Competitive talent markets are a technology issue

Article by Compono co-founder Rudy Crous.

Almost every business has felt an impact in the labor market due to the disruption of COVID-19.

Whether it’s a crunch in available talent due to border closures or a real talent shortage in niche disciplines, from data science engineers to regional leaders, almost every company has had a talent problem in the wake of the pandemic.

The classic response is to simply hire – whether that means turning a blind eye to red flags on a profile like constant job change or ignoring behavioral red flags during an interview. Any business looking to scale up their services quickly over the next few months is most at risk of seeing this thinking take hold.

The classic example of having “bums on the seats” is found in the retail and hospitality industries. They are a common entry point for Australians into the job market and therefore often deal with even the smallest amount of key data about a candidate that will predict their performance. Both industries also take a quick hit from bad hires – a rude retail assistant can lead to negative reviews and lost revenue very quickly.

Now is the time to think about how to approach this potential problem. Instead of seeing the next few months as a potential pot of luck, data science and technology should be used to distinguish exactly what organizations need to thrive.

A leading Australian food company is an example of this forward thinking vision in action. It hires an average of 200 workers per month in its stores nationwide. With a franchise model, she fully understands that her coffee brands are built on a consistent customer experience.

Rather than delegating this responsibility entirely to individual franchisees, it instead uses technology to create standardized hiring processes that align with its core values ​​of customer orientation, talent development and innovation.

Above all, it is not just words on a document read once and forgotten. This is a truly functional selection and matching criteria, using technology to automatically shortlist and rank applicants based on their skills and experience, qualifications, and fit with the organization. Each candidate applying for a position is selected, matched and ranked based on their own corporate culture, key behavioral markers, and job requirements.

This ranked list can then be reviewed by hiring managers and franchisees, dramatically reducing the time they spend on hiring and helping to ensure a workforce that lives up to its purpose and values ​​and has them. good behaviors for its retail store experience. By providing a consistent experience for a customer, they know what kind of service they will receive upon entering one of these stores.

In almost all modern technology-driven businesses, the emphasis is on maintaining the “culture”. This is often because it is the culture of the company that is ultimately the greatest driver of success.

But hiring the right candidates is only part of the equation. Equally important is enabling staff to grow within the company and acquire new skills. These high performing tech companies also spend a lot on internal technology platforms that allow staff to learn and move around the organization. With this investment, they realized that it was essential to retain good staff in competitive talent markets like technology.

It is this investment in learning and skills development that must also be made outside of native tech companies. When the Australian economy picks up again, it will trigger one of the first truly competitive markets for talent at all levels.

In this environment, the incentive to simply get “bums on the seats” will grow stronger. Those who approach this problem in the first place as a technology problem will spend less time hiring and more time developing – a competitive advantage like no other these days.

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