How do you think about the future of talent acquisition—and gather the resources to future-proof your organization? While we truly don’t know what’s coming, we can read the signals of what’s happening now and make predictions about what might happen next. That’s exactly what the following group of hiring experts did in a recent webinar with ERE: Talent Acquisition in the Face of Uncertainty: Future-Proofing Your TA Function.
- Allyn Bailey, Executive Director, Hiring Success, SmartRecruiters
- Brian Ferguson, Senior Director, Global Talent Acquisition at Omnicell
- Leslie Thomas, Director of Recruiting, Reality Labs SWE, Meta
- Shaina Semiatin, Head of Talent Acquisition, Grindr
Moderated by Allyn Bailey, the session opened with a reflection on where we are now: rapid change in the last few years, with the pace picking up; untested generative AI coming at us fast; and internal pressure to get it right. “We’re in a volatile world where we all need to look at who we are, what we do, what our value is,” Allyn said, “and then consider how we move forward.”
The panelists each offered wisdom on how to move forward in the midst of great change and shared their predictions on what might occur. We highly recommend watching the webinar recording. In the meantime, read these highlights.
Brian Ferguson: Be curious
“People are adapting to new technology quicker than ever,” said Brian Ferguson. “They’re learning how to infuse it with their particular skill set to get the most out of their job.” An area to be curious about now and into the future is how to use new technology to connect talent acquisition data across the HR function. “Maybe it will give us the true picture of the holy grail of quality of hire,” he said, reminding us of the myriad ways companies have used to measure the quality of hire.
“Curiosity has always been an important skillset for recruiting,” Brian said, mentioning the ongoing quest to move at higher volume, build better candidate pipelines, and provide better candidate experiences. “Now it’s about taking your curiosity and learning something new.” For those more hesitant than willing, Brian added, “Don’t be afraid of failure. If you’re not failing, you’re not learning. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing.”
- The coordinator role will evolve into a “candidate concierge” who ensures white-glove service.
- Sourcers will become talent intelligence experts who understand hiring, market, and employee data to define candidate pools more effectively.
Leslie Thomas: Future-proof yourself by upskilling
“If you want to remain in this profession, you have to lean in, or you will get passed over,” said Leslie Thomas. She sees the availability of new tools as positive evolution that will allow talent acquisition to maintain its advisory role. “I’m excited about how technology will change us and help us make more informed decisions.”
Leslie recommends experimenting and developing skill sets outside your comfort zone. For example, “If you’re not a very strategic or analytical person,” she said, “what can you do to grow in that space so you can work with the tools and information and understand what to do with it?”
- Recruiters will be working with hiring managers to define new roles that they’ve never recruited for before.
- Technology will free recruiting teams up to spend time being thoughtful and giving candidates a white-glove experience.
Shaina Semiatin: Take risks and be kind
At an organization like LBGTQ dating app Grindr, inclusion reigns. While taking a cautious approach to AI is needed to evaluate tools for bias, Shaina Semiatin sees uses for generative AI throughout the hiring funnel as a positive development. “AI solutions are slowly becoming more intuitive and more humanly empathetic, which allows us to do our jobs better,” she said. “We should celebrate it as an awakening for the talent acquisition function.”
Shaina emphasized the importance of taking risks with new technology but also reminded us, “Be kind. Be kind to yourself, be kind to your team, be kind to your candidates. Remember that we’re in this because we care about people,” she said. “We can’t lose sight of the heart of our work.”
For growing organizations utilizing new AI tools, there could be a new need for something akin to a “TA Optimization Lead,” whose purpose is spot-checking across the broader TA organization to make sure everyone is utilizing generative technology most effectively, from white glove service for candidates to deeper and more accurate data and people insights. This person could also steer the tooling to ensure that process and technology mitigate bias while working across the HR function to connect systems.
Allyn Bailey: Take a thoughtful approach
One of the advantages of generative AI is that it allows us to create a new relationship with technology. “We used to expect the technology to come in and free us up to do the human things,” Allyn Bailey said. “Now we can leverage the technology to allow us to do these human things at scale through the technology.”
Summarizing the view of the other speakers, Allyn emphasized that a thoughtful approach will allow teams to move forward in an age where debiasing processes and ensuring compliance is paramount. “We need to ensure that we’re consistently thinking about technology, processes, and people,” Allyn said. “The intersection of those three things allows us to take a holistic approach to help us achieve success in the long term.”
- Teams that thrive will have an in-house “experimenter” who tests and evaluates the impact of new strategies.
- Prompt engineering will become an additional skill set or role. These individuals will help teams utilize generative AI to elicit the most effective results.
- The resume will evolve: Technology will be leveraged to collect skills-based information from candidates in a new way.
Future-proofing talent acquisition starts today
These four speakers showed us that it’s easy to be uneasy about the future, but it’s more exciting to be bold. Their excitement echoes the SmartRecruiters’ vision of Hiring Without Boundaries™. To help organizations break free from traditional hiring barriers, we empower TA teams to create more inclusive and efficient processes, leverage data and insights, and prioritize the candidate experience. Click the link below to learn more.