Talent acquisition is constantly evolving to meet the needs of changing talent markets. At the recent ChapmanCG roundtable co-hosted by GSK, talent acquisition leaders gathered to discuss how TA is evolving for the future of the workforce through innovation and forwarding thinking. ChapmanCG‘s Steve Brown and myself, Katherine Qu, were joined by more than 20 regional talent acquisition leaders across different industries at GSK Asia House in Singapore for a thought-provoking discussion.

All About Candidate Experience

Five to ten years ago, we saw scalable talent acquisition functions being built for cost savings and speed. Now we see TA functions playing a more critical role in the overall talent strategy as they are the first and foremost contact point with all potential employees (and in some cases customers, particularly for consumer-related businesses).

They carry the flag of employer branding that starts from pre-employment and continues through the entire employee lifecycle, and even beyond the workplace. Hence, there is an increasing focus on enhancing the candidate experience.

Talent acquisition leaders are putting on their innovative hats and doing everything leveraging social media platforms, gamification and video interviewing to attract new generations of talent, through to providing real-time, personalised feedback and partnering with Grab/Uber/Didi (taxi services) to provide rides to interview sites. These initiatives are aligned with the digitalisation transformations that many organisations are going through, and usually get a lot of business buy-in from progressive organisations.

Diversity and Inclusion Starts from TA

Diversity and inclusion has become a CEO-level agenda around the world. Leading organisations now see diversity and inclusion as a comprehensive strategy woven into every aspect of the talent life cycle to enhance employee engagement, improve brand and drive performance.

The era of diversity as a ‘check-the-box’ initiative owned by HR is over. CEOs must take ownership and drive accountability amongst leaders at all levels to close the gap between what is said and the actual impact.

In order to achieve that, progressive organisations are using AI tools to help reduce unconscious bias at the hiring stage. Key success factors are also being identified for certain roles, with assessment tools then used to gauge a candidate’s potential rather than their past experience. This has proven particularly popular for early career hires.

Whilst some companies are emphasising having more diverse candidate pools, others have observed that the real change come when the interviewers are from a more diverse panel.

Beyond ‘Just-in-Time’ Hiring

Whilst ‘time to fill’ is still a critical KPI being tracked by talent acquisition leaders, the focus on quality has become more dominant. The focus on building better succession plans and long-term talent pipelining, including building the ecosystems for future talent pools, has made the TA function even more strategic.

For example, some organisations are using various methodologies to select people based on a variety of factors pertinent and specific to the company and role requirements, rather than solely on past experience. These factors, as we saw in an interview with Leesa Rawlings at Diageo on Innovative Early Career Recruitment, often look at credentials beyond the resume, in an ‘unconventional’, or ‘modern’ shift in recruitment styles. A variety of recruitment processes allows a company to uncouple the role from its legacy and build in succession planning components based on business maturity and evolution. This will in turn drive the quality of hire and allow for future planning rather than ‘just- n-time’ recruitment. A ‘story telling’ of sorts at the recruitment stage, as discussed at an Allianz event we hosted a while back on attracting and retaining quality talent.

We are living in a new era that is not merely changing, but also evolving at accelerated rates. Organisations face a radically shifting context for the workforce and the world of work. These shifts have changed the rules for nearly every organisational people practice, from learning and management through to the definition of work itself.

With all these changes, the talent acquisition function needs to lead the way by transforming talent strategies. It is a time for new challenges, and a time full of excitement for the evolution of talent acquisition.

Thanks again to the TA leaders who joined us. Here’s what people are saying about the session:

Technology within the TA space that is emerging is game changing and this was a great forum to hear and understand how TA leaders are transforming their functions and adopting new practices to cater for candidate behaviour.
Tennille Parry, TA Director, APAC, Experian

TA is clearly driving change and innovation for many of the companies we met and the session was a great opportunity of sharing and learning.
Preet Grewal, Inclusion & Diversity Lead, APAC Recruitment & HR, GSK

I always enjoy ChapmanGG events because the tone is informal and nobody there is trying to sell you anything – which encourages open sharing and good conversations! I got some thought-provoking ideas around diversity and inclusion from the group at this session.
Kerry O’Shea, Staffing Lead & Diversity Program Manager, Google

Photos from the event at the incredible GSK work space in Singapore