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How technology and globalisation are redefining talent acquisition

Multinational corporations are transforming the way they scout for talent, with technology offering new tools that enable both employers and prospective employees to reach wider and find the right fit.

So says Gonzalo Ruiz, Head of Global Talent Acquisition for Siemens.

“In the next five to 10 years, the old model of recruiting in a company by advertising a job opening and find the best candidates will be outdated,” says Ruiz. Ruiz sees four drivers that are changing the way HR professionals go about talent acquisition.

The four change agents are:

Technology

Employers can extensively research job candidates online, from LinkedIn profiles detailing education, job history and professional endorsements, to other Internet and social media sites including Naukri.com, India’s equivalent to LinkedIn. At the same time, there is a new transparency for job seekers ? they can not only learn about companies and job opportunities from official corporate websites but from commentary on social media as well. Employers see value in attracting candidates from a larger and more diverse pool of global candidates, and prospective employees are increasingly comfortable searching for work around the global marketplace.

Competition

Established multinational companies no longer corner the market with the promise of good pay, access to technology, and international development. Today, many other types of employers are becoming attractive to Generation Y ? start-ups, non-governmental organisations, new players such as Huawei Technologies and employers from emerging markets like China and India. Many of today’s jobseekers look for entrepreneurial experiences, atypical career opportunities, and distinct and rich work cultures. As a result, the job market is increasingly a seller’s market; prospective employees have far more options available to them.

Demographics

We see an imbalance of engineering capabilities around the world. An aging population in Europe is limiting the pool of young people coming into the pipeline to study engineering, while in China and across Asia, there is an abundance of people who want to enter the field. Capitalising on country demographics will expand the pool for talent acquisition. To MNCs like Siemens, Asia is a highly attractive source of talent, with youthful demographics, strong economic growth, and growing professional mobility.

Empowerment of employees

Prospective employees can learn much about a company based on web portals that let them learn about employers, and even hear feedback from current and former employees.

“People are taking decisions based on that inside information, and that is a very powerful thing,” Ruiz said.

“I think for Siemens, this is an opportunity, not a challenge, because we are proud that we have a good culture and we take care and develop people.”

Companies are also seeing a greater willingness amongst employees to leave, and as a result will have to be more proactive in talent acquisition to ensure manpower needs are met. Companies have to change from a reactive model where they posted jobs openings to actively looking for people.

Photo Credit: By Siemens

“In the past, talent acquisition was a fisherman’s job,” Ruiz said. “You put out the rod, and you waited for the fish that were hungry to go to your office. In the future, we need hunters. We need people to go into the market to look for good people with the right capabilities, with the right cultural fit, before you need them, so when there is a vacancy, you can fill it immediately.”

Ruiz adds, “It’s going to be an employee-driven market. The employees are going to choose the company, rather than the company choosing the employees. That’s why we need to change the way we think about recruiting, and become talent acquisition experts.”

That expertise, Ruiz says, will be increasingly developed in-house ? he predicts less use of external recruitment firms because they can be costly, may lack a deep understanding of one’s business and its needs, and may be recruiting for competitors as well.

Responding to the above change agents, Siemens is transforming its human resources approach for all of its 200 locations around the globe.

Ruiz describes some of Siemens’ principles for change:

Change responsibility in the recruiting process:

“Today, the hiring manager and the recruiter need to work more closely to understand the business, the job, and the work culture to find the best candidate.”

Change tools:

“We need to proactively search for people before the hiring manager calls. We need to keep prospective job candidates in a database and establish relationships with potential candidates. This is what we call passive candidates. Not the fish that come to your pole, but people who are doing a good job somewhere else, and these are the good ones.”

Update recruiting capabilities:

“We need to have people who have the standing to talk about business and technology; who understand where good candidates can be found in the market. They need to have a profound understand of the labour market.”

In other words, rather than managing recruiting procedures, HR professionals need to become experts in sourcing good people.

Edited by Claire Slattery and Stanley Tang. This article was first published on Singapore Business News.

YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN:

SINGAPORE BUSINESS NEWS

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SINGAPORE BUSINESS NEWS

How technology and globalisation are redefining talent acquisition

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