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New ways of thinking about Talent Acquisition: business transformation & innovation to attract & retain the best talent

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Career Moves had the absolute pleasure of hosting another over subscribed webinar, 'New ways of thinking about Talent Acquisition: business transformation & innovation to attract & retain the best talent ’.

We were fortunate enough to have the following thought leaders on the panel with us; Catherine Hearn, Director of TA Consumer EMEA, at Amazon, Graeme Johnson, Talent Director at Entain, Russell Essex Crosby, Director, Talent Acquisition & Operations at NBCUniversal and Ryan Broad, Director of Talent at Group M. Facilitated by CMG's very own MD, Caroline Foote, it was a conversation based on insight and expertise covering;

  • Transformation in Talent

  • The challenges of the last year

  • Societal need to address and implement D, E & I

  • The use of innovation for Talent Acquisition processes

  • The Future of Talent Acquisition

We know not everyone was able to be with us on the day which is why we are eager to share with you our speaker insights.

Graeme Johnson, Talent Director at Entain 

Talent Acquisition is the most measurable, commercially impacting function with HR – and it always has been. All great CEOs, particularly in Tech businesses, understand the value of critical talent to an organisation. Here at Entain, the largest sports betting and gaming business on the planet, we get more traffic to our apps and games during a big sporting events like the Euros than Amazon shopping at Christmas. So mobile app stability is critical – otherwise we lose hundreds of thousands of pounds in seconds.

New ways of thinking about Talent Acquisition for me, is ensuring you think about the impact on business performance. Innovation doesn’t look like adding a chat bot to your careers site, or a scheduling tool to automate interview bookings. I mean. Those things are nice marginal gains, you should do them. But the impactful work in TA is prioritising attraction and retention activities based on what contributes most to generating revenue (software developers, creatives, product managers), or protecting against risk (cyber security, platform stability).

Does your pay reflect the criticality of the role? Are you advising and working with your CFO and Reward team to pay unfairly? See Work Rules!, by Laszlo Bock. Right now, everyone wants to hire data scientists. Every business is a tech business. So being laser focused on what differentiates you in these hot talent markets and taking a surgical approach, is what will make the difference between running a successful business, or a mediocre one.

There is a business performance angle on flexibility that Talent Acquisition teams will be facing into… that no-one is talking about yet! It will be interesting to see how this progresses over the course of the coming year as we head towards our new future of work.

Russell Essex Crosby, Director, Talent Acquisition & Operations at NBCUniversal 

 Moments of violence are catalysts for us to focus on how we can contribute to long-term systemic and sustainable change. As Brian Robert’s the CEO of our parent company Comcast said, we are committed to playing a constructive role in fighting injustice and inequality.

 We’ve been heartened by how NBCUniversal has stepped up, looked inward and became an even better and more diverse organisation over the past year. We have long been a company that supports its employees and the communities we serve, but never more than now – and you can see the impact everywhere you look.

 How organisations access and understand their candidate and employee demographics is more important than ever. There is some great momentum and appetite for change, but businesses need to understand where they can create meaningful impact. ALL diversity is important but the additional focus that is needed often differs by county, business or function. Having this data for Talent Acquisition also allows us to identify where the challenges are and then where to focus our efforts e.g. do you need to focus on candidate attraction at the top of the funnel or are their challenges in the selection process.

 One area that we found that was disproportionally effecting applicants was social mobility. For example, not all young talent has the opportunity to go onto further education. This is often not because they are not every bit as bright as their peers but because they are either not in a financial position to go or through other personal circumstances. This socio-economic diversity disproportionally effects talent from different ethnic backgrounds so we set about looking for opportunities to support organisations driving social mobility.

 MOBO were seeking funding to create an application that connects diverse, particularly black talent, with the creative industry. Comcast NBCUniversal made a $100M commitment – A comprehensive, cross-company multiyear plan to use our resources to fight injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability. We saw an opportunity to put in a grant application and secured financial support for MOBO and now NBCUniversal are proud to be helping MOBO shape their platform and ultimately help to connect talent with creative opportunities whether at NBCUniversal or elsewhere.

 We are also founding members of London Screen Academy who provide a different curriculum for young talent from a range of backgrounds with a passion for Film and TV. We are partnering with LSA to create trainee opportunities for young talent from their programme. The same can be said for Prince’s Trust where we have seen some great success this year with our Internships, carving out a number of roles specifically for alumni of our bi-annual Get Started in Media curriculum and introducing a mentorship programme to support unsuccessful candidates.

 We still want to hire talent with great potential into our early career programmes, but the best talent does not have to come from the usual universities or even be studying a degree. The bottom line here is to not just look at but proactively support other talent pools so together we can breakdown the barriers for entry. The same can be said as you move up through the organisation.

 NBCUniversal are building a diverse and inclusive workforce - We have committed to building a more diverse work environment which reflects the world around us and the audiences we serve – and we continue to see encouraging progress. While we have so much to be proud of though, this is just the beginning!

Ryan Broad, Director of Talent at Group M  

It is imperative for us at Group M to ensure that we are aligned to our organisational strategy. Karen Blackett our CEO’s mission is for GroupM to be the number one media company in the UK and one that truly represents modern Britain.  

For the talent team that has two drivers for us, how are the best recruiters irrespective of their background or industry and secondly make sure the representation of our talent team reflects the diversity of modern Britain. So that as a function we can all personally better understand the intersectionality of the talent groups available to GroupM in the UK. 

Taking this approach has jump started our creative capability which I believe is because we have a much greater diversity of thought in the team which is helping us to identify the widest talent available which in turn again is helping our strategy to make advertising work better for people. 

From an operations strategy perspective we have taken an inclusive lens to our hiring practises. We used Deloitte’s inclusion and diversity maturity model and we adapted that and put in place a hiring manager maturity model so we could clearly articulate the characteristics  of a talent champion and the benefits that that would deliver to an organisation. 

 We use our hiring manager maturity model to communicate anti track the development needs of our hiring manager populations this has helped to enable our management teams to be much more conscious about having an inclusive hiring approach and also about the interview structure that they put in place. 

We also took a similar approach to how we source for candidates ensuring that all of our outreach efforts are consciously promoting our jobs to the underrepresented groups where we know key skills exist again to ensure that we have the widest possible pool of talent available. This approach of conscious sourcing combined with conscious hiring and our alignment to the organisational strategy gives us the best chance to help GroupM achieve its goals. 

Some of the positive outputs that we can now see Is one in three of all of our hires coming from a diverse background, this is also reflected in our candidate sourcing strategies where one in three of our sourced candidates comes from the underrepresented groups that we work with. The additional support for the management teams ensures that we are 100% compliant with the Equality Act and have been able to eliminate discrimination in our hiring practises both of those outputs again are aligned to helping us ensure that we better reflect the country we live in. 

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