Ready Candidate One: How to Win with Gamification in Recruitment

By Thomas Mason-Paley, Bid Director, PeopleScout EMEA

Who would ever have imagined that creating a digital pizza or running an online hotel would not only move you up a game level but also move you up the career ladder? But, in 2024, with the continued rise of gamification in the recruitment process, we seem to be taking another step forward into a brave new world which better reflects a corporate Tron than a Matrix dystopia.

It should be noted that gamification in recruitment is not a new concept; for over 20 years, organisations have introduced puzzles and games to their selection methodologies to both maximise talent pools and provide a more engaging and interactive application process. These activities have borne fruit, and the industry’s value is expected to rise to almost $12 billion.

Benefits of Gamification in Recruitment

Like all ideas, gamification has its detractors. After all, playing Super Mario Bros. has never made me a better plumber, and the rise in gaming has been dismissed by some experts as a fad which will soon outlive its welcome. There has also been criticism that increased gamification reduces the personal touch that candidates often seek, which is interesting considering Gen Z’s preferred method of communication is actually face-to-face.

However, there are many valid and growing arguments regarding its merits. To name a few, gamification can:

  • Provide an excellent method of engaging audiences. In fact, as of 2023, there were 3.2 billion gamers worldwide.
  • Provide a way of assessing candidates with limited work history like early careers talent.
  • Provide a powerful tool for evaluating competency skills.

Gamification in Action

At PeopleScout, we’ve grasped the digital mettle with both joysticks and introduced gaming elements for a number of clients.

Interactive Self-Selection Tool for Healthcare Graduate Recruitment

The challenge: Every year, the client experiences high volumes of candidates for their graduate management training scheme. The scheme is hugely rewarding but also challenging—requiring participants to study for their qualifications while leading well-established teams and hitting the ground running on various rotations. The client needed to bring the roles to life, so candidates could have a realistic understanding of these challenges.

The solution: We developed a quiz-style, interactive self-selection tool. Each question provides candidates with a realistic view of the role and assesses their level of comfort. Candidates are provided with real-time feedback on their responses and get feedback on how well suited they are for the training scheme at the end of the quiz. The tool has reduced the volume of unsuitable candidates applying to the training scheme by allowing candidates to make their own decision about whether to apply.

Videos & a Quiz for Cabin Crew Recruitment

The challenge: Our client experienced high volumes of candidates applying for cabin crew roles but also found that candidates didn’t have a realistic understanding of the job—waking up in the middle of the night for an early shift, missing out on social events with their friends and family due to long flights, and little direct contact with their manager.

The solution: We created a series of 10 video clips which illustrated the realities of the role. Candidates then took an interactive quiz to gauge their level of comfort. They received feedback based on their response to each question and their overall match to the role.

The Future of Gamification in Recruitment

As technology continues to evolve at pace, we’ll seek to introduce even more elements of gamification for our clients to help them better engage talent and help make their talent acquisition approaches more interesting and interactive. But, we’ll still retain the human, personalised touch where it is most needed and most appreciated. After all, it’s nice to receive an online employment contract, but its even nicer to shake your new employer’s hand. 

Skills-Based Hiring: Could It Be the Solution to Your Recruitment Challenges?

Recruiting the right talent has always been a tough nut to crack for any company. And it’s becoming an even bigger challenge. Low unemployment rates, shifting workforce preferences and skills gaps make recruiting harder than ever. However, a proven solution has emerged that can expand access to talent and meet diversity goals while fueling business performance—skills-based hiring.  

The goal of skills-based hiring is to match candidates not based solely on degrees or past job titles, but rather on their current, demonstrated skills aligned with role requirements. It aims to judge applicants equitably on what they can do rather than what’s on their résumé or CV. This approach opens your talent pool to a wider range of qualified candidates who may have been overlooked using traditional hiring methods. 

Let’s explore what skills-based hiring entails, why more employers are embracing it and how you can get started. 

What is Skills-Based Hiring? 

As the name implies, skills-based hiring focuses on a candidate’s demonstrated skills and competencies rather than traditional qualifications like education, years of experience or work history. The emphasis is on relevant skills rather than “paper” credentials. For example, instead of requiring a college degree, a skills-based employer might list must-have abilities like sales, communication, analytical thinking, etc.  

The hiring process itself focuses on skills fit. Interviews and talent assessments gauge how a candidate’s skillset maps to a role’s requirements. In this way, skills-based hiring removes barriers for underrepresented groups and instead gauges whether someone can actually perform well according to the role’s core skills. The goal is to judge candidates objectively and find the best match for the job.  

Skills in the Workplace 

So, what skills should companies actually evaluate with skills-based hiring? Skills in the workplace are made up of three key components: 

  1. Hard Skills / Technical Skills: These are the expertise areas like programming languages (i.e., phython, Java), data analysis, financial modeling, and other role-specific knowledge. While they’re crucial for many jobs, they actually make up a small fraction of the overall skills picture. 
  1. Soft Skills: Often undervalued, soft skills in the workplace, like problem-solving, emotional intelligence, communication and critical thinking are the grease that allows hard skills to operate smoothly. For most roles outside of niche specialties, these human skills make up the vast majority of what’s needed for success. 
  1. Values Alignment and Organizational Fit: Less about executing the day-to-day work, this is about whether someone’s personality, mindset and motivations mesh with the company culture and values. It’s about determining if the candidate embodies the attitudes and behaviors you want to see in the role and at your organization. 

