Korn Ferry Survey Shows Companies Are Hiring on Basis of Skills

The breakneck speed of change in business is forcing talent acquisition professionals to ‘look into their crystal ball’ while hiring for both near-term and future needs. So says a new survey by staffing firm Korn Ferry.

The survey found that 57 percent of respondents have hired for a specific skill set even if there is not an existing role for the candidate. More than three quarters (77 percent) say they are hiring for roles today that didn’t even exist a year ago.

“While technological advances are creating new roles in areas such as data analytics and artificial intelligence, other trends, such as an enhanced focus on the customer experience journey, are putting a premium on different skillsets,” said Jacob Zabkowicz, Korn Ferry global vice president and general manager, Recruitment Process Outsourcing. “Businesses increasingly understand that the rapid pace of change means that, to thrive in the future, they will need access to skills and expertise that don’t necessarily fit within existing job descriptions.”

The speed of transformation has also meant that, unfortunately, 67 percent say they have had to lay off people whose roles are no longer relevant to the organization’s direction.

According to the survey, one approach to finding the right talent for emerging roles is to look within the existing employee base. Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) say they invest more on upskilling existing talent than recruiting externally, and nearly half (47 percent) say they have formal retraining programs for workers whose jobs have evolved.

“With the labor market as tight as it has been in decades, it’s critical that employers look inside their own walls to find talented people who could be trained to meet the evolving needs of the organization, today and well into the future,” said Zabkowicz.

About the Survey – The global Korn Ferry survey was conducted in November and December 2018 and garnered responses from more than 600 talent acquisition professionals worldwide. Due to rounding, percentages may not equal 100.

Survey Responses:
Are you hiring for roles that didn’t exist a year ago?
Yes77 percent
No23 percent
Have you ever hired a candidate with a specific skill set even if you don’t yet have a defined role for that person?
Yes57 percent
No43 percent
Given the fast-changing environment and tougher competition for talent, do you invest more in:
Upskilling your team61 percent
Recruiting externally39 percent
Have you had to lay off people because their roles are no longer relevant to your organization’s direction?
Yes67 percent
No33 percent
Do you have formal programs in place to retrain workers whose jobs have evolved?
Yes47 percent
No53 percent
Because of the rate that new roles are evolving, are you finding the need to outsource your recruiting needs to an expert more or less than you did five years ago?
We outsource much more14 percent
We outsource a bit more22 percent
We outsource approximately the same amount36 percent
We outsource a bit less14 percent
We outsource much less14 percent
Do you currently have an RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) solution in place to support with hiring talent?
Yes39 percent
No61 percent
If answered no, are you considering putting an RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) solution in place to support with hiring talent?
Yes23 percent
No77 percent

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