The fourth industrial revolution is here and now. On top of the third industrial revolution — where cloud computing, big data, social media, e-commerce, and mobile tech were abuzz — now sits a new layer that sees the rise of the Internet of Things, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and biotechnology. We already know that much of these rapid advancements not only disrupt business models across industries, but redefine the way we live today. The human capital industry is no different, often with middlemen being removed from the equation, and job seekers now having direct access to employers via online platforms that facilitate engagement and data collection.
As well, what were once perceived as “jobs of the future” are in demand here and now. We now see an uptick in the demand for technology and science-based roles such as data scientists, IT risk and resilience specialists, IT security managers, digital marketing strategists, and the like. Hiring for these may mean seeking skills that may not necessarily come with a traditional university degree, although new degree programs are emerging in response to such technology-driven demand. Because technology is reshaping business landscapes in a rapid pace, companies must have the ability to fill roles not just for the current need, but more importantly, for the future direction of their organization. Job seekers who pursue “jobs of the future” must possess a heightened ability to adapt to change, strong leadership skills, and strategic thinking to illuminate and forge the path forward for companies. These qualities may spell the difference, especially if years of professional experience are already a given. But while technology is on the rise, nothing still compares to the human insight in evaluating and hiring talent.
Talent acquisition and management remain a contact sport. A sharp recruiter will be able to see a candidate’s potential beyond the resume. This is where the interview becomes critical and never loses its value in the staffing process. We have often heard from clients that chose candidates who demonstrate attributes like passion, impact, and can-do attitude over other candidates with more years of experience or advanced management courses. Personal attributes and soft skills are best observed and validated in the interview process. This is where looking somebody in the eye and watching out for hints like body language drive the hiring decision.
While companies and the thriving businesses of today embrace constant change (and technology-driven change at that), what perhaps remains constant is that companies will always have people at the helm. Almost all companies take pride in its people, and this is not without good reason. It is because of this that talent acquisition will always be more personal than it is digital. And even with employers’ rising presence online to reach potential hires, this can never replace the experience job seekers have when going through the motions of landing a new job. Ironically, choosing to remain personal is the key to becoming relevant in the fourth industrial revolution that is upon us today.
Alexander Genil is president and CEO of The ZMG Ward Howell Group.