As I walked through the corridor of my building, I noticed the murals on the walls and the one that caught my attention bore famous lines spoken by Mahatma Gandhi, ‘The future depends on what you do today.’ Indeed, the timelessness and relevance of it are undeniable!
Today, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to redefine every aspect of our life, including our workplace. The emerging technology avatars, a rise of entrepreneurship, remote work, and gig work has made people realize that there could be an alternative to their mundane ‘desk job’ which can help them live better even while making a living.
Be it “driving” a self-driven autonomous vehicle or monitoring your vitals and fitness regime through devices, there are plenty of examples of the omnipresence of technology. For those embracing this wave of digitization, the sky is the limit.
The Economics of Talent in the Digital Era
Digital is poised to contribute upwards of 149 million new jobs by 2025. Going by the present talent supply, companies are heading for a severe talent shortage if they do not take strategic steps – NOW. Market demand is driving a surge in jobs in hottest tech skills such as Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.. According to McKinsey, Covid has expedited the need for digital adoption by companies by 7-10 years and has caught many companies unaware. Industry body NASSCOM says that for every 200 open positions for digital jobs in India, only 100 programmers are available. Naturally, there’s a scramble for talent. Therefore, it is mere economics that skilling be prioritized to balance the supply to the exponential demand. Industry research shows that companies have increased training budgets by 30%, but the actual adoption has been only 6%. The main reason for the lack of adoption is companies do not articulate the before and after narrative well. “If it is not changing how I do my job today, why do it?” is a familiar conversation. Corporations need to project how upskilling impacts their employees’ career path and choice of roles for the future.
Candidate as Customer
When addressing the larger talent market, companies need to work with the right ecosystem. Today a candidate is just like a customer and what your customer thinks impacts your market. Candidates must have a good experience with you irrespective of the outcome. The hiring process needs to get more transparent and candidates should be kept well informed of the status of their candidature. Also, in a market with a talent shortage, if you don’t hire the candidate, someone else will. Therefore, a long drawn process of multiple rounds of similar interviews will have to be remodeled to build a more agile and nimble process.
Finding the Right Partner
Many platforms are out there that aggregate talent but a brand needs to build its community that engages past, present and future employees. The role of a recruitment partner will be crucial in enabling an employer brand where the partners amplify the merits of working in your organization. The right partner becomes a source of essential market intelligence, enables an agile process and enhances the candidate experience. Additionally, the partner should help with proactive branding in your target talent community and engage with technology platforms such as Github or Kaggle to keep the subject matter experts engaged and continuously evoke curiosity towards your brand.
What’s your “Engagement & Flexibility Quotient?”
The workforce of the digital era is restless, dynamic and needs a stimulus to remain engaged. Many opportunities await the digital talent at every juncture. Therefore, employers need to be aware of creating an appropriately challenging and rewarding culture. And outside of work, develop a spirit of collaboration to foster a sense of community internally. With no fancy offices or 5-star menu lunch spreads, the greatness of a workplace will come from its flexibility. In an era of hot desks and remote working, the merit of an employer comes from being inclusive to the lifestyle of its employees. Understanding the aspirations and asks of the talent is therefore going to be of great importance.
A formidable employer brand will go a long way in talent fulfilment for today and enriching the funnel for tomorrow. If the present times are anything to go by, an extended talent pipeline could be a corporations’ essential currency of the future.