Why is Talent Pooling so important? Will recruitment become 100% automated & amazing innovation. Miles Hunt interview with Steve – Part 5
On 18th November 2016 Benula Capital invested into idibu. The man behind Benula is Miles Hunt. He came to our annual get together in Barcelona – a great opportunity for me to interview Miles on different topics.
This fifth part focuses on: 1. Why do you think talent pooling has become so important in the industry now? 2. Recruitment is going to become 100% automated. What’s your view? 3. Are there any people that you know engaged in an amazing Innovation right now that you’d like to talk about? The final Part 6 will focus on more personal views such as bad advice, flaws and strengths, purchases and life rules.
Steve: Why do you think talent pooling has become so important in the industry now?
Miles: Okay, talent pooling has become important in the industry because there are two – if you look at the pure recruitment function – so, get outside of the managed services and all the different sectors and service solutions that the companies actually are now beginning to develop. If you look at recruitment as such, there are two generic successful strategies that companies can pursue – I think. One is if you’re client-focused that your building capabilities that make you more relevant and valuable to clients that are seeking to find solutions in their talent acquisition challenges and needs.
And if we’re going beyond just transactional resourcing and recruitment to employer branding and advising on how to improve their profile in the market, to coming out with strategies for increasing the efficiency and productivity of their own internal resourcing functions, maybe through technology, through using experts in assessment and organizational design and helping with onboarding, in accelerating the time to hire speed and the effectiveness of their hiring process, and then even beyond the onboarding in the start date. Maybe then getting into some elements of learning and development and retention strategies.
So, all those are things you have to start thinking about how you develop if you’re going to be successful, if you’re focusing on client facing solutions. But the more common approach that people take in recruitment is they’re more talent focused.
They appreciate that they are now not just competing with other recruitment companies; they are competing with the organizations themselves that got the same access to technologies, to resources such as LinkedIn and the job boards as recruitment companies have.
So, actually, where does the value come from the recruitment agency function… is being able to access exclusive talent. It’s being able to represent talent more as a career agent, where their talent wants to actually be represented in the market by that recruitment agency, even if the fee is obviously paid for by the client. And it’s that combined with much, much greater degrees of specialization. You know, it’s technical specialization to sectors which these agencies are supporting that actually represents the future for a large number of recruitment companies.
So, talent pooling… At idibu, it definitely has a significant role. It’s all around ensuring that you, as an individual consultant and as a collection of consultants working for a recruitment agency, have exclusive relationships, have deep relationships with a pool of individuals. Maybe 200, 300, whatever the number might be, who want to work exclusively with that individual, with that agency because of the degree of trust, the degree of respect for their knowledge, and for the added value they provide for that individual and their career. So that’s all about talent pooling.
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Steve: But taking talent pooling down and evolving it onwards, a lot of people are saying that recruitment is going to become 100% automated. What’s your view?
Miles: I disagree with that. I think going back 5 or 6 years, and I remember sort of experimenting with a couple of technology companies on the concept of artificial intelligence where you even get the point where, by sort of heat mapping through data around client organizations, what they’re using technology and how they use in terms of systems and where they are based and what they are looking for in terms of people, how you can actually get to the point of saying to these organizations … Don’t worry about going through a hiring process because looking at what you do, we’ve got what you need here through using technology and the profiling approach we use… the people that should work for you across the world because they’ve got the expertise and there is your particular specialization in technical areas like resourcing, resources… mining, oil, and gas sectors or the technology sector. You can say well it doesn’t need human intervention. We can just match things using technology.
I think the more that the skills are or the requirements are very much focused around key skills rather than personality type, where culture is less relevant, where value fit in the organization is less relevant, then there’s an argument to say that human intervention will be less. But we are people and people work for people, and organisations reflect the values of people. And I just don’t believe in any shape or form that the role of people in the hiring process will actually ever disappear because I think what we’ve proved over time is that, it’s judgments based on intuition and empathy and shared values which I think are difficult and were always difficult to measure and monitor using technology, will never be totally overcome.
So I think even the extent to which technology could develop, it will make the hiring process more efficient and reduce the amount of human interaction, but I think the level of interaction that remain will be of great value and will be seen as being of high value.
Steve: it’s an interesting one because I know a few people who are adamant that it will become automated, so I’m thinking that a future podcast could be an interesting debate between those people.
Miles: The joys of recording this stuff is that, your words come around to prove to be true or not, given time. So we will see.
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Steve: Staying on technology for a moment. Are there any people that you know engaged in amazing innovation right now that you’d like to talk about?
Miles: There are I think, I’ve come across quite some really interesting people in the last year or two who are focusing I think particularly… the areas that really interest me are people working in the field of data analytics. Data analytics, it’s the buzzword now for the last couple of years within the HR function because it hasn’t had the same budget spend as say finance or retail or government. It hasn’t had the same level of focus but there’s an interesting organizations, interesting individuals who are really focusing on seeing how extrapolating data on individual data sets around skills or qualifications or areas where you can particularly measure outcomes.
So, for example salespeople success. You can start to understand to get some indicators of what’s going to drive success. I think that’s really, really interesting to see what’s going on there. We’re still in the foothills, but I think that’s going to be a very interesting trend. Mainly in the US but certainly a couple of people in the UK are putting a lot of effort into trying to make sense of that. So, that’s one. I couldn’t give you names of individuals, I don’t want to name check anyone in particular, but there are some interesting trends in that field.
Outside of data, I think that those people who are able to make sense of, making sense of data to extrapolate from that particular unstructured data some sense and meaning from that. I’ve actually seen one or two quite interesting new technologies outside of the parsing arena into they’re actually trying to make sense of resumes, CVS… I think that’s an interesting sort of examples of that coming through.
I’m focusing on recruitment, as this is a podcast in recruitment. Where else? Those are the ones that come to mind at the moment. Those are the ones that I think I see that where the opportunities are going to come to light in the next year or two.