It’s hard to believe that merely six months ago, the talent management industry was comfortably cruising along, with the recruitment of best-fit candidates in high demand.

During the last decade, the world held its breath in anticipation of the widely featured and now imminent fourth industrial revolution which would bring with its digital transformation in leaps and bounds and introduce the era of Artificial Intelligence. But little did we know that the future would be fast-tracked to 2020 when a virus turned into an international pandemic and forever altering the way in which we work and redefining how we do business.

So, how did the Data Industry hiring landscape and trends change during the global pandemic? 

For Companies  

With a global risk-averse outlook to spending and budgets being widely frozen, we have seen the shift in demand for more targeted and highly skilled data resources on a temporary, rather than a permanent employment basis.

This bodes the question: Is the era of hiring an employee on a permanent or fixed-term basis over?  Maybe not completely, but the shift to delivering value as an output most definitely overshadows the need for having employees working from eight to five every day.  

Time will tell, but we now often hear market experts talk about the new and digital way of working, which – in a sense – has fast become “the new normal”. 

Companies were forced to digitised and so did employees. We have seen: 

  • Remote working being implemented and adopted widely with great success 
  • Adoption of a more Agile delivery methodology, which led technology and tools to rapidly change in order to facilitate and measure this approach on a virtual basis.  
  • Vastly increased levels of digital collaboration, requiring companies to be more visible and make use of various online channels to sustain organisational culture and employee-wellbeing in the absence of real face-to-face time. 

For Individuals

A Shift to value output, rather than complacent employees. The era of just showing up for work to do the bare minimum is slowing fading away, with the shift to a more temporary and agile way of working, at least for now.

The Individual needs to adjust fast and frankly answer these pertinent questions:  

  • What am I offering as a skill or a service that adds value to companies, programs, projects, or teams? 
  • Why would someone need my service? 
  • How do I market myself and my skill sets? 
  • How do I keep my skill sets current with a fast pace changing environment? 
  • How do I prepare for the future, knowing that the pace of digital evolution will increase drastically?

Digital Trends – With working from home is at the order of the day, more temporary type of engagements, virtual collaboration force individuals to gear their digital maturity about new digital tools, techniques and processes to a level where they can become competitive with peers in the market.  

In addition to the digital changes individuals must adapt, they also must be able to master the skill of marketing themselves over various channels, such as LinkedIn, while having the skill and flexibility to promote themselves and relay their personal story by means of a virtual interview or engagement with potential clients or companies. 

Individuals must adapt in terms of managing their own time and output to a large degree. One should be able to take responsibility of your deliverables, instead of waiting for tasks to be assigned. 

For the Talent Industry 

Like with companies and Individuals, the talent sourcing industry must adapt and adjust. With the shift to value offering, instead of showing up for a job at the office, talent sourcing agencies must now:  

Be able to offer a more holistic talent solution. 

The industry now expects candidates to fill positions over a shorter engagement period, which implies that: 

  • Candidates must match suitable skills that were tested on a technical level as per the required output. A normal search won’t deliver or guarantee suitable competency anymore
  • A true understanding of the team, culture and working environment should be identified and explained to the candidate 
  • Talent agents must be able to explain the position to candidates fully, even on a technical level 

The industry must improve digital maturity to ensure a valued service to their clients. These improvements could include:

  • Adopt the necessary technology and infrastructure to perform online interviews
  • Use modern techniques, like Artificial Intelligence, to help source suitable candidates
  • Ensure that their footprint and marketing channels are digital and fit for the target audience

That said and with the raging effect of this pandemic felt across all spheres of our working world, all is not doom and gnomish. This unprecedented challenge presents unequaled opportunities for companies and individuals who are willing and able to adapt to the rumblings of a perfect storm. And position themselves to fully advance their talent pool and individual skill sets to match drastic market shifts, while navigating the winds of change. 

The article was written by

Moyo Talent Solutions