Revolutionising work culture: new-age tech transforms talent acquisition into business growth
In the dynamic digital world of today, work culture has witnessed a sea change. And so has HR tech. Talent acquisition is no longer just about accurate hiring now, it’s about fuelling business growth too.
Anushruti Singh August 28, 2023
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In 2022 we witnessed a shocking number of layoffs. We (India Inc) thought that this too shall pass.
But digest this. It got worse in 2023.
In only eight months, 226,000 IT job holders were handed pink slips. That’s almost 40 per cent up from the number that were handed out in 2022, says data from AltIndex.
Meanwhile, other reports say that this is just not happening in the tech industry. The layoff wave has hit other sectors too. Which implies that all sorts of white-collar jobs might be on the chopping block now. Additionally, there has been a significant decline in white-collar job hiring recently. According to the Naukri Jobspeak report, there has been a three per cent decline in June 2023 compared to June 2022. Also, white-collar hiring in June 2023 declined by two per cent as compared to May 2023.
Even the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has said that the employment metrics have been disappointing in July. Total employment fell by close to 3 million in July 2023. Analysts were surprised as historically employment rises in July.
Leaders believe that the layoffs are a result of over-hiring, the global economic downturn, and the pandemic’s fading tailwinds. The Indian economy is obviously not immune to any of this and has suffered too.
Dr. Ravinder Goyal, Co-Founder, Erekrut HR Automation Solutions Pvt. Ltd. says, “The IT and ITES sectors show promise by creating new jobs, but the high youth unemployment rate and the shortage of skilled workers in some areas remains a concern.”
This leads to another dilemma for corporate leaders: how will they build a more sustainable and cost-effective workforce when growth restarts and the “add back” season begins?
Does future hiring look okay?
Despite the challenges being faced by this sector currently, human resource experts remain optimistic about the future of hiring.
Aditya Malik, Founder & CEO, ValueMatrix and Mentor – DeepTech Club at NASSCOM foresees a lot of hirings in the near future, especially on a contractual or freelance basis.
“Even through this phase of layoffs, we can still see smaller companies spurting and creating more job opportunities each day. Also, based on the growth in the gig economy, we can anticipate a surge in employment in the Tier-2 and Tier 3 cities,” he comments.
According to Malik, next year, the economic cycle will undergo an expected upward swing.
“It is not unusual that after every period of crisis or war comes a wave of innovation which fuels the global economy, and it seems like we have had both recently,” he adds.
Also, the wave of new tech such as Generative AI will impact hiring for good.
According to HR leaders, the main emerging employers are Global Capacity Centres (GCCs) that are growing at a phenomenal rate in India. According to a report by NASSCOM, there are over 1500 GCCs now, with a workforce of around 1.6 million. Also, education, IT/ITeS and healthcare remain the top employers.
Goyal also feels that India’s employment outlook is positive, saying, “The scenario is being driven by a growing economy and the demand for skilled talent, but addressing youth unemployment and ensuring equal opportunities are crucial for sustained progress.”
Talent acquisition saves the day
This is where talent acquisition technology or recruiting technology solutions come in.
These days, it’s the candidate who chooses his or her job based on compensation, work-life balance, job security, growth opportunities, learning curves and exposure. Therefore, talent acquisition strategies have changed significantly as well.
Since tech has revolutionised almost everything, the HR field is no exception. For the uninitiated, talent acquisition tech implies tech tools and artificial intelligence that make hiring talent much easier for HR professionals.
Also, now talent acquisition is more than just hiring. It’s about recognising how effective talent acquisition is in business development and growth. Consequently, HR professionals are pursuing new approaches and better technologies to develop and retain talent.
“Over the years, the role of the talent acquisition function has changed considerably from a traditional number focused inward function to a high quality outward focused function dedicated to achieving an organisation’s broader goals. TA is now responsible for so much more within this space, from talent information to internal mobility and retention and tends to focus on long-term human resources planning,” asserts Puneet Arora, an expert in the HR field and Managing Partner, Biz Staffing Comrade in an earlier survey.
Right tech to fuel business
Talent is one of the most important factors for the success of any team, organisation or company since it is one of the only variables that can be somewhat chosen and hence controlled.
But how can workforce investments create value, you ask. Let’s try to understand it from the example of a small tech automation firm, where their engineering team generates wealth. Just like in big firms such as Reebok or Coca Cola, brand managers and product designers create assets and generate wealth for them.
It’s easy to see from the above examples that hiring the best talent benefits businesses.
Now, leveraging technology to automate tasks, assess candidates, and personalise experiences empowers talent acquisition teams to elevate business impact and drive enhanced performance.
SMEs should emphasise on using talent acquisition technologies efficiently, suggests HR leader and Founder & CEO of AVSAR Navneet Singh.
Primarily, using an ATS (Applicant tracking system) helps streamline the recruitment process by automating the process of sourcing, screening and tracking candidates. This reduces the time taken to fill positions and ensures a more streamlined workflow, he says.
Moreover, data analytics tools allow you to make data-driven decisions. Talent acquisition teams can spot trends, optimise hiring plans, and evaluate the performance of different sourcing channels. By using data-driven decisions, they can make better candidate matches and reduce attrition.
Also, video interviewing platforms make it easier to hire from anywhere in the world, increasing the number of candidates and reducing interviewing times. This flexibility makes it easier to attract top talent from all over the world, he explains.
“Lastly, if you have a strong employer branding strategy, you can use social media and other online channels to build a strong online presence. This will make your company more attractive to potential candidates. Talent acquisition tools can help you to attract top talent, build your reputation and showcase your company’s culture, its values and the opportunities for growth that you provide,” he says.
To sum it up, by implementing and utilising the appropriate technologies, the TA (talent acquisition) function can streamline its processes, enhance candidate selection and make a greater impact on the organisation, resulting in long-term growth and success.
Generative AI making it more digital
Nowadays, companies have started seeing their workforces as human capital rather than as just their ‘employees.’ They are looking at creating inclusive growth.
According to Singh, the integration of AI and ML technologies and Generative AI can improve candidate screening, enabling a more precise assessment of candidates’ competencies and cultural fit, thereby reducing the likelihood of bias in the hiring process and enhancing the quality of the hires.
“When it comes to the future of talent acquisition, digital hiring through AI-driven hiring platforms will make this process extremely accurate and seamless. Instead of exerting manual labour for hours and days to sort resumes, find the right candidates, cross-check facts, set questions and grade them, they can now leave it to AI-driven hiring platforms which run with Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning to make the process smoother and more accurate,” Malik asserts.
“The wave which Generative AI and Agent AI are causing will impact hiring for good. At times you wouldn’t know whom to hire since everyone will look alike. Like I said, the worst of times fuel innovation and hiring is just ripe for disruption,” he adds.