Digging deeper about goals and results
By Bill Hatton
You know you have your own goals and reactions whenever you attend a conference—and that each participant and speaker has similar individual goals and reactions.
Here we offer the individualized insights and reactions of four of our guests: An HRO Today Services & Technology Association Board Member, Rachael Pogson, one of our participating vendors, Riges Younan, as well as two of our speakers, Scott Sullivan and Ron Kaufman:
Rachael Pogson, VP Global Talent Acquisition & HR Central, Seagate Technology, Singapore.
Assessing the conference: “I thought the balance this year of local and multinational – it’s got more local, which is good. I thought the balance of change between service provider and client has shifted away from predominantly service provider, and that changes the whole conversation and the dynamic. All organizations continue to try to find out how to get things to work.”
On issues that remain challenges: “I don’t think anything fundamentally in the industry has changed, per say, this year versus last year. I still think it’s a continuation: We’re still struggling with gamification, we’re still struggling with video-interviewing, we’re still dealing with the whole ‘how do we assess candidates?’ There hasn’t
been any significant game-changer in how we measure candidates’ talent assessment, and how we keep the main talent engaged.”
Summing up: “It’s active and animated. The conference’s got quite a good vibe – so I think quite good in terms of networking.”
Scott Sullivan, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific Region, Graebel Companies, Singapore.
On what it takes for mobility to take on more of a strategic role: “What’s interesting for us is the focus on talent acquisition and talent management. We’re seeing
a lot more engagement from the talent acquisition and talent development side in mobility. I think the most interesting thing is, where mobility traditionally sits under compensation and benefits, because international assignments, or international mobility is seen relatively as a cost. It’s expensive to send someone, compensation’s involved, tax [issues], these types of things. The more progressive companies are moving the mobility function to talent, so a number of our client contacts for the mobility level, used to report under compensation and benefits, but now report into talent.
“We’re interested in learning more about what’s going on in the minds of the folks in charge of talent acquisition and talent development. What are the things that they’re talking about, beyond the obvious? And talent acquisition—talent development less so—but talent acquisition seems very local, so it’s also interesting from an outsourcing perspective what the service partners are doing, in terms of their outsourcing success on a regional or global level. We’re kind of really similar, and just look at HR from different areas of expertise, and I think it’s just so eye-opening to see the similarities, and also to learn from these guys. I think talent acquisition, talent development, has a higher profile and a greater, success further up the value chain in HR than mobility. Mobility’s still seen as relatively tactical, so we move the people after talent acquisition finds them and successfully brings them into the organization. Several times in that situation, it then requires relocating, but it’s interesting now to see how maybe mobility can create a more integrated role with talent acquisition on the front end.
“I think it was Matt [Kaiser, keynote speaker from Ericsson], saying he was sitting in the States, San Diego, he applied for a job that happened to be in Australia. So in terms of inducing him to take that job, there was a mobility discussion, a relocation discussion that perhaps happened, you know, earlier or later. I think if mobility is working closely with talent acquisition, in regard to jobs or people, they’re open to candidates from a broader geographic landscape, yeah, then mobility can play, I think, a more partnering, more supportive role, in helping to make that happen.”
Riges Younan, VP Sales, Asia Pacific, Avature, Singapore.
On his reaction to the conference: “I think the content is well placed for the audience. It seems to me that the people I’ve been speaking to during the breaks feel the content is being focused on areas that are relevant to what they do. That’s been the best piece of feedback. And obviously, the actual quality of the delivery of the presentations has been good, so that’s been a positive takeaway
On Avature’s business: “We were founded in 2005, we started life as a recruitment process outsourcing business. We were provided sourcing services to multi-nationals. One of the challenges we had: We were looking for technology to allow us to proactively source people across multiple channels, multiple databases, multiple geographies – in a very scalable and efficient way. At that point we couldn’t find anything that was going to help us to do that, so we went about developing our own. That is where we started in the software business – we developed this federated search capability. We realized that recruiting was changing, and recruiting was becoming much more sales and marketing than it was a tradition kind of HR sort of screening context.
“In order to execute in a sale and marketing context you need an agile platform that enabled you to manage relationships with people before they became applicants to jobs. So we then developed what is our [sort of core] product – Avature CRM – to manage those relationships with customers. So if you think about what Salesforce did to sales and marketing, Avature developed a CRM specifically designed for recruiting.”
Ron Kaufman, book author and management consultant, his company is called UP! Your Service and based in Singapore.
On HR’s connection to a company’s service levels:
“Traditionally, people at the senior levels of organizations say, ‘That’s HR’s job, or it’s customer service’s job.’ But then, if you want to get the whole organization, you’ve got to deal with HR at some point. But HR is traditionally sitting over there, saying, ‘We’re the recruitment people, we’re the onboarding people, we’re the training and development people, we’re the exit interview people, we’re the competency development people,’ but not necessarily that ‘We’re responsible for business objectives.’ We’re actually improving service throughout the organization, including the external customer. What we (his company) is saying is, you can’t have that divide any longer, you can’t say there’s the external facing and then there’s the internal facing – they have to be singing one song together, so they can be singing more powerfully.”
On three components of a “service culture”:
- “The foundation is the education that none of your employees got when they were in school, about what is service – what does it actually mean to be in service to somebody else. How do you assess it, how do you evaluate it, how do you calibrate it?
- “Then there’s the rooftop that protects the organization: That’s leadership, you call it service leadership, and if you have one leak in a beautiful house, and you don’t patch the leak, you’re going to have a messed up house. A lot of companies don’t have service leadership in their DNA: They have product development in their DNA, or they have speed in their DNA, or they have sales in their DNA, but not necessarily something like, ‘We’re gonna serve that customer.’ So what do you do if you’re a large organization, and you’ve grown to a certain size, but now you’ve realized you have to compete based on service? You want to either differentiate based on service, or you want to catch up to the competitor who’s gone ahead of you in terms of service.”
- “In the middle, between the foundations and the roof, you’ve got the building blocks. Inside an organization, it’s who you recruit, how you onboard them, how you compensate, how you do your internal communications, how you capture voice of the customer, what’s your recovery strategy, what’s your benchmarking approach. From an HR standpoint, there are many different parts of an organization responsible for these different things, especially when you get into the building blocks. Some of them are operations, some of them are marketing, some of them are production. But you can’t be fragmented like that if you want to end up with a coherent culture. We say HR’s job is to bring this architecture to everybody else in the organization, to show it as a platform that they can unify on, and figure out where they’re weak and where they’re strong and where they need to keep going.”