Human Centered Recruiting: Tech Is Not As Important As You Think

November 20, 2021 00:14:08
Human Centered Recruiting: Tech Is Not As Important As You Think
The Josh Bersin Company
Human Centered Recruiting: Tech Is Not As Important As You Think

Nov 20 2021 | 00:14:08

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Show Notes

Recruiting is one of the most difficult challenges in business today, and in this podcast, I talk about what we’ve learned. As you’ll hear in my discussion, the human-centered approach to recruiting is more...
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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:10 Hey everyone. Today I want to talk about recruiting in this crazy labor market because it's a really big topic and a lot of things changing. We will be introducing a massive amount of research on this later this year and early next year. But let me give you a couple of tips about what's going on. First of all, in terms of the numbers in the United States, there are roughly 12 to 13 million jobs open of the 150 million or so people working, which means that roughly one out of every 11 or 12 jobs is vacant, which is a massive gap, maybe the biggest gap I've seen in my life as an analyst. So imagine walking through an office and every 11 or 12 desks there's an empty seat. That's how bad it is. And in the middle of that, of course, 4 million people are leaving their jobs every month. Speaker 1 00:01:00 So behind the scenes of these open positions is a huge amount of churn. Cuz if you take the 4 million and you multiply it by 12, that's 50 million out of of 150 million people. Almost a third of the American workforce could change jobs in one year. So it's extremely dynamic. Now, recruiting, as you know, is a complex and extremely important process. In fact, I would argue that it's the most important thing you do in hr because if you don't get the right people into the company, all of the other things we do don't really matter. And recruiting is a multi-headed beast. There's the issue of the recruiter and the candidate pipeline and the marketing and the brand, and getting the right people into the company. There's the issue of the hiring manager and his or her clarity or lack of clarity on what the job is and what the requirements are of the job. Speaker 1 00:01:51 And there's the issue of the business partner. In the case of HR who's supporting this process. And most of you have recruiters who are dedicated to the function, or a c OE that does talent acquisition, but they don't operate in a vacuum. They have to interface with these other two groups, and there's a massive amount of technology supporting their recruiting operation. You're gonna be surprised at what we're finding in the research. What what we're actually finding in the research is that the technology has less impact than you might imagine. It's absolutely important, but it isn't critical. What's really critical to recruiting is creating an amazing brand. So people want to work for your company and you have a value proposition that attracts great candidates and also a clear understanding of the fit and the characteristics of the candidate who's going to be a good fit. Speaker 1 00:02:38 And that means also applying that entire process to internal candidates as well as external candidates. A lot of you have heard me talk about this. A lot of the larger companies are telling us that 50 to 60% of their recruiting is now internal. And that's a very important and very good thing actually for a lot of companies because it means there's a lot of new career opportunities and mobility inside of organizations which are good for culture and engagement and knowledge management. To tell you the truth. Now, in addition to the general issues of recruiting, the other thing that's been a big debate over the years is the role of the recruiter. And when I first started doing research on hr, I was always under the impression that recruiting was kind of like a sales function. You have candidate pipelines, you do candidate marketing, you do screening just like the sales pipeline, and then you get people on the phone and you try to close 'em. Speaker 1 00:03:29 And that's, to some degree still true. But what our research is finding is that it's not actually the case anymore. Recruiters are now playing a much more strategic consulting role. Not only are they getting to know candidates, but they're getting to know the market. They're getting to know people who have adjacent skills that could be a good fit for a job that they've never done before. And they're working closely with hiring managers to refine the criteria of the role. And I know this is true because I've seen the data, I don't know if you're aware of this, but there are more job openings for recruiters than there are for software engineers. There's a massive amount of hiring going on for recruiters. And of course that means that recruiters themselves are under a massive amount of pressure. A lot of the companies we talk to tell me that their recruiting pipelines allocate 60, 70, 80 job openings to each recruiter, which is kind of crazy if you imagine it. Speaker 1 00:04:22 How can a recruiter possibly handle that much work? So a lot of this responsibility is falling on that part of the function, and companies treat recruiters in different ways. We're doing a big project right now with a pharmaceutical company who just acquired another pharmaceutical company. And it's interesting, one of the companies creates a very tactical role for recruiters and tries to automate and streamline the recruiting process in a fashion that the recruiter has very little autonomy and really is not needed to do a lot of the hiring. The other company is complete the the opposite, where the recruiter has a massive amount of importance and consultative role in the recruiting process and is expected to be much higher level and much more sophisticated and knowledgeable about the situation. My research and our research is going, going to explain that actually the latter model is where we're going. Speaker 1 00:05:14 We are not automating away the recruiting function now for high volume roles, like people who wanna work at McDonald's or do things that are relatively routine, yes, we can automate a lot of the process and the candidate pipeline can be done on a phone and people can apply to a job, walk into a store and be screened by a manager and take a job pretty quickly. But that's only for relatively fungible jobs where the humans are a little bit more replaceable in most high value roles, which is where the majority of the recruiting function is spending. Its time. We have to spend more time with people and more time analyzing the data about people than ever before. And so what we see as the future needs and roles and skills of the