Digital Recruitment – The journey so far and the Road Ahead

HirePro, established in the year 2004, has been a preeminent technology platform for enterprise recruitment. The company recently launched Momentum, a platform for thought leaders in recruitment to share insights that help participants construct their business progress. The first edition of Momentum took place on December 18, 2020. A panel discussion was held on the topic Digital Recruitment – The journey so far and the Road Ahead.

The discussion was expertly moderated by Tanya Tikkoo – Editor-in-chief and co-founder of ObserveNow, which is a knowledge-based, B2B/2C experiential news media platform. The panel comprised eminent names from the recruitment space:

    Mr. Sridhar Akshanthula – Head of Transformation and Talent Acquisition at Wipro
    Mr. Rohit Jhamb – Vice President, Human Resources at Accenture
    Mr. Amit Mathur – Vice President, Human Capital & Real Estate & Workplace at Myntra
    Mr Pasupathi Sankaran – Chief Operating Officer at HirePro

Here’s a rundown of the key conversations and the main takeaways during the webinar discussion.

Recruitment industry’s journey to digital transformation.

The COVID-19 outbreak had severe economic consequences across the globe, and it left no country unaffected. The initial months of the pandemic (most significantly the April-June 2020 quarter), saw businesses turned on their heads and industries dealing with a significant downfall in business. The economic and health crisis left recruitment in most sectors teetering.

Pre-pandemic times had seen most companies going digital in certain areas of their recruitment process. However, the pandemic forced companies to go completely digital and digital transformation in recruitment soon became a necessity!

The good news was that all the panelists concurred that hiring levels had returned to normal during the latter quarters of 2020.

Digital Recruitment with HirePro

Mr. Sridhar Akshanthula, an industry veteran at Wipro, pointed out that the lifecycle of recruitment had seen a tremendous amount of disruption. Over the years, Wipro had digitized several of its recruitment processes. In the year 2019, Wipro focused on digitizing its onboarding process, since the company had observed some dissonance in the system. Wipro made a timely investment in tools and digitization of the onboarding process, thus streamlining and enhancing the operation. This investment stood Wipro in good stead, enabling the IT major to onboard remotely without a hitch once the pandemic struck!

Like most organizations faced with uncertainty, the multinational professional services company, Accenture was cautious in its hiring outlook in the initial few months of the pandemic. However, with many industries deciding to leverage technology more than ever before, Accenture was tasked with investing in enabling these organizations. This led to a notable increase in hiring across all levels of Accenture, according to Mr. Rohit Jhamb, Vice President, Human Resources, at Accenture.

Mr. Amit Mathur, Myntra, stated that 2020 had been an evolving year for the company. Initially, the pandemic did have an impact on the e-commerce business due to the lockdowns. This led to a dip in the hiring numbers for the organization. However, thereafter, business boomed for e-commerce and there was no looking back for the company. Myntra saw its hiring numbers in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2020 (corporate hiring as well as supply chain) at 20-25% more than the numbers during the corresponding period in 2019.

Mr Pasupathi, HirePro, acknowledged that between March and April 2020, the atmosphere of unpredictability had led to a temporary standstill of hiring activities. Though attrition reduced at this time; hiring also went downwards. However, by September 2020, most companies saw a strong uptick in business. This led to the need for hiring and companies realized that digital recruitment was the only solution given the unusual situation we all find ourselves in!

The Digitization Advantage

For Wipro, an area of challenge had been sourcing the right kind of talent. Technology turned enabler in this situation and they were able to procure an AI-based platform that helped them source the right candidates. HirePro’s AI-based technology has also helped Wipro in evaluating and assessing candidates based on their competencies.

Wipro, for years until the pandemic, insisted on at least one face-to-face interview with the candidate. But the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 made such interviews an impossibility. HirePro’s video interview platform and its proctoring technology, based on AI, have enabled Wipro to be able to see and authenticate a candidate without any face-to-face interaction and make the transition to non-contact hiring.

