A Look at the Key Recruitment Trends Starting 2018 From an HR perspective, organizations need to embrace a Resource-based view of the firm's strategy for a higher engagement

By Krishnan Bangaruswamy

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Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are the buzzwords today and are often mentioned in the same breath as machines and software. With the advent of new technologies, the recruitment process is also dependent on them as they help speed up the entire process. Right from the hiring process to the exit/retirement of a person from the company, technology touches every point in an employee's career.

Today, the tools in recruitment portals allow recruiters to go through massive amounts of data in just seconds. According to a few experts, by the year 2022, every process in recruitment will be automated and there might not be a need for HR recruiters. There is already a buzz around artificial intelligence which can efficiently screen people.

This year is going to be very challenging. Recruitment managers and leaders should be prepared for a different game plan. Organizations are looking at a faster way to get things done and they understand that a merger or acquisition is helping them sustain and grow in the business. Recruitment managers are now expected to be well-versed in the mergers and acquisitions space too.

Below are a Few Key Trends that are Expected to Boom Starting 2018:

Automation is an emerging trend where it addresses systems with minimal errors and thus helps people complete their work in a shorter time, and with greater accuracy. The entire industry is looking at opportunities to take advantage of technology so that it can bring in automaton as part of the recruitment process. This will have a direct impact in the growth of an organization reducing the time required to hire resources.

Gig Economy: Self-employment trend is picking up fast. Across the industrial world, the rate of self-employment is currently around 12% to 15% and is expected to become 25% by 2030. The transformation to a "gig economy" is happening at an astonishing speed. It can be defined as a short-term or a freelancing job. This trend runs counter to the traditional full-time job. Remote workforces available virtually are in demand. Organizations are finding ways to reach out to students, housewives and even day job holders to make remote working more comfortable and attractive. All of this means Human Resources should look at effective ways to recruit, retain and engage first-rate freelance staff

Blind Hiring: This competency-based hiring is bound to take a leap in 2018. To avoid biases related to region and gender, most Fortune 500 companies, mostly in the UK & the US have started to adopt blind hiring strategy. In this process of recruitment, skills and abilities are the focus. This method is gaining ground in India, especially when a lot of vacancies are to be filled at the entry level.

Gamification: A gamified hiring process is more attractive in the eye of job seekers. Here the candidates' skills are tested through certain techniques (games) which help in assessing their abilities to solve problems, logical thinking and their capability to perform under pressure. Gamification, which is the concept of applying game mechanics and design in non-game contexts, is today being used to engage people with the brand and personalize the job hunting process for potential hires and often making the process fun. This showcases a brand and company culture as being innovative and creative. Gamification can be adapted to test aptitude for a job, helping the company cut down time to hire.

Zero-hour Contract and Annual Hour Contract: Employees are looking at flexibility in their jobs. The traditional 22 days per month and the 9-6 pattern will have to change. As per a report from HBR on Millennials, it is found that three out of four Millennials mention work-life balance to drive their career choices, in other words, they seek flexibility. Organizations realize this, as Gen Y would be 75% of the workforce in 2025 (as per Forbes), and are seeking ways to engage the workforce. One way of engaging them is through Zero-hour contract. Zero-hour contract is very popular in western countries and is set to catch on in Asia as well. This contract, allows an employer to hire staff with no guarantee of work. Employees work only when they are needed by the employers, and often at short notice. Their pay depends on how many hours they work. In an annual hour contract, the employee will be asked to finish a set of hours or days for the entire year. The flexibility depends on the relationship between the employee and employer.

Takeaways From 2017

An abbreviation, "VUCA" sums up important takeaways from the year 2017. VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. There are a lot of expectations on either side. On the one hand, there is a high demand from clients and customers for higher quality of outcomes and productivity. On the other hand, payroll and other administrative costs are rising. As leaders, you are expected to strike the right balance for a sustainable organizational growth. The company which is able to maintain this balance has a high competitive advantage. It calls for us to be proactive, think ahead and anticipate what the client is looking at and come up with the desired outcomes.

From an HR perspective, organizations need to embrace a Resource-based view of the firm's strategy for a higher engagement. This strategy identifies every organization having a unique bundle of assets, including the human assets, and the access to these and the ability to make effective use of them gives them the competitive advantage. Therefore, the key aspect of this is to develop the internal human capital, not just the behavioural aspects but also the skills, knowledge and ability.

For this to work, Recruitment and selection have to play a vital role as a start point!

Krishnan Bangaruswamy

Senior Director-Human Resources, Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt. Ltd.

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