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Avature 2020 Digital Summit in Australia: Key Lessons & Takeaways

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The 2020 Avature Digital Summit in Australia is officially in the rearview mirror but we’re already feeling kind of nostalgic. The event saw some of the top regional leaders in HR talk about their strategies and best practices around topics such as AI, internal mobility, employer branding and the importance of agile solutions in today’s ever changing landscape. 

All in all, speakers from Siemens, Hudson, Junior Adventures Group added to two jam-packed days of activities that culminated in the presentation of the Avature Roadmap and the much anticipated Avature Specialist Certification, the first of its kind in Australia. 

There were insights aplenty so we’ve decided to round them up in a quick recap. Let’s dig in:

Taking Solace in Internal Mobility and Employer Branding

Many companies have been facing steep challenges during COVID-19. Downsizing and hiring freezes have meant that down time has become common across all regions and APAC is no exception. But rather than dwell, many organizations have been adopting new strategies and laying the foundations for a post-pandemic reality. Such has been the case for Junior Adventures Group (JAG) which had to deal with great obstacles back in March once the Australian government shut down schools and, essentially, put their activities on an indefinite pause.

Rohan McMaster, JAG’s Talent Acquisition Manager, talked about how his company has managed to weather the storm by shifting from volume hiring (JAG was hiring around 150 new employees per month before the pandemic) to a strategy based on retaining current employees through employer branding. Rather than the usual branded communications campaigns going out to candidates, JAG leveraged Avature’s email marketing functionality to deliver specific messages, updates and company news to all staff members. The Hiring Manager Portal also became essential for making the most out of remote working conditions, optimizing communications between stakeholders.

Avature was also fundamental in two additional strategies adopted by JAG. On the one hand, with external recruitment on hold, they looked to lean heavily on internal mobility. This helped them identify and nurture internal talent from within, resulting in even greater employee engagement. In fact, the company moved from 22% to 31% of their permanent placements made by internal promotion of staff. 

On the other hand, the company took advantage of the hiring freeze to build talent pipelines that could translate into success once a certain degree of normality finally returns. These pipelines focused mainly on ex employees and previous staffers who may wish to return to JAG in the future, especially in casual and part-time capacities.

An Uncertain World Requires an Agile Solution

Junior Adventures Group wasn’t the only speaker at the summit who shared how they have persevered through the perils of COVID. The pandemic found Siemens in the middle of an already challenging structural change that began over a year ago, when they decided to carve out their energy division from the overall business by creating Siemens Energy. Amid the transformation, they wanted to use the same recruiting suite they had been accustomed to with Avature for over three years without affecting the company’s daily operations.To top it all off, COVID meant that this global operation had to be done 100 percent virtually. 

“We decided to make a ‘cloned’ but ‘optimized’ Avature suite for Siemens Energy” explained Maria Ma, Siemens Energy’s Global Head of TA Technology and Transformation. The goal was to communicate the spin-off while still preserving the same user experience for external candidates, whom they feared would feel confused if changes were too noticeable. The result? All relevant data was transferred seamlessly and the deadline was met three weeks ahead of schedule, with Avature’s flexibility becoming the key to the process being smooth  and non-disruptive for candidates. In Ma’s own words: “Avature’s agility has helped us so much in the last four years and even now to be able to respond to business strategy and address recruiting challenges on a day-to-day basis.”

Automation is a Recruiter’s Best Friend

As talent stakeholders seek to optimize sourcing, screening, segmentation and candidate communication efforts during the pandemic, the use of automation has become increasingly important to make the most out of the limited resources available. Recruitment agency Hudson presented their experience with the Department of Justice and Community Safety of Victoria (DJCS) as a prime example of how such technology can speed up resource-heavy procedures unsuitable for high-volume hiring, driving impressive benefits for the business.

Hudson’s Alice Powell, Project Manager, and Angus White, Associate Director, highlighted that the new Avature-powered, automated recruitment process for prison officers for the DJCS has enabled them to streamline resources, freeing up 60 percent of the team to focus on value-added tasks, whilst achieving 97 percent candidate satisfaction. “The biggest impact has been felt in our ability to automate”, explained Powell. “Not only the screening of applications but also around the automated workflow that can progress candidates through the first assessment”. 

Avature has allowed the DJCS to sort and filter candidates with ease, work across technologies throughout the process and develop quick, accurate and transparent data, effectively saving a week of time for every single assignment by automatically building reports. It’s no surprise that 89 percent of hiring managers responded they would hire again with the new workflow. “The people from the staff are very happy with the people they’ve hired”, concluded White.

To Conclude

The speed at which change is happening at the moment can seem overwhelming to all of us. But pausing and taking part in events such as the 2020 Avature Digital Summit in Australia can serve as much needed inspiration. Sharing insights and learning about how others have survived (and even thrived) in 2020 can be just the spark you need to help you with your HR strategy going forward. 


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