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December 18, 2020

The professional services industry is one of the front-runners in integrating recruitment with technology to scale and in meeting the challenges of a newer and more digitally disruptive world. This is crucial to limiting the need for face-to-face interviews and reducing unnecessary contact and travel. At the same time, creating seamless and digital onboarding processes can mean the difference between securing the best candidates and losing them to the competition, because onboarding is an incredibly personal experience.

Moreover, according to a recent report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 430 million enterprises are at risk of serious disruption, which will lead to a sharp increase in job losses. No wonder then that in the current recruitment market, sourcing candidates is a challenge as a person with a full-time contract is not willing to jump ship.

Rethinking recruitment to suit this new reality requires enterprises to overhaul their recruiting funnel using a Recruitment 2.0 approach. It involves integrating the four phases of recruitment—hiring, onboarding, induction, and initial learning—with a machine-first recruitment model (MFRM) to create an end-to-end, digitally agile, rapid, and mobile recruitment experience for the recruiter as well as new hires.

Hail the bot! Virtual recruitment takes center stage

Let us explore how recruitment bots can add value across the four phases:

#1 Handling high-volume hiring: According to Gartner, two-thirds of customer experience projects will be managed by IT by 2022. Professional services firms can leverage recruitment chatbots to field applicant questions, conduct initial screening, and organize interviews with one-click applications. This will not only help eliminate efforts at the top of the recruitment funnel, but will also handle high-volume recruitment and create a superior candidate experience for an always-online generation. Organizations can also customize these bots to enable employee human resources (HR) self-service, including answering general questions related to HR, policy, payroll, and basic service desk functionalities such as password reset.

#2 Digitalizing onboarding: This can go a long way in creating a seamless and personalized internal employee experience (EX). It is especially useful in the current remote working environment that requires new hires to perform their job roles from their home office from day one. Digital onboarding driven by close integration among the onboarding app, company employee service portal, and other digital tools can help employees get up to speed with company functions, company culture, and their own role, effectively. Moreover, in the prevailing situation, it is a challenge for enterprises to ship new work laptops or desktops to new hires given the logistics constraints. Many enterprises are thus introducing a bring-your-own (BYO) personal computer policy backed by robust security policies, IT support, and privacy controls. Simplifying the daily routine for new hires frees them up to focus on the more challenging, essential, and fulfilling aspects of their new jobs, creating a friendly, personalized, predictive, and seamless employee experience.

#3 Evolving induction engagement with digital tools: Organizations can leverage digital induction through web applications instead of physical training programs. Induction applications consisting of content, quizzes, and surveys can help trainees increase their competencies. In addition, the gamification elements for new hires motivate them to explore different interactions within the app and win points for them. These accumulated credits can help them acquire badges, build customized avatars, and even get monetary rewards based on respective enterprise policies.

#4 Enabling virtual microlearning for new-generation workers:

Learning experience platforms (LXPs) can speed up digital learning, offering a flexible solution to organizations’ needs. A key area where they can make a significant impact is onboarding. Visual-rich learning content is easier to understand and retain. Many such learning apps can also be integrated with leading learning platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, Khan Academy, and LinkedIn Learning to cater to the wide learning needs of new hires. According to the Gartner Market Guide 2018 for Corporate Learning Suites, differentiated LXPs are far superior from traditional learning management systems (LMS) and are key to engaging new-generation workers.

Forward-looking enterprises are already envisioning using technologies such as virtual reality with a virtual classroom and an avatar trainer, to guide employees through the learning material, thus taking the learning experience to a whole new level.

Building a sustainable workforce in the new reality

In today’s increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world, carefully thinking about what drives and constrains digital adoption in recruitment can enable enterprises to get the maximum bang for their buck. Digitalizing recruitment end-to-end will ultimately benefit the entire recruitment system. This will ensure that enterprises get the right candidates for the right job and identify skills gaps and opportunities to unlock new capabilities, chart career paths, and nurture the next generation of leaders. In turn, it will help build a sustainable workforce to ensure greater resiliency and competitive advantage during disruptions and tough times.

Akshay Bhardwaj is a Bid Manager in the HiTech business unit at TCS. He currently oversees the bid portfolio for one of TCS' leading clients - a Big Four accounting firm. His responsibilities in this role include managing leads and pipelines, account planning, creating proposals, and assessing / addressing the technical and commercial risks relating to the bids. He has over nine years of experience in software development, agile product deliveries, stakeholder engagements, and presales. Akshay has strong business analyst capabilities and a deep understanding of customer businesses. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Gujarat University, India, and is a certified scrum professional, and scrum master from the Scrum Alliance.

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