Technology Tactics for a Human Capital-Centric World

To win in a knowledge economy, you have to acquire the best knowledge. But the knowledge economy itself is evolving, and with it, the world of talent acquisition is undergoing drastic change. Knowledge is acquired by different means, some is leveraged by training your existing staff or redistributing it internally; other knowledge is obtained by externally acquiring new skills. Here we will not cover internal retraining, but focus on external acquisition of human capital. A Short History of Human Capital Acquisition At the beginning we had what we call today the referral system. “I know somebody who is looking to hire somebody like you.” That is still in action today. After that came the “signage” stage, to advertise that we were looking for somebody. This signage was extended from the physical world to the paper world and is called classifieds. That has been further extended to the online world with job boards, and is called online job posting. With the Internet, there are even more technologies now to find a job or inversely to find talent. How are corporations optimizing their need for talent? Today, companies use a combination of techniques in order to find, or source, talent. Advertising was the first way to find talent and the resume was the tool par excellence. Today the Internet as a communication channel changes many interactions and makes it easy for corporations to maintain relationships with prospective candidates. At iLogos, we are tracking the latest usage and best practices of large corporations in order to maximize the use of technology for talent acquisition. One of the key components is, of course, the corporate career website. The Link Between Communication & Process

Recruitment activity on the corporate website occurs at two concurrent levels: the communication level and the process level for both the corporate recruiter and the candidate. It is the place where candidate and recruiter meet, when communication migrates into a process. Recruiting seen at the process level can be divided in three main phases:

  1. Skills need, or the realization that you need additional skills.
  2. Sourcing strategies, the tools used to find the skills that are missing in your organization. This step has been typically relying on a combination of internal techniques such as open houses and referrals, and external providers such as newspapers, advertising companies and search firms.
  3. Treatment of candidates is the next and last phase. Once sourced, the potential employee enters in contact with the organization and applies.

Concurrent to the process level, there is a communication level, divided in two periods:

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  1. The awareness phase, when the employer communicates with the prospective employee to make him aware of the opportunities, and starts building a reputation as an employer of choice.
  2. The interest and application phase, when the prospect has some interaction with the company and decides whether or not to apply.

These two distinctions-between communication and process-are intended to explain the potential existing in the Internet as a recruiting tool. For a company, the corporate website represents a dual and powerful tool: a communication medium as well as a processing tool. Technology & Automation

In human capital acquisition, friction has historically been very high because the medium of communication has been the source of many imperfections. Indeed, the supply/demand disconnect has been caused by the lack of a standard communication platform. We tried to fix this communication problem by imposing a standard of communication to describe skills: the resume. But today the databases and the Internet technologies allow companies to redefine a new standard. Today a new dynamic platform has been created: a corporate-wide skill database that allows candidates and corporations to better match the two and reduce the friction. Technology and automation in human capital are here to stay. If you are competing for talent, technology is key to enable speed. If you are in a slow down, technology is key for maximum efficiency. If you are in a quieter period (less recruiting), take this opportunity to arm your organization with a next generation solution. The Internet and its related technologies are changing the intrinsic structure of our information exchange backbone. Those who are not rewiring their processes today could be taken away by the next wave. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

Yves Lermusi (aka Lermusiaux) is CEO & co-founder of Checkster. Mr. Lermusi is a well known public speaker and a Career and Talent industry commentator. He is often quoted in the leading business media worldwide, including Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Business Week, and Time Magazine. His articles and commentary are published regularly in online publications and business magazines. Mr. Lermusi was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the Recruiting Industry” and his blog has been recognized as the best third party blog.



1 Comment on “Technology Tactics for a Human Capital-Centric World

  1. Yves presented a view point on the nature of recruitment and it’s evolution in the face of changing technology alternatives. For such an eminently qualified commentator I was disappointed at the lack of depth in his commentry. For a “civilian” target audience such as readers of the Wall Street Journal this article would perhaps be informative. However, I believe his industry would appreciate a more insightful comment based on his experiences and observations. I look forward to future commentries that make us question ourselves and our industry.

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