Of all the challenges facing management teams in Australian companies, one of the most acute is attracting and retaining staff. Christian Lucarelli, Vice President of APAC Sales at Nintex, discusses how digital tools can help improve recruiting efforts for both candidates and companies.
A shortage of domestic candidates and a lack of skilled migration mean that many positions go unfilled. At the same time, successful candidates demand (and receive) significantly higher salaries.
While the current talent shortage is acute, it was happening long before the disruptive effect of the pandemic swept through the market. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, at the start of 2020, 87% of companies “currently had gaps or expected to [to experience] them within a few years.
Now, at the beginning of 2022, the situation remains the same. The talent shortage also comes at a time when many people are considering changing jobs. According to software giant Microsoft, more than 40% of the global workforce plans to leave their current employer this year.
Growing use of digital tools
Due to these changes, many companies are increasingly using digital channels and tools to attract and retain staff. Through these, they can show what life in the organization is like and share their core values and priorities.
In many cases, companies invest large sums in these communication efforts. They realize that candidates consider the most desirable places to work are companies that use digital media to present themselves as the “showcase” of talent.
Companies are also using technology to sift through cover letters and resumes received from potential new hires. This can save a lot of time and ensure that shortlists of top candidates can be easily created. When the competition for talent is high, conducting interviews and formulating offers must be done quickly.
Using tools to “first pass” incoming applications also ensures that applicants receive a response. This overcomes the challenge encountered in many large companies where applications are received but never acknowledged.
Experience shows that many unsuccessful applications have common issues, such as the candidate not being in Australia or having relevant skills and experience. Digital tools can create template responses that can easily be sent out to large numbers of unsuccessful candidates.
Increasingly, many companies are also running recruitment processes through career portals that allow candidates to log in and see where they are in the process. Providing this level of information to a candidate is likely to give them a more positive impression of the company and its digital capabilities as a whole.
For these reasons, it is clear that digital tools and channels are central to the modern recruitment process. They help attract staff in the first place and also streamline how applications are processed and responses generated.
People and process go hand in hand
While great benefits can be gained from using digital technology to modernize the recruitment process, there are still places where human intervention is still needed. This is the case when determining whether a potential staff member will be a good cultural fit for the company – people are best placed to make this assessment.
This is particularly relevant with the rise of remote and hybrid working practices. It should be clarified if a candidate is comfortable working under these conditions and will remain positive and productive in the longer term.
If a candidate is employed but does not integrate effectively into their team, the result can be dissatisfaction and the likelihood of them moving quickly to another organization. This means that the recruitment process will have to be started again.
It is therefore clear that there is always a need for face-to-face or video interviews before candidates are offered new positions. Although digital tools can do a lot, they cannot replicate the information that can be collected and shared by people.