Finders keepers, only with big data
After collecting red envelopes during the festive season, many employers find their staff starting to jump ship. In helping corporates retain and recruit more talents, Caleb Baker, managing director of Asia Pacific and emerging markets at Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS), suggests that they embrace the trend of big data.
With the help of big data, employers can know before targeted candidates send out a resume and can contact them in advance.
Also, according to an AMS report, companies that use employee-performance data to improve ongoing talent acquisition outperform their competition by 58 percent.
Baker offers an example. “We search job boards for a particular position and find out there may be 1,000 people qualified for the job. What big data will do is decide maybe 70 of these people are behaving a way that they may be open to a new position.”
“If we can prioritize who we call and in which order, it is huge efficiency … especially for recruiting low-ranked employees,” Baker explains.
According to the CTHR Recruitment and Salary Trends Survey for the last quarter of 2015 by jobs portal CTgoodjobs.hk, as many as 80 percent of 316 employers polled
Thousand Talents Plan”, at the end of 2008, to bring in top overseas talents to the Chinese mainland over the following five to 10 years.
Shenzhen had recruited about 150 talents by the end of June 2015 under this plan since 2008, including experts for scientific search projects and business leaders of advancing technology companies.
Baker has participated in the project as a consultant and is “very excited” about it.
As he puts it: “It is a part of the strategy to effectively buy expertise, quickly accelerate Chinese expertise and transfer knowledge.”
“There will also be a level of excitement from talents to get said they had difficulty finding the right people for non-managerial and entry level positions.
Baker says the analysis of information such as performance reviews, employee surveys, communication patterns, as well as staff e-mail and calendar, helps to reveal a thorough picture of what motivates an employee to stay and what causes them to quit the job.
Australia-born Baker has lived and worked in Asia for about 15 years, building a unique experience and understanding of multiple countries and cultures.
“My icebreaking topic with local staff is largely around food,” Baker laughs. “My first advice to international talents is if you want it to be like home, don’t come.”
Having been in the industry for over 15 years, Baker has personally brought more than 200 international talents into the region.
In total, he has done over a few thousand interviews for his teams and clients, seven interviews a week on average.
But the most unforgettable one was a video interview sent by a candidate applying for a position for his team seven years ago, which was “forward thinking and clever”. It was also unique and so personal that it caught his attention and he could not ignore it.
“My philosophy is simple: hire capability over technical experience. What I am looking for is people who have curiosity.”
Ten years ago, the industry was about good people who knew how to recruit and hire good people, but that is only a small part of the value now.”
into any market, particularly China, which is a very exciting market.” But after recruiting these international talents, the mainland business community must know how to manage them, reminds Baker.
“It will be a big shift for them to open up to different ways of working and engaging talents in different ways,” he explains.
Rather than more intense competition, Baker sees the mainland as a source of greater opportunity.
In 2015, his company grew 25 percent on the mainland and he says it is becoming more important to their global strategy because it is stabilizing, rather than growing rapidly.
“The greatest opportunity in
China is that it is getting hotter for talents and experts who can deliver great results,” he says.
“Multinational and even local companies with big investments, such as for buildings, need to have better outcome for shareholders.”
“In addition, due to the salary inflation and competitive environment of the last five years, these shareholders expect better and efficient delivery,” he adds.
This has resulted in contracts with clients who not only want his company to find talents but also guarantee their performance.
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Caleb Baker, managing director for Asia Pacific and emerging markets at Alexander Mann Solutions, says talent acquisition in today’s world is all about how companies utilize technology, social media and data analyses.