The future starts now: How to prepare for the talent acquisition of tomorrow


Image credit: JimH via iStock Let me take you on a thought experiment into the future; let’s go with ten years from now (the timing may be off, but stay with me as it’s less important than the message of this piece - and, I promise, that it is actually about recruitment).

The explosion of artificial intelligence, while not yet in its fully-fledged form, has seen the displacement of millions of jobs. At no point in human history have so many people been made redundant in such a short time and the effects are wide-ranging.

Organizations that are still hiring have a glut of skilled workers to choose from. The war for talent is well and truly over, and the war of talent is now in full swing.

Candidates who are equally skilled apply in droves for any position they can, willing to take large salary cuts to stay in the workforce. Organizations move from base skills into hiring for cultural fit; who will work best with us? Who will be able to take us into the next phase through co-operative working and innovative thought?

New assessment technology, based on Professor Alex Pentland’s Honest Science research, quickly enables teams to be built via big data and identifies gaps that could be filled through scientific means.

The people are threatening to revolt and governments are working to solve the high unemployment crisis. At this point, an Annual Basic Income (ABI) is rolled out across multiple countries.

Do you want to work?

Let’s leave the future for a while, we’ll come back to it later.

The ABI is an approach whereby every citizen of a country is provided with a living wage on a monthly basis. This is designed to cover rent, food and other living expenses. If people wish to work to earn more, they are welcome to, but they don’t need to. However, studies are showing most people want to.

Between 1974 and 1979, the poorest citizens of Dauphin in Manitoba, Canada were all provided with a monthly payment that meant poverty was completely eradicated. Titled Project Mincome, the results showed that the vast majority of people receiving the income still wanted to work.

The research quotes below give an indication into what the project found:
  • "The reduction in work effort was modest: about 1% for men, 3% for wives, and 5% for unmarried women" (Policy Options).
  • "It’s surprising to find that it actually works, that people don’t quit their jobs. There’s this fear that if we have too much freedom, we might misuse it," Evelyn Forget, a sociology professor at the University of Manitoba, told Aljazeera America.
Similar tests undertaken in the US had comparable results:

"Would a large number of people respond … by withdrawing entirely from the labor force? The experiments found no evidence of such behavior," wrote Oxford University professor Karl Widerquist in The Journal of Socio-Economics.

In 2016, trials were undertaken in Uganda, India and again in Canada. Countries in Europe began discussing the issue in earnest and, in Switzerland, a non-binding referendum on whether or not to introduce an ABI was held. It didn’t pass, but the fact that it made it to a referendum is important.

"In Switzerland, over 50% of total work that is done is unpaid. It's care work, it's at home, it's in different communities, so that work would be more valued with a basic income," Che Wagner, of campaign group Basic Income Switzerland, stated in the build-up to the vote.

Do people want to work for you?

Let’s jump back to the future briefly. The ABI means that candidates don’t need to work for a living. They want to though. And people still want to work for brands that are cool and make an impact or that belong to people who they look up to.

Organizations spring up based on what people want to do rather than what they have to do. To attract the best talent, companies need to do good things and let people know what they are doing.

Without the need to work for a living, it becomes harder and harder for organizations to fill positions unless there is a real benefit to the candidate, be that skill training, cognitive development or simply social benefits. Candidates once again take the upper hand in the war for talent.

The future starts now

Thank you for coming with me on the journey, here’s where I’ll bring it back around to now.

At some point in the near future, candidates will need to demonstrate how they fit perfectly into your organization beyond possessing the basic skills required for their role. The talent pendulum will swing back to companies having the power, but this will only be short lived.

You’ll need to make sure that your processes and systems are set to handle high volumes of applicants without upsetting them. In the world of the TalentSumer, you’ll have to ensure that everyone you turn away is left with a positive experience.You’ll need to really understand your business and what will make it successful. Hiring for your unique values will ensure that you’ll make quality hires who will stay with you.

So, what does this mean for your organization today?

1. Now is the time to step back and ask yourself what makes you attractive to candidates.

2. Now is time to demonstrate to your people that they have a say in the future and that your organization actually values them.

3. Now is the time to really understand who you have within your business and how they work together, highlighting what additional skills you will need to succeed in the future.

The future starts now. The best way to guarantee your future is to focus on your core business today and surround that with the most talented people available. Contact Allegis Global Solutions today to find how we can help you find the talent you need.
Posted 10/12/2016 By Simon Townsend

With a background in recruitment as an Online Sourcing Specialist, Simon has spent the past 6 years specializing in driving Innovation with Allegis Global Solutions and previously Deloitte. Over the past 15 years Simon has worked closely with technology and...
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