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After a virtual edition in 2022, we were thrilled to gather over 90 HR executives and technical professionals from large enterprises for #AvatureUpfront China 2023. The one-day summit in Shanghai featured an impressive speaker line-up, a panel discussion, a masterclass and the Avature Roadmap presentation.

Navigating today’s reconfigured talent landscape was at the center of the presentations and conversations throughout the day. What strategies allow our customers to win over talent in the region and abroad? How are they approaching current trends? What are the focal areas of their retention initiatives? Get inspired by the main takeaways from the forum.

Enabling Global Talent Acquisition

The rise of hybrid and remote work models has opened the door for many organizations to grow their talent pools with candidates from previously untapped locations. Which is why, during the conference, two Avature customers elaborated on how they are tackling the internationalization of their recruiting programs.

Covering strategic and technical aspects, the speakers shared valuable insights for organizations looking to take their talent acquisition (TA) programs to new geographies.

Building a Winning Employer Value Proposition

When working to implement a strategy to globalize its recruiting efforts, one of the first things that Group noticed was that overall candidate awareness of the travel agency as a potential employer was quite low. The reason? Unlike its competitors, Group didn’t have a clear message about why candidates should work for them.

The lack of an Employer Value Proposition (EVP), and consequently of engaging employer branding mechanisms, hindered the agency’s chances of standing out and securing candidates. So, to get the upper hand in the war for talent, Group embarked on a four-stage plan to develop and promote its EVP:

  1. Discovery: To understand how the travel agency was perceived and what it offers as an employer, this phase involved external surveys, competitive analysis and employee input.
  2. Definition: At this point, the agency condensed its gatherings into three dimensions: work content, interpersonal relationships and philosophy of life. To see the definitions they reached, visit Group’s website.
  3. Development: This stage was about leveraging the newly defined EVP to produce creative assets, visuals and slogans to bring Group’s employer brand to life.
  4. Deployment: This ongoing stage ensures that the EVP is perceived by external talent and experienced by employees. From attraction to onboarding to performance management to development and even offboarding, the online travel agency embeds its EVP and ensures a consistent brand presence across the talent experience.

And so, how does Group’s definition of its EVP tie back to boosting recruiting outside of China? After establishing the EVP, the organization has built a global employer brand communication matrix for different stages of the candidate funnel.

Avature has been instrumental in the internationalization efforts by powering Group’s branded career site. Not only that, but it also enables integrations with different job sites across the UK, Philippines, Korea, Japan and the US. And thanks to Avature’s dashboards and analytics, the travel agency gathers insights into the effectiveness of the communication channels they use.

Centralizing Recruiting Operations

To enable TA across multiple locations while increasing recruiting agility, one of the world’s leading lifestyle and hospitality management groups kicked off its Avature implementation in June 2022. But before comparing potential tech solutions, let alone choosing Avature, they identified two complex challenges to overcome:

  1. They didn’t have a global ATS where the recruiting operations of the group’s four brands came together. The lack of a single source of truth led to issues in data flow, visibility and reporting, candidate engagement and assessment, and requisition approval and compliance.
  2. Internal mobility, part of the talent acquisition function, was handled manually. In addition to being cumbersome for the team, not having a digitized process obstructed the group’s ability to take action in time to retain valuable talent.

Considering these challenges, the ATS selection process focused on finding a user-friendly solution across regions and languages. Another vetting factor was its integration framework, as the solution needed to connect seamlessly with others already in place. Lastly, it needed to provide automation capabilities to streamline candidate engagement and end-to-end requisition management.

Avature ATS checked these boxes (and a few additional ones too). Though the implementation is still in progress, the hospitality group went live with a centralized, custom-made ATS last December. By taking this step, the group is not only digitizing recruiting across brands, regions and languages but enabling agility to better keep up with the business’ talent needs.

Gaining a Competitive Advantage Through Talent Intelligence

During its keynote, Philips explored the concept of talent intelligence, which they define as the application of external data related to personnel, skills, jobs, functions, competitors and regions to drive strategic decision-making. Unlike other companies where talent intelligence is distributed among departments, Philips established a dedicated team very early, making it a pioneer and a thought leader in this promising field.

