We are living in unprecedented times. While on the one hand, customers are demanding next-generation technologies, solutions, and services almost tomorrow, on the other hand, we are seeing unprecedented skill and talent shortages. The real challenge is bringing the correct talent to the organizations to address the business demand quickly. If organizations don’t build the capabilities fast enough, they risk losing their customers to competitors. Most organizations have no choice but to look for ways to speed up hiring the right talents and make the onboarding process efficient enough to get them ready for the job faster.

Recruitment professionals and talent acquisition experts can deploy three complementary partnerships to speed up the hiring and deployment process.

Freelance and Contractual Workers

In 2021, the pandemic brought a massive ramp-up of businesses. However, organizations struggled to acquire the right talent and skilled workers. During that time, the freelance or contractual workforce pool has emerged as an unlikely source for closing mainstream positions. Such an avenue would have been ruled out in the past. However, now it makes financial and strategic sense. More importantly, it is super fast to bring them on board.

Some freelance platforms have recently added freelance management tools for corporations to manage efficient workflow and project delivery from freelancers.

If project quality can be quantified or measured using well-defined standards, this route of recruiting talent provides access to millions of untapped expert freelancers at a much faster rate than any other channel. In particular, project-driven, time-bound assignments requiring little face time with the worker are finding their way onto this route.

As a talent acquisition expert, the first leverage you have is striking partnerships with freelance sourcing companies as well as freelance platforms, which will allow you to search for the right talent that can fit well for a given project. However, you must work with clients to convert their regular employee requirements into a phased approach, in which the first phase is scoping project-driven assignments for the selected freelancers.

Recent College Graduates

Historically, larger organizations preferred experienced professionals, as they did not have to invest much in training. But now, another channel has emerged that gives the advantage of speeding up hiring. The organizations can now leverage an endless supply of recent college graduates in highly socialized streams.

Gen Z is up for more dynamic roles where skills get updated frequently or technologies are moving faster. Job roles in coding, multimedia, video marketing, social media, AI, automation and field service are some areas where fresh graduates can be leveraged at lightning speed.

To be successful with this channel, you need a four-step approach.

Offer Marketable Skills in Job Description

First, you need to make sure that the job scope is re-written to reflect ‘marketable skills.’ In general, Gen Zs do not focus on long-term career goals but are on a spree to acquire marketable skills they can apply in their future endeavors.

Strike Partnerships with educational institutions

Second, strike partnerships with leading institutes and universities. Stay on top of the scope of programs offered by various educational and professional institutions. Depending on current market trends, most degree programs are moving into niche specializations, such as AI. You must watch how graduates from a specific specialization stream can address your talent acquisition gaps.

In this process, look at professional bodies offering non-degree programs, certifications and micro-credentials. A specific collection of micro-credentials may be evidence of a sufficient skillset for a particular role.

Hire for Learnability

Third, you need to make sure you are hiring for learnability. As a hiring professional, it is essential to prioritize candidates who demonstrate a growth mindset, a thirst for continuous learning, and the ability to adapt to emerging demands swiftly. Investing in individuals with high learnability ensures they can quickly acquire new skills and contribute to the job by producing expected outcomes. When hiring for learnability, it is crucial to look beyond a candidate’s existing skill set and evaluate their potential for growth and adaptation.

Guide the Organization With Efficient Job Readiness Training

Fourth, it would be best to work with your client organizations to design shorter and quicker skill development training programs that are short enough to keep Gen Z engaged and deep enough to give them marketable skills.

The Job Redefinition Process

Most organizations fail to hire fast enough because they have not upgraded their job roles or definitions corresponding to the new technological, customer demand, and workflow trends. It is much harder to find experienced employees for jobs that are much wider in scope. Highly specialized technologies and solutions now demand equally specialized or niche roles instead of hiring people to deliver traditionally wide roles and responsibilities. Across the board, in light of new advanced technologies and shorter skill shelf-life, several positions need to be redefined and others need to be displaced.

Thus, a faster way to address the labor shortage is via the job redefinition process. When the broader job roles are redefined or split into multiple niche roles to accommodate newer working methods or market demand, the likelihood of hiring specialists from a freelancing or contractual pool is higher.

As a hiring expert, you can partner with your clients to offer expertise to redefine some critical jobs where they see the talent shortage. If hiring for your organization, align your senior leadership with this approach. With such collaborative efforts, you could redefine the roles that could fall under different buckets.

One bucket could be reassigning the roles from within the organizations to those with allied or transferable skills. In this case, your recommendation to the client organization is to hasten the reskilling and upskilling of existing staff to take up those roles that are becoming challenging to hire from the open market.

By partnering in this process, you support your clients with the expertise you have even though you are not acquiring talent from outside. During this process, you might be able to scope specific roles that perfectly fit the first two channels: freelancers and new college graduates.

Final Thoughts

In these unprecedented times, you must be strategic in approaching hiring decisions. In a nutshell, you would stand betternchances to stay ahead of the market if you do three things: 1) strike a partnership with freelancing agencies or platforms, 2) strike a fruitful partnership with educational institutions, including professional and certifying bodies, 3) strike a partnership with your client organization (or your senior leadership) to redefine the scope of jobs where critical lack of talent is hurting the business.

Dr. Raman K Attri

An award-winning learning scientist, Dr. Raman K Attri specializes in the science of speed in personal and professional performance. He helps leaders and organizations to accelerate leadership to stay ahead. A prolific author of 50 multi-genre books, he writes on leadership, learning, performance, and workplace learning. Awarded as one of the Brainz Global 500 leaders, he is featured in over 200 media features. To learn more tips to speed up your learning, achievements, and leadership, visit https://get-there-faster.com or follow @DrRamanKAttri on any social media platform.