Tuesday, January 16, 2018

From a fixed to a flexible workforce…are we there yet?

I remember when I joined Agfa in 2001, people told me that finally I had chosen a company that would offer me guaranteed employment until my retirement. Needless to say, that, at the age of 29, the prospect of spending 30 years in the same company freaked me out.
As I am settling in into my new co-working space, I cannot help but think how much employment has changed over the past 15 years.

And we seem to be taken it even further as one of the major trends for 2018 is the evolution towards a more flexible workforce. From the traditional organisation consisting largely of employees with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, we will evolve towards organisations with a diverse workforce of employees and independent individual contributors working in a project-oriented way.

From an economical point of view, this evolution makes perfect sense. In today’s rapidly changing business environment, companies that rely solely on full-time employees are finding they have neither the skills nor the agility to sustain success. Working with a blended workforce, will allow leaders to unleash fresh energy and thinking inside their organisations, and quickly meet staffing needs when new opportunities arise.

But when I look at every day’s reality, I cannot help but wonder…are we there yet?

Start-ups tend to feel 100% comfortable with this type of organisation. It allows them to be agile and to quickly respond to market needs. The majority of their workforce also consists of millennials who put a lot of emphasis on the flexibility an employer is offering, not only from a working hours or location point of view but also from a content point of view. But even there, research indicates that millennials seek flexibility within a full-time context.

When it comes to more established organisations, there is a larger gap between the creation of a flexible workforce and everyday reality.
The majority of my clients still prefer to select candidates who are willing to commit to an organisation long term. They tend to select candidates with a traditional career path, with growing responsibilities with a few employers rather than people who combine interim assignments with pay-roll based roles. Positions are closely linked to job descriptions, stating clearly defined roles and responsibilities rather than profile descriptions for project oriented roles based on key skills.

Evolving towards a flexible workforce will require different skills from both managers and employees but above all, it requires a different mindset.  Both parties will need a shift in mindset towards more open, less restrictive organisational structures emphasising partnering and collaboration.
Managers will need to learn to lead virtual networks of individual contributors they can no longer “manage by walking around.” Key management traits will be the capability to manage scope, launch teams and provide feedback and coaching to individuals they do not formally control. Employees will need to develop skills relating to quickly forming relationships and facilitating teamwork among project staff who have never worked together before.

Ultimately, the new world of work requires executives to completely revise their relationship with talent. HR will need to play a leading role in driving this shift. Organisations should focus more on defining capabilities and enabling access to the skills they need, and focus less on where internal people sit or finding the perfect person for an internal role.

Lets face it … what a challenge this will be. I cannot wait to see what 2018 will bring. And you…do you think this trend will truly become reality or will it remain one of the many buzzwords?

I look forward to hearing from you,

Through a personalised and tailor-made approach, Ingenium Executive Search aspires to assist you in attracting the right talent that matches the DNA of your company

Check out our website http://www.ingenium-search.be

Follow me on Twitter @IngeniumSearch

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Is it ok to contact you directly on your work e-mail?

Last week, I received an e-mail from a target candidate. He was so offended by the fact that I had contacted him on his work e-mail that he took the time to share his feelings with me…in very clear words…

I can fully understand that someone does not like to receive calls on their cell phone. Let’s face it, most of us are in an open space office and receiving a call from a headhunter is uncomfortable at best.
Or imagine that you are in the car…with your boss…and you get me on hands free. Such an approach might not be the right way to engage you in an exploratory conversation.

I tend to turn to e-mail to pitch my opportunity in the hope that you will be attracted by it, or curious at least.
Obviously, there is LinkedIn, which is an easy way to get in touch and that is usually the starting point. But we all know that not everyone checks his or her LinkedIn account on a regular basis. When you have the right profile for a position, chances are that I will take the time to dig up an e-mail address that I can use to contact you directly. And in most cases, your work e-mail will be the easiest to find.

There are several ways to respond to my pitch e-mail.
When you are interested in this or future opportunities but you prefer to stay in touch through a private e-mail address, you can simply ask me to use another e-mail for future correspondence or even easier, send me a reply from your private account.
When you are not interested, a simple ‘thanks but no’ will do the trick. But it is equally fine to just delete it. I’ll get the message and I won’t be contacting you again.

When you do direct search, like I do, there is no other way than to invade your privacy to find to out whether you are open to explore new job opportunities. After all, my clients pay me to find the best possible candidate for a position. So rather than being offended by the ‘creative’ ways I use to get your attention, consider it a compliment, a sign that your profile is attractive to other employers.

Nevertheless, the clear words of my candidate resonate so here is here is my question for you: what is your preferred way of being contacted for job opportunities?

I look forward to hearing from you,

Through a personalized and tailor-made approach, Ingenium Executive Search aspires to assist you in attracting the right talent that matches the DNA of your company

Check out our website http://www.ingenium-search.be

Follow me on Twitter @IngeniumSearch

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

What recruitment technology reveals about your personality…

Digitalization is rapidly changing the recruitment industry. An increasingly larger part of the selection process in done online. From video-pitching to on-line games for skill assessment, the recruitment tech market is booming business.

The advantages are obvious: a faster, cheaper and more efficient selection process. I have been working heavily on optimizing my way of working: I implemented a chat bot that allows you to quickly get a response to any question that you may have with regards to the job description. I started using Cammio, a video interviewing platform that allows me to record the video interview but also allows candidates to send me short videos about themselves. I even started using a calendar tool to facilitate the interview scheduling process. And yes, it made the process faster and smoother.

But it also revealed a more surprising advantage: it allows me to make a more informed decision about who is the right candidate.  The use of technology reveals different aspects of your personality, that I might not discover during an interview.

Let’s take video-pitching. For most of use, recording a video about who we are is way out of our comfort zone (I know that it is for me) but the fact that you are able to show the person behind the cv may outweigh the fear. People who grab that opportunity will immediately indicate that they are open and willing to take some risks to reach their goal.

The same goes for video-interviewing: you’d be surprised how much you actually divulge before even starting to talk. It already starts at the very beginning: have you tested the system prior to the call? What do you do if technology fails: do you quickly discover the chat functionality and ask me for some assistance or will you retry on your own? If all else fails, will you immediately call me or will you just send me an e-mail? All these little actions will tell me a lot more than words can say.

The chat bot reveals the curious and pro-active nature of a candidate. Some use it to stand out from the crowd while others simply push the button to see where it takes them. Things that would never have found out from reading your cv.

Will technology in the end rule out the human connection?  Not at all, at the end of a process, a personal contact between the hiring manager and the future employee will remain crucial to assess chemistry, feel body language and to genuinely ‘meet’ a person. But technology might help us in better assessing a candidate if we are prepared to look beyond the obvious.

I look forward to hearing from you

Through a personalized and tailor-made approach, Ingenium Executive Search aspires to assist you in attracting the right talent that matches the DNA of your company

Check out our website http://www.ingenium-search.be
Follow me on Twitter @IngeniumSearch