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Providing the best candidate experience in the future of work

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H2 H Digital Opp

​Over the next five years, technology will completely transform the workplace. Organisations, their people, the nature of work and how that work is done will all be affected quite profoundly.

As we transition to a hybrid workforce, in which people work seamlessly with robots and algorithms in a digitally optimised environment, organisations will need access to people with the right skills, attitudes and mindsets for success.

In fact, people’s skills, vision, rationality and creative thinking – combined with a passion for learning and an ability to cope with constant change and uncertainty – will make the difference between success and failure, and recruiters will play a crucial role in making sure that people with these vital capabilities are joining organisations at the right time and in the right roles.

Recruiting in the future of work

Our Human to Hybrid research examines the impact of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotic Process Automation and how recruitment specialists will have to respond.

We talked to 350 HR and recruitment professionals, 500 business leaders and 2,031 employees for our research and found that business leaders regard the shift to a hybrid workforce as the biggest strategic challenge facing them over the next five years and that the key to making the transition smoothly is to focus on three strategic levers: digital (technological capability), data (workforce insight) and people (having the right skills, culture and leadership for success).

Organisations must put digital to work within their recruitment function to create the best candidate experience – seamless and personalised across the entire process – if they’re to have any chance of finding and attracting the high-quality talent they’ll need to succeed. This won’t be easy as competition for top talent intensifies – 67% of HR and recruitment professionals predict the shift to a hybrid workforce will make recruiting high-quality talent even more challenging – but the majority (70%) recognise they need to digitise recruitment to compete effectively.

Focus on candidate experience

Digitisation offers a multitude of benefits to recruitment, such as speeding up the process, reaching more candidates and addressing skills shortages. But according to HR professionals, the biggest benefit is improving the candidate experience throughout the talent acquisition lifecycle – 65% expect candidate experience to become a key differentiator within business over the next five years, and 53% think digital will drive improved candidate experience.

What does an improved candidate experience look like? According to our white paper The digital opportunity: Delivering better candidate experiences in the shift to a hybrid workforce, it will be fast, tailored to candidates’ individual needs and preferences, seamless and easy to use across different channels, proactive, interactive and engaging, putting candidates in control.

Failing to offer such an experience could have significant consequences, and HR professionals are acutely aware that they can’t afford to fail in this. If they do, they risk losing great talent to the competition, not having the right skills in the organisation to transform it successfully, and impacting their function’s reputation within the business.

36% of HR professionals believe that candidate experience will suffer if they lag behind in adopting digital platforms.

Benefits of automation

There’s been a lot of talk about the role that automation is likely to play in recruitment over the coming years, as technology such as automation and AI become used more widely.

Our Human to Hybrid research reveals that HR leaders think it will have the biggest, most positive role to play in engaging candidates even before positions become available, offering an easier and more scalable way to build up passive talent pools and create relationships with a broader range of potential employees.

Automation represents an unmissable opportunity for HR professionals to finally achieve something they’ve talked about for many years – being able to plan for talent more effectively – but have been unable to achieve because they’ve lacked the resources and time.

It’s also seen as the preferable option (over human-driven processes) for defining and specifying roles and profiles, proactively searching for candidates and shortlisting applications. It’s not the answer to all recruitment challenges, of course, and HR professionals need to balance automation with human and delivery and interaction very carefully – they can’t afford to over-digitise and end up alienating prospective recruits by using technology inappropriately or excessively.

HR professionals predict that rapid digitisation of recruitment processes over the next five years will have a profound and positive effect on the way that people look for jobs and how organisations find and recruit talent. It will make it easier for them to move on from simply reacting to immediate business needs to proactively and strategically planning.

The biggest impact, however, will be on their ability to offer a seamless, personalised candidate experience throughout the recruitment process that meets – and exceeds – the expectations of an increasingly demanding talent pool.

To find out more about the role of digital in recruiting high-quality talent for the hybrid workforce, download The digital opportunity: Delivering better candidate experiences in the shift to a hybrid workforce.