Stan Rolfe interviews Bevan White on the importance of Technology in a successful Talent Acquisition function.

Stan Rolfe (@StanRolfe) Senior Advisor People & Culture for REL, caught up with Bevan White (@bjwhitez), Director Talent Acquisition with Jacobs (Formerly Sinclair Knight Merz) to get his thoughts on the talent management landscape. Between drinks, here’s what he had to say;

Lessons from Bevan White:

  • The use of technology is paramount to a successful talent acquisition function.
  • The most effective way to drive consistency in the end to end recruitment process is to implement a robust online recruitment system in which candidates are managed through, and including on boarding.
  • A robust online recruitment system is the backbone of a successful function as it drives recruiter behaviour, provides valuable ROI reporting to justify additional spend for the enhancement of the function.
  • You can increase your chances of obtaining management buy-in for obtaining technology; like an online recruitment system, by relating your proposed tech back to your organization’s business drivers; savings to the bottom line, ROI etc.
  • You can increase the success of your proposed technology by ensuring that you’ve thought about the main objectives for getting that technology.
  • TA Leaders are the ones who aren’t afraid to try something and make a mistake. They are willing to learn, are flexible and accept other views and above all, meet or exceed expectations.

Stan: Bevan thanks for taking the time to meet with #ATCTalentTalks. SKM was recently acquired by Jacobs and you are moving into a new role which is located in Jacobs HQ(Pasadena USA), Centre of Excellence. Firstly congratulations. What is the position and what do you see as some of the main challenges ahead?
Bevan: Thanks Stan, yes I am moving to head office in the US, where I will be heading up the Talent Acquisition Centre of Excellence (COE), which provides global TA leadership through the development of strategy, prioritising programs and initiatives, and setting implementation strategies that are clearly aligned with serving Company needs in a global environment (by gavce). I see the challenges in aligning consistent approaches across the global TA organisation.
Stan: Where do you see technology assisting you with some of these challenges? In your own experience, where and how has technology created the most value in the talent acquisition process?
Bevan: The use of technology is paramount to success to a successful TA function, for example in order to drive consistency in the end to end recruitment process the most effective way to do this, is implement a robust online recruitment system in which candidates are managed through and including on boarding. This forms the backbone of a successful function as it drives recruiter behaviour, provides valuable ROI reporting to justify additional spend for the enhancement of the function.
Stan: What advice can you provide to others in obtaining management buy-in and gaining approval  in acquiring technology?
Bevan:  Ensure that you can demonstrate benefits by having the technology, if you can relate it back to saving to the bottom line and return of investment for having a particular technology it will be easier to get management buy-in.
Stan: What do you believe are some of the mistakes people make when identifying, obtaining approval or implementing technology into a business?
Bevan: Not having thought out the main objective in getting the technology
Stan: SKM/You were one of the first in Australia to adopt and implement a pro-active sourcing function and introduce social media into the attraction and engagement process. Looking at the years ahead, what aspects of talent acquisition and management do you think will become ‘hot topics’? Workforce Planning, Outsourcing, Back to basics..etc
Bevan: I believe workforce planning and resource allocation (understanding internal talent, where they are and where they want to go and the whole internal mobility piece around this) will be a hot topic and also the full integration of the talent management life cycle, by this I mean organisations ability to manage talent from the pre-employment stage, right the way through their career development at a company to succession planning (which links back to the recruitment piece). It makes common sense but it is a challenge to master.
Stan: For those aspiring to become a leader, manager within Talent Acquisition in a large global organisation such as SKM, Jacobs what key pieces of advice would you like to share?
Bevan: Don’t be afraid to try something and make a mistake, be willing to learn, be flexible and accept other views and above all, deliver what you say you coming to deliver  (met or exceed expectations).
Stan: Bevan, on behalf of ATC Talent Talks, the gang at #ATCEvents and myself, Thank You for your time, and best wishes in your new role with Jacobs. We will be following your adventures closely.
 
#ATC2014 will include a Technology track, with designated sessions aimed at giving you a deep understanding of how new innovations in candidate assessment, video interviewing, mobile recruitment, sourcing, and social recruitment will impact your talent management function, as well as how to integrate them. The conference will also feature an InnovationLab, where you can get up close to emerging and game-changing HR & recruitment technology.
You can register for the event here.

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