HR leadership must adapt and evolve to keep up in the rapidly changing world of work.
Talent acquisition has a much wider net in the post-pandemic talent market.
Even as talent acquisition becomes increasingly automated and data-driven, interviews remain crucial in the hiring process.
Whether it is driven by developments in technology, economic uncertainties, social unrest, or COVID-19, we have all learned that nothing is predictable and the challenges we face today, could well be turned upside down tomorrow.
But amid all the murkiness, what is becoming clearer is that it is people that are an organization’s game-changers, and it is they who will determine whether they will survive.
But what skills and competencies are needed for organizations to thrive in these tumultuous times? And which tools and techniques should be used to identify and assess them?
This was the topic of discussion at a recent UNLEASH webinar, held in partnership with Coursera, a leading online learning platform to individuals and organizations worldwide.
Below are just a few of the themes that were addressed in the lively conversation.
A lot has changed – so must leadership.
Even before the pandemic hit, it was becoming clear that winning the next generation of top talent would require a fundamentally different approach to talent acquisition. The need for digital transformation was clear as well as a growing trend in the need to become a purpose-driven organization.
Angelika Inglsperger, Group Head of People for Allianz, a global financial services company, commented on how the pandemic has only accelerated these trends and this acceleration has called for a new leadership and leadership starts with the right mindset.
The mindset that Allianz looks for specifically in leadership consists of four components: Curiosity, resilience, flexibility, and a ‘we’ rather than a ‘I’ mentality. Inglsperger explained how this mindset is based on emotional intelligence that they feel cannot be trained and therefore needs to identified and assessed upon hiring and promoting to higher positions.
Alongside this mindset, Allianz also looks for technical excellence and skills, which, unlike mindset, can be trained and developed throughout the employee lifecycle. To stay on top of these competencies, Inglsperger shared how Allianz has introduced ‘leadership passports,’ which require leaders to pass eight modules every two years for them to stay in a leadership position.
The pandemic has given Talent Acquisition a much wider net.
Pre-pandemic, many companies tended to gear their recruitment strategy towards local talent. Unfortunately, in areas where the local pool isn’t diverse, it has been challenging for some organizations to attract and recruit underrepresented candidates.
Kyle Clark, Senior Skills Transformation Consultant at Coursera was particularly excited to tell us how COVID-19 and has unshackled Coursera’s talent acquisition strategy by giving them a much wider net to cast with.
“Now we are all working remotely, we have the ability to target and to hire remote talent, people who do not live in Mountain View, California, which is where we’re headquartered. And so, we’re seeing a huge increase in diversity as a result of that.” Clark said.
Diversity isn’t just now possible, but like every biological ecosystem it is absolutely necessary for an organization to be able to adapt and remain resilient to future disruptions.
Vera Gramkow, Global Head of Talent, Engagement and Inclusion from DHL Express, an international logistics company, also commented on the mounting importance of D&I.
“We really want to be a great place to work for all,” Gramkow said. “Not for some, not for few, but really for all.” She went on to share how upon hiring DHL Express search not only for skills but for attitudes and approaches that see the world as the multicolored place it is.
“As we look at aspects of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, it will be more and more important for us to not only recognize the impact that we can have here, but also the impact of bringing new people onboard who can be part of the journey of bringing DHL forward,” she added.
Even in a data-driven world, we still need interviews for assessment.
Towards the end of the conversation, the panel was targeted with a particularly interesting question from the audience around whether interviews are still necessary for assessment in our data driven world. The resounding answer from all three panelists was ‘yes’.
Inglsperger answered that whilst they can be virtual, they are still needed and are best used in combination with psychometric tests.
Gramkow commented that “People join because they love the challenge you put in front of them, and they want to feel the person and the purpose of the company and the job. A human being can bring that across, they can bring across what we stand for and what the culture is.”
Clark agreed, echoing that “interviews are partly about us evaluating a candidate and partly about a candidate evaluating us.”
He also added that in terms of a data-driven world we should ask ourselves where exactly we are getting our data from. Of course, data points can be collected by resumes but we must not forget that some of the most powerful sensors come from the human brain.
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