Why technology is the fastest route to finding the best talent

Finding the right talent can be a painful process. But does it have to be?

We recently conducted a study to better understand the pains around the hiring process and found that 88 per cent of businesses in the UK believe that current hiring methods are slow. 

In addition, findings show that it takes more than one month (34 days) to find and hire new talent. This is incredibly restrictive and inefficient, and an alarming number of businesses (82 percent) reported a noticeable, negative impact on their organisation as a result.

The problem is particularly acute in fast-moving industries such as development, where skill requirements rapidly change as businesses race to keep up with evolving technology.

Finding people with up-to-date skills narrows talent pools even further — it’s no wonder there’s a global technical skills shortage. 

Furthermore, staff productivity and morale are negatively affected. If companies have to turn down work and stop courting new business because their employees are stretched too thin, revenue will suffer.

Average of 2.7 days to hire online

There’s no doubt that current hiring processes are presenting major issues for managers; but there is a viable solution that businesses can tap into to solve this problem. 

New technology is removing barriers that have traditionally restricted talent sourcing to local markets and enabling businesses to find and work with top talent around the world – and in near real-time. On average, it takes 2.7 days to hire someone online compared to 34 days with traditional methods.

Take Simon Ryley, for example, who was experiencing many of the hiring pains we frequently hear about at his job — in particular, he had struggled for years to find and hire talent quickly. 

So when he left to build his own sports tech startup, sportrightnow.com, he decided to use a different, more flexible hiring approach in order to quickly get his business off the ground. Hiring online, he was able to build a distributed team of freelancers around the world in a matter of weeks. What’s more, is he’s now able to scale up or down at the drop of a hat.

“Hiring is a real challenge for a growing business like ours,” said Ryley. “We need to be flexible and access the right person for the right role at the right time. Hiring online and looking for talent beyond our doorstep enables us to achieve that balance and quickly add highly-skilled professionals who provide real value to projects when needed.”

Read more about the meteoric rise of digital recruitment:

Adoption among business owners and hiring managers like Ryley is increasing as digital platforms make it easier than ever for businesses to find the people they need to power their ideas. However, more organisations need to explore this innovative hiring approach.

Currently, only one in 25 companies say they are looking beyond the UK to find talent, and London-based firms in particular struggle to find skilled workers, taking an average of 37 days to hire new talent. Compare those numbers to more than half (59 per cent) who identify their location as a key restriction on sourcing talent, and the numbers don’t match up.

The UK’s productivity level currently sits at its lowest since World War II, and it’s unlikely to change if hiring methods don’t adapt to the times. 

It’s time to outsmart the skills shortage and take advantage of the new possibilities technology has given us to find the talent we need – talent that is literally clicks away via the Internet.

Rich Pearson is senior vice president of marketing and categories for Upwork.

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