Organised by Human Resources, the recent Recruitment Asia 2017, Singapore saw more than 100 attendees sharing and learning on the top recruitment concerns - these include improving the candidate experience, implementing insight-led sourcing, and creating a balance between the internal and external workforce.
Produced by Nikita Erpini, the two-day conference held at One Farrer Hotel & Spa saw a series of comprehensive and insightful case studies, keynote presentations and interactive panel discussions from top-notch HR leaders across industries in Asia. Here are the highlights!
Kickstarting the first day of the conference, Human Resources' regional editor, Aditi Sharma Kalra, welcomed delegates as the conference host.
In her opening speech, she said: "For this first day of the conference, some of the highlights are keynote presentations by HR heads from Coca-Cola bottling investment group, Grab’s global head of talent acquisition, and Diageo's regional talent engagement lead. They are going to cover a number of topics on stage – but equally we will have an opportunity to have off-stage debriefs, during roundtable conversations as well."
With that, she welcomed the first speaker on stage - John Kivel, head of recruitment for GlaxoSmithKline for the Asia region. In his presentation is on recruitment in the age of rapid innovation and tough competition, he started off by talking about the need to change the way we do job descriptions, and why we in the industry must stop making them so boring, and make them innovative instead – to a rapt audience. "The reason why this stuff matters – the candidates care about the experience," he said.
Following that, Gaurav Sharma, the HR director for Coca-Cola’s Singapore and Malaysia bottling operations, took the stage with a presentation linking recruitment to business growth – in terms of the people, process and technology perspective.
Talking about Coca-Cola bottling investment group’s monthly cycle of reflect, engage, align, and listen; Sharma zooms in to "listen", i.e. "humanising work that is most important to us, and getting feedback from your team in order to manage them better."
Next up, one of the region's foremost opportunity brokers, Michael Wright, global head of talent acquisition at Grab, took the stage to share his secrets of building an award-winning, future-facing talent acquisition function.
Following that, delegated jumped into a roudtable discussion where they discussed the advantages and perils of social media to their organisation's sourcing framework.
The discussion was followed by a presentation by Leesa Rawlings, Diageo's Asia Pacific talent engagement lead, on creating a digital workplace by building a talent network model.
One of the most revolutionary ideas she shared is how Diageo has stopped resumes at the door. "We have replaced resumes with assessing potential in a candidate," she revealed.
Next up, Gary Lee, chief HR specialist for global talent development at Grundfos, took the stage to share the experience of building the strong brand ambassadors – both internally and externally – how recruitment experts can build awareness of employer brand, by utilising the breadth and depth of social networks.
"HR must never be the owners of employer branding, we are the facilitators," he said, making a point on the ownership of branding. However he cautions, "Before we start branding outside, we should focus on things inside."
One of the biggest champions of data-based decision making, the next speaker - Daniel Ward who spearheads global recruitment at iflix, shed light on evidence-based HR as an enabler for optimising and retaining the workforce.
He affirmed, "With recruitment done right, you don’t need a huge HR team. If you bring in the right people, most of the problems will go away."
The final session on the day's agenda was a panel discussion on the topic of aligning organisational direction with employee life goals, with Gary Lee, chief HR specialist, global talent development, Grundfos as moderator [seated extreme right].
Joining him were panellists [seated left-right] Arthur Lam, POD lead, APAC, Syngenta; Prabhu Rammurthi, director HR global services, Asia Pacific and Japan, Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Ash Mishra, head of talent management, Southeast Asia, Oceania and India, Ericsson Telecommunications; and Andrew Sam, head of talent acquisition, Asia/global (SEA, Taiwan and China), Applied Materials.
As the host of the second day, Human Resources' senior journalist, Jerene Ang, welcomed delegates as she opened the event.
In her opening speech, she said: "As promised, in today’s conference, you can look forward to panel discussions, roundtable conversations, and case studies from HR leaders at Publicis Media, Schneider Electric, and more."
With that, she welcomed the first speaker on stage - Veli Aghdiran, regional learning and culture director for APAC at Essence. In his presentation, he tapped on his experience to share how organisations can leverage on their culture to attract the right candidates.
He revealed that the firm's leadership team went through a process to articulate the culture, process, mission, and values to identify the "magic" people see when they work with Essence.
Next up, we had a panel discussion on how to maintain the balance between internal development versus external hiring, which Veli Aghdiran, regional learning and culture director for APAC at Essence, has kindly agreed to moderate.
Joining him were panelists Eng-Sheng Yeo, regional HR director, Southeast Asia, Japan and Oceania, Gemalto; Jisun Park, head of tech staffing, APAC, Google; Joan Soong, head, global executive recruitment, Schneider Electric; and Lim Teck Yong, head of the people team, Shopee.
Next up, Alan Sumano, people analytics and metrics global head for GSC at Schneider Electric, tapped on his experience to share how organisations can put their people at the forefront of business using data analytics, as well as how Schneider uses data analytics to keep up with changes in business strategies.
He shared that the workforce of today is not the workforce of the future, you have to evaluate the future direction, anticipate the workforce shift, understand specific local and regional situations and address initial business concerns.
The next speaker, Caleb Baker, managing director for APAC and emerging markets at Alexander Mann Solutions, took the stage to explore the evolution of sourcing and the three steps to implement insight-led sourcing in your corporation.
"We need to market like a consumer. Organisations, like Apple for example, spend so much time and money studying the consumers. That’s exactly what recruitment needs," he said.
He added: "Currently, recruitment processes are designed with the organisation in mind, not the candidate."
Following that, the delegated delved into a roudtable discussion to discuss how on-boarding programmes can be standardised and structured to scale organisational success.
Next up, Mike Tang, talent acquisition lead at Publicis Media Singapore, shared tips on how to build an inter-connected synergistic ecosystem of talent by engaging key employees and expanding the organisational capacity using cognitive diversity.
He advised: "You should hire based on the profile of your current workforce so that you know that you are bringing in the right people."
Rounding up the conference was a panel of five HR experts who discussed ideas of creating a balance between the internal and external workforce in the age of the gig economy.
Moderator, Mike Tang, talent acquisition lead at Publicis Media Singapore [seated far right], was joined by panelists [seated left to right] Michael Wright, global head of talent acquisition, Grab; Hua Tai-Kit, talent acquisition lead, APAC, Cargill; Padmashree Santosh, associate director, talent and development, SEA, Merck Group; and Suzie Custerson, global business effectiveness lead, talent management, Manulife.
As the conference came to an end, Human Resources would like to thank all speakers, and panelists for making the time to share their best practices through insightful presentations. Of course, thanks also to all delegates for their active participation in the event and leveraging on the various networking and interactive opportunities.
Finally, but not the least, we thank the following sponsors and partners:
- Gold sponsor – Alexander Mann Solutions
- Exhibitors – Morgan McKinley | Sonru
- Event partner – Kelly Services Korea
- Lanyard sponsor – Recruit Inc
- Official photobooth partner – Selfiprint
- All our association and media partners