Benefits of a Skills-First Approach: From Engagement to Productivity 

The potential benefits of skills-based hiring are plentiful. It can expand your talent pool, increase diversity by reducing bias toward pedigree over performance, improve internal mobility, and better align employees to roles they’ll thrive in.  

Organizations that embrace skills-based recruiting experience: 

Not only does skills-based hiring boost performance and quality of hire, but it also enhances your employer brand, accelerates ramp up and improves retention. 

3 Steps to Get Started with Skills-Based Hiring Today 

So, how can companies start becoming more skills-based in their hiring today? The reality is that nearly one in two HR leaders admit to a lack of understanding around skills-based best practices.  

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing, enterprise-wide overhaul. Here are three steps to start putting skills-based hiring in focus: 

1. Understand the roles that you have. 

      The first step in skills-based hiring is to break down the roles you’re looking to fill into the specific skills required for success. Start with one role or a set of roles. What hard skills (technical abilities) and soft skills (personal attributes) drive top performance in each position? Collaborate with your high performers to identify these key competencies and create detailed skills profiles for each role. These profiles should be action-oriented, specific, and avoid vague or subjective requirements. 

      With skills profiles in hand, you can craft job descriptions that communicate the essential abilities candidates need upfront. This transparency not only attracts better-matched applicants but also sets clear expectations from the start. Consider removing degree requirements if they’re not absolutely necessary, as LinkedIn data shows that job ads listing skills tend to receive more applicants. 

      2. Understand people.  

      In a skills-based approach, you’ll evaluate candidates based on their personal skills profiles – their demonstrated hard and soft skills relevant to the role. Implement validated, data-driven assessments like coding tests, writing samples, or Excel modeling exercises to consistently measure these abilities during the hiring process. Grade candidate responses objectively against your predefined skill criteria on a scale. This data-driven approach helps minimize unconscious bias.  

      3. Align roles with people.  

        Structure your interviews to probe candidates’ proficiency in key skills through situational judgment questions and opportunities to demonstrate their competencies. Skills-based interviews, combined with detailed skills profiles for both roles and candidates, will help you make smarter, more informed talent decisions. Hire skilled individuals who match the role requirements, identify reskilling needs for existing employees, or reject candidates who don’t meet the necessary competencies.  

        Skills-Based Hiring & RPO: Goodbye Credentials. Hello Skills. 

        Skills-based hiring is still an emerging practice, but it offers companies an intriguing way to modernize talent acquisition. By focusing on what people can actually do instead of just their past experiences and credentials, you may uncover hidden gems and build higher-performing teams.  

        While making the shift to skills-based hiring practices takes time and effort, partnering with a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider can accelerate your transition to building a future-fit workforce through this approach. An RPO partner offers the strategic guidance and operational expertise to embed skills at the core of your talent practices. They can help you carefully define and communicate role-specific skills and design fair and consistent talent assessments

        With the support of an RPO partner like PeopleScout, you can embed fairness and future-readiness into your talent strategies, building a more skilled, capable workforce prepared to drive your organization’s success. 

        Redesigning the Early Careers Assessment Process for a UK Construction Leader

        Redesigning the Early Careers Assessment Process for a UK Construction Leader

        Redesigning the Early Careers Assessment Process for a UK Construction Leader

        One of the largest construction, property and development companies in the United Kingdom engaged PeopleScout to design and build a new assessment center to boost diversity amongst their early career talent.

        93 % reduction in candidate pool through new situational application sift stage
        81 % pass rate after bespoke assessment center

        Situation

        Over the past several years, this privately owned development, property and construction organization have increased the hiring of early career talent across multiple functions and departments. With a focus on increasing diversity and inclusion across their business areas, the early careers intake process was identified as an important way to achieve this. They wanted to create an assessment center that was unique, created a positive candidate experience and delivered quality, diverse talent who demonstrate behaviors in-line with their culture.

        This client’s early career schemes recruit for a large variety of roles in many different business areas. However, they needed all candidates to go through the same assessment center, so the new assessment design needed to balance the needs of all departments and efficiently assess individual people. Plus, they needed adaptable exercises and scoring which could be appropriate for both apprenticeship and graduate scheme applicants.

        This organization wanted the assessment center to create an excellent candidate experience and for candidates to feel like they gained a valuable experience in the process. The format needed to be engaging and fun, showcasing their values and the kind of work they do.

        Solution

        We took a phased approach to our assessment design solution for our client.

        Discovery Phase

        Our discovery efforts consisted of gathering information from stakeholders across the company. We ran focus groups with current early careers talent and conducted visionary interviews with senior stakeholders. We also facilitated focus groups with the internal early careers recruitment team.

        Through these sessions, as well as carrying out desk research on the job descriptions, we gained an understanding of skills and experience required from early careers employees. Then, we defined the key issues in the current assessment framework and came up with the concepts for the new assessment center to better the client’s needs.

        Through the discussion it was decided to have three distinct exercises which followed the same story but didn’t rely on each other. In the previous assessment center if candidates didn’t fully understand one exercise, it would have a knock-on effect on their ability to carry out the next one.

        We decided on an overarching fictional project scenario to thread throughout all exercises at the assessment center which was applicable to all business areas. It would also act as a realistic job preview.

