Skill, Labour, Talent for MSMEs: In order to find the right talent, startups and SMEs should explore a digital hiring approach that is practical and cost-effective. It is imperative to go beyond just the information on the resume and include pre-screening activities such as virtual hackathons, case-studies, and e-discussions.
- By Sekhar Garisa
Skill, Labour, Talent for MSMEs: 2020 has been a whirlwind of change and adaptation globally. In the realm of recruitment and HR, while the pandemic led shifts have been challenging, they have also positively driven operations and functions to think differently, improve efficiency, and in some cases, to do even better than before. According to Monster Employment Index there has been a 6 per cent dip in job postings across various sectors in 2020, owing to the pandemic. But the silver lining is that there has been a significant growth in job postings over the last few months of the year signaling a quick recovery and a positive start to 2021. Further, with the new labour policies coming into action, there will be a positive improvement in job creation that will benefit both employers and employees.
Many startups across verticals such as health care, financial services, digital marketing, and edtech, have seen a surge in the demand for their core products and services during the pandemic. In order to meet the growing demand, several disruptive startups began recruiting fresh talent since the onset of Covid-19, which has resulted in an uptick in demand for professionals with skillsets across technology, sales, digital marketing, product management amongst others. At this juncture, it is vital for companies to ensure that the candidates they choose are the right match for the role.
Finding the right Fit
To find an ideal match, recruiters must focus on building clear and strong role definitions and requirements. Employers should explore avenues beyond the traditional means to locate candidates. As the pandemic situation hit some businesses hard, there is a pool of highly talented, ready-to-work candidates available for employment. New businesses should actively explore recruitment from this talent pool as there will be little to no waiting period to on-board these candidates. They are likely to be active seekers of employment, therefore the chance of employee-ghosting is reduced. It is important to note that this pool consists of skilled, available talent, only displaced by circumstance. Pro-actively identifying such talent and recruiting them would be beneficial.
In order to find the right talent, startups, and SMEs should explore a digital hiring approach that is practical and cost-effective. It is imperative to go beyond just the information on the resume and include pre-screening activities such as virtual hackathons, case-studies, and e-discussions. Companies should review the candidate on all available sources for professional information, both offline and online.
It is equally important to engage with the candidate after an offer is made through trainings or informal interactions to mitigate drop-offs from the offer stage to on-boarding. For the candidate, importance must be given to more than just the resume. Online profiles should reflect individualism and professionalism, and not be restricted to being a list of talents and skills. Storytelling becomes key. Each candidate must use all relevant mediums and platforms to tell an impactful story of their professional journey and aspiration.
Flexibility strengthens operations
The hiring plan from candidate mapping, recruitment, on-boarding to performance needs to be ‘flexible’ to be able to hire the right mix of candidates across full-time, part-time, flexi, or project based employees as a growing company’s employment requirements are dynamic. It is necessary that the process enables hiring talent across different engagement models seamlessly depending on the business need.
Location as an influential factor has taken prominence during the pandemic. While many white-collar roles became location agnostic, the location became critical to most blue and grey collar roles. Digitization and collaboration tools have helped companies enable remote working. The rise of hybrid models enabling a mix of on-ground and off-ground employment is becoming increasingly popular. SMBs and startups should explore flexible locations and schedules for their workforce, which would mean access to larger talent pools, compact office spaces, improved efficiency, and increased sustainability.
Reduce friction to increase efficiency
Digitizing the recruitment process reduces the friction in hiring. It enables employers to remotely access pools of fit candidates. Adapting technology such as AI-based auto shortlisting and screening helps reduce multiple layers in the process, thus saving time and resources for the company. Enabling efficient tools to bring down the friction via video interviews, paperless onboarding of employees, and the like, enable companies to hire faster and better.
For companies, big and small, addressing the three Fs- Fit, Flexibility, and Friction in the recruitment process will help drive growth and efficiency. This mantra is especially imperative to startups and SMEs because a highly skilled and talented workforce is the foundation to building a successful business.
Sekhar Garisa is Chief of Emerging Businesses and Corporate Development, Quess Corp. Views expressed are the author’s own.