Five things we learned about... recruitment

Key insights about the art of recruitment from the Singapore Talent and Recruitment Show 2018.

The Singapore Talent and Recruitment Show 2018 -- which took place at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre on March 20 and 21 -- saw more than 20 speakers share their insights on innovation and best practices for talent management and recruitment in the region, all around the theme of "Recruiting and Building a Relevant, Future-Ready Workforce to Drive Business Transformation".

Here are some of the key takeaways from the event.


1. Keep it simple and seamless

Pointing out that no one like to fill out long, drawn-out forms – whether for surveys or job applications – Jonathan Wong, Head of Talent Management at BHS Kinetic, advised talent acquisition professional to eliminate redundancies and make it as easy as possible for candidates to submit themselves for consideration.

“The shorter your application process is, the more likely it will be completed – and completely accurately,” he said.

“Don’t make your candidates submit a résumé, and then another form before the interview, and then yet another form once they’re recruited. It’s a waste of time and technology can help with all this,” he added.”


2. Respect your candidates

Krish Iyer, Regional Talent Director of Kantar Health, noted that many people – himself included – were guilty of making candidates wait for more than five minutes past the appointed time.

“A few years back, we introduced some interventions to ensure that candidates are met by somebody – maybe not even the HR personnel or hiring manager, but at least a human being – within the first five minutes of their arrival,” he said. ”It has improved our feedback tremendously.”


3. Enable transparency through technology

James Williams, Head of Talent Acquisition, Australia and New Zealand, Johnson & Johnson shared how the company had “lifted the curtain” on the process through a platform dubbed “Shine”. This is a mobile-friendly, visually-appealing tool that applicants can use to track every step of their application.

“We can’t be there for every candidate due to the sheer volume of applications, but we think this especially adds value for people who do not progress past the résumé submission stage,” said Williams.


4. Partner educational institutions

Establishing partnerships with schools has enabled organisations such as Rolls-Royce to sustain a strong talent pipeline, shared Stephen Brown, the HR Director for Asia-Pacific at the engineering company. This is especially crucial in industries such as STEM, where talent needs to be “caught” at the right age, to ensure they seek to develop the necessary skills and qualifications.

“By partnering with the local Institute Of Technical Education, we have even been able to contribute to the curriculum and ensure that students have the skills we need,” he noted.


5. Transform into talent advisors

Natalie Tait, the Head of Acquisition for Asia-Pacific at the Bank of America Merrill-Lynch, advised that recruiters should be mindful of how disruption has necessitated their evolution into talent advisors. Talent advisors should prioritise business acumen, continuous rapid learning, and building a culture of hiring, she said. Some future-focused actions to take could include hiring for “this and the ‘next job’” as well as forecasting and analysing turnover.


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