        Design Phase

        We designed a new assessment framework consisting of:

        • A bespoke new situational application sift process
        • A new video interview stage
        • A bespoke assessment center

        For the assessment center, we designed a new group exercise, a case study presentation exercise and an interview. We designed a unique group exercise and case study exercise for apprentices and graduates and the interview was applicable for both.

        I addition to the designing the exercises themselves, we created scoring guides and candidate briefs for all exercises. Plus, we generated a timetable for the day of the assessment as well as[PG2]  a briefing presentation so the client could inform candidates at the beginning of day of what was coming.

        Testing Phase

        We started with a pilot assessment center to test the new process. Members of the PeopleScout assessment team facilitated a virtual assessment center day, during which internal stakeholders acted as the assessors and current employees played candidates. This was hosted on TopScore, so the client was able to stress test their virtual platform of choice.

        After the pilot, we ran focus group feedback sessions with a group of the assessors and a group of the mock candidates to gather insights and perceptions on the materials as well as anything which could be amended to aid understanding. Finally, we held a debrief session with the members of the company’s early careers team to get clear on what amends we would make.

        We implemented our client’s feedback and sent the finalised materials to the client, ready for the real assessment centers. We ran a “train the trainer” session for their assessors so they could execute the assessment center going forward.

        Results

        This organization received over 3,800 applicants for their early careers programme, and the new application sift stage allowed the client to filter down their candidate pool to 239. They also felt confident in the quality of the candidates who made it through to the assessment center, with 81% passing. Plus, when looking at pass/fail ratios, we saw no adverse impact at assessment center for gender, ethnicity or disability.

        At a Glance

        • COMPANY: One of the UK’s largest construction, property and development companies
        • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Talent Advisory

        Reimaging Talent Assessment: A Digital-First Platform for Smarter and Streamlined Talent Acquisition

        The traditional recruitment process often involves a series of stages, including initial screening, psychometric testing, skills evaluation, video interview, face-to-face interview or assessment center. While each step helps in discerning a candidate’s suitability for a role, the cumulative effect of an extended assessment timeline can prove detrimental. From delayed decision-making to candidate attrition, the repercussions of a lengthy recruitment process reverberate across the hiring journey, impacting both employers and candidates.

        In today’s dynamic talent acquisition environment, organizations that can shorten the recruitment process hire better talent, reduce their vacancy rates and ultimately boost their business performance.

        That’s why PeopleScout is proud to introduce the One Experience Assessment (1XP), a digital-first advancement designed to innovate the way talent is evaluated. 1XP is changing the game in recruitment technology by simplifying the recruitment journey. By merging multiple talent assessment stages into one coherent, efficient experience, 1XP boosts efficiency, improves candidate quality and enhances retention.

        1XP for Candidates: Streamlined Processes & Practical Job Previews

        1XP’s brilliance lies in its fusion of diverse assessment techniques—like realistic job previews, situational judgement, aptitude, skills and video interview assessments—into one integrated experience. This allows candidates to demonstrate a wider range of their skills and potential while providing employers with a comprehensive view of each applicant. The outcome is an optimized match between candidates and roles, based on a full understanding of their skills and character.

        For candidates, the process is straightforward. Rather than navigating a sequence of separate invitations and assessment stages, they receive a single invitation to complete everything at once. This not only condenses the timeline but also significantly streamlines the candidate experience by eliminating the need to validate their qualifications repeatedly throughout the traditional process.

        Furthermore, the One Experience Assessment offers candidates a vivid preview of the role for which they are applying. By simulating real-world scenarios and challenges, 1XP enables candidates to immerse themselves in the day-to-day realities of the job. This immersive preview not only helps in managing candidates’ expectations but also ensures that individuals who proceed to the next stages are those who are truly interested and prepared for the specific demands and culture of the role. It’s a strategic approach that not only empowers candidates but also aligns talent acquisition with long-term role fulfilment and employee satisfaction.

        1XP for Talent Acquisition Teams: Faster Hiring & Improved Quality

        The advantages for organizations are equally significant. Allowing candidates to undertake multiple assessments in one session greatly shortens the hiring timeline and reduces the likelihood of candidate withdrawal. This efficiency is further enhanced by an automated scoring system that expedites the evaluation process, except for elements like the video interview. Consequently, recruiters and hiring managers can more quickly focus their efforts on the most promising candidates, equipped with a thorough understanding of their abilities.

        As more candidates begin to explore the use of Generative AI (GenAI) to aid in their job application processes, the One Experience Assessment (1XP) maintains a decisive edge. Unlike typical assessments that might be outwitted by AI, 1XP’s sophisticated assessment design demands genuine human input and adaptability. By incorporating interactive tasks and live video challenges, 1XP creates a complex environment where the scripted responses of AI fall short. This ensures that each candidate’s performance is an authentic reflection of their true abilities, preserving the integrity and trustworthiness of the recruitment process.

        Transforming Talent Assessment: Spotlight Case Studies

        Here are just two examples of how PeopleScout is leveraging 1XP to elevate talent acquisition for our clients.

        Financial Services Organization: Increasing Assessment Pass Rate by 78%

        Facing challenges in recruiting high-quality, productive claims advisors, a leading financial services organization turned to PeopleScout’s 1XP for a solution. The new approach not only made the process more convenient for candidates and significantly reduced the time to hire, but it also eliminated the reliance on previous customer contact experience—focusing instead on skills and potential, which greatly expanded the talent pool.

        The results speak for themselves: the pass rate at the assessment center stage jumped to 73%, from the previous 41%—a 78% increase. New hires were recognized for their motivation to succeed, willingness to learn and positive mindset, demonstrating the effectiveness of 1XP in identifying and attracting quality candidates.

