Expert predicts digital days lie ahead

What will the future of recruitment look like after COVID's digital transformation?

Expert predicts digital days lie ahead

Evolving technology has consistently transformed the limits of what HR is and does. With the advent of COVID-19 however, change went from gradual and incremental, to radical and overnight. 

“While we thought, pre-Covid, that we were all set up  to transition to remote working, it didn't go quite to plan for a lot of employers,” says Dina Ward, Chief Psychology Officer for Testgrid, which provides employment testing and consulting.  Responsibility during this changeover fell on HR departments to maintain a sense of organisational culture, while their workers were physically removed from one another. HR also had to adapt within their traditional roles of recruitment and onboarding.

“People have had the option to work remotely before, but that initial period of onboarding and upskilling in the first few months used to take place face to face,” says Ward. ”HR had a lot of challenges around becoming experts in remote onboarding and training.”

Testgrid is uniquely positioned to observe this transition. “Technologies like psychometric testing and video interviewing are not new, but what we’ve seen over the last 18 months is this huge jump in how much people have used that technology to facilitate recruitment. In the past they may have reserved video interviewing and psychometric testing for certain roles. Now we’re seeing it rolled out across the board because they’re really the only methods in a remote situation to get to know your candidates.

Ward predicts new opportunities for differently abled employees, full time carers and remote or international talent. “The increase in the use of these technologies has leveled the playing field a little bit for different employees and allowed for more diverse candidates that may not have had the chance to come through a traditional recruitment process in the past.”

Ironically, in this time of increased technology, Ward says it’s the soft skills that are being found lacking.

“It’s a bit of a cyclical thing, often we find ourselves in situations where there's a  technical skill shortage -- at the moment we’re facing a real shortage in soft skills.  Things like emotional intelligence, adaptability, collaboration, communication.  The generation that are coming into the workforce have grown up in a digital world and there's a lot of learning that people can access in terms of upskilling from a technical point of view, but you can’t necessarily build soft skills yourself online and that's where the real gap is.”

These skills are integral for employers and managers, who are hoping to ‘win the war for talent’ as well.

“There’s real distrust from certain employers about their employees working from home. If employers can demonstrate that they trust their employees to get on with their jobs no matter where they are in the world, that speaks volumes, which will attract the right people to those employers. It's also about translating it into your whole recruitment process. You want to maximise the technological recruitment advances but you don't want to lose that human touch.”

Testgrid has released a guide to upcoming recruitment trends that covers the inevitable changes ahead from remote working, D&I challenges to the ongoing digital transformation. You can download it here: https://testgrid.com/blog/insights/recruitment-trends/

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