Your Old School Recruiting Methods Won’t Work in the Digital Age
Once, the “ideal employee” was an individual who could check off all the right boxes.
At least three years of relevant experience: check.
Proficiency on such-and-such software platform: check.
Graduated from X tier university: check.
At the time, such qualifications seemed like enough to predict who would succeed in the job, and who wouldn’t. But in the fast-changing digital workplace, you need employees with an entirely new set of traits, skills, and capabilities to ensure organizational success.
Digital transformation calls for new talent requirements
HR leaders are increasingly realizing that employees who seem great on paper might still lack the skills necessary to thrive during periods of major change, such as digital transformation.
The introduction of digital tools in the workplace has opened our eyes to new talent needs: those related to technology as well as “soft skills.”
Demands for these talent categories have created skills gaps and a talent mismatch for many companies, placing them at a great disadvantage during digital transformation.
The skills gap is widening
According to research from McKinsey, companies are going head to head for workers with advanced IT and programming skills. Demand for high-level digital skills is expected to rise by as much as 90% from 2016 to 2030.
Many companies even lack staff with basic digital capabilities. Out of the 25 skills analyzed by McKinsey, the need for general digital skills is expected to increase by 69% over the same time period. The demand for greater social and emotional skills is also rising across all industries by 26%.
Acquiring a different breed of talent demands a new approach to recruiting. Making the proper changes is fundamental to digital transformation success
Know what you’re looking for
Digital literacy is critical for employees during technology-driven change and to succeed in a digital business landscape in general. But being digitally literate requires learning — very few candidates will come to you with expertise on all software platforms used throughout the business.
A high volume of software, combined with complex and frequent updates, means achieving high-level usability is a challenge for everyone. You can’t expect any candidate to be a master of your digital tools without a top-tier training solution. Instead, look for people who are comfortable using technology and who demonstrate an ability to learn digital platforms.
Soft skills are in high demand
Tech skills aside, the most progressive HR leaders are increasingly shifting their focus toward qualifications such as intelligence, aptitude, and attitude.
The ideal candidate today is creative, adaptable, self-driven, and good at problem-solving. Having people with these traits helps you support an agile, digital culture, which is crucial for digital transformation success.
You also want employees who have experimental, fail-fast attitudes and who always favor innovation over complacency. Most importantly, you want people who are “doers,” who are motivated and embrace challenges — even amid uncertainty.
Employees with these traits have what it takes to learn the specific requirements of the role. They are the ones who will drive your digital transformation success.
Let go of your outdated recruiting methods
Now, how do you find candidates with these traits? I’ll give you a hint, you probably won’t find them by simply reading a CV.
You’ll recognize these “soft skills” by meeting your candidates face-to-face, asking nontraditional interview questions, and speaking to references.
If you want to succeed in digital transformation, you must abandon the traditional, narrow-minded approach to identifying and recruiting talent. If you judge candidates on how many years of experience they have or which university they went to, you will miss out on a valuable pool of high-potential talent.
Of course, I’m not suggesting experience is no longer relevant. I am suggesting it shouldn’t be the first eliminating factor.
According to CareerBuilder, 66% of employers are now willing to hire and train employees who exhibit the potential to succeed, even if they don’t currently possess all of the desired skills and experience.
As your software systems, business model, and competition evolve, so must your approach to recruiting talent. It’s time to look beyond CVs and the limited picture they give you into candidates’ potential.
Discover how to fulfill all of your human capital needs to support digital change in our eBook, The First 100 Days of Digital Transformation: HR’s Essential Role in Driving Successful Change.