        Heathrow Airport: Reducing Time-to-Hire to Just Eight Days

        The adoption of the 1XP at Heathrow Airport revolutionized the recruitment process for security officers, a role critical for the safety of millions of travellers. This transformation was not only about making the recruitment process more accessible and engaging but also significantly more efficient.

        👉 Check out the full case study.

        By implementing a fully virtual and immersive recruitment journey through 1XP, this organization was able to reduce the time-to-hire from several weeks to just eight days, streamlining the entire process and enabling a faster response to operational needs. Additionally, the candidate experience was greatly enhanced, reflected in a candidate Net Promoter Score (cNPS) of +70 for the whole process. This not only indicates high satisfaction among candidates but also underscores the success of the 1XP in creating a positive and engaging recruitment experience.

        Ready to Revolutionize Your Recruitment Process?

        The One Experience Assessment is redefining talent acquisition standards. By focusing on efficiency, enhancing the candidate experience, and providing a deep understanding of each applicant, it emerges as a model of innovation in the recruitment landscape. For organizations aiming to secure and retain top talent in today’s competitive market, adopting this digital-first strategy could be the key to a successful recruitment future.

        Contact us now to learn more about how PeopleScout’s ground-breaking 1XP solution can streamline your recruitment process, enhance the candidate experience, and significantly improve the quality of your hires.

        Assessment Transformation

        PeopleScout Amplifiers™: Assessment Transformation

        As part of our suite of modular recruiting solutions, Amplifiers™, PeopleScout’s Assessment Transformation empowers you to deploy talent assessments that not only enhance the recruitment experience for candidates but also help you secure top-notch, future-ready talent with cutting-edge technology and visionary design.

        Download this fact sheet to learn more.

        Learn more about PeopleScout’s Amplifiers™ and get answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

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        Internal Mobility: Filling Skills Gaps with Your Existing Workforce 

        With labor shortages and intensifying talent scarcity, hiring challenges are only increasing, impacting all industries. To tackle these hiring difficulties, many leaders look to external solutions like expanding their talent pool or enhancing their employer brand. However, one of the most effective and sustainable solutions is already inside your organization. Developing existing employees through internal mobility is key to filling skills gaps now and in the future. 

        Keep reading to learn more about internal mobility, why internal mobility programs are crucial for future success and how you can leverage reskilling and upskilling programs to facilitate internal mobility at your organization.  

        What is Internal Mobility? 

        The goal of internal mobility is to match your existing talent to open positions through internal transfers, job rotations, secondments and promotions. An internal mobility program is a structured process that facilitates the movement of employees, both vertically to higher or lower positions as well as laterally between roles at the same level. These programs are often anchored in reskilling and upskilling initiatives focused on developing employees’ skills and capabilities to meet evolving organizational needs. 

        Reskilling programs aim to provide training to help employees gain new skills that allow them to transition into different roles or business areas. For example, a finance employee can reskill to learn data analytics and move into a business intelligence role. 

        Upskilling programs focus on building additional skills and competencies related to an employee’s current role or expanding their knowledge in their field. For example, a marketing manager can upskill their digital marketing capabilities in social media and digital advertising platforms to take on a more strategic role in the department.  

        The Benefits of Internal Mobility 

        A strategic focus on internal mobility provides both talent management and bottom-line benefits for an organization, including: 

        • Improved employee retention and engagement: Providing clear paths for career development and advancement within the company increases employee satisfaction and loyalty. Employees feel valued and motivated when they see opportunity for upward or lateral mobility. 
        • Stronger talent pipeline: An internal mobility program creates a robust pipeline of qualified candidates for open roles from within. According to research from LinkedIn, organizations that leverage skills-first hiring expand their talent pool by nearly 10x on average compared to those simply looking for similar job titles or industry experience.  
        • Cost savings: It is typically more cost effective to fill a position internally rather than externally recruit, onboard and train new hires. Internal mobility is a strategic talent management approach. 
        • Improved performance: Internal candidates have organizational and cultural knowledge, so they are often able to transition and ramp up faster in new roles. Data from Spotted Zebra shows that internal movers reach competence 20% faster than external hires and are twice as likely to be rated as top performers in their role. 
        • Improved diversity: Internal mobility provides opportunities for improved representation and diversity in leadership by developing and advancing talent from within. 
        • Agility and flexibility: Having an internal bench of qualified candidates enables organizational agility to swiftly mobilize talent to meet emerging needs. 

        The Lack of Investment in Internal Mobility Programs 

        Despite the benefits, internal mobility is not being prioritized by most HR leaders. Given the challenges recruiting skilled talent, we expected to see internal mobility as HR leaders’ default strategy to tackle skills shortages. However, through our research report, The Skills Crisis Countdown, we found that nearly a third (30%) of HR leaders admitted they simply do not view reskilling and upskilling as a priority and only 37% of organizations have formal reskilling and upskilling programs in place. Even in areas of high priority like technology advancement, there appears to be a lack of focus on mobility and development. When we asked HR leaders about how they’re preparing their workforce for the implementation of new technologies, only a fifth (20%) said they’re investing in upskilling initiatives to enhance current employee technological skillsets.  

