It is no longer a secret: today’s world of work is changing at a speed that leaves many employers shaking their heads. The process of change already began a few years ago – but now two factors have coincided to break the camel’s back: The pandemic has significantly accelerated the digital transformation. And at the same time, generations Y and Z are entering the labour market and turning it upside down – while the baby boomers are gradually saying goodbye. This has a variety of effects, not least on employers’ recruiting.
The changing world of work: it’s all about the employees
Companies today are faced with a variety of challenges. Production technologies are becoming more and more sophisticated, digital networking is increasing. At the same time, cultural change is making cooperation between generations more difficult, demands are growing daily and there is high pressure to go through the transformation that has been set in motion.
However, this can only work if employers can rely on employees who not only have the necessary skills, but also have a high cultural fit and are also prepared to adapt to the change and drive it forward in a thoughtful way.
Staff is becoming scarce. And classic recruiting does not work.
At the same time, demographic problems are having an effect that started years ago. The baby boomers are retiring from working life. The new generations Y and Z entering the workforce cannot replace them, if only in terms of numbers. At the same time, however, they place completely different demands on their employers.
For employers, this development is making itself felt in a noticeable labour shortage. The days when they could sit back comfortably after seeing a job advertisement and then only had to pick the best candidates from a multitude of applications are over. Everyday life in many companies: Only few or no applications are received in response to job advertisements – filling a position seems impossible.
Classic hiring with job ads and career websites no longer works in many sectors. But without the right personnel, change is impossible. And so HR must (once again) reinvent itself, reposition itself and find new ways to find the right professionals. New Hiring is the keyword.
New Hiring as a strategic concept
For a long time, recruiting was just one of many tasks in HR. Providing staff “in the right number, at the right time, in the right place” was one of the classic tasks of HR. This is still true. You can’t do without personnel – with or without change. But the search for the right talent is now coming to the fore in such a way that it is becoming a strategic issue.
HR must develop a new understanding of recruiting. It should be consistently adapted to the peculiarities of New Work and produce tools and strategic concepts that can ensure the optimal supply of personnel for the company even in a difficult labour market situation.
New Hiring means moving away from rigid application processes and fact-based decisions and instead towards flexible processes that are consistently oriented towards the needs of the applicants and in which the focus is on people as individuals. More than ever, recruiters need to understand what drives applicants, what values they bring with them and what is important to them when they want to inspire them to work for the company.
What can New Hiring be like?
New Hiring is not so much a method as a new self-image of recruiting. It can be composed of numerous individual measures, which, however, can look different depending on the company or industry. Important anchor points of the New Hiring movement are:
- Digital tools: Application processes on a digital (and automated) basis are no longer an end in themselves to become more efficient. Rather, for HR it is about freeing up capacity through automation that the recruiter can invest in communicating with applicants. This can also have a positive effect on time-to-hire. The software should of course prepare information – but use it less for automated recruiting decisions based on CV data, but rather draw a holistic picture of an applicant, of values, needs and life situations.
- Communication: Speaking of which, communication should not be limited to interim notifications and invitations to job interviews. Today, applicants want more than standard letters. Recruiters convey appreciation in a genuine dialogue in which a common, personal basis is created. Ideally, this kind of communication begins even before a specific job is advertised. Networking will become more and more important in HR in the future.
- Quick feedback: Employers can no longer afford weeks of radio silence (and it was not a good style in the past either). Effective and efficient applicant management software ensures quick responses to questions and keeps the communication going.
- Easy contact: First log into the applicant profile to send an application? Write an e-mail to which there is no reply for days? Ideally, the employer should provide different ways of contacting the applicant, so that the applicant can use the favourite. In addition to a clear contact person with a telephone number, this also includes e-mails, messenger services such as WhatsApp and social media. By the way: Contact should not be broken off even if it was not a good fit for the job. New opportunities may open up months later.
- Authenticity: Polished, polished employer branding profiles are still a good recruiting tool. But the younger generations in particular value authenticity. This means: the employer should present itself authentically, be honest and not gloss over anything. If something at the future workplace is not what employees want, it is better to communicate this right away. Otherwise, the new colleague will be gone just as quickly as he arrived.
- The end of requirements: Of course, employers want the perfect education, many years of work experience, the optimal cultural fit and many other things. But in times when applicants determine the job market, job advertisements should limit themselves to the most necessary must-have criteria instead of defining a long requirements profile. Otherwise, the employer will shoot himself in the foot.
- Personality: The application process should be personalised. This also means that the future manager should get involved in the dialogue, because a good manager is one of the decisive factors for a job, and not only for young applicants. And getting to know your future colleagues can also leave a positive impression.
Embracing change: Adapting New Hiring to the Needs of Applicants
Nothing is as constant as change, as the saying goes. And so recruiters do not need to hope that the situation will improve on its own. Change will continue – in which direction is open. It is all the more important not to close oneself off to it and to react to the wishes of the applicants. Perhaps this will look completely different in just a few years. Today, however, employers have no choice but to adapt to the needs of candidates. Otherwise, there is a danger of getting stuck in the middle of the transformation and perhaps never taking the hurdle into the new millennium.
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