The dizziness being experienced in attracting the right talent is at an all-time high in the IT industry with large IT services companies, IT product companies, end-user companies and startups vying for the limited talent pool—both for freshers and experienced resources. The year 2018-19 witnessed over one lakh people being recruited by the top six firms alone, which is the highest in the last three years since demonetisation.
At the same time, attrition rates have also been the highest in the last two years standing at 21-23% stemming from lack of availability of suitable digital talent. Getting access to quality talent pool in a timely manner has once again become an important area of focus for the CEOs.
Challenging times call for innovative approaches and some organisations like ITC Infotech have started deploying bot buddies to work alongside human resources. Several companies are upskilling their employees and some of them are encouraging women professionals who had exited due to family reasons to rejoin the firms. With the view to reducing the cost per hire by atleast 30% and the time to hire by 40%, referrals have become once again the most sought offer avenue for recruitment.
Companies are actively encouraging their employees to participate in the referral programme and are deploying application tracking systems that leverage the social presence of their existing employees to attract talent. Technology is providing support for making the recruitment process effective and efficient with the help of data on various metrics related to conversion rates, acceptance rates and the optimal mix of channels for resourcing.
Onboarding processes are also getting streamlined and becoming mobile aligned to ensure speed of response and smooth welcoming of new recruits. Intelligent bots are being deployed to interact with the candidates at the initial stages specially when there are large number of candidates to be screened for shortlisting, thus enabling the recruiters to prioritise their time and attention to onboard high potential talent and enhance candidate experience throughout the recruitment process.
Talent analytics has become crucial in the context of large scale hiring and retention needs of businesses. Detailed profiling of candidates based on the information available about their background and experience in the public domain coupled with social media analytics provide useful insights to recruiters about the leadership and other qualities and potential stickiness of the candidates. Alerts about likely exits as well as recommendations to managers for proactive actions to ensure employee satisfaction provided by the HR analytics engine are being embraced actively by managers.
Talent retention function involves ongoing review of compensation and it now comprises a comprehensive mix of activities aimed at employee engagement. Employee experience is central to this function and HR managers are applying the design principles to reimagine the employee lifecycle journey with the opportunity to remain always connected with the employees. L&D function is expected to be aligned with the aspirations of the employees and the digital learning solution supported by AI tools augment their learning effectiveness manifold through constantly shadowing and enabling the employees to remain upto date with the knowledge and skills required to be successful.
In the digital era, quality talent would be drawn towards organisations considered to be winners—those organisations which place individuals in the core of their functioning and create an environment of trust, of opportunity for ongoing learning and enabling career advancement.
The writer is chairperson, Global Talent Track, a corporate training solutions company