Technology, Talent Strategy Needed for Business Growth, Study Says

Advancements in technology are changing nearly everything about the way people work across various industries, and a new report on talent strategy highlights how this transformation also pertains to the inner workings of talent acquisition.

During the past few years, the way employers source, screen and hire new talent has changed vastly, and experts say this change is for the better. Business leaders’ concerns about the global economy are causing organizations to regard talent as the key to value creation, according to the 2019 Talent Trends report from Randstad Sourceright, a global talent solutions provider.

A shift toward a more integrated approach to workforce planning is currently underway due to talent scarcity, a widening of the skills gap and improved access to technology, according to Randstad.

One of the trends that the study expects is for HR to go on “a tech buying spree to get better access to talent.”

“My peers in human capital leadership roles are in a strong position to drive their organizations forward,” said Cindy Keaveney, chief people officer for Randstad Sourceright, in the study. “They understand the tremendous competitive pressure that business leaders face. One way to put them at ease is to build a workforce shaped by insights and enabled by technology.”

Keaveney also explained that business leaders should make use of the technology at their disposal to accelerate the sourcing and on-boarding of new talent that can lead their companies to undergo desired transformation.

As digital aspects of work continue to take hold, Randstad suggests that business leaders should expect for the demand for niche, digitally focused skills to emerge even more than it has in recent years. The study points to the increasing need for data scientists and artificial intelligence (AI) developers in the majority of fields, noting that this growing demand will also cause the evolution of such roles to accelerate.

“Data will be central to many growing fields of study and future commercialization in sectors such as life sciences, IT and technology, and e-commerce,” the report explained. “Specifically, disciplines such as computational social science, cognitive economics and quantitative biology are all areas that will require niche talent to advance research and commercialization.”

To solve the issue of talent scarcity, 73% of those who participated in the study said they are creating specific talent communities to engage the future talent pipeline in their respective field. According to the report, that figure is a noticeably higher percentage than that of the prior year at 62%.

“A majority see technology as an enabler for talent communities,” the report states, noting that 54% of respondents aim to completely or mostly automate their management efforts regarding these talent pools.

Jason Roberts, global head of talent analytics and technology for the Talent Innovation Center at Randstad, said there is only a limited value to attempting to combat talent scarcity by adding to the number of recruiters involved.

“To make a truly transformational impact on talent acquisition, you need to invest in the tools that most effectively empower your people and processes,” Roberts explained in the report.

Analytics dashboards and AI-related tools have a part of the ways in which many HR professionals do their recruitment work in recent years, however, the report states that in 2019, most companies are expected to investment significantly toward accelerating these talent choices.

“Technology will continue to handle tactical tasks, but machine learning and other sophisticated innovations will also use data to become smarter at screening applicants and recommending the best selections,” the report said.

The recently released report suggests that HR professionals view their role in building flexible workforces and establishing talent models as crucial, officials say. The report also analyzes how different markets worldwide are looking to adopt “total talent” strategies.

According to the report, those countries dealing with the greatest talent shortages include Germany, Japan and the U.K. Randstad states that 83% of HR leaders believe their objective is to have a measurable impact on their business’ performance, showing a significant increase from the 57% of HR leaders believing that in 2016.

Additionally, 80% of professionals focused on procuring talent said their recruitment strategy focuses more on value creation than cost savings.

A survey of more than 800 executives and HR leaders and 1,700 professionals throughout 17 countries informed Randstad Sourceright’s annual Talent Trends study, providing a worldwide look at the ways in which talent procurement professionals are capable of making a lasting impact on a business’ performance.

“If your organization is not able to attract, develop and retain new skills, it will almost certainly fall behind,” said Michael Smith, managing director of EMEA for Randstad, in the study. “Whether through data insights, research or customer engagement, human capital leaders are in the driver’s seat to deliver these skills and accelerate growth and market share.”

The study also suggests that when business leaders take on a “total talent” approach, employers are thinking more broadly about techniques for completing necessary work both through traditional and unconventional methods.

Of the upper-level executives and HR professionals who have adopted the total talent approach so far, Randstad found that 98% report being extremely satisfied or very satisfied with this method. The study also said that of those organizations that have not yet implemented the total talent approach, about 76% of such companies plan to do so within the next calendar year.

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