Mr Rohit Jhamb disclosed that considering the scale at which Accenture operates, it touches almost 2 lakh candidates every year! They faced challenges in engaging with talent at scale and hence, digitization was an absolute necessity for Accenture. The journey of digitization for the multinational behemoth was initially gradual.

Accenture, keen to give its potential talent a very immersive experience at each stage of the hiring process, is focused on myriad areas in terms of digitization. It wants to be seen as a preferred employer of choice and run multiple hiring programs at scale.

Digital data and network connection of human brain with AI artificial intelligence for technology

With the aim of providing candidates a seamless hiring experience, Accenture gave potential candidates the option of choosing their preferred interview slots and getting real-time notifications during the interview process. They leveraged technology to run a country-wide hiring program across campuses. Online assessments were run across the country for students in various campuses. Based on their performance in the assessments, students were stack-ranked. This industry-leading recruitment drive conducted by Accenture, leveraged technology intelligently and enabled the selection of the best talent from campuses.

Without fraud detection, it becomes embarrassingly easy for a fraudster to pose as a candidate and attend interviews on the candidate’s behalf. Accenture also wanted to alleviate its level of engagement and communication with candidates and reduce fraud and malpractices at the entry-level. Technology-enabled identity verification and remote monitoring helped the multinational overcome this issue.

For a Brighter Way Forward

Though Accenture had solved the problem of quality of talent, Mr Rohit felt that there was a demand-supply imbalance in the talent that is needed and the talent that is available. He expressed the need for a digital platform connecting the entire ecosystem that would showcase the demand and supply of talent across the skills spectrum. Another issue that he felt needed to be addressed was the fact that cheating and impersonation happened in spite of proctoring. There was no doubt that technology needed to get smarter there!

With people across the world affected by lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, e-commerce sales surged in the year 2020. This led to increased stress on various aspects of business operations such as logistics and supply chains, support functions, and delivery personnel. Blue-collar industries faced recruitment challenges since talent was in short supply. Mr. Amit from Myntra rued the fact that they had not been able to find a robust and holistic digital recruitment platform for blue-collar hiring. He admitted that they were on the lookout for such a platform and had approached HirePro to help them with getting a platform up in this space.

Enabling the digital transformation

Traditionally, investment in technology had been more around the human resources space (for example tools were built for payrolling, employee engagement, and leave management). Automation of recruitment was not always a priority for organizations and recruitment teams often did not have budgets to invest in technology. Over the last 10 years, the focus on building automation has been on a continuous basis. The initial investment in automation has been for specific areas of recruitment, the main pain points for companies – such as onboarding and sourcing.

COVID-19 resulted in a situation where companies were forced to shift to complete automation. Organizations that needed support in this area reached out to companies like HirePro who are experts in the recruitment space.

The pandemic saw a depth and breadth of diverse customers reaching out to HirePro for their products and solutions. This included even schools and colleges that needed help with proctoring for exams. What was significant to note was that some of the sectors that had always believed in offline processes, were forced to move to online processes.

Digital recruitment – Here to Stay!

All the participants in the discussion agreed that the world of recruitment was changing as digitization and automation spread. The future would see the widespread adaptation of digital recruitment. Digital transformation in recruitment helps both companies and job candidates by making the hiring process smoother, more personalized, and simpler. Right from sourcing the right candidates, meeting candidates right where they are, and wooing them till they are ready to join – technology takes care of it all! The need of the hour is for companies to identify the right systems and processes for effective digitization of their respective recruitment journeys.

The webinar ended with the panelists answering the questions of the webinar attendees. The discussion was precisely and expertly summarized by Mr. Mridul Kumar, Senior Vice President, Products, HirePro, who pointed out that digital recruitment had graduated to mainstream adoption during the pandemic. He opined that companies had seen gains in all the key pillars of recruitment due to digitization – whether it was in user experience, business benefits, or process efficiency.

This was a great launch for Momentum and the panel discussion offered a ton of information for recruiters and the recruitment industry. Call us at 080 6656 6000 or write to us at sales@hirepro.in for a demo of our digital recruitment solutions.

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