Investing in current employees is key to meeting new business needs and increasing retention
There’s a spike of job seekers in the market, yet it’s been increasingly difficult for employers to fill in-demand roles – many of which are tech positions.
These tech roles are critical for an organisation’s accelerated digital transformation. According to 2020 analysis from Gartner, only 16% of new hires possess the needed skills for both their current role and the future.
We’re seeing this trend mirrored within iCIMS’ Talent Cloud, the leading cloud platform for recruiting, which processes three million job postings, 75 million applications and four million hires per year. Recent interactions within Talent Cloud show that in 2020, it has taken employers an average of 68 days to fill a tech role – which is nearly 70% more than the average 40 days it has taken to fill a non-tech role.
No organisation can afford such a delay to hire in today’s tumultuous environment. Hiring teams can continue to chase external, digitally skilled talent faster and faster – or they can take a new direction and look inwards at the talent pool that is right in front of them: their existing employees.
Here are three things business leaders can do to tap into the power of their existing workforce and accelerate digital transformation:
Engage with employees
76% of employees consider opportunities for career growth as one of their top three non-financial motivators, according to a study from ClearCompany.
To create awareness of internal advancement opportunities, open lines of communication between employees, leaders and the HR department are critical. Employees should be encouraged to freely explore internal opportunities, and organisations should foster strong internal mobility programmes to help retain top talent. Two things are fundamental in engaging employees in their current flow of work, especially when they’re decentralised: internal career portals (including internal ‘gig’ portals) and communication tools. When you leverage these two resources and establish a culture that recognises and celebrates employee advancement, you will undoubtedly increase retention and overall employee engagement and satisfaction. Company leaders fear that internal mobility could disrupt their business operations; however, short-term team evolutions result in higher productivity, employee satisfaction and smaller turnover costs in the long term. With this approach, you’ll get a more loyal workforce that continues to steep itself in deep company expertise.
In 2020, tech jobs received an average of nearly 32 applicants per job opening, while non-tech jobs received just over 23 applicants per job opening, according to iCIMS data. Multiply those numbers by how many open requisitions a recruiter is responsible for, and you’re stuck with a lot of time to sort and screen candidates, the majority of which aren’t qualified for the role.
Whether organisations are sourcing talent internally or externally, it’s clear that they need help identifying potential matches quickly. There’s an opportunity for organisations to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to sift through the entire hiring system and recommend the best external and internal candidates based on interests, as well as hard and soft skills and experience. An AI solution that offers ‘explainability’ behind its matches can aid recruiters and hiring managers in employee conversations about transferrable skills. An AI-led automated review of viable candidates makes it easier for HR and recruiting professionals to reduce bias and focus on the interview process with top candidates, empowering them to make hires faster than ever before without the need to outsource to an agency.
Invest in potential
94% of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in helping them learn, according to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report.
Once an organisation has identified internal candidates that are fit for a new position, it should provide employees with proper training opportunities, whether they are in-house or external. Internal advancement opportunities aren’t limited to new roles. They also include the ability to identify virtual classes, webinars, certification opportunities and mentorship programmes, as well as stretch projects, as great ways to ensure employees are set up for success. As these employees gain exposure in other areas of the business, you not only help retain your top talent, but also transfer skills, goodwill and culture across the organisation.
A strategic approach to advancing top talent means investing in the evolving needs of both the business and its people. To keep up with this ongoing evolution, organisations require one thing – a diverse, digitally skilled workforce that is willing and able to pivot and grow.
Amy Warner is Director of Talent Acquisition at iCIMS. To learn more about iCIMS’ Talent Cloud and the organisation’s data-driven insights, click here.