September 15, 2022

The war of talents is over, long live the war of skills!

The hunt for talent and skills has always existed!

Did you know that we've been recruiting forever? 

In the literature, there are many elements showing that recruitment, as commonly conceived, began after the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. However, we could go back a little further, for example, to prehistory and the necessity of humans to survive, to feed themselves, to protect themselves, and thus the need to unite to be stronger. It was very difficult to survive alone, to gather the right things, and later to hunt without tools, and then to construct these tools to be more efficient. Therefore, recruiting was necessary to create a group, and to achieve this, convincing was required, albeit in a rather rudimentary and natural way, due to physiological reasons but still convincing. Of course, there was no formal process per se, as each person had to persuade the other to become their ally in gathering, hunting, or crafting weapons. It was necessary to know why, who, and how to recruit in order to make the right choices. 

The war for skills and talent

Recruiters: hybrid and schizophrenic beings in search of specialization

With globalization and the proliferation of different types of company - small, medium-sized, large, multinational, start-up, even self-employed - talented people have a wide choice of career paths. Just a few years ago, companies would publish job offers and - alea jacta es - come what may. Today, we have headhunters, independent recruitment agencies and consultants. We're talking about attracting, developing and training talent, and offering a turnkey permanent contract is no longer enough. Until now, recruiters have been generalists: whatever the type of position, need, seniority or urgency, the same people took care of everything. But when it comes to finding very specific people with very specific skills, there can be no guesswork or improvisation. To attract and convince someone, no matter what the field, you need to speak the same language, have the same vocabulary and, what's more, have expertise in the field. After all, business is becoming increasingly technical. But being an expert isn't enough: it's also important that the company offers a challenging and attractive working environment. With social networks (Linkedin, various job sites, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) candidates are inundated with proposals. Like a child lost in the aisles of a candy store, the 2.0 candidate is as amazed as he is lost. Recruiters therefore specialize in one area, but must also be as creative as possible. Providing an enhanced candidate experience has become a standard today when it comes to attracting talent. The best create and manage a pool of internal and external candidates. They work with schools and training institutes to recruit the most promising young graduates. Companies are introducing new ways of recruiting: games, role-playing, group stages, stress testing, co-assessment... Differentiating from the competition in form is becoming more important than content, but few candidates are fooled. The proposed project remains the central element in the choice. 

The skills and talents of the future

How do you recruit people who don't know their own potential? 

85% of the professions of 2030 do not yet exist, according to a study by Dell and the Institute for the Future. Whether from the point of view of the hiring company or the job seeker, we've reached a rather comical level of complexity. One company doesn't know who it's looking for, while the others don't know that they're wanted. This is where forward-looking management of jobs and skills becomes fundamental. A company's development and longevity are closely linked to the implementation of a coherent GPEC policy. And to do this, it's not just a question of execution, but of strategy, which must first be discussed and decided. Why is this so? Quite simply because a GPEC strategy cannot be improvised, and requires a financial investment commensurate with business ambitions. Anticipation requires a precise knowledge of what has been done in the past, and a clear view of the players within the company. The aim is to stay ahead of the game, avoid falling behind competitors, and have the right resources in place for the future. To achieve this, we need to change our frame of reference: we're no longer talking about finding talent or professionals in a given field, but rather skills. We need to identify, evaluate, develop and plan this management. Let's concentrate on the first stage, identification: what skills are we looking for and where can we find them? This first step alone is a major undertaking. What kind of skills do you need? You'll probably want to have an overview of your employees' "technical" know-how and experience. An employee who parachutes or volunteers as a fireman acquires experience that is either transferable today, or that will be useful for the jobs of "tomorrow". Candidates' resumes, which hopefully were digitized when they were hired, may be the first point of entry for human resources to begin skills mapping. The second are social networks, if employees have been willing to have an online profile and keep it up to date. Few employees will themselves communicate their know-how internally. These skills are totally unknown assets for the company, and yet so strategic for the future. It is therefore essential to set up a discovery process. Once again, you can easily imagine the magnitude of the task. 

Digital, the new weapon to hunt them

Digitization, so and so!  

Technology will support, simplify, accelerate and historicize recruitment processes, but it won't recruit for you. The development of a recruitment strategy and its execution depend solely on companies and their employees. Technology will never be a magic wand. Nevertheless, in a totally connected world, where quantities of data and information are increasing at exponential speed, it's important to be able to capture it, integrate it and make it intelligible, in order to extract a competitive advantage for development. In recruitment, for example, the approval and follow-up workflows alone consume resources and time. Multinationals, and even start-ups, can have as many as seven interviews to find the perfect candidate. Once the candidate has been recruited, the work doesn't stop there. With an increasing number of employees resigning before the end of the trial period, it's important to have an on-boarding, integration and development process that is commensurate with the investment made in recruitment. Added to this are the legal obligations associated with hiring: a single declaration, registration with pension funds, occupational medicine registration, keeping a single personnel register, registering with the Labour Inspectorate and drawing up the payroll. 

Having the right technological tools at their disposal allows the most advanced companies to focus on innovation, strategy and to have a predictive management of their human resources.

Find out how Mercateam can help you master your skills, request your demo