        The lack of skills development is echoed by employees. A quarter of employees report their employer has not been offered opportunities to upskill or reskill. A third (34%) of workers have doubts about how their skills will keep pace with new technology and automation. With transformations on the horizon for many roles due to technological advancements, ensuring employees’ skills evolve along with their jobs is essential for organizations.  

        The Key to Internal Mobility: Reskilling and Upskilling 

        Ongoing reskilling and upskilling of employees is crucial to enabling effective internal mobility. As business needs evolve and new technologies emerge, employees’ skills and competencies must also progress to keep pace. Providing internal development opportunities allows employees to gain the updated capabilities required for critical roles, increasing their eligibility and readiness to transition into new positions. By making learning core to the culture, reskilling and upskilling initiatives ensure organizations can source top talent from within. 

        Implementing Successful Upskilling 

        For your upskilling programs, you need an accurate understanding of your employees’ current skills and future needs. Our research showed most HR leaders rely on subjective manager feedback rather than taking a data-driven approach. 

        To get ahead of emerging skills gaps, perform a skills audit and compare that to how your existing roles will evolve in the coming years. Identify both the competencies your employees need to be effective in their roles as they develop into the future and any deficiencies they have now.  

        Once you understand the lay of the land, you can develop continuous upskilling initiatives to grow your employees’ high-value skills over time in alignment with technological advancements. Proactively upskilling employees will keep your workforce on the cutting edge of skill set transformations. 

        Implementing Successful Reskilling 

        Reskilling programs also require an understanding of the existing capabilities of your workforce and the required competencies for emerging roles. This allows you to accurately match employees to opportunities they can transition into successfully. 

        Rather than relying on subjective manager interviews, utilize skills-based assessments. This provides data-driven insights into employees’ technical aptitudes and behavioral strengths. You can then align these skill profiles with the requirements of your new roles. 

        For example, PeopleScout partnered with a global financial services company to take a skills-based approach for a major digital transformation initiative. By identifying the best candidates for reskilling, we helped employees move from declining customer service roles into new tech-focused positions, saving the company $2 million in exit costs and reduced training dropouts dramatically. The company gained the critical future-focused skills it required while providing career growth opportunities to its valuable existing employees. 

        Internal Mobility & RPO: Your Partner in Sustainable Workforce Planning 

        Over half (56%) of HR leaders report resistance to change within their organization when faced with the prospect of what they mistakenly believe can only be a huge, C-suite-led project that spans the entire talent lifecycle. However, as a leading RPO partner PeopleScout is perfectly positioned to provide the strategies and technology to embed and scale a skills-based approach. 

        By leveraging an RPO provider’s expertise and resources, organizations can maximize the return on investment in internal mobility initiatives. According to Everest Group, over half of RPO engagements include some element of internal mobility. The RPO acts as a strategic talent advisor focused on improving talent mobility with strategies like: 

        • Skills gap analysis: An RPO provider can perform a skills audit to assess current capabilities versus required future skills and identify reskilling needs to inform development programs. They can also provide market intelligence to help you understand the skills available within your talent markets as well as salary requirements so you can make informed decisions.   
        • Internal candidate sourcing: Your RPO partner can source and screen internal candidates for open roles to identify top talent for mobility opportunities. 
        • Career mapping: RPO experts can map career paths, succession plans and competency requirements for critical roles to guide internal development. 
        • Development program design: An RPO provider can help design and implement reskilling, upskilling, job rotation and mentoring programs to build enterprise talent. Plus, they can administer and manage the end-to-end internal mobility program from sourcing to placement as well as provide project management. 
        • Change management: RPOs can provide guidance on change management strategies to gain buy-in and promote a culture of internal mobility. Plus, they’ll provide data, analytics and reporting on program effectiveness and opportunities to fine-tune strategies. 
        • Technology consultation and implementation: RPOs can recommend and implement skills management platforms and talent mobility platforms to enable seamless movement and track program metrics. 

        Filling your organization’s talent gaps begins with the workforce already inside it. But this untapped talent potential can only be leveraged through strategic, skills-based internal mobility programs. Your existing workforce could provide the talent solution you’ve been searching for. By partnering with an RPO on reskilling and upskilling initiatives, you gain strategic expertise to build a future-ready, skilled workforce.  

        Countdown to Skills Crisis? What Our Latest Research Tells Us About Skills Gaps

        By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting

        The workforce skills landscape is transforming at blinding speed. Automation, AI, sustainability initiatives, demographic shifts—global forces are conspiring to make skills gaps and talent shortages more acute by the day. Don’t think it’s moving that fast? Well, the World Economic Forum predicts that a jaw-dropping 85 million jobs could sit vacant by 2030, resulting in $8.5 trillion in lost revenue.

        The very meaning of “skills” is shifting beneath our feet. Skills requirements have already changed 25% since 2015, and experts forecast 65% more change by 2030. However, companies still rely heavily on degrees and experience over skills when it comes to making hiring decisions. No wonder we’re careening towards a global skills crisis.

        PeopleScout partnered with skills-based workforce management platform provider Spotted Zebra to survey over 100 senior HR and talent acquisition leaders globally, plus over 2,000 employees worldwide, to compare perspectives. Our new research report, The Skills Crisis Countdown, maps the skills landscape and diagnoses the disconnects between employers and their workforce.

        Read on for some key findings from our report.

