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Recruitment and corporate teambuilding interpreted in cyber age fashion

Hunting down and retaining talent is elevated to a whole new level by two Hungarian solutions. Indivizo and Battlejungle are ready to change the landscape of HR for good.

Kata Illés, CEO of Indivizo.

Polls conducted nowadays about what pundits associate with the Hungarian economy would probably rank “labor shortage” as number one. According to the Q1 data of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, firms employing more than five workers have some 36,000 vacancies to fill nationwide, with no relief in sight any time soon. 

In times like these, the capability to find and then retain talent has become more important than ever. “The world has changed for good. People used to spend seven years at a single workplace on average, now it is down to two years,” Kata Illés, CEO of Indivizo notes to the Budapest Business Journal. Indivizo offers a cutting-edge method to accelerate – and broaden the scope of – the recruitment process, and thereby help companies hunt down the right candidates. The core of the invention is that applicants are invited to use Indivizoʼs automated video interview scheme, whereby the interview phase of recruiting can be radically cut.

“The HR department has assumed the role of ‘opening the gates’ so far and has been restricted to letting you in or shutting you out. Now, by contrast, it’s got to serve as a magnet: it must generate enough interest in order to attract the best. We are witnessing the era of awakening,” Illés says. And that is where innovative solutions kick in. It’s not that there hasn’t been some sort of automation around in the industry, but professionals have always treated SAP and different HR modules of different big ERP systems with frustration – and even anger – as they were never easy to use. Therefore, as a last resort, it was routinely good old excel sheets that were relied upon.

Filtering the best quickly

Indivizo brings in simple, user-friendly technology that enables those in charge of selecting new co-workers to spend their time on what really matters; that is drawing up meaningful questions and making a shortlist of top candidates as fast as possible. “In terms of administration, HR departments will be relieved like never before thanks to our tool. They can make, say, 50 people do the automated interview per day where the same questions are asked. No more hassle about setting appointments to start with and by setting two K.O. questions right at the beginning the best applicants can be filtered a lot more quickly. No need to watch their interview any further,” Illés explains some of the key assets of the method.

Acceptance varies

Another advantage is flexibility, as panelists have the liberty to use a competency-based question bank or add their own questions to it. The process can be further personalized by pre-screening CVs so that only a fraction of applicants enter the video interview phase in the first place. And in the end, only the truly best two or three are invited to an in-person meeting. “The whole system encourages flexibility. Once we heard that 17 decision makers watched a single interview, made their comments and cast their votes on whether the candidate should be admitted to the next round. Experience shows that a deep level of engagement in the recruitment process boosts readiness to support the selected person at work,” Illés says. Acceptance of the method still varies, though. Telenor’s parent company in Norway, for instance, signed up for the free basic cloud-based version, got back to Indivizo with a couple of questions and placed their order right afterwards. Hungarian subsidiaries of multinational giants or local firms take their time. A freemium model gives them the chance to try at no risk. “We have a paying clientele already: Erste, Generali, and MOL have started using our beta version, and 70+ registered customers are testing the system as we speak with an option to subscribe,” Illés reports.

The bigger the entity, the more likely it is that decision makers will adopt the method in the end. This is a chance for them to treat candidates with the utmost care and, due to the built-in templates, at no extra effort. This even goes as far as the feedback that can be provided at any milestone in the selection process. That may be informing a candidate they have been accepted into the next round, or a rejection, but template messages may be also personalized by including praising words in spite of an overall negative outcome. “This will ultimately be a part of brand building,” Illés says. “Just because you reject someone, they may still be of value to you later on. If not for anything else but because of the fact that they got a ‘No’ in a way they would nowhere else.”

Keep the spirit

A Hungarian startup prescribes innovative teambuilding to fight the disease of workplace fluctuation. Welcome to the world of Battlejungle! Finding the right person for the right position is one thing. Keeping them for the longer run is a whole different issue, and of even more critical significance. Previous methods focused on recruitment only, as the theory went that a thorough selection procedure should automatically lead to whole-hearted and permanent commitment on part of the carefully selected. However, fluctuation has become a huge problem for firms, one that needs to be addressed with cyber age-proof methods. What innovative companies have realized is that the only way to engage and bond with people is by creating an environment where they can ultimately have a good time. In the U.S., it’s Google that serves as a role model; in Hungary, Prezi is leading the pack. “They are the flagship of this new approach and they set the bar high. They have deliberately built a brand that is associated with endless opportunities for professional development and an innovative atmosphere,” Gergő Ambrusz, CEO of Battlejungle points out to the BBJ. With more graduates entering the job market, this corporate approach will gain in significance, he adds. “A Generation Z candidate, let alone a Generation Y candidate, would be appalled by the idea of working for a Budapest law firm located in the Buda Castle district just because it’s not accessible by bike,” Ambrusz says as an example of how priorities have changed over time. Once, however, an applicant gets accepted, the company should do its best to keep them and Ambrusz’s firm, Battlejungle bets on the power of sport. The scheme allows anyone to organize in-house tournaments of the game of their choosing. Features like keeping track of your standing, earning awards or sharing achievements add to the fun. The result is a healthier staff where members get to know each other better and where higher ranked personnel gain informal face-to-face time with their subordinates. “This employer engagement is something that is hard to measure and, of course, there is no immediate benefit to be quantified. Decreased fluctuation, an improved corporate image and a shortened time span to find new colleagues top the pro argument list,” Ambrusz says. Battlejungleʼs tool kit typically suits large entities like Tataʼs local shared service center, whose target is to employ 800 new staff soon. The only way to do so is to project an innovative image. The idea of Battlejungleʼs disruptive teambuilding fell on fertile ground here. “SSCs have not realized that their biggest asset is accumulated knowledge. As long as it doesn’t matter if somebody leaves, there will be continuous trouble,” Ambrusz says. He also points out how different the approach of firms in Hungary is compared to abroad. “In the United States, the FOMO [fear of missing out] effect trumps everything. What if my rival embraces an innovative tool before us? Here it’s the other way around: ‘Oh, so our competitors have this mumbo-jumbo new stuff, why don’t we take a look too?’ they say,” he explains. “We have given up on educating Hungarian market players as to why innovative teambuilding will matter ever more. Hungary serves as a springboard, at best, where user experience track records will be gathered. Our priority is to keep a global focus.”