Future of the Global Workplace: The Changing World of Recruiting
By Gareth Jarman, Director, HR Advisory, Radius
Digital technology is transforming the way recruiters find candidates, and it’s happening at a time when the global talent pool itself is undergoing tremendous change. Employers who want to fill overseas posts have a lot to keep up with, and those who stay on top of current trends stand the best chance of finding skilled workers before their competitors do. Here are a few new developments worth following.
Is an Algorithm the Best Recruiter?
Finding workers has been a digital-based experience for some time — candidates list their credentials on LinkedIn as an ever-more popular "shop-window," where recruiters can search for them, and job seekers apply for positions online.
While these online systems have opened up new worlds for both candidates and recruiters, they have also become inefficient, with hundreds or even thousands of people clicking to submit applications for a single job. As a result, recruiters are bogged down with candidates to screen, yet they often have trouble finding the skills they need.
Technology may now have the answer. Startup companies like Gild, Entelo, and others are using big data and predictive analytics to find the right candidates. They select sought-after keywords for job descriptions and search for candidates using not just LinkedIn, but blog posts and forums that mention individuals’ skills. If a skill is hard to find — mastery of a new programming language, say — an algorithm can discover which candidates have closely-related skills that will enable them to pick up the new competence quickly.
Some algorithms can even predict when a promising “passive” candidate — someone who is already employed — is most likely to jump ship and become available.
The new platforms could make sourcing candidates easier, faster and less expensive. They also serve as repositories of information after a hire, storing and updating employee qualifications to help enterprises find talent in their own back yards.
The Ever-Changing Global Talent Pool
Internet-based hiring makes a world of sense if you’re looking for global candidates. And if you’re not, chances are, you will be soon.
Emerging economies have shifted away from agriculture and other labor-intensive activities into more advanced, better-paying fields like high-tech manufacturing and financial services, a report by the Migration Policy Institute says. As a result, both the supply of skilled workers and the demand for them have increased across the globe.
Some countries are reshaping their immigration policies to take advantage of new labor pools. China, India, Russia, the Gulf States and Brazil are becoming important sources of talent for recruiters everywhere.
If current trends continue, the global labor contribution of countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — mostly first-world nations, including the US, Japan and European countries — will continue to shrink through 2030, an OECD report says.
The longstanding tradition of recruiting college-educated workers from advanced economies will reverse itself. In 2005, 60% of people with a college education were from OECD countries, but by 2030, 70% will be from nations outside the organization. In 2030, China and India are expected to supply more than 60% of the G-20 workforce with qualified employees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the report says.
Accompanying this trend — and making it possible — is a growing acceptance of remote workers. Increasingly, firms are hiring software engineers and other skilled workers separated by time zones and continents. It’s a model some call the "distributed company." This is with us now, and is a reality. How many of us share work with our colleagues around the world — using our colleagues’ “day time” to complete tasks for us when we shut down for the evening?
Robots in your Future
Though increasing now, overall hiring is likely to decrease in the future as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things combine to replace many jobs — including skilled positions like pharmacists and astronauts — with robots. Though it may sound impossible now, when computers are fed enormous quantities of data over time about every facet of a job, they can eventually “learn” to perform it as well as a human can, says author Martin Ford in his book Rise of the Robots.
If Ford and other theorists are right, the world’s economies will undergo a radical shift from a job-based, self-supporting economy to an unknown, dystopian-sounding future.
But for now, at least, companies need to focus their efforts on finding qualified hires.
Today’s Task: Attracting Workers
By 2030, the US will need 25 million more workers to sustain economic growth, and Western Europe will need an additional 45 million, according to a World Economic Forum report. To attract them, you need to know what they want.
A 2014 Randstad branding survey found that the most important criteria for employees are salary and benefits (69%), job security (55%), pleasant environment (49%), work/life balance (43%), and the hiring company’s financial health (39%).
Managing your brand to secure a good reputation is perhaps the most important thing you can do. An Allegis Group survey found that 69% of job seekers would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed. And 84% would consider leaving their current job for one at a company with an excellent reputation.
What makes for a good reputation? That depends on where you go. Expectations, particularly for benefits, vary considerably among countries — here are just a few examples:
- Workers in Latin America and Southern Europe expect lunch vouchers.
- Workers in Mexico require profit sharing.
- Expats in Singapore will need a hefty housing allowance.
- Workers in European countries are accustomed to many additional standard but non-statutory benefits, so you should be factoring these in on top of base salary amounts and required benefits.
To attract workers abroad and stay on the right side of complex laws, you’ll need to research the local culture wherever you plan to operate.
And an algorithm can’t do that for you — at least, not yet.