Our Talent Acquisition & Retention Virtual Summit explored how COVID-19 has altered recruitment and retention culture for good, where organisations must work harder or risk losing talent to competitors.
The panel of globally recognised business leaders, including Roopesh Panchasra, Global Head of Executive Talent Acquisition at Uber, agreed that flexibility and wellbeing support has become more important than salary raises for many employees, where organisations have to work harder to create the culture staff want.
The first fireside chat entitled an “Overview and optimistic look at the Recruitment and Talent Acquisition Landscape for 2021” explored these changing workplace values in more depth. Panchasra was joined by Rajesh Ahuja, Global Head Talent Acquisition at Infosys, and Zoe Morris, President at Frank Recruitment Group.
They agreed that candidate priorities had moved away from role titles to purpose, flexibility, and employer support, including benefits learning. All agreed that recruitment roles were changing and that recruiters needed to “step up” and understand a company’s “mission, values, and purpose” to link the right talent with the right organisation.
This was followed by a panel discussion: “Identify, onboard and develop the right talent for today and tomorrow,” that featured Queenie Chan, Associate Director, Work and Rewards Innovation Team at insurance firm, Willis Towers Watson, and Stephanie Dillon, Partner & Founder at the consultancy, Inclusivity Partners. Lucinda Szebrat, tech consultancy Capco’s Executive Director, UK Diversity and Inclusion Sponsor, and Nabila Salem, President at training provider, Revolent Group also joined.
They spoke about the importance of using data in HR teams to “benchmark workforce composition to set D&I targets.” They agreed that moving recruitment to internal team processes was better for the candidate experience as it increased their chances of understanding the company better. They also voiced concerns that recruitment agencies focused “on getting candidates through the door” over D&I.
They also discussed how to create more diverse talent pools and agreed that “creating a different mindset for hiring managers” was key to removing bias and that a new framework focusing on skills was needed.
Communication was a popular theme throughout the talk, including the importance of communicating to hiring managers the skills they should be looking for in candidates and using skills to look at candidate development and progression once in the organisation.
After this came a presentation by James Cole, Jr, Founder & CEO of social impact investment management firm, The Jasco Group, LLC. The talk was: “Using Analytics & AI to Enhance Hiring.”
Cole said that AI could be used to “improve the quality of hiring” by finding candidates with the “right skills and attributes to become a high-performing employee.” He also said that AI could be used to “examine traits of existing employees”, including their “personality, academic background, and experience.”
He also said AI could be used when onboarding new employees by giving them information and training where the technology can assess their onboarding and upskilling performance. AI can also come in useful for career progression, he added, where candidates applying for internal promotions can complete the same assessments, reducing the effect of bias or favouritism between employees and managers.
The second fireside chat was: “More than just money – Employee experience imperative for talent retention.” The talk featured Carmen Noarbe, EMEA Lead DisAbility ERG at Microsoft; Maxine Nwaneri, business consultant and coach and Founder at The Future is Greater and Stephanie Yeo, Employee Engagement & Learning Designer at software firm, WorkingMouse.
The group agreed that the main reason employees leave an organisation is management. Equally, retention is based upon what Nwaneri called the “four Es”, namely “engaging work, exceptional support, exciting prospects, and excellent relationships.” The talk’s common theme was the need for leaders to engage with their staff and create “a mechanism to listen to employees.” Giving staff what they need, whether that’s special tech support or mental health accommodations were agreed to be important where good leadership was summarised as making staff feel “heard, seen and valued at work.”
Then came the second presentation of the day entitled: “Top 10 ways to attract and keep the best talent with a sustainable culture,” presented by Gwendolyn Yu, Head of Engagement Transformation at BNP Paribas.
She explained how her firm was “financing a sustainable transition”, adding: “Our biggest challenge is how to move a large organisation and change the mindset and business as usual of all 200,000 of our employees across 70 plus countries. It’s not an easy task to begin with. And on top of that, we’re having to do all this while facing the challenges brought to us by the pandemic.”
She said they looked at the UN Sustainable Development Goals and applied it as a “strategic user manual to drive sustainability culture in all 200,000 of our employees” and encouraged all staff to “speak the same language” by providing “the same baseline on what sustainability means,” through an “all staff training programme.”
A case study followed this: “EY’s journey to creating a culture of belonging,” that featured Joanne Conway, Deputy Head of D&I, EY, and Amy Straker, Diversity & Inclusiveness Assistant Directo, UK&I Talent Team, EY.
The pair talked about the company’s goal to double female and ethnic minority representation by 2025. Following the Black Lives Matter movement, they said EY wanted to do something impactful on the anti-racism front both internally and societally. They said they worked “really closely with the Black community” to create policies that would bridge the gap between “what we say and what we do.” To ensure “real, sustainable change”, EY has created “anti-racism commitments” discussed at the UK LLP board.
The final presentation of the day was: “Diversity Challenges in the New Normal,” and featured Christine O’Shea, Founder of consultancy, Piccadilly Beck, and Krissie Haigh, Global Head of Talent. AXA Partners – Global.
They discussed how COVID-19 hadn’t been a leveller for certain groups, including women, ethnic minorities, and members of the LGBT+ community who have had less access to resources. They added that around 25% of women are thinking of leaving the workforce permanently following the pandemic. They noted the lack of female leaders in FTSE 100 firms even though female leadership can contribute to increased company profits over non-diverse firms. They also referenced a McKinsey report that “predicts if women play an identical role to men in labour markets, as much as $28 trillion” could be added to the global annual GDP, making an organisational focus on gender diversity and inclusion a commercial as well as a moral imperative.
Register for our next DiversityQ event: Rethinking Inclusive Mentorship on 18 May, 2021.