Candidate.ID: The changing supply chain in recruitment
The recruitment model is changing – and in need of change. Most companies, whatever the industry they operate in have been using the same recruitment strategy since 1999 – which explains why many candidates have become apathetic to the process. A generic online vacancy post, once the standard pathway to begin the recruitment journey, is in need of updating to reflect the changing recruitment environment. It is vitally important that employers are attuned to the environment and the changing dynamics of employing talented, eager, professionals who feel an attachment to the employer. The supply chain related to recruitment is evolving to meet this need.
However, adapting to this change is no easy feat. Research has indicated that the average length of time in post now stands at just over two and a half years – and is falling. Every six months, this falls by a month, so by 2022, the average time an employer will stay in their job is just two years. This is forcing employers to re-evaluate their recruitment strategy.
Organisations are increasingly looking at ways to boost employer engagement, provide real benefits to staff and try to engender long-term employment strategies. Starbucks for example has recently rolled out its ‘Degree Achievement Plan’ to UK workers, offering them the chance to have university degrees paid for. The coffee chain is to provide the cost of university as an employee incentive in the UK, for courses taught online by Arizona State University in an effort to entice prospective employees and to help keep them in post. Dixons Carphone has another initiative to help improve mental wellbeing of its staff and we expect more and more firms to take similar action to empower employees and to highlight the benefits of staying with the company – away from the traditional ‘bonus’ or additional holiday. More and more employees are after benefits, like working from home, flexible working opportunities, or gym and travel discounts and firms are starting to wake up to the benefits of providing these extras.
A tailored service
As a result of the changing dynamics in the employment market, recruiters (in-house and agency) have had to tailor their approach. This shift to the short-term can have a huge impact on training talent: workers don’t commit to development, whilst employers are understandably wary of nurturing talent that could leave after a matter of months.
Even if organisations do not grow, the recruitment supply chain has to work harder as a result of the ‘employee churn’ just to stand still.
Tools such as talent pipeline software can help the supply chain of talent, to source and target prospective employees even before they begin the application process. These tools use software to rank candidates according to variables such as time spent researching and engaging with the company. In this way, businesses can acquire talent with a genuine long-term mindset when it comes to their development at a particular company.
For organisations of all sizes it is imperative that the recruitment process is efficient in regard to time, personnel resource and cost. In an increasingly competitive environment for all companies, it is vital that resources are well managed and that there is no extraneous cost or lag on time.
Specsavers case study
According to job site Indeed.com, optometrists are the hardest job roles to fill in the UK. However, by using talent pipeline automation, Specsavers increased its hires by 55% over the past 12 months, without any additional recruitment headcount.
The challenges in the sector, for Specsavers are two-fold. Firstly, optometrists are in full employment and in serious demand. Simply put, there is not enough supply of experienced optometrists to meet existing demand. Secondly, as the market leader, Specsavers is competing against other companies aiming to cut into its dominant market share.
By examining the supply chain of how it finds and engages with talent, using Candidate.ID and its talent pipeline software Specsavers was able to revitalise its recruitment strategy. It was able to directly target a talent pool and find, active, warm – and crucially hire-ready recruits, with many contacted before they even applied for any Specsavers vacancy.
This shows that change can be made – and this change doesn’t require additional headcount or pressure on existing teams.
A changing industry
The pressures on recruitment are clear for everyone to see, but by using new innovative solutions to find talent it can lead to huge cost and time saving – and crucially allow engagement with a keen audience of prospective employers.
Adam Gordon, is the CEO and Co-Founder of Candidate.ID. He is responsible for the ongoing development and execution of Candidate.ID’'s business plan and entirely committed to making sustainable, automated talent pipelines available to the world's most sophisticated employers and agencies. You will find him talking about this online and on stage every week day. In addition, Adam intends to continue creating rewarding careers for those who share Candidate.ID’s vision, in Glasgow and other important locations.
NTT DATA Services, Remodelling Supply Chains for Resilience
Joey Dean, the man with the coolest name ever and Managing Director in the healthcare consulting practice for NTT DATA and is focused on delivering workplace transformation and enabling the future workforce for healthcare providers. Dean also leads client innovation programs to enhance service delivery and business outcomes for clients.
The pandemic has shifted priorities and created opportunities to do things differently, and companies are now looking to build more resilient supply chains, none needed more urgently than those within the healthcare system. Dean shares with us how he feels they can get there.
A Multi-Vendor Sourcing Approach
“Healthcare systems cannot afford delays in the supply chain when there are lives at stake. Healthcare procurement teams are looking at multi-vendor sourcing strategies, stockpiling more inventory, and ways to use data and AI to have a predictive view into the future and drive greater efficiency.
“The priority should be to shore up procurement channels and re-evaluate inventory management norms, i.e. stockpiling for assurance. Health systems should take the opportunity to renegotiate with their current vendors and broaden the supplier channel. Through those efforts, work with suppliers that have greater geographic diversity and transparency around manufacturing data, process, and continuity plans,” says Dean.
