The digital era - an unprecedented disruption in every sector and at every level. Never before have companies faced a similar challenge, one that particularly affects the recruitment and retention of talent. New digital profiles are needed and companies from all sectors are competing for them. In addition, the new generations are driven by completely different criteria when it comes to choosing a job. This is how talent is being attracted today.
A difficult match
Human Resources teams must adapt quickly to the new demands of digitalisation. “The only way we can face the transformation of the sector is by having the best professionals”, says Oliwia Puppel, head of Talent Acquisition at SEAT. But she adds that “in the search for this talent it has never been so difficult to find the perfect match between the company and the person.” Not only have the ground rules changed, but so have the participants.
In addition to the profiles traditionally linked to their sector, all companies need professionals with whom they can tackle the challenges of digitalisation. The European Commission estimates that there are up to 750,000 unfilled jobs for these specialists. This new talent is so coveted that “it represents a 180-degree change in our work. Before, it was the candidates who came to us for a job offer. Now we have to go after them: know who they are, how to talk to them and convince them”, explains Oliwia. But at the same time, technology is advancing so fast that what today is an essential profile, tomorrow no longer is. That's why in addition to training and experience, companies are looking at other skills. At SEAT, for example, Oliwia points out that, “we count on people who question the status quo, who are not afraid to make mistakes, who learn from their failures; people who are creative and know how to work in a team. In short, we are looking for forward thinkers.”
Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are now the largest group in the workforce. And beyond work and pay, they and their followers, Generation Z, are more focused on other aspects when it comes to accepting a job. The most highly valued factor is flexibility. For them, work is an activity, not a place. And they can do their job from any place and at any time with new technologies and thus balance not only their family life but also their hobbies. Furthermore, they want to work for companies that are socially and environmentally committed and are attracted to the brands they admire as consumers. They give priority to being part of projects that inspire them, without hierarchical structures, but with leaders who they can learn from. For the head of Talent Acquisition at SEAT, it's “a change in priorities that we have to take into consideration if we want them to work for us.”
The path to getting the best talent starts long before candidates have even started looking for a job. “It is important to establish a link with universities and develop strategies so that these coveted profiles see the company as an interesting destination where they can develop their potential”, says Oliwia. One way to interact with talent is through experiences like SEAT's KickStart Challenge, where students demonstrate their skills by solving challenges. Those selected are eligible for internships of up to 12 months in different areas.
Not only is it important to attract the best profiles, but also to retain them. There is increasing diversity in the workforce, different generations, different cultures... For Oliwia, “the key is to individualise, to follow up on each person to see what benefits we can offer them to promote their professional growth and well-being.”
We must also take into account that, although “a permanent job for life” has been the holy grail for years, the profile of a restless professional is gaining ground. According to a survey by The Guardian, 90% of millennials do not intend to have the same job for more than five years. “SEAT has always been a reliable employer, with workers who have been with the company for more than 40 years, but now we're facing another reality. It means more work for us, with constant recruitment processes, but it's also rewarding to continuously integrate new ways of working”, Oliwia concludes.