It seems the Information Age has been around so long no no one really speaks about it much anymore let alone references the Industrial Age.  Yet we are still using practices to find and hire people developed over a century ago during the industrial age.

Worse yet, these practices have not evolved and improved with automation and available technology, but have instead become more bureaucratic, inefficient, and generally frustrating.  Of course technology has been applied around the fringes and has automated existing processes but what about a wholesale reinvention?

What about a new way of thinking that resets how we connect with work as well as what “work” itself means?  Hiring managers can’t find good talent, it takes over 50 days on average to fill a position, and candidates are subjected to an experience that is far removed from enjoyable and often barely tolerable.  There is a better way and Genesys Talent is defining it.

The following three principles are core to the future as we see it:

  1. Transparency and control must be put back into the hands of the candidate with a simple but powerful experience that puts joy back into the process of finding work.
  2. Develop new means for quantifying a person and a job, our work and life experiences are too detailed and varied to be effectively captured in a single job title.
  3. Instead of unknown recruiters searching for numerous candidates on every open position give the individual job consumer the power to perform highly targeted searches that produce a good selection of highly relevant opportunities rather than an endless list to filter through.

 

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We all read about it daily. We hear about it from our friends and neighbors that may be in a job search. If we are so fortunate to be employed in the labor marketplace, we feel it. Change is coming. But what is this change exactly?

To quote a recent article about Genesys by Andrew Karpie with Spend Matters, “the established workforce supplier landscape and supply chain is really changing now.” The reasons for and drivers of change are many fold. We believe in a better way and we welcome these changes to a system which can aptly be described as archaic. You can read the full piece by Andrew on Genesys HERE.

We see plenty of statistical evidence: the growing shift towards freelancing, the work and lifestyle desires of the millennials and Gen X’ers, the degree of unrest and disengagement expressed in virtually every worker survey you see. So what is driving this phenomenon some are calling “The New World of Work”?

This moniker by its very nature suggests change – the “new” world of work. While there may not be a definitive definition of the new world of work, one thing is for sure: we can see the impacts of change. For those of you lucky enough to hear Seth Mattison speak, he frames it as a battle being waged between the old, rigid hierarchy paradigm and the new, more dynamic network paradigm. The younger members of our workforce have been shaped by a networked environment of mobile technology and social experiences.

So what does this really mean? A clash of culture, of needs, of expectations, and interests. So in essence if we understand the workforce of today, we can understand and define what is both an opportunity and a challenge: a need for major structural shift in the way people work and connect with work opportunities. This is evidenced by:

  • Employment Unrest: A recent report by Rapt Media titled “U.S. Employees: Detached, Disengaged, and Disenchanted” found that only 32% of US employees feel engaged.
  • Shifting Priorities: In a recent GoCo Blog, “10 Ways to Attract Top Talent by Improving Your Workplace Culture,” none of the ten were related to the actual work being performed.
  • Changing Processes: The Coca-Cola Company recently posted “Hire Power: How Social Media is Changing the Way People Search for Jobs,” in which they discuss the impact of social media stating, “where recommendations have replaced references, connections trump cover letters and the resume is a soon-to-be relic…”.

This is only a small sampling of the change afoot in the labor markets of today. But these few examples illustrate just how rampant the changes are and how they are affecting everything. While technology is an important facilitator, it isn’t the driving force of change. It is people that are changing the ways in which they think about work and prefer to perform it as well as how they find work and how they incorporate work into their lives rather than the other way around.

This is the birthplace of Genesys: to recognize, change and improve the ways in which people engage with work, by meeting the fundamental needs of people beyond just finding a job. While Genesys is anchored in technology, you won’t see technology mentioned in our vision, mission, purpose or values. That is because we see our reason for being centered on people and meeting their new expectations through experience, empowerment, transparency, and mobility. We believe that by working within the existing landscape of industry participants to create a higher functioning ecosystem is the pathway to achieving those things most efficiently and effectively.

Andrew Karpie put it well when he said “Genesys is a prime example of how innovation can occur within the established staffing supply chain, as a reimagining and rearrangement of staffing processes enabled by new technology and platform models.” We believe that is an accurate representation of where Genesys is currently in our evolutionary journey.

Bill Price, CTO


As we are wrapping up our preparations to visit with many of our peers and other industry participants at SIA’s “Collaboration in the Gig Economy” event next week, it occurred to me that we are at an interesting juncture in our industry. The event itself is a sort of “way point” in a shift in thinking from more traditional, siloed problem solving in our industry to more of a community or ecosystem approach.

Our current employment paradigms, born over 100 years ago, are the offspring of the Industrial Age. Over time we’ve developed a family of conventions, practices, and systems that govern the myriad employment vehicles available today. These have served us well for many decades, but as the workforce has become more dynamic the complexity and limitations have become more evident. Many of our processes, systems, and methods for employing a workforce have become bloated and inefficient translating to an ever lengthening gap between when the talent is needed and when the worker starts. It will take time for new systems, new technologies, and new regulatory provisions to catch up with the accelerated changes we are seeing in the workforce.

In the meantime, as a community and as the shepherds of the labor marketplace we must stay focused on meeting the needs of our workers and employers while the supporting framework catches up. That means we must find ways to work together to untangle and simplify the employment structures in place today. That will require collaboration across organizations and functions in new ways that may feel foreign or seem counter-intuitive.

As the Genesys team builds automation to deliver talent clouds to our customers, we recently encountered a situation where we found a better solution for representing and transmitting a candidate’s qualifications and experience than using the traditional resume. So we approached our client with an alternative and the option of adopting a new way of consuming this information. Unsurprisingly, their initial reaction was “we’ve always required a resume.” However, because of the flexibility and speed inherent in our technology we were able to quickly configure to this delivery model and demonstrate the feasibility of the proposal. After the client adopted the new method there were readily apparent new efficiencies that meant workers were engaged and ramped up in a fraction of the time required under the traditional resume approach. This is just one simple example of how old conventions can be challenged to the benefit of workers and employers.

