A few years ago, Harvard Business Review published an important and interesting article about talent acquisition: 21st Century Talent Spotting by Claudio Fernandez-Araoz. The article contained valuable research about the nature of potential and the need to hire for potential:
Research points to five markers of potential: a strong motivation to excel in the pursuit of challenging goals combined with the humility to put the group ahead of individual needs; an insatiable curiosity to explore new ideas and avenues; keen insight into connections that others don’t see; a strong engagement with work and people; and the determination to overcome obstacles.
Recruiting talent with an eye to potential means no longer simply relying on core competencies. Recruiting for the new landscape of work means finding people based on their potential to develop. This requires the vision to see who someone is becoming. Organizations routinely ask recruiters to survey the market to find the “A players,” but the scarcity of the talent pool is apparent. Looking for “A players” can be limiting; we end up looking for “special” people (or privileged people from “top schools”).
Four years later we are faced with the fact that 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet according to research from Dell Technologies.
Among other trends, the very nature of work will change. Today’s gig economy will transform so that “work will chase people.”
Instead of expecting workers to bear the brunt of finding work, work will compete for the best resource to complete the job.
This raises both challenging and positive developments in how technology will impact talent acquisition and how recruiters will have to approach our work:
Work chasing people could also reduce personal biases and stereotypes in the job seeking process. Integrating VR technology into recruitment protocols, for example, enables the prospective worker to demonstrate competency by showcasing skills without revealing gender or ethnicity. Hiring through immersive technologies could improve the dismal representation of women in computing jobs (currently, in the United States, only 26% of them are held by women), and open more doors to people who, historically, have not had equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.
In the meantime, the more that organizations can create development opportunities for their workforce – especially for those in talent acquisition – to do what they don’t know how to do, to perform ahead of themselves, to take risks – the better prepared they will be for what lies ahead.
In today’s ever changing VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, our ability to be see who we and others are becoming is more important than ever.