Which way? The experts weigh in on today's talent challenges @RecFest18

Which way? The experts weigh in on today's talent challenges @RecFest18

RecFest 2018 was held in early July at Hawker House in London and with 1,600 attendees this was undoubtedly the place to be for talent acquisition and HR professionals. With four stages hosting dozens of sessions, it was Kelly’s live panel discussion that really stood out (yes, we’re biased!). We had four talent acquisitions experts discuss the critical challenge of attracting and engaging passive talent. Joining our MD and VP of Project Resourcing, Richard Bradley were:

_Martyn Wright - EMEIA FSO Recruitment Associate Director, EY
_Deborah Harding - Head of Talent EMEA, Pivotal Software
_Greg Allen - Global Head of Resourcing, Lloyd's Register
_Peter England - Head of Global Talent Acquisition, ConvaTec

We’ve pulled out some key takeaways from the session.

In a digital world, with many windows into an organisation, how do you manage employer brand?

Employer reputation and a company’s value proposition to its employees is crucial in a competitive and talent short market and this was raised very quickly into the session. The panel focused on the communications element of establishing a strong EVP. Key amongst those were social media, with one panellist stating ‘authenticity is the key. People want to see who we are’.

The panel recommended that recruiters ‘pair up’ with business leaders to understand the messages that are most engaging in their fields and to try lots of mediums to get these messages out; with video content felt to be particularly engaging.

The need for consistently creating and sharing complementary and consistent content was deemed crucial in a fast paced, competitive and ever evolving candidate market. There is evidentiary support to reflect this; potential candidates typically apply for roles up to 12 months after first engaging with a brand.

Engaging hiring managers in the recruitment process

Many CEOs say that people are the greatest asset of the business, but how many match this with investment in talent acquisition? How do we convince hiring managers to engage pro-actively with TA?

The business case for supporting TA teams was undisputed by our team of experts. EY & ConvaTec have both recently worked on positioning the commercial value of TA to business leaders.

ConvaTec has significantly increased the scale of the global TA function based on the commercial business case for doing so. This need to prove value continued with Lloyds Register which has introduced ‘Cost to Company’ statistics; the cost to the company of the role remaining open. This visibility has allowed Lloyd’s Register to recognise the value of the recruitment process to their regional / divisional profit lines.

Engaging passive talent

In our recent blog post. ‘No-one’s looking but everyone is available’ we broke down the talent challenge and what this means for the talent acquisition community.

ConvaTec has recognised that the skills of a reactive recruiter managing applicants through the recruitment process are very different to those of pro-active recruiters who are effectively marketing the organisation to potential employees. The new talent acquisition structure at ConvaTec reflects this with specialists separately focusing on each of these recruitment processes. EY has also embraced this approach with researchers focused on identifying potential candidates for the hardest roles to fill.

Pivotal Software now has joint social media sessions with managers and new recruits, where the TA team go through all of their contacts with them and support them to send engaging messages to former colleagues, helping promote the organisation and the opportunities to work within it.

The recognition across the board that TA teams need more support both internal and external resources was absolute.

What is the role of the recruitment agency in this new world?

Richard Bradley of VP EMEA of Kelly Project Resourcing, commented that recruitment agencies ‘must evolve or die’. The days of searching a job board for CVs to submit in return for a 20% fee are long behind us. Agencies must show the added value they bring to their clients, offering flexibility, cost savings and market insights that Talent Acquisition teams cannot easily access for themselves.

Lloyds Register supported this. The ability to access deep market mapping capabilities, across multiple countries, in a timely fashion has helped the organisation to understand the talent landscape and secure passive candidates for hard to fill roles. The hard data outputs of these mapping exercises have provided market insights that have gone on to influenced business strategy going forward.

This insightful 50 minutes was heavily attended and with many questions from the audience it clearly resonated with those that were there.

You can read more about Kelly Project Resourcing here and to hear first hand about our panel's key learnings click on the name below:  

_Richard Bradley - MD UK/IE & VP EMEA Project Resourcing
 _Martyn Wright - EMEIA FSO Recruitment Associate Director, EY
_Deborah Harding - Head of Talent EMEA, Pivotal Software
_Greg Allen - Global Head of Resourcing, Lloyd's Register
_Peter England - Head of Global Talent Acquisition, ConvaTec