It’s a VUCA World – and Technology could be your Saving Grace

25 November 2013 I wrote a blog titled ‘Ground Control to Major Tom’ about the state of play in Western Australia (WA). Since then the hospital triage has become a little over crowded, not even our relatively new Hospital Fiona Stanley is coping with it all. Just how bad is it and what can you do in the talent acquisition space to adapt to the constant and ongoing change?
It’s not as bad as Tomic making comment on Kyrigos suspected illness in missing the recent Davis Cup match. But, bad enough.
UNEMPLOYMENT in WA 2013 was 4.1%. NOW it is 5.9%. You have to go back to January 2003 to top that at 6.1%.
CBD Office vacancy rate at almost 20% which is at 20 year highs (Oct 2015).
The median house price in Perth in 2013 was $550K (with approx. 8.5K houses on the market), at Dec 2015 had fallen to $535K (with approx. 14.5K houses on the market). What was taking 50 days in 2013, now takes 60 days to sell.
What is Vuca-And the good news just keeps on coming!
Woodie Woodie Mine just announced mothballing their mine due to plummeting manganese price. 400 jobs. Announced January 2016.
Chevron announced in Dec 2015, 1900 jobs across both Barrow Island and Gorgon Projects will be made redundant.
These are just a couple, I haven’t mentioned the cuts at the University of Western Australia, Water Corporation and the Health Services Department.
You then take a look around at major projects in WA whether they be Infrastructure, Civil, Construction, etc and there is very little in the pipeline. Excuse the pun. Most major projects are moving into maintenance which will see lower workforce numbers, or about to be completed such as Perth Gateway project.
Ok, so thanks for the lesson on Perth’s current woes but what does this have to do with Talent Management or Acquisition?
Financially, you are in the Pooh Bear. Your budget will be squeezed, salary and wages will stagnate, workloads will increase which will lead to increased stress, lower engagement and higher turnover.
You might think ‘suck it up’ OR ‘lucky to have a job’ OR ‘plenty of people available’ but you would be W R O N G.
What is your plan? To put your head down, bum up and plough through the workload? Well that helps, but where does it get you next time around?
Oh, you’re going to outsource! Great, one small step and all that. What’s that? You are going to beef up the referral program? Well good for you.
Personally, I think the biggest bang for your buck will be through technology and automation. ‘Huh, but I don’t have budget for that?!’
[bctt tweet=”Technology and automation is your best bet to excelling in a VUCA world reckons @stanrolfe”]
Don’t worry, you’ll get the budget if you can demonstrate the productivity and efficiency savings you can create through technology. Technology never calls in sick (well for the most part), it never takes leave, and for majority of time is reliable, productive and efficient. It never complains, answers back, or requires performance or behavioural management. Best of all, it doesn’t leave you for the company up the road for a few extra dollars, or more flexible work practices.
Review your systems and processes and do it now. Ask yourself, how can I do more with less people. How much time does your team spend on administration and non-core tasks? Could I remove that one person, and use technology to perform the tasks of that person, or enable one person to do the work of two?
Look at it this way. How much does it cost to recruit a recruiter? What is their annual salary and benefits worth? The cost to maintain that recruiter in terms of desk, phone, training (ooh dirty word for recruiters) etc? What if they left in twelve months and you had to do it all over again? Starting to add up isn’t it! Could $100K (just a number) worth of technology remove that head count? I think your company would be pretty happy to trade out headcount for technology if it creates efficiency, reduces cost, whilst maintaining quality, brand and engagement.
So where do you start?  ladyquestionmark
Look at your recruitment marketing. Traditionally it’s all outbound marketing, have you thought about taking an inbound marketing approach and automating your marketing efforts? Well, there are tools like clinch for this.
Secured a new project, or looking to populate a new organisation chart through growth, acquisition etc. SEERA Cloud allows you to digitise your workforce capability and populate your organisation chart through cloud based competencies. It does a hell of a lot more, just take a look.
What about your on and off boarding process? Still sending out reams of paper for completing and signing? Check out HR Onboard or Enboarder. Make sure your new starter is engaged from the get go. All that effort and expense in recruiting them, you need to make sure they stay.
With the recruiters you do have, how are you training them? Did you just spit up in your mouth, or laugh out loud? We all know how bad the investment can be in recruiter development. Have you seen Social Talent? Well they are officially now in Australia, time to get your recruitment ninja training on.
No, I don’t have shares in any of these products or services, nor do I get paid for mentioning them. These are just a handful of technologies I’ve come across in recent times and no doubt there are more I have not yet seen. I see the value in what they can provide, do you?

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One Response to “It’s a VUCA World – and Technology could be your Saving Grace”

  1. Nice post Stan, I agree with you on the technology piece needs to play a key part, the key will be training the recruiters to execute!
    My view on technology right now there are a lot who talk a good story but few organisations (recruitment leaders) willing, capable (or unable to influence the change) to take the plunge and trust technology. Many think LinkedIn Recruiter is there answer to using technology.
    Secondly when it comes to technology it’s more about the execution, I see many who use for example LinkedIn Recruiter but don’t know how to search but think they do. The vendor really needs to be very switched on to make technology work, train their customers (recruiters) to use the technology like they stole it and pretty much hold their hand otherwise I think many will fail. Question is are the vendors capable and/or willing to do this? Can they afford to do this as often the cost of the technology now is a credit card payment.
    In my view there are few who are really using technology to create competitive advantage/efficiency/better experience. I’m not so convince recruiters will take up the challenge. I hope I’m wrong 🙂


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