When smartphones burst on the scene sometime in 2007-2008, they chopped, kicked and body-slammed their way past the feature phones market and established themselves as the champions of the mobile world. That was probably one of the best examples of Technology Disruption that we have ever witnessed as a global phenomenon. And there have been numerous examples ever since where disruptive innovation brought about either partial or complete annihilation of existing norms.
‘Change is the only thing that remains constant’ has never been truer than today. What may have been a Fortune 500 company about a decade back may not even find mention in the entire list this year. This is just one way of seeing how critical it is to keep on evolving.
As people get more and more familiar with the latest technology, the older versions feel so cumbersome and slow that one actually wonders how we ever worked on those versions before. To explain this point further, let’s take a simple example. The Circus industry was an amazing source of family entertainment, because they offered something novel and something rare- live, wild animals performing together along with human performers. Today, rarely does a movie get released without a CFX, CGI or VFX treatment. And because we are all so used to watching digitally enhanced visuals, that the real thing – the circus- looks jaded, and boring. In fact most people have stopped going to them, not just because of animal cruelty issues, but also because today there is a mind-boggling variety of entertainment available at the same price. And so, the Circus is no longer relevant.
In today’s world, it’s imperative to stay abreast with the global practices that not only pave the way for innovation but also help in pre-empting social scenarios that may not have occurred in emerging markets yet but are already a part of day-to-day corporate decision making in developed economies. Unfortunately, not everyone believes that they need to change.
What do you think happens in HR today? Let’s take recruitment as an example. For quite a few organizations, it still operates like a support function. We fail to understand why. Recruitment may have been taught has a theoretical concept in classroom discussions and that kind of classroom learning may have worked in the past, but when you consider today’s workforce realities and the aggressive talent wars, those learnings are getting old and irrelevant. What works today is a good dose of pure “Common Sense”, which of course, is supported by scientifically-backed hiring technology.
Talent Acquisition function has evolved and improved globally with the help of tracking basic metrics. However, it is still facing challenges in terms of getting resources, hiring in time, the sheer quality of hires etc. All the organizations end up losing millions of dollars due to productivity loss because people managers waste hours on interviewing candidates.
We at PeopleStrong had faced a similar challenge and used to spend approx. 0.8 million minutes (~13000 hrs) only in interviewing candidates for our internal hiring. We realized that we couldn’t continue to operate in a traditional manner at the blistering pace at which we were growing. That is when we introduced “Ninja: No Interview job application” for hiring for one of our largest business units. We conducted position-profiling of all the roles at PeopleStrong, the competencies required for each role and its impact on the project. Then we built an online assessment tool through artificial intelligence which helped us in finding talent through different data-driven technologies. We were able to evaluate every one of the candidates based on their technical or behavioural skills through online assessments. ‘Ninja’ churned out candidate profiling on all the parameters defined for the role which provided clarity on the current competencies and flag-areas of the candidate. This technique also helped us in comparing the score of new hires vis-à-vis existing resources who were hired through same tool, something like a real-time quality hire check for the Talent Acquisition team.
It’s been a year now, and our “Ninja” has not only saved half a million dollars the process has eliminated the individual biases and the collective fear of losing talent due to erratic interviews.
Today, our talent acquisition team is able to create a talent pool which has an improved overall turn-around time and better hiring-manager experience. The quality of hires through this process is 20% better than our earlier process. Most importantly, this has increased productivity of business as well as recruiters by reducing manual intervention and dependencies.
Once again, it has proved that the thumb rule of the game is to focus on leveraging and enhancing basic practices rather than looking to introduce something new in the mix every time. In the end, it’s all about ‘breaking the rules’ and thinking two steps ahead to get closer to understanding the ongoing and future challenges and ‘making new rules’ to stay in the game through Common sense!