We’re really looking forward to the exchange of ideas and experiences at the SIA event next week and we’re hoping that you’re pushing the envelope in your thinking and will bring those thoughts with you!

Bill Price, CTO


Changing Trade Winds in Talent:
Where We’ve Been and Making Sense of
Where We’re Going 

by Adam Gould, Vice President – Brand Experience

Over the last two decades, the traditional staffing supplier and MSP/VMS models have collectively matured and efficiencies and savings have been captured and continue to provide necessary value.  Over that same period, the traditional sourcing channels have remained relatively unchanged and have experienced ongoing downward pricing pressure to the point of diminishing return.  The new macroeconomic “normal” and the increasing competition for talent make it inevitable that enterprise workforce managers will pursue new vectors of value and efficiency. Disintermediating models which include Talent Cloud Solutions, Freelancer Management Systems (FMS), internally managed Direct Sourcing programs, and other more “direct” options are the logical avenues.

Workforce managers are hungry for innovative ways to more directly tap into the talent universe that exists outside of traditional supplier channels. As an enterprise consumer of talent, the challenge is obtaining the enhanced access and the lifts in efficiency and savings from disintermediation while effectively navigating the necessary change.  In addition to the obvious necessary adjustments we won’t delve into here, they fear the “law of unintended consequences” category might produce less than desirable effects on traditional sourcing channels that comprise the very foundation of their programs.

Shift in Power

In conjunction with this marketplace reality, the center of power in the labor marketplace is steadily transferring from the demand side to the supply side with the candidate increasingly more in control of their destiny and personal/professional “brands.” Meanwhile, Political/Legal, Economic, Social/Cultural, and Technological factors are simultaneously the motivation for and the enablers of new ways of engaging in work.  These factors combined with shifting generational attitudes make today’s worker quick to adapt to and adopt new channels and platforms for connecting with work opportunities.

Not only have they NEVER been “owned” by any of the market intermediaries or hiring organizations, now workers collectively know it.  Post-boomers are also highly interested in workstyles better aligned with lifestyle with distinction between the two increasingly blurred. They value mobility – between jobs, companies, and geographies – more than the steadily diminishing value propositions of traditional employment arrangements. Taking all of this into account, it is safe to assume that a structural shift in the marketplace is well underway and is only just in its infancy.

The Ecosystem Era

The reality is that the marketplace IS changing and every participant in it will eventually adapt and assume new or substantially evolved roles within it.  Like many other markets, the collision of the aforementioned factors enabled by technology has created a shift from the historically more linear, monolithic marketplace to a complex ecosystem of channels, service providers, and technologies. In the years to come, the most successful approaches – whether you are a consumer of talent or one of its suppliers/enablers – will be predicated on effectively harnessing ecosystem models or the ability to consume the output/capabilities these new models offer.

For those traditional industry participants who are willing and able to adjust, there will always be a place in this new paradigm.  Whether through morphing into ecosystem hubs themselves or discovering new ways to partner with and participate in ecosystems, their expertise will continue to represent value for the talent and the enterprise if properly re-focused.

Systems Thinking and Holistic Sourcing

Resulting from the various pressures facing the enterprise and changes in the macro environment, a number of new ideas and players have sprung up in the talent acquisition space offering services and technologies designed to deliver more direct, focused and efficient access to talent. Many of them focus on providing a more direct, self-service type path to talent but are aimed at very specific labor segments or narrow slices of work types and durations. And most of them are technology or online marketplace only with minimal “curation” of and interaction with the talent that resides within their networks.

These platforms are becoming part of the talent sourcing spectrum necessary for a holistic strategy which affords a wide variety of talent and engagement modes. By incorporating an entire palette of sources, enterprise companies will be able to minimize gaps and maximize flexibility in their sourcing efforts and talent engagement.  Thinking not only outside but also above the traditional HR and supply chain boxes, ideas such as internal sourcing of full-time candidate “silver medalists” for contingent roles will become more common and necessary as the concept of workforce management becomes more total in nature.

It is in the context of this paradigm that the concept of Direct Sourcing, wherein the enterprise taps into the pool of past contingent workers, becomes a more realistic proposition as a part of a holistic approach.  Technology plus service solutions (including ours here at Genesys) are emerging which aggregate the full sourcing spectrum and provide an environment for current, past, and potential talent to both maintain a professional brand and connect with the whole range of work opportunities and types.

Making It Work

Ultimately, the challenge will be accessing, organizing, and consuming the spectrum of sources in an intelligent and cohesive way that maintains compliance and provides visibility within the managed program structure of most large enterprises. Certainly, the MSPs and VMSs will continue to play a critical role as hubs/integration points for these new talent sources in addition to the field of traditional staffing and recruiting suppliers.  As the landscape of emerging technology and service providers unfolds, success will depend largely on the ability of the ecosystem to manage workflow and data hand-offs and integrations.  The good news is that established players, like IQNavigator, who understand their role as that potential ecosystem hub are already showing a keen interest in doing just that.  It will be quite interesting to see which organizations make the evolutionary leap and how.

Conclusion

Genesys is extremely excited about what all this means for the future of the talent acquisition and contingent workforce spaces.  If we collectively re-frame our thinking to become more candidate centric and begin to better understand that what is good for the candidate IS what’s best for the hiring organization, great things will happen.   As a result, we will see an unprecedented degree of worker mobility and the kind of marketplace fluidity that the flexible workforce model has sorely needed since its inception.