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The Upcoming Evolution of Recruiting and Talent Development

Nowadays, the recruiting process is very different from what it was ten years ago. The digital world calls the shots. Paper resumes are no longer a priority. Data powered by AI gives richer insights into a candidate’s skills, knowledge and experience.

A survey shows that 92% of recruiters use social media when looking for the perfect job candidate. An overwhelming number of recruiters, 87%, use LinkedIn as a hiring tool, while 55% use Facebook and 47% use Twitter. According to JVS Career Solution’s research, 94% of recruiters prefer to use LinkedIn to source candidates, and eventually, recruiters hire 79% of those candidates.

When you are trying to win over talent in a highly competitive environment, a vital thing to keep in mind is that everybody is on the go. A 9-to-5 approach in hiring is not only obsolete but also can cost you a fortune by failing to attract the right candidate. More than 55% of LinkedIn members use mobile devices to check news and updates, meaning that now recruiting never sleeps.

Kevin Delaney, Vice President of Learning and Development at LinkedIn, has come a long way in human resources. He quotes a simple yet meaningful definition by one of his friends of what HR really is: “It’s anything to do with people. Find them, fix them, help them work together more effectively, and wrap it all in a bow of communication.”

Today, Delaney shares his opinions with Rallyware about how to attract and engage the right people, and the need to create an environment where they can do their very best work and their best learning.

Continuous learning: an economic imperative

LinkedIn began as a recruiting platform, but it has expanded into many additional areas in pursuit of its mission, including continuous learning, creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. Delaney considers lifelong learning to be an economic imperative. He says that the useful shelf life of knowledge and skills has decreased to less than five years due to technology driving changes at a rapid pace. As a result, learning and economic opportunity are now intertwined.  

Since learning plays a core role in staying competitive, organizations need to take training very seriously. However, many companies are still trying to reach today’s learners with yesterday’s tactics, even though such digital tools as mobile learning and microlearning make it possible for employees to learn on the job and on the go. For example, 67% of people now learn on mobile devices, making it possible to take an entirely different approach to learning. Delaney emphasizes an important aspect that can be solved with just-in-time training:

When employees are stuck, they want the answer quickly. It doesn’t help them to sign up for a class that will happen three weeks from now and sit through a four-hour session to get the answer they need this minute. They are more inclined to engage in learning if they can watch a short video that they have access to 24/7 on any device.

Most importantly, Delaney predicts that recruiters of new talent will shift their focus away from the potential employee’s current skills and capabilities and instead focus on learning agility, passion, and fit. This will create a greater need for companies to be able to help their employees develop and build the necessary skills and capabilities. Consequently, the attributes of curiosity, a growth mindset and interest in continuous learning will increase in importance.

New technologies and data are shaping the evolution of talent development

To ensure successful training, HR and learning organizations are already very data-driven. As Delaney mentions, in order to measure the success of learning programs, it’s imperative to consistently collect relevant data from all training programs, review it regularly, and analyze for trends and insights. Just as a business looks at the metrics for each of their products and every marketing campaign, companies must assess their learning programs the same way. Here’s how LinkedIn measures its results:

The target audience and total addressable markets need to be defined, utilization captured, and Net Promoter Scores calculated. All of this data can then be used in conjunction with Employee Voice Survey data to determine where learning initiatives are making an impact on the business and where further work needs to be done.

Apart from the smart use of data collection and analysis, another way to empower talent development is by using new technologies. Delaney believes that virtual reality and augmented reality are both interesting in terms of making employee training powerful since these tools can provide immersive and realistic simulations. At the same time, according to Delaney, social media, and professional networks like LinkedIn, will become even more important and powerful as training facilitators.

People now have access to experts and peers, can find mentors from a large network of relevant professionals, and have a platform from which they can create their professional brand. Integrated solutions across the full employee life cycle will also create a better user experience for employees and improve the means by which they can get the right information at the right time.

How is LinkedIn preparing for the future of work?

Of course, technology will continue to drive changes in the employee/employer relationship. This will provide greater flexibility and create some new dynamics for employees and employers. However, the right company culture will remain one of the crucial aspects needed for employees to develop and thrive.

“A company, when run correctly, creates a sense of community where people feel they belong,” says Delaney. He also mentions that there is value in learning for the positive impact it has on a company’s culture. Learning fosters creativity, it creates energy, and ultimately it leads to engagement. A culture of learning is part of creating a place where employees can do their best work.  

For this reason, Delaney lists two key principles that guide LinkedIn’s talent development activities: personalized training and engaged learning.

First, don’t bore people. Bored people don’t learn. Second, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to learning. Companies need to offer a variety of solutions and focus on creating a one-size-fits-one experience. Our guiding principles are simple: great content, great delivery, great operational excellence and a great learner experience.

Top three predictions for the Future of Work in 2027 by Kevin Delaney:

  1. We will see continued blurring of the line between work and life.  
  2. There will be more options to plug into work on shorter assignments or varying project lengths while maintaining a connection with an organization. It will look like a hybrid of current organizations and the gig economy.
  3. Employees will be working with more advanced technological companions (AI-enabled computers, robots, etc.) that will fuel the need for employees to learn new technical skills. This will also create a greater need for employees to develop good interpersonal, influencing, and conflict resolution skills as their work with people may become more challenging.     

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