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Trust & Pixie Dust

by Bel Garvey

Head of Solution Design 15th Jan 2018

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Trust is fundamental for success in talent acquisition and management. If you break down that much-used word ‘experience’ and consider what creates a good experience, it is trust. Business representatives need to trust in talent guidance and recommendations so that they make the right hiring decisions to support their business objectives. Individuals actively seeking work need to trust in the veracity of content and process so that they can invest their limited time wisely in making the right career move. Existing employees need to trust that opportunities to continue progressing will be fairly provided to them internally so that they do not need to consider new roles with competitor organisations.

As with respect, trust is typically earned rather than freely given. Theories as to how such trust can be gained in talent acquisition and management can be nebulous and traditionally aligned to the roles of people - as we project that people build relationships to grow trust. But in truth, trust is created by results; market advice being proven to be correct, relevant profiles being provided, hires being made who drive the business forward and candidates going onto live the EVP as employees. In 2018, the nature and complexity of the talent landscape means that people alone rarely generate these results – they are created by people and technology, a blend of Bots and Bodies.

Technology, of course, has featured in resourcing solutions since what feels like the beginning of time, For me this brings back memories of scrabbling underneath tables to connect power cables for VMS demonstrations and pondering (sometimes out-loud) whether the ‘tall buildings’ were interfering with the effectiveness of the tech demo. However, what differed was that technology was always positioned as an enabler, a support pillar for process. In today’s, and tomorrow’s, market the Bots and technology eco-systems will play a core role in the generation and management of trust and so therefore are critical to the success of the talent acquisition service. In my view, it is this very criticality that makes people nervous of embracing Bots within their services, and leads many to consider that if they want a ‘high touch’ service that there should be no role for the Bot. 

However, if a fundamental aspect of a successful talent acquisition service is trust, there are tasks that can, today, be performed by technology in all talent acquisition solutions. There are many examples - just one being here at Alexander Mann Solutions in our own talent acquisition and management service where we have deployed ISAAC, a friendly non ‘chap’ who automates the scheduling of interviews for the candidate and the interviewer. ISAAC’s efficiency and accuracy in the necessary interview administration tasks generates trust in the process and enhances the candidate experience.

The elegance (possibly the pixie dust) in designing a talent acquisition solution then becomes how best to generate trust with a blend of Bots and Bodies – and how to differ the blend to recognise that different resourcing challenges require varied deployments of person and technology. The design of the blend should primarily consider the nature of the talent markets and then the culture and EVP of the hiring organisation. Questions to consider within the talent markets will be the nature of hires within scope, the scarcity (or not) of such talent and whether talent is anticipated to be passive or active job seekers. Critical will be the expectations of the target talent as for many technology eco-systems with Bots are not a ‘necessary evil’ but accepted and indeed expected as part of an engaging, intuitive experience.

A light-bulb moment for me was that the deployment of Bots was not substantially impacted by the need for a ‘high touch’ service as a high touch experience indicates the frequency and quality of engagements, not necessarily how they are made or performed. The role of technology has changed and so long as each communication and engagement is contributing to the generation of trust, we should let our knowledge of the organisation and of the talent markets determine how we embrace (a virtual hug?) the Bots within our talent acquisition and management services.


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