It’s not often that technology transforms an entire field from a service to an asset.

Human capital has become the backbone of many high profile organisations – staff doesn’t play second fiddle to product anymore. Leaders are beginning to understand that some failures can be attributed to a lack of information regarding talent, and are striving to equip human resources (HR) teams with all the tools they need to fill this gap. The result is that the technology being used is changing the very idea of what recruitment means to an organisation.

Hiring is the last responsibility

Global commerce has seen an uptick in the digital age and there’s a growing number of companies with international headquarters. The challenging business decisions that come out of this transformation calls for a more connected workforce, and C-suite executives are turning to their HR department for support, Deloitte reported.

It’s widely known that recruiters are using analytics to drive better decision-making on the hiring front, but that directive has largely taken a backseat to other mission-critical ventures. Economic data on prospective locations for new plants or markets for product rollouts and information on rival companies for merger and acquisition (M&A) targets have all become a key responsibility of HR.

An example of this would be the fact that enterprises used to act first and ask questions later. This would lead businesses to build a new base of operations in a foreign region and hire employees to staff it after – despite the fact that skilled personnel may not be available. Now organisational leaders are looking to analytics for advice on what areas could supply the most skilled candidates. If they are difficult to come by, a corporate takeover may provide them with the assets they need to staff the headquarters and roll out a new product. But information on both the region and target companies must be available for this to happen.

While the underlying theme here will always be bringing on new staff, the HR department has taken on a strategic relevance that it never had before. Prospective talent – and the human capital analytics behind identifying it – is now driving decision-making from the top-down in organisations. Businesses are avoiding potentially critical missteps by adding another layer of research that was always there, but rarely leveraged.

Metrics with personality

Generating insights that can support the overall business mission varies from that of developing better hiring practices. This is where macro-level analysis – although more difficult to obtain – reigns king.

Whereas you may track which job boards provide the most qualified candidates when staffing specific positions, you may want to get more granular when preparing to staff a new production plant that is still two years away from being opened.

One data set that could service this purpose would be tracking graduation rates of specific degrees among universities in the area, and how many are being recruited by local competitors. This would give you an idea of how in-demand certain skills are and allow you to prepare a strategic approach to sourcing candidates that are highly valued in the industry.

Highly specific information like this is only a piece of the puzzle. There are three different data sets that HR leaders should be developing in accordance with their company’s values, according to Deloitte:

  1. Market: Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, consumer confidence and rate of public and private investment.
  2. Financial: Enterprise valuation and market performance.
  3. Talent: Industry-specific job creation rates, university hiring trends, average education and skill set of target market, international mobility contributing to demand shortages and unemployment figures in the area.

As with all analytic-based ventures, having more data doesn’t always mean an organistion is benefiting from it. HR leaders should create a personalised dashboard that’s stays consistently updated to reduce the time it takes to conduct research for mission-critical business decisions. Cooperation with C-suite executives and their future plans is vital.

Innovation at the click of a button

With this newfound approach comes the advantage of solving needs as they arise, rather than waiting for a fix to reach the market.

Conventional hiring methods serve as an excellent example of this. Candidate assessment and interviews were conducted for years primarily as a paper-based routine, despite the fact that leaders understood digitising the process would speed up productivity and bring more refined results.

The industry as a whole only truly gave into change once recruitment software platforms featuring applicant tracking systems were made available on a wide scale. Organisations that committed to developing an internal solution once the need was identified gained a considerable advantage over rivals that were waiting for an affordable product to become available.

Speed is perhaps one of the most important assets when it comes to innovation. HR leaders must have the ability to solicit software programs that fill a need as it arises, and there are two reasons why this will be the case in the future:

  1. The data being collected by comprehensive recruitment platforms now holds noticeably more value than it once did before.
  2. High-quality systems offer an open application programming interface (API) functionality that allows developers to quickly create and integrate solutions as they’re needed.

Recruiters can be both enabled and restricted by the quality of the recruitment software they use. Rather than use isolated applications that don’t connect to each other – and therefore transmitting data becomes a struggle – companies should invest in an all-encompassing solution that can scale as needs arise.

This ability to quickly develop applications will become increasingly important as cornerstones of recruiting evolve. Psychometric assessments, for instance, played a key role in identifying suitable candidates in the past, but now gamification and other techniques are taking centre stage. Companies can spot these trends and build software that suits the organisation’s specific needs as it relates to finding cultural and occupational fits.

Most important investment for the next decade

If talent and data are to continue as vital assets to companies moving forward, then the software that HR departments use every day becomes just as crucial. Whether it be for recruitment, payroll or administrative purposes, it all should operate as a fully integrated solution.

There are a few key attributes that industry experts believe should be standard for any platform. Cloud functionality will be vital to maintaining connectivity between departments across a dispersed – or even international – workforce. Open API functionality will allow leaders to adopt or create programs that utilise artificial intelligence to mitigate bias during the hiring process. International trade should provide a comprehensive collection of candidate profiles that can be easily accessed from everywhere in the world. These aren’t all standard functionalities, but they’ll be leveraged to some extent moving forward, CIO magazine reported.

HR practices have always been a vital component of a company – nothing would get done without employees. But organisations are now leaning on the staff and corresponding analytics to shape major business decisions, which wasn’t necessarily as common in years past. Leaders can be ready to contribute with the help of an effective recruitment software platform. Contact a FastTrack representative today to learn more.

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