27 March 2014

The art and science of talent acquisition

New approaches to attracting talent are getting some companies the best candidates possible.

The human resources department must consider hiring from a business standpoint, says Mei-lynn Chan, Head, Organizational Development, Group Human Capital, Maybank. "Transform HR activities into real numbers. You have to quantify them in a business sense," she said during talent management solutions provider PageUp People's launch of Talented Southeast Asia, a publication focused on talent management in Southeast Asia. 

Traditionally, a hiring budget could prevent HR from hiring certain people. The new outlook means that HR would be able to hire a person with the right skillset "as long as the business can carry that cost until the hire begins to pay back on the investment," she said. "It is thinking from business standpoint than from a HR standpoint."

Ramon Segismundo, SVP and Head, Human Resources & Corporate Services, Meralco, the largest electrical distributor in the Philippines, said that talent acquisition is a two-way process with HR as a marketer. "It is important to project the CEO or President as a poster boy," he noted. 

What makes the candidate 'cross the line' should be a unique differentiator, he added. Meralco has found a powerful differentiator in corporate social responsibility (CSR), for example. "The first thing we tell candidates is that we're not offering you a job, we're offering you a higher sense of purpose," he said. "When employees are going home because of a typhoon, Meralco people are going to work (on disaster preparedness)."