How digitalisation will radically alter recruitment
How digitalisation will radically alter recruitment

How digitalisation will radically alter recruitment

The digital world we are now entering is filled with promise but also challenges. It will be an era marked by rapid advances in automation and artificial intelligence, which will see the complete restructuring of the job market.

16 September 2020

The result will be a rich mosaic of potential shifts in occupations and the skills needed to fulfil new jobs. In fact, it could completely change the way companies hire talent, in Switzerland. Although it will be some time before digitalisation fully takes hold, Switzerland’s recruitment market is already feeling the effects today.

Why the stakes are high for Swiss companies

Candidates are taking their consumer habits crafted in the digital era into the workplace. In Switzerland, companies need to adapt to this change or risk losing candidates before they even meet them.

Talented workers are already researching companies first online and then deciding whether they should apply. If they don't like what they see, they will rule out a company even before considering making an application.

The frictions that prevent or put off top candidates from applying will therefore, need to be removed. The goal will be to get high quality candidates to apply and into the interview room as quickly as possible.

The Swiss tradition of providing cover letters could consequently, be ditchedas a candidates motivations might be more easily assessed at the actual interview. Even the format of the traditional Swiss CV could change considerably in the digital era.

Photographs of candidates and sentences describing their marital status, cantonal citizenship and the number of children they have, may no longer be required. This is because working out whether a candidate is a good fit will be less subjective and better assessed through psychometric testing and data analysis.

Advanced application tracking systems are already becoming a common feature even for smaller companies. This will mean that CVs will be whittled down to list structures that can be easily stored in databases and delivered as concise reports to the recruiter.

Reskilling and upskilling will become crucial for human resources

In the fast-paced digital era, reskilling and upskilling will be essential. It will help Swiss companies prevent their workforce becoming obsolete.

It will also help retain talent and enhance their employer brand. Many skilled candidates expect the companies they join to invest in them. They want to be able to develop their skills further so they can future proof their careers.

The other aspect for Swiss companies is to protect their return on their investment in the workforce they have. They might have the most experience workforce in the industry, but rapid change in the digital age could make this experience obsolete. Continuous learning, therefore, will become the norm for all employees.

Swiss companies will move from acquiring talent to building talent

The upshot from this surge in reskilling and upskilling in the digital age, is that Swiss firms will shift from acquiring talent to building talent in-house. For many Swiss companies it will no longer be cost effective to simply buy skilled workers from competitors.

The cost to recruit is set to increase considerably as digitalisation takes hold and talent becomes evenscarcer. By contrast, the cost to train and reskill an internal employee will be significantly cheaper.

Purpose-built assessments can help companies pinpoint where the skill gaps are within their workforce. This will ensure reskilling and upskilling is in line with the needs of their workforce sothey can get the best out of them. The benefit for companies is that they receive greater loyalty and engagement from those who work for them.

How can Swiss companies get ahead?

Recruitment in the digital age for Swiss companies will be about providing a better experience than any of their competitors. They will need to create a memorable experience because although candidates may not be hired today for a particular role, they could be hired tomorrow for analternativeposition. This is the nature of the fast pace digital age that we are entering.

Swiss companies can also save a considerable amount of money from reskilling and upskilling their current workforce. It will become cheaper to develop talent inhouse rather than acquire it in the digital age.

Candidates are already adapting to this change. The question is whether Swiss companies can adapt too? Their ability to do so will ultimately ensure their success.

Luca Semeraro

Head of Badenoch & Clark
Zurich, Switzerland

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