recruiter are actually much more diverse. Understanding the cultural aspects of the company and the cultural fit with the candidate, understanding the adjacent skills and where to find skills that will fit the role, that may not have direct experience in the role. Speaker 1 00:06:15 Getting to know the hiring manager and refining the role with the hiring manager, having a good dialogue with candidates and keeping in touch with silver metal candidates so they can bring them back later. Managing a large volume of work and understanding issues like pay, pay, equity, the right levels and job descriptions. Ideally that would fall on the business partner role, but actually a lot of it falls under the recruiter role too, because the recruiter is in a sense, the tip of the spear where all of these HR practices meet the market. And I would anticipate, I don't have the date on this, that recruiter salaries are probably going up and a lot of people in the recruiting function are getting a lot of job offers to move from company to company. Now, if you don't completely buy what I'm saying, let me give you a story or two, I've done a lot of research on talent acquisition over the years, and Janet Merton's on our team is finishing a massive study of this at the moment. Speaker 1 00:07:07 I remember interviewing the head of recruiting for a large oil company and very sophisticated guy, and he'd been running recruiting for a long time. And we were talking about what were the characteristics that defined a good fit for this particular company. And he said, you know, we've looked at a lot of things. We've looked at the engineering degree, the grade point average, the engineering disciplines that they had studied, what prior work experience they'd had, their age, their location, their relative experience in related industries, including assessment data. And he said, but at the end of it all, when we correlated all those things to the retention, engagement, and performance of people over time, we found something else was completely correlated to that. It was the recruiter, great recruiters hired great people who did very well in our company. And he said, and what that taught us is that the magic fit is much more complex than you think. Speaker 1 00:08:08 Yes, AI can do a reasonably good job of sourcing and screening people, but it does come down to having good conversations on both sides, on the hiring manager, on the recruiting side. And so this human value has gone up. And I think for those of you that think we're gonna have robot recruiters in the future, I beg to differ that actually the research is showing the opposite. The final thing I'd like to talk about relative to recruiting is the issue of corporate culture. And as it's the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, I've been thinking a little bit about what we have to be thankful for from the pandemic. And obviously the, we've all been going through a lot of stress and uncertainty and a lot of people have gotten sick and a lot of pretty disastrous things have happened in the economy and to the political system over the last couple couple years. Speaker 1 00:08:55 But actually something very, very good has happened too. And that is that CEOs, CFOs, CHROs, have come to the same conclusion that if we don't take care of our people, we don't really have a company. And this may seem like a truism, but business is all about people. There are no businesses without people. And great companies always go through challenges. There are always business problems, competitive problems, product cycles and so forth. It is the people, it is the culture that pulls you out of that. And even though there will be hot companies that will grow like crazy, and suddenly you think everybody in that company is brilliant, if those companies don't take care of their people, they will fall on hard times too. And this last couple of years coming through the pandemic, I have become quite thankful for the fact that these power skills, the sense of empathy, the sense of caring, the sense of growth, the sense of empowerment, the sense of trust have entered the domain of leadership in a very significant way. Speaker 1 00:09:58 One of the things we're working on right now is some research on leadership development and people, when they come to work for a company, one of the biggest drivers of Glassdoor ratings and hiring great people is the culture of the company, is the leadership, is people's perception of whether this company is fair, taking care of the environment, doing something about global climate change, paying people fairly and so forth. And I think leaders are at a point now where they really do believe that is a significant part of their role. I distinctly remember before the pandemic, we were at the peak of the economic cycle dealing with the Trump era and the brutal competition that always takes place at the peak of an economic cycle. And business leaders were pretty hard on people and we were rewarding execution over endurance at the time. But I think we've changed our minds. Speaker 1 00:10:47 I think a lot of people have woken up to the fact over the last two years that wellbeing, mental health, productivity, patience, flexibility, those are principles of a very, very high performing company. I'm gonna be publishing my book finally next year on this topic. It probably won't be out until q2, but I have a lot of research that shows that this empathetic, caring, human-centered leadership model is absolutely the most effective one over a long period of time. And in a world where there aren't enough people to hire and the last thing you wanna do is lose some of your great people. And money only goes so far. Let's face it, relative level of pay will not keep people in your company if they don't like the work or they don't like the organization. This sense of empathy is a really important trend. And I think as we enter Thanksgiving in the holidays, let's be thankful for that as we take a little bit of time off and hope that the pandemic is finally on its way out. Speaker 1 00:11:46 And I know it's not in many parts of the world, but it is starting to be, we're gonna be doing a lot of fascinating research on the labor market, on skills on the economy next year. I'm not gonna tell you too much about it yet, but it's coming. And what we're gonna do is try to put the human microeconomic view behind this. And so as you think about your recruiting and your talent acquisition strategies over the next couple of months, and I, I'm sure you're thinking about it a lot, think about the role of culture, think about the role of empathy, think about the role of flexibility. And if you take those issues seriously, I think you'll do great as the economy continues to grow. Thank you.

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