How recruitment starts the journey towards an optimal workforce

October 16, 2019

We all know how important it is to get recruitment right. Getting it wrong can result in thousands of pounds being wasted, increased attrition rates, damage to other team members’ morale and their relationship with you, lost productivity, and negative publicity for your organisation. Then you have to go through the entire expensive, time-consuming process again, hoping that, this time, you recruit the right person and they become a valuable part of the organisation.

In the future world of work, where human employees collaborate with robots and algorithms in an environment optimised for technology, the battle for people with the skills and aptitudes to thrive in such an environment will intensify and organisations will have fewer chances to recruit the top talent.

They’ll have to get recruitment right the first time, if they’re going to build the optimal workforce for success.

In our latest white paper from our Human to Hybrid research into the future of work, The human difference, we predict that, as the world of work is turned upside down by digital transformation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), everything is set to change – from working patterns and behaviours to leadership and culture – and the role, shape and structure of the human workforce needs to quickly evolve.

Having sufficiently skilled and engaged staff who can thrive in a dynamic, constantly evolving business environment, as organisations make the shift to the hybrid workforce over the next five years, is vital for improving efficiency, managing costs, driving performance and productivity, improving margins and making organisations more agile. The optimal workforce will also have the high-quality skills and people that organisations need to prosper, and it will offer the same great employee experience to both permanent and temporary staff members.

The starting point for creating an optimal workforce is the wider organisational strategy. Business and HR leaders need to clearly define the organisation’s vision, goals and values, and then identify the capabilities that the organisation needs to meet them. The biggest challenge is to align the people strategy with the operational strategy, and to create a workforce strategy that considers how work is resourced now and in the future. 

Once you’ve detailed how you can transform your existing workforce into a highly-skilled and engaged optimal workforce, with the agility and culture necessary to thrive in the hybrid future, you can begin to recruit the people who can put your strategy into action.

But attitudes to recruitment are changing, along with the business environment. Organisations are now focusing on accessing talent and skills in a more fluid, agile way, rather than thinking about attracting talent. According to our Human to Hybrid research, 60% of HR and recruitment leaders think that this new way of approaching recruitment is “very useful” in building an optimal workforce, while 55% think that focusing on engagement rather than retention is the right response to a future in which they’re no longer looking to recruit and retain people for particular roles but to access skills and competencies when their organisation needs them.

This means they’ll need to have access to pools of people with the right skills. Initiatives such as Capita’s IT Skills development programme: Novus can help here – we employ and train STEM and IT graduates, and then send them into client organisations to work on specific projects. The employed resource model also gives employers fast access to skills when they need them, for as long as they need to get the job done.

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