Sourcing talent has changed in recent years. One reason for this is that many organizations have adapted their operational models over the last two years, and job requirements have also shifted as a result.
A recent Deloitte Access Economics and RMIT University report showed one in three employees’ daily tasks have changed since the pandemic. But troublingly, the same report revealed a quarter of Australians feel they don’t have the skills they need.
This mismatch presents a challenge for job seekers and HR leaders alike. In a rapidly changing world, organisations need to develop new hiring strategies quickly to keep pace.
Many organisations – particularly those in aged care, healthcare, retail, and hospitality – have had to manage vastly different demands. Businesses in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria have navigated snap lockdowns, state border closures, and business uncertainty. Companies have had to act swiftly to meet evolving customer and employee needs – from government subsidised wage programs and customer voucher stimulus.
Simultaneously, companies need to keep costs down. Time-to-hire and time-to-productivity remain a focus for hiring teams — with many now navigating these processes in hybrid workplaces, where some employees work from the office and others from home. That’s why companies need to do two things well: meet the needs of employees under greater pressures — and hire adaptable people quickly and efficiently.
Here are five ways companies can adapt their talent acquisition strategy to source and hire talent faster and effectively.
A staggering 88% of Australian organisations find it difficult to hire employees with the skills they need, according to the Deloitte Access Economics and RMIT University report mentioned earlier.
The pandemic has fast-tracked digital transformations in companies. It’s understandable that managers prioritised some skillsets and deprioritised others. 77% of hiring managers report that digital literacy is now a more important factor in their company’s hiring process because of COVID-19.
This is why employers in Australia — and its neighbour, New Zealand — are moving away from the rigid job descriptions of the past to find people who can adapt and show a willingness to learn, during times of change and uncertainty. The good news is that more than 20 percent of Australians would prefer $1,000 to spend on training every year, rather than $50 more pay each week.
People’s needs are always evolving. But the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted Australians’ growing needs around mental health and financial wellness. In fact, AMP modelling suggests just a five percentage point increase in the number of employees impacted by financial stress caused by COVID-19 could cost employees and the Australian economy $33.1 billion.
Employees who don’t feel supported with their financial or mental wellbeing may be less engaged and seek work elsewhere, impacting business continuity. Companies need to ensure they’re communicating the steps they’re taking to protect the health of their workforce. Promoting financial wellness programs, superannuation resources, and mental health benefits will show candidates the company is invested in its people.
The 2021 LinkedIn Jobs on the Rise report for Australia revealed an interesting trend: Australian workers from industries badly hit by COVID-19 are applying for jobs in different industries. “[The] NSW government needed thousands of new Service NSW workers with excellent interpersonal skills to help customers navigate COVID-19 restrictions, while airport workers have found work in mining,” the report noted.
The takeaway for recruiting leaders is clear: go wider in the talent search. Hiring managers typically demand the exact skills and experience that they think is required for a worker to succeed in the role. Consider employees from other industries with highly transferrable skills because it can streamline recruiting. Doing this can help talent acquisition teams find ‘hidden gems’ who can drive businesses forward in Australia’s post-COVID recovery.
Strategic onboarding brings new employees up to speed 50% faster. And this means they’re able to contribute to achieving company goals more quickly and efficiently.
Employers can provide a good onboarding experience by using a central hub to communicate company policies and updates that keep everyone well-informed. Good hubs will enable employees to take control of their own employment experience and find the information they need.
As well, organisations can keep people engaged and productive by assigning specific tasks and action items for groups of employees to complete, such as health and safety courses or training. Above all, the content needs to be personalized and relevant. When onboarding is done well, it drives productivity and engagement sooner, while cutting back on repetitive requests to HR teams.
HR teams have limited time to spend on manual, time-consuming processes.
Companies can reduce inefficiencies in the hiring process with technology that helps teams send digital offer letters and allows candidates to accept within the letter itself. Teams will be able to reduce the number of steps required to bring new talent on board so they can focus on higher-value work. Offering this type of candidate experience also shows investment in the larger employee experience and the commitment the company has in making work life simpler for their people.
Australian and Kiwi companies have excelled at rising to the unique challenges brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. But they need to stay the course and find new ways to serve their customers and society at large. A resilient workforce that has the skills to take on the business challenges of 2021 and beyond will require agile talent strategies, like those outlined above.