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Q&A with Roger Young, CHRO at Li & Fung



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At the Asia Recruitment Awards Hong Kong 2019, global supply chain giant Li & Fung was awarded one gold in Best Global Recruitment Strategy and two silvers in Best On-Boarding Experience and Best Candidate Experience –Corporate HR Team. Roger Young, chief human resources officer at Li & Fung shares how his recruitment policies help capitalise on the age of digitalisation.

What are the key traits of an excellent global recruitment strategy?
An excellent global recruitment strategy must be aligned to the company’s values, vision and strategy. At Li & Fung, we have a rich history dating back over 100 years, and we are reinventing ourselves to become the supply chain of the future enabling our customers to navigate through the digital economy and improving the lives of a billion people connected to our supply chain ecosystem of employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders. With this vision, our global recruitment strategy is 100% aligned to ensuring that we attract talent globally – talent that gives us the capability to drive huge change and transformation in the retail end-to-end supply chain from design and product development, to sourcing, production and delivery.

Recruitment strategies must now be equally dynamic as the business environment changes – and we must leverage innovation and technology, such as the use of HireFit, to help us better determine the candidate’s fit. As the speed of business increases at a rapid rate, so must the speed of the recruitment process. And as the Millennials have now become the largest demographic in the workforce, a global recruitment strategy must resonate with this group, which means the use of digitally advanced tools and capabilities and employment branding which appeal to the Millennials’ focus on the organisations’ higher purpose and values, diversity & inclusion, and career opportunities that enable them to make a meaningful difference.

What is Li & Fung’s digital branding strategy?
The world is becoming very fast paced and digital, with new technologies evolving all the time. This is especially true in the retail industry where things such as e-commerce, fast fashion, predictive trend and data analytics, and 3D design and sampling are leading the transformation, and speed is the main focus. Speed in getting new ideas and trends from concept and product development to production and delivery to the customers at breakneck speed. As we become the world’s leader in providing digital value added solutions to the retail industry, our recruitment strategy focuses on building global talent and capability that will meet these customer needs of the future. Our people will need to help our customers develop digital solutions along every part of the end-to-end retail value chain. Our recruitment processes also, as a result, focus on the use of digital innovations to help drive speed, from using DocuSign drive for more efficient completion of the hiring process, to digital on-boarding solutions which include gamification apps, digital interactive learning platforms, Chatbot, pre-boarding portals, and a digital orientation programme for new joiners. As mentioned previously, we extensively use HireFit, which leverages artificial intelligence to enable better and faster assessment of candidates against our competency models and cultural fit.

What are the roles of HR practitioners in a digitalised strategy?
The role of HR is critical in Li & Fung’s digital transformation. We help our business leaders develop people-oriented strategies that align to the company’s vision and business strategies, and take the future-focused leadership competencies required for success and develop a recruitment strategy aligned to that. We connect the technology with the people. The power of data has never been more important in the digital world, and for HR practitioners, that means being able to navigate data and analyse data which enables optimal recruitment decisions.

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