Many organizations are undergoing profound transformations, from which also stem HR transformations, and Philips is no different. In this context, conducting talent intelligence gains even more traction. Furthering on last year’s presentation, Philips’ speaker delved into how talent intelligence supports the HR organization in becoming a decisive business partner.

By tapping into data, the HR team forms a clear picture of the organization’s needs, talent and role in the market. Armed with these insights, they can make strategic decisions to maximize opportunities, bridge existing gaps, future-proof the organization and position Philips more competitively.

Looking to the future, the name of talent intelligence may change, its service scope may evolve, or it may even merge with HR analytics or be embedded within larger business organizations. However, the function will undoubtedly become a competitive advantage. If your HR or recruiting team is exploring the boundaries of its capabilities, I encourage you to study this topic.”

Elaine Gu
Head of Talent Acquisition, Greater China, Philips

Thriving in Change

With Covid restrictions having eased relatively recently in China, key stakeholders from Mettler Toledo, Diageo and Virtuos came together to discuss how they are tackling the main talent trends in this post-pandemic context. From remote work to mobility and skills, they shared the knowledge and practices that allow them to continue meeting the changing needs of their organizations.

Takeaway 1

Mettler Toledo and Virtuos’ panelists spoke about the value of being able to pivot as quickly as possible in order to navigate the paradigm shifts brought about by the pandemic. In this regard, they highlighted the importance of having the right technology to enable that sought-after agility.

When asked about the specific practices they implement, Mettler Toledo’s representative explained that because candidates are now more selective than ever when looking for a job, her organization focuses on presenting job opportunities in a way that helps the organization stand out. And her peer from Virtuos added that a tactic that has proven effective for them, especially for urgent and hard-to-fill positions, is promoting the openings both internally and externally.

Takeaway 2

As the conversation shifted toward employee engagement in remote work settings, one of the key points addressed was the need to provide employees with toolkits and guidelines and organize in-person activities. The panelists emphasized this last point, especially because face-to-face interactions are vital in Chinese culture.

As for Diageo’s panelist, his message touched on Employer Value Proposition. Along these lines, he stressed the importance of instilling organizational culture to foster a sense of belonging and maintain engagement.

Takeaway 3

The final topic on the table was skills-based hiring. The variety of strategies was enlightening for the audience, as the three panelists addressed the trend from the unique perspectives of their industries.

For example, Virtuos targets mostly young candidates. To achieve its hiring goals, the organization has dedicated team members studying the market to better inform their recruiting strategies. And because they often look for candidates on campus, they host expert-led sessions and send out seasoned recruiters that tap into the interests of their target audience with relevant messages.

Diageo circled back to campus recruiting and mentioned the organization’s close cooperation with schools to nurture students’ interest in the premium drinks industry. Next, he went on to explain that for middle and executive-level positions, domestic job boards are a good source of leads in the short term. But for the long term, Avature-powered landing pages are Diageo’s go-to tool for creating talent pools.

As for Mettler Toledo, the panelist also talked about their differentiated approaches based on the nature of the position to fill. For example, for R&D, they leverage communities and host regular open-day events. In the case of marketing openings, on the other hand, she recommends tapping into small forums, industry events or social opportunities.

Unveiling Our Roadmap

This year’s Roadmap presentation was so packed that it actually turned into two sessions! First, the local team walked the attendees through Avature’s newest functionalities, including improvements to our Content Management System (CMS) capabilities, enhancements to our cross-platform AI, innovations around skills and our most recently launched solution, Social Learning.

The afternoon session covered our dedicated WeChat solution and exciting details about Avature 10. One of the biggest updates we have ever made to our platform’s architecture, this new version will drive agility and unlock countless possibilities.

Our annual conferences provide a unique space for the members of our progressive community to engage in in-depth discussions, share insights and exchange best practices tailored to their specific regional context. We are already excited about next year’s summit, where we hope to learn more about how they leverage Avature 10’s endless potential to continue bringing their ideas to life and reshaping the future of work.


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