The HR podcast of CXC explores all things open talent, direct sourcing, compliance and labour laws with industry experts. In each episode Connor speaks with CEO’s, founders and experts from staffing, technology and legal sectors around the world. This week we are joined by CEO of HR services provider, Head First Group. Han has a deep knowledge of the staffing industry having spent 15 years in the fast moving goods industry (Heineken and Danone) before moving to work for Randstad for over 8 years.

On the podcast Connor and Han tackle the pressing questions in today’s labour landscape from global labour shortages and remote working to the digitization of recruitment and automation. They also take a look into the glass at what may be in store for the future of work.

Key Points

Labour shortage/ Labour market paradox
There is always a paradox, there is always balance between the supply and demand in the workforce and technology is simply giving us more data and greater view of the mismatch making it seem like a bigger paradox than ever. Now that pandemic is hopefully lifting we are seeing a shift from where the demand side had previously had the power to more of a balance with the supply having more of say. Companies should change their perspective when hiring. For example in the IT space, if you are looking for a Java developer companies should look at if they need somebody who already has that skill set or if they can look at training a person up as a Java developer.

Is hiring anyone anywhere an area of growth?
In theory we can work remotely and cut jobs down into gigs so it is more concrete and easier to delegate a certain piece of work to somebody anywhere in the world. The issue comes with cooperation within companies which will slow down the adoption with global companies being able to adapt faster. Companies must also look at labour laws in different countries where they are engaging talent to ensure compliance.

The digitization of recruitment
There’s two types of companies now, which are merging into trying to solve for everything. There’s companies that come from more enterprise worlds, usually, they’re more touch than tech. They have a bit more people supporting the product, they are not only a tech platform. Then there’s companies that are more on the platform side like Upwork, maybe that’s more gig related more shorter term projects and more instant. Sometimes they are more, b2c but they miss the touch part, to really sell into large enterprise clients. So if we look at it from the client side, they don’t want only tech, they want a solution that encompasses technology and a personal touch.

I think that there is a lot more to be concerned about in his world, a lot more about climate and about food and other trends, than automation threatening the labour market. On the contrary automation can be a big opportunity and these bigger trends might influence how we as humans need to act and resolve things. But as we said when we started out,  this labour market is so incredibly complex, and will need work everywhere, for a long period. So, this future where there’s no work, it’s very, very far out.

What would you do with a magic wand?
I think if I had a magic wand, I would want to have governments have a mindset of a more forward looking approach. They shouldn’t stick to the past of a unionised world and a job or a specific labour market condition that needs to stay forever. If I look at many governments and many labour markets, a lot of them are trying to contain the power and the contract of the past, instead of creating a contract of the future that is less frictionless and actually gets more people to an income or a job. So it’s all dependent on who has the power and then trying to protect what you have, instead I would appreciate if governments have a growth mindset.

About CXC
CXC enables companies to achieve a competitive advantage through managing contingent workforce quality, efficiency and risk, while reducing costs.

The Open Talent Report Podcast with Han Kolff