Techniques for hiring the right person in the digital age

The golden rule of hiring right in today’s context is that there are no golden rules.Derived from the existing state of hyper-disruptive technology of today is the business driver being the ‘continual change’ in itself.  What is assumed here, as a necessary adjunct, is that the shelf life of technology and its derived business processes and systems, is too short. Hence the shelf life of any strategy/ technique is by default,if not by design, even shorter.

The overarching ‘technique’ of talent hiring as such, if any, will have to be robust and agile enough to be adapted, upgraded, modified and changed as per the super dynamic contextual granularity. Understandably, this is true of any domain, across all business segments.Any technique of talent hiring will have to take into account the above context for it to remain relevant and successful. 

The following few broad elements/ techniques need to be incorporated in any hiring process if it aims to court success:

The new talent

Access and hire only those adept at future skills (as much as the current ones),who are able to adapt to the digitally advanced ‘work’ and ‘work-place’ requirements.This ‘new talent’ alone,can stay relevant for future organizational needs.

Identification tools/techniques of the Talent

Using appropriate and evolved assessment tools measuring digital attitude, empathy and people-and-process agility becomes absolutely essential at the first level scrutiny itself lest your hires become redundant no sooner they are hired.  

A good technique will be to necessarily rely less on transactional number-based hiring but be high on ‘quality’ of hires, sub-serving amongst others, the new and futuristic competencies if the process has to be sustainable. Assumption here will be the existence of a mature level of competency framework adapted to the business outcomes in the given organization.

Infusing high level of  advanced frontier technology

A necessary element of the hiring process will have to be a high degree of infusion and integration of technology. Sophisticated tools and technologies based on and/ or using artificial intelligence and machine-learning could be useful in handling large segments/ geographies simultaneously to handle the filtration/ segregation  process with speed, efficacy (with subtle intelligence including cognitive ones),and probity (transparency and fairness).

This can be extended to the initial round of virtual interviews as much as real ones later, to aid and assist human decision-making, thereby enhancing its quality (removing, amongst others, certain human biases). This will also help in transforming the experiential journey of the applicants apart from enriching the employer brand (which in turn may lead to better attraction and, quite possibly, retention as well).

Infusion of a high level of advanced technology will also anyway be the only possible way to reach-out to the rare and gradually thinning pool of global talent from a wide-spread global applicant pool. Digital technology is poised to cease being a mere ‘good to have’ technique and will graduate to being ‘must have’.

This will not just exist as a minor part of the tool/ technique or the process, but dynamically transform itself into a ‘stand-alone’ customer/ brand-value proposition as a differentiator and a hyper-value creator.

Customer centric approach

An important aspect in our recruitment strategy today will be to have a ‘customer-centric’ mind-set towards all prospective applicants. This approach needs to get conceptualised, enunciated, and strategically executed across the process right from the way we source, sort, and select candidates. Ethical use of artificial intelligence will ensure this, provided it is systemically and institutionally infused and incorporated across the process-value chain.

Respect for talent, ensuring an enduring sensitivity towards diversity and inclusion, as well as protecting issues of privacy will go a long way in both attracting and then retaining talent. After all, in today’s business context it is ethical/ transparent governance that matters and its clout is increasing as it raises the engagement quotient of employees. ‘New talent’ is, by definition, having a digital mind-set (substantial numbers are ‘digital natives’ and the remaining will have to be digital immigrants by default to succeed) wherein forward-looking and progressively humane cultural practices are a rub-off of a democratised work context.

Balanced blend of using the print, electronic and the referral route

We generally need to hold ourselves from going over-board with any singled-out approach. In the talent search space we must remember that the basic human disposition is for him or her to feel the personal despite all the impersonal intrusions of technology. Considering these two facets we will be required to have a blended approach in using the appropriate medium and keeping the process as personal as possible. This is less of a ‘prescribed approach’ which may also work but a more appropriate action will be to adopt a contextual approach.

An organic covenant

Last, but not the least, we must remember that hiring being the first stage in the life-cycle management process of an employee, it has to be robust enough to act as a strong foundation of an edifice which it must sustain overtime. Promises made must be kept in letter-and-spirit. After all, it is not a mere mechanical process but the start of the creation of an organic bond between an organization and a new entrant. The right path to human instincts, bonds, and relationships is one that traverses human approach.

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