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Recruitment priorities for professionals in Hong Kong

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“In our roles in talent acquisition, we need to bring value on a daily basis. We need to bring solutions and not problems,” was the message in the keynote address that inaugurated Recruitment Interactive in Hong Kong yesterday.

“We’ve heard many banks saying – I have been doing this for the past 100 years. That concept has to change,” said Michelle Loong, director of strategic global talent acquisition for Johnson Electric.

She believes in today’s job market it is no longer possible for one to stay in a company for all of his or her career.

“You need to be able to separate loyalty from performance. Be loyal to your own performance, and realise that it will be loyal to you. I hate to say this, but your employer is not your family,” she said.

Senior HR executives in Hong Kong gathered at the Recruitment Interactive 2015 conference to share their insights on the future of the recruitment function.

Held for the first time in Hong Kong, after a successful three-year run in Singapore, the gathering at Hotel ICON saw a full-day of discussion on how to tackle the talent war in what is arguably the most competitive environment in Asia.

Franziska Huggenberger, head of regional recruitment, Asia Pacific at BASF talked about leveraging the power of employees and candidates in building a positive image as an employer.

“The employer brand is not only about recruitment advertising. If we look at who is actually shaping your employer image, it is not the fancy website, but your employees and candidates who are the most credible,” she explained.

“You have to make sure your people and your candidates speak in the same voice as you.”

Make the recruitment process personal, she advised, to nods from a majority of the delegates present.

“Make your application process easy to understand and transparent for the candidates. Even if you don’t choose them, they will recommend you to their friends because they have a good experience. This is something you can do even with a zero budget,” she said.

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Carl Kimball, vice president for Southeast Asia at PageUp pointed out the challenge for local employers to make their career websites mobile-friendly.

Research by the company showed that up to 70% of local employers do not have career sites optimised for mobiles.

“If people can’t apply to your company on your site through their mobile phone, they will not even apply. There’s such a high percentage of people who do this. Especially the young kids, they expect it,” he noted.

Another question raised was by Andre Young Dipo Presma, senior HR business partner, global operations East Asia zone at Schneider Electric: “How many of you as HR professionals are measuring how many employees you build versus buy?”

In assessing internal talent, he pointed out a challenge is when leaders and HR speak a different language.

“The business wants A type of candidate, while HR wants the B type of candidate. So HR needs to develop the candidate’s success profile – what is needed to be successful in that role.”

“They need to talk in the same language – in terms of the experience critical to this role, knowledge, traits, and what are drivers the candidate must possess.”

Besides hearing from keynote speakers and discussions among panelists, the delegates also spent time interacting with each other through five group breakout sessions held throughout the day on five themes of recruitment.

Here are some photos from the conference:

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