Tight market calls for creative hiring strategies: HR expert

Tight market calls for creative hiring strategies: HR expert
TODAY file photo
Published: 11:55 PM, May 26, 2015
Updated: 12:02 AM, May 27, 2015

SINGAPORE — To attract the best talent in an increasingly competitive job market, companies and recruitment agencies need to be more creative in their hiring strategy, United States-based human resources expert Jim Stroud told TODAY in an interview today (May 26).

Mr Stroud, recruitment strategies and support director at Randstad Sourceright, said better use of data analytics and new media such as social networking platforms can help companies to reach out more effectively to potential employees.

For example, studying the hiring patterns of a company allows it to focus its recruiting efforts.

“If I know that my client tends to hire from companies A, B and C based on the data that I have, I will focus my recruiting effort on these companies to save time and give my client what it wants. I would also look at the career progression of my client’s employees, so if I can’t find anyone to fill a senior role, I would focus my effort on searching for someone with relevant junior experience who can be trained to take on that senior role,” said Mr Stroud.

He added that these approaches also allow companies to build a “competitive intelligence database”, which enables them to better track hiring habits and employee sentiment at their rivals. Doing this can help them gain an edge when recruiting from rival companies.

Besides that, technology can also help employers personalise their approach for better candidate engagement. One way to do this is by finding out more about a candidate through social media platforms.

“My experience says that a personalised email works a lot better than any generic template. I’ve gone into Facebook and found this software engineer who likes The Avengers, so instead of sending an email that says ‘I have an amazing opportunity’, I can say ‘Captain America needs your help’ — that will attract attention more, knowing that this person likes The Avengers,” Mr Stroud said.

These practices have taken off in the US, where more employers are also taking to utilising recruitment apps such as Poachable, Poacht and Switch. However, firms in Singapore have yet to jump on this bandwagon even though it is one effective way to identify passive talent, or those not actively seeking new employment opportunities. This group makes up about 70 per cent of Singapore’s labour market.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of Singapore not catching up, but a matter of the adoption time in this part of the world, because many of these tools are developed in the US and some of them are still fairly new. I think it’s a matter of time before they arrive in Singapore,” said Mr Doug Edmonds, regional director for Asia-Pacific at Randstad Sourceright.

The war for talent is set to get fiercer amid almost-full employment in Singapore and developments such as the formation of ASEAN Economic Community that will increase the mobility of human capital.

At the same time, the workforce is becoming increasingly diverse with the arrival of Generation Z workers, whom employers may find more challenging to manage.