Les Echos : How to find the right person for a new profession ?

Les Echos : How to find the right person for a new profession ?

With the rise of the digital economy, new activities are being created within businesses. It then becomes HR’s job to match a candidate with a position that is likely still poorly defined, and integrate them within the company. With that in mind, here are three pieces of advice for the future.

1. Understand the major objectives of the new profession

Recruiting for an emerging profession is different from classical recruiting, since there is no model to follow. Recruiters move along blindly, without defined and necessary prerequisites (skills, training, experience…). That’s why it’s critical to familiarize yourself with the new position before starting to consider the options.

One possibility is by looking for an early version of this profession elsewhere: new jobs are emerging everywhere, and very quickly, and it may well be that this type of post has already been created in another company, industry or country.

If so, it can then be possible to discover the best practices and choices that proved pertinent in order to take inspiration from them and utilize them internally.

Another method is by making projections based upon current professions, that is to say by finding those functions and missions that are the closest to the new job and that could serve as a common foundation. It is also possible to find inspiration in the highly recruited and performing
personnel who occupy the positions most similar to those that are emerging.

2. Establish the new activity internally

The first reflex of many recruiters, when trying to integrate new professions, is to recruit externally. Because the job is new, the company is convinced that it doesn’t exist within their teams. Thus there are very few companies that privilege internal talents when dealing with new professions.

And yet, according to my calculations, it is possible in more than 65% of cases to adapt internal potential, already familiar with the inner workings of the company, its goals and its strategy, toward these new jobs. And this similarly reinforces the value created by the company and its collaborators.

These emerging professions are often born either through incremental innovations or a rupture.

In the case of a rupture, everything must be constructed from the beginning: putting in place an educational framework in schools, incorporating the job within its professional context, development by the first generations that follow the new pathway, and an evangelization of the ecosystem in question.

In the case of incremental innovation, the process is simpler. It is possible to push existing potential to evolve in a way that develops the new profession internally. This is because these new positions, like the innovations that they bring with them, represent a natural evolution of what already exists, namely, current professions.

3. Interconnect old and new positions

The creation of a new position within a company generally takes place within a larger organizational, managerial, and human transformation generated by the digital revolution. New professions are being born within this transformational context. The challenge is to connect existing positions with the new ones in a way that guarantees an alignment and equilibrium in the company’s evolution, allowing it to maintain its coherence.

That happens by creating strong links between the people who occupy these positions, whether those that already exist or those being born. Installing these links can take different forms. For example, one can find ways to create transversal and interdisciplinary collaborations based on people’s various fields of expertise. One can also bring together different groups to work on a single project, mixing hierarchical or geographic levels. Or there could be a collaboration between external teams and talent together with internal talents in order to develop these new professions.

This all points in one direction: we are seeing a complete upheaval of the boundaries and methods of working, which is rendering all of the silos and cloning within an enterprise obsolete.

Bénédicte de Raphélis Soissan, founder and president of Clustree