But here ensues the never-ending battle of domestic vs global supply chains. As I see it, domestic sourcing limits the high-risk exposure related to offshore sourcing— Canada’s issue with importing the vaccine is a good example of that. So, of course, I had to ask, for lifesaving products, is building domestic capabilities an option that is being considered?
“Domestic supply chains are sparse or have a high dependence on overseas centres for parts and raw materials. There are measures being discussed from a legislative perspective to drive more domestic sourcing, and there will need to be a concerted effort by Western countries through a mix of investments and financial incentives,” Dean explains.
Wielding Big Tech for Better Outcomes
So, that’s a long way off. In the meantime, leveraging technology is another way to mitigate the risks that lie within global supply chains while decreasing costs and improving quality. Dean expands on the potential of blockchain and AI in the industry.
“Blockchain is particularly interesting in creating more transparency and visibility across all supply chain activities. Organisations can create a decentralised record of all transactions to track assets from production to delivery or use by end-user. This increased supply chain transparency provides more visibility to both buyers and suppliers to resolve disputes and build more trusting relationships. Another benefit is that the validation of data is more efficient to prioritise time on the delivery of goods and services to reduce cost and improve quality.
“Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) is another area where there’s incredible value in processing massive amounts of data to aggregate and normalise the data to produce proactive recommendations on actions to improve the speed and cost-efficiency of the supply chain.”
Evolving Procurement Models
From asking more of suppliers to beefing up stocks, Dean believes procurement models should be remodelled to favour resilience, mitigate risk and ensure the needs of the customer are kept in view.
“The bottom line is that healthcare systems are expecting more from their suppliers. While transactional approaches focused solely on price and transactions have been the norm, collaborative relationships, where the buyer and supplier establish mutual objectives and outcomes, drives a trusting and transparent relationship. Healthcare systems are also looking to multi-vendor strategies to mitigate risk, so it is imperative for suppliers to stand out and embrace evolving procurement models.
“Healthcare systems are looking at partners that can establish domestic centres for supplies to mitigate the risks of having ‘all of their eggs’ in overseas locations. Suppliers should look to perform a strategic evaluation review that includes a distribution network analysis and distribution footprint review to understand cost, service, flexibility, and risks. Included in that strategy should be a “voice of the customer” assessment to understand current pain points and needs of customers.”
“Healthcare supply chain leaders are re-evaluating the Just In Time (JIT) model with supplies delivered on a regular basis. The approach does not require an investment in infrastructure but leaves organisations open to risk of disruption. Having domestic centres and warehousing from suppliers gives healthcare systems the ability to have inventory on hand without having to invest in their own infrastructure. Also, in the spirit of transparency, having predictive views into inventory levels can help enable better decision making from both sides.”
But, again, I had to ask, what about the risks and associated costs that come with higher inventory levels, such as expired product if there isn’t fast enough turnover, tying up cash flow, warehousing and inventory management costs?
“In the current supply chain environment, it is advisable for buyers to carry an in-house inventory on a just-in-time basis, while suppliers take a just-in-case approach, preserving capacity for surges, retaining safety stock, and building rapid replenishment channels for restock. But the risk of expired product is very real. This could be curbed with better data intelligence and improved technology that could forecast surges and predictively automate future supply needs. In this way, ordering would be more data-driven and rationalised to align with anticipated surges. Further adoption of data and intelligence and will be crucial for modernised buying in the new normal.
These are tough tasks, so I asked Dean to speak to some of the challenges. Luckily, he’s a patient guy with a lot to say.
On managing stakeholders and ensuring alignment on priorities and objectives, Dean says, “In order for managing stakeholders to stay aligned on priorities, they’ll need more transparency and collaborative win-win business relationships in which both healthcare systems and medical device manufacturers are equally committed to each other’s success. On the healthcare side, they need to understand where parts and products are manufactured to perform more predictive data and analytics for forecasting and planning efforts. And the manufacturers should offer more data transparency which will result in better planning and forecasting to navigate the ebbs and flows and enable better decision-making by healthcare systems.
Due to the sensitive nature of the information being requested, the effort to increase visibility is typically met with a lot of reluctance and push back. Dean essentially puts the onus back on suppliers to get with the times. “Traditionally, the relationships between buyers and suppliers are transactional, based only on the transaction between the two parties: what is the supplier providing, at what cost, and for what length of time. The relationship begins and ends there. The tide is shifting, and buyers expect more from their suppliers, especially given what the pandemic exposed around the fragility of the supply chain. The suppliers that get ahead of this will not only reap the benefits of improved relationships, but they will be able to take action on insights derived from greater visibility to manage risks more effectively.”
He offers a final tip. “A first step in enabling a supply chain data exchange is to make sure partners and buyers are aware of the conditions throughout the supply chain based on real-time data to enable predictive views into delays and disruptions. With well understand data sets, both parties can respond more effectively and work together when disruptions occur.”
As for where supply chain is heading, Dean says, “Moving forward, we’ll continue to see a shift toward Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and advanced analytics to optimise the supply chain. The pandemic, as it has done in many other industries, will accelerate the move to digital, with the benefits of improving efficiency, visibility, and error rate. AI can consume enormous amounts of data to drive real-time pattern detection and mitigate risk from global disruptive events.”