A hundred years ago, if someone were to have predicted that by the year 2020, machines would be running accurate candidate evaluations and simultaneously conducting a hundred interviews, he would have possibly been met with ridicule and brickbats. Yet, as we come to the end of 2019, we seem much closer to that possibility than generations before us could have ever imagined.
The recruitment industry has transformed a lot from what it was two decades ago. The processes are more lean, automated and integrated than ever before. There are a lot of vendors and service providers in the market helping to provide the best recruitment solutions to hire the right talent. Despite these advances however, talent evaluation continues to have its own unique set of challenges. Where do we find candidates? How do we hire with accuracy and precision? How can we reduce our attrition rates? What can we do to enhance candidate engagement?
We couldn't let these questions go unanswered, so we did some heavy digging ourselves and looked at the talent assessment trends from the last few years. Supplemented by data from our own future forecasts, we uncovered 3 massive trends that could undeniably disrupt the talent market of tomorrow- and answer most of the questions above.
Trend #1: AI in Recruitment: Where and how exactly?
Artificial Intelligence has evolved almost into an oracle, appearing to command the trajectory of talent acquisition’s meteoric evolution. In particular, it’s transforming 3 areas in a big way- candidate sourcing, assessment and interviewing.
- Automating high volume tasks with AI, recruiters can easily unify sourcing from multiple candidate funnels. This process can map out the best applicants against the required skills, give scores to identify the right candidates and move to the next step of hiring.
- AI powered Talent assessments can remove guesswork and unconscious bias out of hiring by blending the power of machine learning with the science of psychometrics. For example, Aspiring Mind’s language assessments enable employers to assess applicants from multiple industries across various roles on their written and spoken English, pronunciation, fluency, active listening, listening comprehension, vocabulary and grammar much more. Similarly, Automata, an AI-powered coding simulation gauges coding skills for 30+ programming languages and accurately identifies the best coders even before they've been interviewed!
- When it comes to candidate interviewing, AI again delivers in spades; machine learning -enabled, live interviewing platforms like AutoView or SmartMeet are setting new benchmarks on administering fair, unbiased, accurate and inclusive assessments on candidates’ domain knowledge, language, and personality traits including cultural and job fit.
Trend #2: Exceptional Candidate Experience for the win!
With the current talent shrink in the market, candidates are now picking companies and not vice versa. To stay on top of the consideration set, organizations need to offer a clearly differentiated experience to potential employees so they remain ‘sticky’ and stay engaged throughout the hiring process. Applicants today are happy to use texts, voice notes and videos as a communication standard. Companies can therefore explore new-age solutions like personalized engagement, taking spontaneous interviews of current employees, giving real time feedback, posting video bytes of people/mentors from the same team/department, creating a gamified 360-degree walkthrough inside view of the organization etc. to deliver an elevated, positive experience to the candidate.
Trend #3: Up-skilling is the new currency
According to the 2019 National Employability Report on Engineers, developed by Aspiring Minds, only 2.5% of thousands of Indian engineers possess next-generation technological skills that our industry requires. That number drops to a 1.5% when we factor in other skills and abilities such as cognitive and language proficiency that are key for career success. Even in areas where Indians are assumed to be naturally accomplished, only 4.6% of Indian job applicants are considered to have good coding skills.
To keep pace with the changing employment landscape, organizations, educational establishments and government agencies must institutionalize long-range initiatives to train, upskill and reskill the talent force and improve their employability. Upskilling needs to start all the way back in the classrooms. AI-based systems can actively provide students with feedback, guidance on language skills, email writing skills, computer programming skills, hints and tips for individual learning strategies and skill-gap identification etc. Industry should ideally become a stakeholder and fund such efforts countrywide so future talent pipelines remain robust.
Another way for enterprises to put skilling and re-skilling in the fast lane without hampering scalability is by setting up a Virtual Assessment Centre for their employees. Aspiring Minds VACs bring in an improved degree of accuracy by mapping organizational competencies across roles, offer actionable insights for groups & individuals and help envision and execute succession planning. Employers can harness the power of integrated automated assessments to evaluate candidates across Cognitive, Behavioural, Functional and Language domains, and suggest commensurate training interventions for employees without losing traction on productivity.
Looking at the 3 trends above, it’s easy to see another one emerging- it’s all about talent, talent and talent. Companies that thrive in 2020 will be those that create a comfort zone for capabilities to be nourished, and also provide a judicious mix of technology and human interface to support skill enhancement. If organizations make consistent efforts to prepare for evolving forms of work, the future for talent looks very promising indeed.