        HR Leaders are Ill-Prepared for the Skills Crisis

        According to a study by PwC, 40% of global CEOs believe their business will be economically unviable in 10 years unless they reinvent for the future. Our study revealed that nine out of 10 HR leaders believe that up to 50% of their workforce will require new skills to effectively perform their job in the next five years. Yet, when asked if they are currently undergoing or planning a workforce transformation initiative in the next three years, nearly half (45%) of HR leaders admit to having no plans to undertake one.

        So, in other words, half of employees will soon be underprepared for the future, but most companies have no strategy in place to address the issue.

        According to LinkedIn, 84% of members are in occupations that could have at least one quarter of their core skills affected by generative AI (GAI) technologies, like ChatGPT. So, how are HR leaders preparing for this digital transformation and the AI era? Shockingly, a full third (34%) say they have no preparations in place to prepare for new technologies. Those who are preparing emphasize bringing in outside talent rather than reskilling existing employees.

        Industry Composition by GAI Segment
        Percentage of LinkedIn Members by Industry

        Impact of GAI on workplace skills
        (Source: LinkedIn Economic Graph Research Institute)

        This is likely because they lack an understanding of the skills they have within their existing workforce. Our data revealed that 68% of organizations identify skills from manager feedback, which is highly subjective. So, it’s no surprise that 56% of employees think their skills are underutilized in their current roles, and 61% think there are other roles in their organization where their skills could be utilized.

        An unprecedented skills revolution is barreling down the tracks, but companies are fast asleep at the switch. It’s time to wake up and get employees future-ready or risk a global skills crisis and talent scarcity for decades to come.

        Digital & Tech Skills Gaps are Widening but Tech Skills are Viewed as Unimportant

        Both employers and employees dangerously underestimate the importance of tech and digital skills. In our survey, both parties listed tech and digital literacy skills with low importance. With the skyrocketing demand for tech and digital talent, this does not bode well.

        skills in the workplace

        Mobile apps, ecommerce and digital transformation have made technology integral to every corporate strategy. However, supply isn’t keeping up with demand. McKinsey analyzed 3.5 million job postings in high-tech fields and found there’s a wide divide between the demand for tech and digital skills and the qualified talent availability. The most sought-after skills have less than half as many qualified professionals per posting compared to average global figures. 

        No wonder 63% of HR leaders in our survey admit they struggle to recruit the skills they need. Closing tech and digital skills gaps through recruitment alone is no longer sufficient. So, we were concerned when our research showed that 73% of the workforce haven’t been offered opportunities to reskill.

        Organizations must invest in helping their employees evolve their skills via reskilling and internal mobility to cultivate digital and tech literacy across their entire workforce.

        Case Study: Reskilling in Action

        The Challenge:

        A large global financial services company needed to undertake a major digital transformation program. The organization needed to acquire key digital and tech skills while leveraging the existing company knowledge of employees in declining customer service roles by reskilling them.

        Previous efforts by the organization to assess employees’ suitability for reskilling were led internally and included multiple, time-consuming line manager interviews. Of even greater concern, around a quarter of those who began the reskilling program dropped out.

        The Solution:

        The bank worked with their long-time RPO partner, PeopleScout, and Spotted Zebra to assess customer service staff in bank branches and call centers to find ideal candidates for its tech and digital skilling program. Skills profiles were created for tech roles, which employees were assessed against to find the best fit.

        The Results:

        • Redeployed 150 people, saving over $2.5M in exit costs
        • Saved over $350,000 in training and development costs
        • Reduced time investment by hiring managers
        • Reduced the reskilling cost-per-person by 70%

        Employees Don’t Feel Confident in their Skills for the Future

        A third (34%) of workers have doubts about how their skills will keep pace with new technology and automation. Meanwhile, just 17% of organizations are offering targeted reskilling programs for existing employees.

        Where are HR Leaders Deploying Skills-Based Practices?

        Skills-Based Practices in the workplace
        (Source: PeopleScout and Spotted Zebra)

        This imbalance spells disaster. As change overwhelms existing skill sets, most workers will begin to feel unsure of their career paths or left struggling to stay relevant.

        Investing in reskilling makes solid business sense. We must bridge the gap between workers anxiously facing uncertainty and leaders failing to invest in their resilience. HR leaders who empower their workforce with adaptable skill sets today will drive continued success in times of swift and sweeping change.

        Finding a Talent Partner to Support Your Skills Transformation

        The agility to match emerging skill requirements will soon become a competitive necessity. If you haven’t started your skills-based transformation, now is the time.

        In our survey, one in two HR leaders admitted to a lack of understanding of skills-based practices. If you’re struggling to understand how to take advantage of skills-based practices in your organization, PeopleScout is here to be your guide.

        As a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partner, we can help you understand the skills within your existing workforce as well as the external market supply and demand. We offer solutions across the skills agenda, from skills-based talent intelligence and market insights, building skills frameworks, and creating skills-based success profiles to redesigning recruitment processes, skills-based hiring strategies, and helping you maximize the potential of your existing workforce.  

        To learn more about PeopleScout’s skills-focused talent solutions, get in touch.  

        The Skills Crisis Countdown: The Clock is Ticking on Tackling Skills Gaps

        The Skills Crisis Countdown: The Clock is Ticking on Tackling Skills Gaps

        Our latest research reveals, nine in 10 HR leaders believe that up to 50% of their workforce will need new skills to perform their jobs in the next 5 years. Yet, only 7% say they are actively investing in reskilling programs, and 45% admit to having no plans to undertake a workforce transformation initiative to prepare for the changing skills landscape.

