Business Management
5 min read

Recruitment in the digital age: how to be agile?

EHL Faculty
Written by

Hey, you, employers, do you know that job candidates may be more anxious than enthusiastic about digital recruitment? And you, candidates, do you know how companies will use AR, VR and AI-based technologies as well as people analytics to assess your working potential (Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence)? Have you felt that job interviews really enabled you to show off all your knowledge, skills and abilities?  No? Then, you may need an update about the changes just around the corner. During the #EHLPresent panel discussion dedicated to agile talent management held in April 2021, industry leaders shared their insights on the potential of digital technology to make talent management more appropriately agile.

As an EHL Bachelor student and participant to the panel audience, and as an EHL professor and moderator of the panel, we are happy to share the  relevant industry insights regarding the future of talent management. Among the human capital industry specialists were Mrs Couvreu (Demarche), Mrs Santikou (Workathlon), Mr Trillou (TieTalent), Mr Calabro (Coople & EHL Alliance Founding Member), Mr Milet (Secondworld.ch & VR4Business) and Mr Develle (The Adecco Group). They all agreed on the growing need for more agile and flexible talent management. This need is even more pronounced following the pandemic and the growing work-from-home trends.

However, not every company needs to be more flexible and agile regarding human capital management. Companies must first adapt properly to their environment. 

Strong corporate culture is necessary for successful management digitalization

The Covid-19 situation has accelerated and intensified the need for firms to review their management strategy as people are increasingly working remotely. Although working from home brings some advantages, it puts the company culture and its differentiation among its competitors at risk. It is crucial for leaders to build a strong company culture, to raise a keen sense of belonging to the company and keep the staff motivated and devoted to the firm.

By strengthening the bonds amongst workers, they are able to rely on each other while remaining flexible, and loyal. By using people analytics based on digital management, and thereafter better understanding how to ingrain the company’s values and beliefs with staff, it is possible to strengthen the corporate culture. This solution is a good compromise between agility and stability.

But how do you achieve such a strong corporate culture when everyone is working from home? Digitalization technology is a solution for developing a high level of flexibility and adaptation. 

 

Digitalization, an opportunity for better differentiation and integration

The primary motto of digitalization is "anytime, anywhere." Digitalization aims to enhance the customer experience. It means that companies should have processes that guarantee frictionless transactions with their customers that eliminate any form of delay or frustration. Customer-centricity is vital to building up the customer experience, and then the staff come into play. Thus, digitalization can bring a real value-added asset to a company. Agile digital management of staff means using technology whenever relevant at the service of employee-centricity so that staff can become more customer-centric.

Moreover, digital management contributes to differentiate the company and attract the best talent by providing a new experience to candidates and an additional valid tool for recruiters. For instance, digitalization technology can contribute to better onboarding of newcomers. Thanks to digitalization, it might be easier for the CEO of a big company to chat with newcomers online without the need for travelling. It allows firms to engage with people and strengthen their corporate identity. Indeed, it may enhance working contexts that focus on personalization, recognition, engagement, and an overall compelling experience for the employee. It also allows talent management processes to be more flexible whenever deemed necessary, at which point new frameworks and expectations are introduced. Digitalization in talent management is thus expected to foster a better employee experience, which would result in better employee performance and agility in enhancing the customer experience. And last but not least, a competitive advantage for the firm.

 

Digitalization: a chance for a more diverse talent pool and more inclusive business

But what might the hurdles of management digitalization be? The need for more agile talent management has raised challenges around the introduction of mobile technology: cloud solutions and analytics, design thinking, gamification, teleworking, data protection rules and regulation, as well as software applications and augmented virtual reality (AR and VR) for several key steps of a firm's talent management system. Furthermore, digitalisation will have a direct impact on recruiting, onboarding, performance management, management of well-being at work, learning and development, rewarding, and all other aspects of the employee experience. It may also play a role in preserving authentic relationships between employers, their employees and their customers, provided we also consider its potential limitations.

Indeed, digital management should be an opportunity to better care about diversity, inclusion and adverse impacts. Some candidates may be discarded from the recruitment process simply because they do not have proper access to an online portal or mobile applications. Instead, digitalization should help to reach out to a broader, more diverse talent pool. So, we must first check which talent pool to target and then decide on the extent to which the attraction and selection should be digital. Clients are not necessarily equipped with enough or proper digital tools either. Digital recruitment, yes, but we may also consider that the young generation is not necessarily as tech-savvy as everyone thinks.

 

Boost your recruitment process with AI and VR technology 

Regarding the recruiting steps, you might have already been asked to proceed with varied selection methods, but have you ever wondered about their validity? Indeed, many of the current hiring practices are not valid enough to predict a candidate's future performance at work. Based on research, the most valid method is to conduct a work simulation. So how to digitalize and experience a real test?  

Virtual reality (VR) technology allows a candidate to dive deep into an experience that may look like a video game due to a combination of digital and headset technologies but is in fact a real test. Thus, VR recruitment, onboarding and training allow for being green-friendly – no need to travel – and so, good for the Planet. Additionally, VR-based selection is helpful to detect hidden capabilities, make candidates learn about themselves and might even make them discover hidden skills that can be transferrable to other jobs, functions and sectors. It also provides candidates with a realistic job preview and raises their employability – so, good, for People too.

In addition, since VR enables candidates to experience an accurate immersive work simulation, it allows recruiters to have a method of high validity and increase the talent recruitment experience. Add in some AI, and you can imagine how this technology could enable recruiters to gain time when screening CVs, or creating a contingent pool of candidates. AI is increasingly being used because of its high-speed process and capacity to avoid human biases when selecting someone by analysing actions, reactions and decisions while running the VR based work simulations – and so lastly, it's also good for Profit. In brief, digital management would help achieve the triple P bottom-line in accordance with the 17 SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) by UNO. 

 

Digital management for staff loyalty and job retention

From the company perspective, this VR + AI solution in a digital setting is one way to differentiate themselves and innovate within their management processes. But they should bear in mind that it is not sufficient since firms must also consider the critical 3Cs - Culture, Collaboration, Coaching and so,  ensure offering their staff opportunities to grow to avoid costly dysfunctional turnover.

Because of these recent times where Covid-19 has kept us so separated, it is crucial to build up stronger company ties. Staff often have transferrable competencies that make them employable in several sectors, enabling them to hop from one job to another. Companies must build a stronger sense of belonging, nurtured by a solid corporate culture. So, future managers, it is high time you engaged and made people smile about the exciting future.

Written by
Dr Stéphanie Pougnet
Written by
Dr Stéphanie Pougnet

Assistant Professor at EHL

Quentin Fantoli
Written by
Quentin Fantoli

Student at EHL

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