Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The Talent Olympics: A Marathon For The Best

Feb 07, 2020

Ever since ancient times, the Olympic Games represented the celebration of sportsmanship and culture. Held every four years the Olympics had the power to stop the conflicts and bring everyone together to the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, in today’s Greece, for the ultimate test of strength, endurance, and dedication. Every athlete was unique and contributing to the event with their own backgrounds, cultures, skills, and languages. Ever since the introduction of the Olympics, especially after the initiation of the modern games, people have been drawing parallels between the games and what they represent on one end and what they do or pursue on the other.

One such parallel can be drawn between the Games and recruiting talent.

Just like with any event, in the beginning, it’s all about the organizer. Institutions that hire have been struggling for years in their recruitment efforts simply because some practices that were supposed to change, remained the same to this day. The consequences of such decision-making are far-reaching and bring negative implications. The industry shifted and organizations that failed to adapt are today struggling to secure the steady flow of talent needed to sustain growth.

Institutions should turn to new sources and tools for engaging and onboarding talent

There is an immediate link between racing the track and racing for the talent. While the hurdles may be much different, the symbolism they carry remains the same in the recruitment context. At first, you start off strong, jump over and move to the next one easily. As you pass the distance markers, it is becoming harder to perform tasks that looked easy and mundane in the beginning.

It’s similar in the recruitment industry. In a limited talent pool, quick victories are easier to achieve in the beginning. At first, you are approaching hundreds, then tens, until a time comes when the whole team is combing up and down LinkedIn to find the first viable candidate in weeks. At this stage, the processes are usually exported to external solutions for assistance. While efficient, traditional recruitment services can be sluggish and cost a lot, all without guaranteeing success at the end of the road. As of lately, the companies are slowly turning to computer-assisted solutions which significantly lower the number of hurdles recruiters have to jump over to get to the top talent.

Institutional branding has never been more important

Almost overnight, building the ultimate brand and visibility shifted to building the ultimate working environment for employees. Career seekers are no longer explicitly focused on who pays the most (even though this remains one of the biggest motivations to move), but actually about what kind of experience they will take away from the new position.

This ultimately means that relay baton is now in the hands of the talent who, instead of chasing after new opportunities, is now very cautious and picky about their next employer. Unleashing the power of the internet, career seekers go lengths to explore the new propositions, researching everything from the office location and culture, to corporate responsibility, climate change, and other topics. A variety of internet services and the openness of the 21st-century mindset have allowed for the new layers of complexity to be added to the recruitment journey and the institutions must follow the flow.

From the organizational perspective, understanding the talent and walking in their shoes became a crucial tactic of acquisition, one that many companies are yet to master.

Beginning talent acquisition with the end in mind is a winning strategy in 2020

The welcome package that all athletes get at the beginning of games has the potential to define the remaining course of their attendance. Talent with whom companies kick it off the right way are more likely to rate the institutions brand higher and are more receptive to its existing and future propositions. This introduction should be executed through a consistent user experience for all current and future talent.

The talent experience begins with the discovery and sourcing stage. Once the potential applicant is on the desired field for his discipline, clear field markers indicate the guidelines that the applicant needs to operate in. As the game begins, they must be, at all times, aware at which stage their application is, how many laps remain, and as the end of the race approaches, what’s the official score.

All candidates appreciate the multidisciplinary approach, they are most content when they compete and are scored for a specific discipline they participate in. They want to show off their skills specific to the application instead of going through the standardized background screening process.

Some of the main reasons candidates drop from the recruiting process:

● The process is taking too long

● The proposition is not matching their competencies and salary goals

● Company ratings and work culture are dissatisfactory

● Poor communication, due to bias, with the recruiters

Adaptation is slow as the train is leaving the station

Inventive tools in recruitment, especially ones based around the use of artificial intelligence, have been around for a while. Their use, however, has been hindered by the ‘lack of belief’ on an industry level. Whether it is the fear of change, technology phobia, or the satisfaction with the line of work being executed now, big institutions keep postponing the update and upgrade of their existing processes. This revelation is potentially catastrophic.

In recruitment specifically, the industry keeps surviving on the missed opportunities where candidates are sometimes waiting for more than three months to receive follow-up information from the institution. On the other hand, opportunities are also missed when collecting feedback from the applicants where the majority of the industry is skipping this stage of the recruitment process altogether.

Should this state of thought prolong into the future, more and more institutions might slip out of existence as there will be no one to pro power their progress.