In 2015, the Judicial Service Commission advertised 1000 vacant positions. The commission received more than 80,000 applications which took weeks to sort through. It took the assistance of the National Youth Service, two academic institutions, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Directorate of Criminal Investigation to sift through the applications. The Judicial Service Commission would later admit that they were not prepared for the overwhelming response to the advertisement or the additional costs accrued in order to effectively carry out the recruitment process.
According to the 2019 Kenya Economic Survey, it is estimated that the current unemployment rate stands at 9.3%. The rate at which jobs are being created in the country does not match with the rate at which skilled professionals are graduating from institutions. According to a recent report released by the World Bank, it is estimated that the country needs to create about 900,000 jobs per annum in order to keep up with the number of skilled graduates who are being churned into the job market.
Most human resources professionals admit that it is increasingly becoming impossible to keep up with the number of applications received following the advertisement of vacant positions within their organizations. As new technologies change the workplace and the war for talent heats up, all functions of the human resource departments must evolve and embrace new technologies. Below are some of the key trends that HR must embrace in the year 2020 and beyond:
1. Data-driven decision making
Decision making in this day and age cannot be separated from data. A report by Deloitte Global on human capital reported that while 84% of HR professionals surveyed from across the globe thought that people analytics was important, most organizations were hesitant to do it because they thought that they would not gain practical insights from it. However, as tools for analytics improve, more HR departments are embracing it. The inclusion of digital interfaces such as employee self-service portals is crucial in ensuring that HR gather crucial information that will shape core functions such as recruitment and performance. Multinationals such as Google, use meeting-cancellation rates as an indicator of engagement and a predictor of future turn-over rates. Some of the questions that can be answered through data analytics include:
- What are the possible reasons for the high turnover in XYZ department?
- What are the skills gaps that need to be addressed through training in the next financial year?
- What are the organization’s talent needs based on the projected growth of the organization?
2. Intelligent recruitment technology
In the case study cited above about the Judicial Service Commission, the use of technology would have saved the commission time and money. The bulk of the administrative work would have been done through the use of tools such as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) therefore optimizing the entire hiring process. Most ATS come with a set of preliminary questions known as “knock out questions” which help sift out through some of the applications in order to reduce the number of applicants who move to the next stage.
Research that was done by the Society of Human Resource Management showed that the use of social media in recruitment the past five years had increased significantly. It was reported that one out of five candidates who were surveyed during the study had applied for a job through social media. Platforms such as Jobmarket maker and Entelo have the ability to automatically obtain information about candidates from a number of platforms such as professional forums, social media platforms, blogs, personality and skills assessments. Such systems have the ability to rank applicants as per the requirements of recruiters by cross-referencing the information that has been obtained from forums with the internal performance benchmarks of organizations. By synchronizing these systems with virtual assistants such as Talla, it is possible for a recruiter to get a list of the best interview questions to ask the applicants from the system
3. Growth of the remote office
A 2018 study that was carried out by a Switzerland based serviced office provider showed that at least 70% of the respondents from different countries worked from home at least once a week. The traditional working hours from nine to five are paving way for flexible working schedules. A report by Gallup showed that there was an increase in the number of US professionals working from home from 39% in 2012 to 43% in 2016. It is estimated that by 2020, half of the workforce in the US will be working remotely. This trend is not just limited to developed countries but it is also catching up with developing countries. This shift has been accelerated by the availability of digital tools that make it possible to communicate, manage projects and track performance. We recently interviewed software developers and one of their top concerns was whether the Hiring Employer had the option of working remotely before they could even consider being interviewed by the potential employer. This goes to show that flexible work hours and work arrangements are gaining popularity in an already candidate-driven market.
4. Evolution of HR as a profession
With the ever-increasing adoption of technology in HR, HR as a profession is no longer about pushing paper and ensuring that employees stick to the rules. Experts predict that there are a number of new roles that will emerge as the future of work becomes a reality. These jobs include:
- HR data scientists: Helps the organization incorporate the use of data analytics in its HR functions
- Employee experience specialist: Focuses on the relationship between the employee and the organization. The benefits, the career trajectory, training needs etc. are evaluated and managed by the employee experience specialist
- Head of talent acquisition: The war for talent is expected to continue as organizations strive to get the best talent in line with their business strategies.
- Organizational psychologist: Uses psychological principles in the workplace in order to develop a more holistic approach towards HR, sales and marketing.
5. Evolution of HR service delivery
It is difficult for most HR professionals to keep up with the barrage of HR-related questions in big organizations. Chatbots are slowly being used to enhance HR service delivery. There are chatbots that can answer questions about HR related matters such as maternity leave policies, the status of the organization’s health insurance, etc. The popular collaboration platform, Slack is one of the platforms that has successfully been integrated by HR departments to ease the management of questions from employees. Chatbots cannot effectively answer questions that lack definite answers or update policies hence there is still a need for the human element.
6. Employee training on demand
Learning management systems have enabled HR departments to make training easier to manage and more flexible. It is expected that there will be more reliance on virtual career coaches and context-aware platforms in an attempt to maximize on gains made through career training. Context-aware software analyzes the data that is available on the learning curves of employees then automatically recommends training based on areas where the employees are struggling. It is predicted that virtual career coaches will act like AI-driven mini managers by combining learning heuristics with virtual assistance. Human beings will still be required to create training material, set goals and creating career succession paths.
Are you ready for 2020 when it comes to smart recruitment? Do talk to us today and we shall walk the journey with you from talent identification, talent attraction to onboarding them right into your organization.