        PeopleScout partnered with skills-based workforce management company Spotted Zebra to survey over 100 senior Human Resources and Talent Acquisition leaders from organizations around the global and 2,000+ employees globally to compare perspectives on workforce skills. The resulting research report, The Skills Crisis Countdown: The Clock is Ticking on Tackling Skills Gaps, provides a detailed picture of the current skills landscape and the disconnects between the perspectives of employees and businesses.

        Download our free report for the latest research exploring:

        • The current state of skills in the global workforce and outlook for the future
        • How HR leaders are preparing for the impending skills crisis
        • How employees expect their skills will need to adapt to new technology or automation.

        Plus, you’ll get a roadmap of actionable steps to help your organization become more skills-centric.

        Talent Predictions: How Talent Acquisition Will Navigate 2024

        By Simon Wright, Head of Global Talent Advisory Consulting 

        We are in one of the most transformative periods in the history of work. Between technological disruptions, societal shifts and global events, the talent landscape five years from now will likely look very different than it does today. However, even in times of uncertainty, we can discern key trends that will impact the way organizations source, recruit and retain talent. 

        As a leading talent solutions provider, PeopleScout has a unique vantage point to view the forces shaping the future of work. Based on our experience and industry insights, we believe there are eight core areas talent acquisition leaders should embrace in 2024 to up-level their strategic importance within the business.  

        1. Talent Leaders Will Look to New Models to Ride the Economic Waves 

        The power balance has now shifted back to the employer amidst a tight labor market, fewer vacancies and a cost-of-living crisis. But if you think it’s time to pause investment in your talent programs, think again.  

        Talent acquisition teams shrunk during COVID-19 and then grew quickly as part of the bounce back only to shed jobs again this past year. With continued uncertainty, TA leaders must showcase the value they bring to business by minimizing the impacts of economic fluctuations.  

        It’s time to leave behind the boom and bust and embrace agility through a strategic approach to workforce planning and forecasting. Talent solutions like recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), including modular RPO solutions, offer responsiveness to help stabilize operational delivery amidst unpredictable economic waves.  

        2. Business Transformation Will Shape the Workforce 

        The specific skills and capabilities companies need are shifting rapidly, which means the jobs and roles employers need to fill are changing too. According to McKinsey research, one-third of new jobs created in the U.S. in the past 25 years were types that barely existed previously, particularly in high-demand areas like data analytics, software development and renewable energy. According to Totaljobs, despite a general slowdown in hiring, the demand for green jobs continues to go up, skyrocketing by 677% between 2019 and 2023. 

        However, this business transformation is being hampered by the lack of talent and relevant skills. Economic, social and labor market changes are evolving faster than workforce training and development systems can keep pace. There simply aren’t enough workers with experience in emerging fields and new technologies.  

        TA leaders must work proactively to build the reputation and influence of their employer brand with potential talent now—ahead of the hiring they need to do in the future. This means being able to recruit the best talent in the market, not just the best talent in your pipeline. Investing in candidate nurturing and employer branding strategies now will ensure organizations can hire first—and fast—when the time comes. 

        3. Employees Will Continue to Reevaluate Their Relationship with Work 

        TA leaders must be the eyes and ears for their organization, tuning in to the candidate market and shaping the employer value proposition (EVP) to meet the changing needs and expectations of candidates. Today’s employees are demanding more, and the one-size-fits-all EVP approach must evolve to keep up.  

        Organizations that refresh their EVP with a more human-centric approach that recognizes employees as people, not just workers, will go beyond traditional offerings to provide exceptional life experiences that match employee needs. Delivering a positive emotional connection will be crucial for improving retention, overcoming the productivity vacuum and attracting quality talent in 2024.  

        4. Data Will Be the Key to Overcoming Talent Scarcity  

        The labor market has shrunk due to the retirement of Baby Boomers, and companies face an enormous brain drain of institutional expertise. Not only is the upcoming population smaller and not replacing the Boomers who are leaving the workforce, but they lack the some of the soft skills of the departing generation. With this double depletion at play, organizations will need to work hard to attract and train Gen Z in order to keep their workforce development on track for the future. 

        Additionally, long-term illness, including lingering complications from COVID-19, has sidelined many working-age adults. The latest ONS data shows that the number of people economically inactive because of long-term sickness is now over 2.5 million in the UK alone. 

        The key to reducing the impact of talent scarcity in 2024 is data. It’s time for TA leaders to treat talent intelligence as business intelligence, bringing it to the C-suite to drive decision making and inform strategy. Organizations must leverage data to understand both internal and external talent pools, maximizing ROI on talent attraction and retention efforts. 

        Talent Acquisition Predictions

        5. Skills-Based Practices Will Take Center Stage 

        In order to keep pace with changing roles and dwindling talent pools, leading organizations are taking a proactive and holistic approach to adapting their workforces. They are investing in upskilling and reskilling programs while also leveraging RPO partners to find professionals with the most in-demand and future-proof skills. 

        More organizations will look to expand candidate pools and tap into diverse skill sets through skills-based recruitment. To do this, organizations must evolve their candidate assessment practices to focus on skills rather than credentials or pedigree. We’ll see more organizations follow the likes of Google and drop their university degree requirements. This will have the added benefit of promoting greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace.  

        6. Internal Mobility Will Receive Big Investment 

        More than a third (36%) of HR professionals surveyed identified employee retention as a priority in 2024. Internal mobility will become the key to retention as well as filling open roles and skills gaps. Focus will shift from building external talent pools to internal talent pools, putting methods in place to identify transferable skills that can be boosted to support business transformation.  

