Posted 9 months ago by Charlotte Moncrieff

Top speaker insights from our 'Thriving In Transformation: Talent Acquisition Strategy That Makes All The Difference’ webinar

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Our latest webinar 'Thriving In Transformation: Talent Acquisition Strategy That Makes All The Difference’ was a huge success and we were thrilled to see another webinar sell out. Naturally this can only mean that we had another stellar line up on the panel sharing their expertise. We were fortunate enough to have  Andrew Porter, Group Resourcing Director at Capita, Catherine Schlieben, HR Director at National Grid, Elaine Atkinson, Head of Resourcing & Talent Acquisition at Deloitte  and Tim Palmer, Senior VP, Global Recruitment at Endeavor join us on the panel and it was brilliantly facilitated by HR Expert and founder of EACH FUTURE, Derren Young and hosted by CMG's very own MD Caroline Foote. 

The focus of the webinar itself was on the following themes:

  • Talent Acquisition before and during COVID-19 crisis as well as what to expect in the future; hiring and onboarding remotely
  • BLM and sourcing D&I talent
  • Change in processes; juggling the volume of candidates, whilst preserving brand, values & reputation; AI-offshoring-outsourcing.
  • Exploring the personal impact on teams, colleagues and the organisation as a whole

Listed in alphabetical order, take a look at the key insights from each speaker. 

Andrew Porter, Group Resourcing Director at Capita  

2020 has definitely taken the phrase “crazy times” to an unparalleled level.  Whether it’s economic uncertainty from Brexit or the more immediate demands of our response to COVID, the external environment has never more influenced what, how and where we operate on a day to day basis. It’s a complex landscape fuelled by uncertainty. On one hand, the barriers for acquiring talent appear to be falling with greater flexibility driven by the need for virtual working but this also comes with pressures on candidates and colleagues to engage in a very virtual way, which we are adapting to but is this really sustainable long term?

They say necessity is the mother of invention and for Capita’s resourcing function we have really had to think on our feet.  From managing our furlough response, creating a brand new redeployment approach in 12 days to keep colleagues in the business but doing different work; creating outplacement content and materials to support those who are sadly unable to be retained, it’s been a very different year. However, we have added value – just not in the “usual” way. The changes we have faced are truly once in a generation, if not once in a lifetime but we know that however long the phase is, it will be a passing one.  The test is how to take the best of our learnings, change and grow.

Whenever we return to “normal” (whatever that will be) it is undoubted that the world of work, jobs and careers will have changed immeasurably.  As talent and resourcing professionals we need to develop our “new normal” response across the hiring lifecycle of attract, engage, hire and retain. However, one thing is certain, organisations who place a genuinely higher value on diversity, inclusion, flexibility and have a focus on candidate and colleague physical and mental wellbeing are going to be more attractive than those who don’t.  Fail to address the needs of talent (internal and external) now and when the market normalises those that have responded well will win. Those who don’t will face potentially more serious challenges.

Catherine Schlieben, HR Director at National Grid 

We hear the word ‘unprecedented’ all too much at the moment and most of us have never seen such a time of transformation and turbulence.  Our response to this within Talent Acquisition and Talent does not necessarily need to be strictly transformational in my view, but rather we need to remember the basics more than ever.  How our company responded internally and externally to the pandemic and BLM will have a great impact on our ability to attract and manage our talent. Having a clear and meaningful purpose as a business and sticking to well established and believable values is key. Having a focus on candidate and colleague experience and adapting quickly to operating in a remote environment is critical. 

Key too is the support and development we give to our leaders and managers, so they are guided how to lead from afar, grow and develop as inclusive leaders, keep making things happen and living the values.

Elaine Atkinson, Head of Resourcing & Talent Acquisition at Deloitte  

Recent external events have only served to accelerate some of our ambitions within Talent Acquisition such as using tech and automation to flex our hiring capability whilst retaining human contact where it matters and striving for equal representation for all in our recruitment practices.  Going virtual, for example, has enabled us to offer junior talent access to work experience, learning and mentoring opportunities on a larger scale than before and reach a more diverse audience - this has never been more important given the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives and career aspirations. 

The demand for greater agility in how we respond to business needs has also led to increased creativity, closer collaboration, faster decision making and a ‘fail fast’ mind set across HR - all of which has and will continue to benefit our people as well as our new joiners. 

Change has definitely become the new normal and prioritisation is key but, more importantly, leading a virtual team through a pandemic has required more mindful and compassionate leadership to maintain focus and a deeper understanding of the different challenges everyone is facing.

Tim Palmer, Senior VP, Global Recruitment at Endeavor  

With every crisis there does come some form of opportunity, however small!  My team and I used this period to not only reflect, but also re-focus our strategy and goals for the next 18 months; a significant part of this involved taking this time to analyze our general operations. 

We looked at our systems, our ATS, our databases, as well as our advertising channels; we also analyzed how we ran our end to end process, ensuring that it was as optimal as it can be, to fit the way that our business operates.  We re-examined our data, looking at how we reported to the business and also, importability, how this data informed the decisions we make; we also started the (now) ongoing process of how we are positioned from an employer brand perspective, given that our business is a collection of many brands.  As we know, there is so much more to recruiting than actually just filling jobs! Most importantly we stayed together and kept communicating, so as we now start to see the recovery we are well placed to dive straight back in! 

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