The need for talent remains high, but the shortage is becoming more exacerbated with the fast-changing political climate. And in today’s tight labour market, companies have to expand their reach to attract good people. The HR has tough choices to make in the battle for the ‘hearts and minds’. The changing market factors have redrawn some of the sensitive lines in the business world. For instance, diversity and inclusion are now a part of business strategy, not an HR program any more. Welcome to the world of social enterprise, a strategic model that many businesses are embracing.

Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends Report outlines the trappings of a social enterprise. It points to the fact that organizations are judged based on their impact on society; they are no longer judged for their financial performance or even the quality of their products or services. This changed mindset invariably transforms them from a business enterprise into a social enterprise. Indeed 2018 has been a year of transformative development. Pushing the frontiers of the social enterprise are technological developments that are creating massive opportunities and fundamentally changing the scope of work involved. From cognitive technologies and blockchain to Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), the technological tools have come in handy for social enterprises to impact individuals.

Implications for HR

As businesses engage in processes that explore innovation and new opportunities to serve their missions, the implications for HR in the organizational change process are significant. Therefore, to thrive in today’s uncertain times, businesses’ dependency on their HR teams is at an all-time high. Increased employee satisfaction, improved performance, and reduced costs (attrition, training, etc) are no longer the driving goals of HR policy; instead, the HR team has to factor in on the next level of strategic growth: Organizational business impact. The march of social enterprises is reorienting HR dynamics and attitudes across the spectrum-from hiring and on-boarding to retaining talent. Here are some of the defining HR characteristics in a social enterprise:

Talent hunting is giving way to candidate self-selection. Candidates are choosing companies based on its perception in the public domain and its approach to growth. Criteria relating to fringe benefits, teamwork, compensation, etc., are no longer holding the interest of the candidates. The candidates want a better idea of what it is you do and more importantly, how you do it, before applying for a position.

Organizations are focusing on behavioural competence to pick out candidates. The focus on skills and experience has given way to behavioural competence. The changing times require that you find out what values the candidates hold and what their preferences are for working. This will help in identifying the qualities to look out for and those that are suitable for the job.

Employee well-being and learning take the front seat. More than talent development, organizations are now focusing on managing employee wellbeing, learning and development pathways, measuring HR outcomes based on tailored development plans for individuals, which are based on their aspirations, skills set, and career goals.

Candidate experience matters a lot. With the HR industry becoming candidate-driven, it has become difficult for companies to find applicants who identify with the organization’s culture and brand values. The exhausting recruitment process has given way to a more interactive hiring process with personalized recruitment strategies.

If the characteristics of new-age social HR are anything to go by, then one must contend with the fact that the achieving the goal of organizational business impact is not far off.