “candidate experience” can go a long way in establishing credibility in the talent market. It speaks of the culture of the organization and more than what the EVP shows on paper metaphorically, what matters is how it is targeted to the talent pool, how their journey is mapped from the candidate’s point of view.

And finally, I’d like to close with this point:

Keep the “Spirit” Alive

Since most of us love cinema, let me explain this with an example. One of the things that movies like ‘Million Dollar Arm’, ‘Chak De India!’, ‘Ocean’s 11’ have in common is the “spirit” demonstrated by the recruiter to get the right talent for the team. Therefore, it is critical that business strategy and organization culture is at the core of decision making. The most competent or skilled person may not be the right candidate for a job. Every touchpoint in the candidate journey is responsible to do the best in the interest of the organization and often the accountability of the Hiring Manager is ignored in this process.

So, keeping this “spirit” alive was important in the past, has not lost its importance today and will not be replaced in the future.

Disclaimer: The thoughts expressed in this article solely belong to the professional and do not reflect that of the organisation she works for.


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Geetanjali Wheeler is a seasoned L&D professional passionate about building a culture that promotes learning agility at all levels in the organization. With an experience of about 16 years in varied verticals like Telecom, Airline & E-commerce, Geetanjali has spearheaded both global and national roles. Before moving on to her current role of leading L&D for a global financial services group in India, she worked for a large Telecom company. During her stint there, she headed Training & Development for the Enterprise vertical of the company and then progressed to lead many L&D initiatives within the CoE team. As the Enterprise L&D lead, Geetanjali was instrumental in winning a prestigious award from the Indian Society for Training & Development for innovative training practices. In the same year, Dun & Bradstreet also published a case study in its yearly compilation of HR best practices about an L&D intervention designed and led by her.

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