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2017 OUTLOOK FEATURE

Creative talent branding

potential with a high level of accuracy. The derived insights allow her team to advise the company’s strategic functions about which markets have a limited talent pool and therefore require creative tactics to secure candidates. Using analytics tools also enables recruiters to define clear parameters about what qualifications the ideal candidates should possess, which can then be compared against potential candidates’ available data, says Gina Kuek, HR Manager at Tableau AsiaPacific. This allows decision-makers to make precise judgements on talent selection.

Getting faster The technology also helps to speed up the overall process. With user-friendly visual analytics platforms, recruiters and HR teams can manage these processes on their own, without relying on other experts to provide them with reports which they then need to make sense of. Thus, data analytics essentially allows recruiters and HR teams to make more data-backed, meaningful decisions, rather than basing talent-related decisions solely on human perception. In fact, with skilled talent being at the heart of business success, Kuek says talent analytics is one of the best ways that recruitment agencies and companies can leverage data. They can pair it with their usual processes to make more intelligent decisions for people and organisations

With differentiation from competitors named as the top concern for more than half of the recruiters in LinkedIn’s survey, companies also need to step up their sourcing efforts and investments in employer branding. “If you ask a recruiter what’s in a name, the most likely response would be, ‘everything’,” says Cognizant’s Sengupta. That’s because talent branding has become a key component in hiring, especially with the prevalence of “candidate markets”, where job seekers tend to only apply for jobs in companies that directly interest or appeal to them. These days, talent branding is no longer just about old-fashioned advertising, but has evolved into a complex web of advertising, social networks, employee word-of-mouth, and first-hand individual and group experiences with the company, says Sengupta. In 2017, Cognizant plans to use a variety of traditional and social media channels to promote its talent brand, with the aim of reaching out to as many active and passive job seekers as possible. Philips presently uses multiple channels to source for talent, depending on the market and corresponding behaviours required, and will continue to do so in the new year. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution,” says Png. “In some countries, we can’t use LinkedIn because that’s not what the talent there uses. So for these markets, the most suitable strategy is to use brick and mortar channels like exhibitions and universities.” It has become essential for companies to articulate their brand and employee value proposition through social media posts, blogs and marketing videos to make it intrinsically compelling for potential candidates to join them.

Broadening the talent pool

companies are flexible and open-minded about candidate profiles, says Png. The nature of Philips’ healthcare technology business requires many project managers. But instead of seeking IT professionals exclusively, the business’ preferred choice of hires has traditionally been healthcare professionals who are equipped with project management skills. However, this further limits the talent pool that the company can hire from because as it stands, Singapore has only a small healthcare technology sector. Furthermore, new business ideas (such as the Telehealth programme, where nurses use diagnostics technology to manage the healthcare of patients remotely) often require a very specific type of skillset. “When we started this business (Telehealth), we couldn’t recruit anyone because they don’t exist in Singapore,” says Png. So this is where talent acquisition teams can advise the business on tapping into other talent pools like the IT sector, which traditionally also employs many project managers, Png says. Since project management is a transferable skill, new project managers only need to undergo a reasonable amount of in-house training to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to be fully prepared for the job. Coca Cola’s Tan says that expanding the profile of candidates cannot apply to technical job functions like manufacturing, where highly specialised, industry-specific skills are generally needed. But hiring outside the norm for strategic functions like marketing is an ongoing conversation at the beverage company, and an area the company is open to exploring further in the near future. “It is no longer going to be efficient for a marketing manager, as an example, to say that I have this one relevant skill set, and that is good enough. Now, your skills sets have to go beyond.”

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