Future of work: How will talent acquisition change

The talent landscape is changing – how can HR prepare for it?

Future of work: How will talent acquisition change

HRD spoke with Alexander Mann Solutions’ Neil Jones, head of APAC, and Danielle Khan, client services director APAC to find out how HR can prepare for the changing talent landscape.

HRD: How will Singapore’s talent market change in the future of work?
DK: Historically, the talent strategy adopted in Singapore has been focused on permanent hiring of candidates to be based in Singapore.  

This is mainly as a result of the strong economy, flexible legal and immigration employment framework and a culture where contracting and temporary work was not accepted as a long-term career choice by many.

As the world becomes more connected through the advancement of technology as well as the entry of a new demographic into the workplace, HR professionals will have a much broader choice in how they engage with talent. 

The biggest disrupter to HR professionals today is the rise of the individual. Employees and candidates are demanding opportunities to do things their way, whether that be based on how they are engaged, through contracts for service as opposed to contracts of service, where they complete the work, and how they are remunerated.

In summary, HR and talent acquisition professionals will experience a greater opportunity to attract and engage with a flexible, diverse and dynamic global candidate marketplace, but it will require a more holistic and digitally enabled strategy to achieve success.

HRD: As the talent landscape transforms, how will talent acquisition change?
NJ: Between now and 2030, it is predicted that approximately 30% of the jobs that exist today will be replaced by bots or automated systems, and probably 30% to 40% of the jobs that will exist in 10 years don’t exist today.

This is to say that the lifespan of a skill is decreasing. That means organisations have to be faster and smarter around building talent and consider whether they buy, borrow or build that talent.

In addition, we’ll see organisations far more focused on hiring for potential and learning ability rather than just current skill and knowledge. Technology will also empower talent acquisition functions to adopt a much more proactive approach to finding talent – improved business intelligence, proactive reach-out to the passive candidate market, and a much more hands-on experience in the candidate journey are just some of the benefits achieved via the new diverse range of digital solutions entering the market.

HRD: With talent predicted to become even more scarce in the future, what are some challenges HR can expect? How can HR overcome them?
NJ: As skills become obsolete more quickly and jobs are replaced by technology, the first challenge will be how to constantly predict the emerging skills each organisation will require and how to identify those skillsets in universities.

Organisations will also need to adapt their learning and development functions to train and re-train employees in those emerging skills.

In the past, we used to talk about talent acquisition. In the future, the learning and development and training aspect is going to be much more critical for future talent.

Procuring talent will also need to come from a much more diverse base: the contingent workforce market will increase substantially, driven by deregulation of markets; Generation Z will have a more flexible mindset towards short-term work and the rapidly changing dynamics of the workplace.

As we look to the future, HR needs to have a clear talent acquisition plan and [figure out] how they will navigate the massive amount of new technologies to access the best talent in a cost-effective and timely manner. In the next two years, having a clear technology talent acquisition and development strategy will be essential just to survive [the talent war].


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