        We saw an uptick in labor hoarding in 2023 talent trends. In 2024, organizations must invest in transforming the skills of the workers they’ve kept on board in order to ensure they’re ready for what’s on the horizon. 

        In 2024, career moves won’t take a linear path but will weave across departments and disciplines, providing workers with variety and rewarding work. Organizations must train hiring managers to look at candidates, not just for their fit for a specific role, but for the value they can bring to the organization.  

        7. Long Overdue Tech Upgrades Will Happen for HR 

        The Josh Bersin Company estimates the HR technology is a $250 billion market. 2024 will be the year of recruitment tech stack upgrade.  

        Organizations will look to capitalize on AI-powered features to do the heavy lifting so their teams can focus on more valuable recruiting activities. TA leaders should look to technology to augment human touches throughout the candidate experience, to identify opportunities for streamlining through automation, and to help them better interrogate data for a more agile resourcing model.  

        This is also an opportunity for TA leaders to demonstrate they can deliver digital transformation and deliver ROI from these investments. This has been a criticism of talent acquisition and HR in the past, and it’s time to dispel that narrative.  

        8. AI Fever Will Hit an All-Time High 

        And finally, it wouldn’t be a 2024 talent acquisition forecast without a mention of AI. Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) tools, like ChatGPT, were on the tip of our tongues in 2023. As organizations grapple with the ethics of AI, most will succumb to the transformative potential and begin to test and experiment with how AI can benefit their workforce and operations in 2024.  

        The role of technology will keep evolving within talent acquisition, but it’s primed to have a pivotal role in streamlining recruitment tasks and improving efficiency in everything from screening to assessments to interview scheduling.  

        Organizations should take a principled approach to leveraging AI and automation to augment recruiting, while ensuring human oversight and care for people remains central. Starting with a small project or two will clear the mist so you can see clearly where AI will add value to your recruitment tech stack and candidate experience. 

        The Importance of the Right Talent Partner to Help You Ride the Waves 

        The future of work holds exciting potential, but also some uncertainty. However, while individual trends are difficult to predict, TA leaders that embrace agility, skills practices and tech innovation will find themselves in a strong position to prove their value in driving business performance. As your talent partner, PeopleScout will be ready to support, challenge and inspire you for whatever lies ahead. 

        By staying on top of key shifts like these and working with an expert talent solutions provider like PeopleScout, companies can build workforces with the skills, mindsets and diversity of experiences to thrive in the next era of business. 

        Church of England: Full-Scale Recruitment Process Review Through a DE&I Lens

        Church of England: Full-Scale Recruitment Process Review Through a DE&I Lens

        Church of England: Full-Scale Recruitment Process Review Through a DE&I Lens

        The Church of England turned to PeopleScout to help them review and co-create a future-proof recruitment process strategy to support them in recruiting people who reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.

        Situation

        The Church of England (C of E) and its seven National Church Institutions (NCIs) have made great progress already in creating a diverse, fair, and unbiased recruitment processes. But, like most organizations, they face unique challenges. The main one being the barriers which come with being a faith and mission-based organization, coupled with the external perception of the Church. With the progress they had already made, the C of E were looking to accelerate the pace of change and take this to the next level, which is where PeopleScout came in.

        Solution

        The Church of England engaged PeopleScout to execute a recruitment process review through a diversity, equality and inclusion lens (DE&I) with the goal of uncovering further opportunities, including:

        • A forensic deep dive of over 80 internal documents spanning role creation, assessment policy, organizational values, and DE&I training.
        • DE&I data analysis of C of E’s recruitment processes focusing on progression and engagement.
        • Deep immersion in the organization and connection with its members to understand what is happening on the ground through discovery interviews and focus groups, winning hearts and minds along the way.
        • Regular consultative check-ins with the core team to ensure they are involved at each step of the way so they can own the recommendations.
        • Co-creating a vision of what the future can look like with an actionable roadmap decided by current C of E employees.

        Results

        Examples of some of our recommendations include:

        • Create a competency/behavior library and corresponding bank of interview questions to support hiring managers when designing role profiles, job descriptions and interviews for their roles.
        • Revisit the Church of England’s brand visibility, marketing strategy and transparency based on feedback from their new joiners in order to better attract candidates from all backgrounds and religious orientations.
        • Create clarity around instructions for filling out application forms to allow more consistency in response quality from candidates (e.g., using example responses).
        • Keeping interview panels to a maximum of two or three members from C of E to reduce candidate anxiety.
        • Create a central onboarding checklist to ensure everyone receives the same support when joining their role in any of the NCIs.

        With the support of PeopleScout, Church of England’s National Church Institutions now have:

        • Clarity over their current strengths in diverse recruitment to roll out wider, as well as opportunities for improvement
        • Actionable, realistic, tailored recommendations for creating change in their unique organization
        • A co-created roadmap with both quick wins and long-term strategy to mobilize change immediately whilst maintaining momentum
        • Out-of-the-box ideas for talent attraction and candidate experience to boost the diversity of new joiners
        • Support and buy in from key stakeholders and employee resource groups so that any actions can have a lasting embedded impact

        At a Glance

        • COMPANY: Church of England
        • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing
        • ABOUT CHURCH OF ENGLAND: The seven National Church Institutions (NCIs) work together at an international and national level, supporting the ministries of the Church.