Martin Sokolowski, Halian’s Resource Services Director in Luxembourg, reflects on how the talent management space has changed in recent years. He sets out how the hunt for talent, aided by new technologies, needs a whole new creative approach.
I frequently get asked how the talent management space has changed recently, and I tend to give them the same examples time and time again. For instance, five years ago, we found it fairly straight forward to recruit specialist IT systems engineers, architects, programmers from France, Belgium and Eastern Europe to come and work in Luxembourg. Now, that’s not so easy.
A numbers game
The benefits of working in Luxembourg haven’t changed. We’re still offering very competitive salaries, good benefits, low taxes and prestigious projects. The quality of life is amongst the highest in Europe with Luxembourg’s GDP per capita ranked as the fifth highest in the world. But, the wider economic conditions in the EU have been improving rapidly in recent years, and now IT professionals from traditional catchment areas are less willing to relocate. Workers from Greece, Spain and Romania, to an extent, are filling this skills gap as their national economies have struggled to reach recovery as their neighbours have. The UK is also a potential source for tech talent given the impact on the pound due to Brexit – but essentially the sourcing net is having to be spread ever-wider to meet the growing demand of businesses in Luxembourg.
Problem and solution – adapting to new tech
While we face this current talent gap, the rapid proliferation of new technology means that the problem will only get worse. Cyber-security, artificial intelligence and blockchain, to name just a few, are creating demand for skills that simply didn’t exist a few years ago. In the next few years, more and more new technology will become mainstream and continue to drive skills shortages. All of these areas need talented individuals to address them, but universities and colleges can’t train young employees fast enough to meet demand and existing employees that already have the necessary capabilities are becoming like gold dust.
However, the same technological advances which pose challenges are providing talent management professionals with plenty of opportunity to improve their productivity. Sourcing tools such as LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator now uses sophisticated techniques to identify and track individuals – and this is already par for the course. Now the new wave of tech is upon us.
AI/human hiring – striking the balance
People appreciate human contact in any on-boarding process. There are often sensitive issues to discuss, subjects of contention that need to be handled with a high degree of emotional intelligence, or some good old-fashioned advice required from years of human experience. However, a lot of time gets taken up with the traditional task of sifting through hundreds of CVs and assessing candidate qualification. This is where talent professionals should be looking to embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the associated automation of large parts of the recruitment process. Algorithms can review thousands of CVs in minutes, rather than the days it would take any human team and do it more accurately. This frees up time to do the work that machines cannot do as of yet – developing personal relationships and intimate networks. With the first ‘layer’ of recruitment done by AI, potential recruits can access more meaningful conversations with skilled staff. The next few years will really be an exciting time to re-think traditional talent sourcing strategies in the technology space.