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At The Forefront Of Talent And Tech Part 1: FLOW

In the next decade, technology will fundamentally change the way companies recruit and manage their talent. Wahl & Case is launching innovative digital products to propel its clients to the forefront of these changes.

2016 will no doubt go down in history books as a tumultuous year for a number of reasons. Unheralded by news outlets, it has also been the year when HR has finally entered the 21st century.

The workforce of the future

The changes have been brewing for a while, and in the next decade they are going to take societies by a storm. The underlying trends are twofold––demographic and technological––in nature.

By 2030, Japan will lose more than seven million––or over 10%––of its working-age population. South Korea will lose around four million working-age people, also more than 10% of its potential workforce. Russia will lose almost 10 million, approximately 10% of its working-age people. The EU, more than 12 million, and China, over 35 million––in both cases c. 4% of their current potential workforce. Presumably, these and many other countries in the same situation, as well as their private sector, wish to experience continued economic growth. But where will the workers to produce this growth come from?

Add to this the impact of technology changes. As news headlines keep flashing about how many jobs will be displaced by automation, there is little talk about the number of jobs technology will create. Even as low-skill jobs are automated, the demand for highly skilled developers, data scientists, AI engineers, UI/UX designers, digital marketers and even HR technologists will increase. In most countries, the education system is slow to respond to and unable to keep up with the increase in demand, leading to a severe skill mismatch in the labour market. Where will, then, all those much-needed technologists come from?

The workplace of the future

Over the next decade, these two trends will combine to make the workplace of the future more diverse and more flexible, putting high-skilled employees rather than employers in the driver’s seat. They will also place tremendous pressure on HR, traditionally a compliance-driven administrative function, to get much better at attracting, developing and retaining talent.

Many of the world’s leading companies have already started adapting to these changes. Google, Microsoft and others have full-fledged people analytics teams that are using science, technology and data to understand the human drivers behind successful organizations. Airbnb’s CHRO has changed his title to Chief Employee Experience Officer to highlight the company’s focus on creating an inspiring end-to-end experience for not only its customers but its employees as well. On the vendor side, more than 1,000 HR tech companies have been launched to provide companies with innovative solutions, and forward-thinking organizations are increasingly adopting AI-enabled HR technology to create a tech and data savvy people organization.

Go with the FLOW

Still, many challenges remain. Most companies today lack the know-how and resources to deploy and benefit from the currently available HR tech solutions. The competencies required to create a 21st century HR organization range from psychology through data science and AI to personal data protection. Unless you are a global organization with multiple HR competency centers, you are unlikely to have the budget to create such a team or to even have the capacity to map and successfully choose from your options in the emerging HR tech market.

This is why Wahl & Case has created FLOW, its new business unit whose products combine psychological testing with machine learning to help companies hire, engage and retain great talent. FLOW’s mission is to make the latest people analytics research and technology accessible to startups and mid-sized companies. Based in Berlin, the business unit works with psychologists, data scientists and AI engineers to deliver agile solutions to companies who need incisive talent insights at speed.

You don’t have to be large to be smart

FLOW’s beta version, to be launched in early 2017, was designed to help startups and mid-sized companies deploy next-generation HR technology across their entire talent management lifecycle, from hiring through employee engagement to retention. Its value proposition focuses on addressing the two most expensive talent-related problems our clients face today, mis-hires and employee attrition.

Hiring the wrong person or having to replace someone in a sales or senior management position can easily cost companies up to 200% of that person’s annual salary. FLOW was designed to predict and prevent such risks at a fraction of that cost, and it can be easily deployed even by small organizations in a week.

In keeping with changing talent dynamics, FLOW is based on the principles of transparency and candor. The best relationships between employers and employees are for the long term, and we believe candor is the best foundation for long-term relationships. FLOW’s non-anonymous assessments were designed to help line managers and employees have truthful, productive conversations around development needs on both sides, and to work together constructively to address challenges.

Its our expectation that FLOW will completely revolutionize hiring and retention, but it is just one of our Digital Solutions.  In keeping with this theme of bringing employers and employees together, our AI Chatbot Jinny promises to streamline one of the most time consuming parts of hiring – The Interview process.
You can read more about it in Part 2 of our At The Forefront Of Talent And Tech Series!