Candidate’s expectations are changing in this digital and sustainable business age.

Gone are the days when new recruits had to accept everything that was thrown at them by their new organisation. Today individuals are much more in control of their careers and expect employers to support them in their personal development.

Also gone are the days where a logical progression in one role on a CV meant their career prospects were better than someone who has a ‘messy’ background, working in different roles for completely different organisations.

In this age where it is becoming imperative to adapt existing business practices to new digital methods to increase efficiency and keep up with rapidly-changing market demands, it is also just as important to attract and keep the best talent, who have a flexible ‘can do’ approach.

Digital transformation is affecting the way people work, how they collaborate, how they lead and how organisations are structured.

These necessary changes naturally create uncertainty with employees who need to adopt different attitudes and approaches to how they work.

Work is changing

Projects are taking months rather than years to effect, and this often means decisions have to be made quickly without all the information required. Outcomes are unclear, solutions change shape constantly and people are needed who can handle both complexity and uncertainty on a daily basis.

Looking at CV’s for new recruits for roles such as this, it is difficult to gauge how previous jobs have helped candidates to develop the attitude to cope with such work. Even if a person does have a history of diversity of roles and experiences (whether that was more from not knowing what they wanted to do or an actual choice) there is often little evidence of how they dealt with their changing environments.

Candidates expectations are changing too

From the candidate point of view, their expectations are changing radically. Millennials have a completely different attitude to work than the Baby Boomers, they are outward focused, with a mindset of ‘doing well by doing good’ .

They are attracted by organisations that have a clear purpose, that offer them flexibility, transparency of business decisions and collaboration that is meaningful.

In other words the old ways of looking at recruitment and selection are going fast.

A more agile way of supporting and using people’s talents and treating them well using their knowledge and skills in digital technologies which most grew up with is needed. Increasingly people expect that any feedback is given immediately, and organisational information is easily accessible. This has huge implications for how businesses are run.

This means that people do not have to ‘know’ their business as in the past, rather they ‘know’ where to look for the right people or the right information. Leaders are no longer experts, they are more about connecting the right people for the right projects at the right time and asking the right questions for a diverse group of people to come up with creative answers.

Organisations are changing how they see their people

Many organisations are adopting the view that their people are allowed not to be perfect, that learning comes from trying something new and not always succeeding. Making mistakes is ok if they learn from them, and without this ‘risk taking’ will not be at a level that will bring the rewards in terms of innovation, without which creative approaches to utilise old processes and rework them to fit the demands of the future will be severely limited.

There is a recognition that speaking up is important, the courage to question ‘how things are done around here’ so that the culture becomes more fluid and comfortable for people to push boundaries and ‘make a difference’.

Organisations are also valuing the fact of individual difference. That people are motivated by different things, some are ambitious and some not so much, but all need to understand their talents and have them recognised and used by their organisations appropriately.

It is no longer important to squeeze into a specific role, rather, that a person’s talents are utilised effectively in a partnership where talents are developed and utilised for the good of the organisation in a symbiotic way.

The implications for recruitment

The key change in the process of recruitment is that there is more of a partnership approach to the process. It is no longer the case that the process is purely ‘does this person fit this particular role?’, and much more ‘What are the talents of this person, and how can they be developed for mutual benefit?’

This approach means the person is looked at as a three dimensional individual, understanding all aspects of them. How they operate in different circumstances, what their ambitions are and do their values align with the organisations.

A CV unfortunately cannot help with much of this, it can certainly show what a person has done in the past, but that is only one dimension …the question ‘Why’ they did something is not answered (understanding their aspirations and possibly also their values), nor their decision-making processes when faced with different options or choices (based on understanding of the talents they want to use and for what reason).

The Future Resume asks the kinds of questions that the more flexible organisation needs to understand. It gives important information on a person’s ambitions, what they want out of life, what things are important to them, where they want to develop and what they may well want to avoid.

It provides a truly three dimensional picture of a candidate, and, also helps the interviewer by prompting different questions to ask to delve deeper into understanding who the person is that they are interviewing.