What's more, the internal research team has completed the regional commercial mapping projects of three identified companies, having collected marketing intelligence and conducted competitor analysis successfully. 

At the Asia Recruitment Awards, Singapore virtual awards ceremony in 2020, Gates was nominated as a finalist for the In-house Recruitment Team of the Year category, along with two individuals succeeding as finalists for the In-house Recruitment Professional of the Year category.

In this interview, Soon Lip Rick Goh, Senior Director for HR APAC, Gates Industrial Singapore, Jessica Zheng, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, East Asia and India, Gates Industrial Singapore; and Neha Mehra, HR Business Partner – Talent Acquisition, India, Gates India share their winning experiences with Priya Veeriah.

Q What is your organisation’s recruitment strategy, and how has it evolved in recent times? How does this agenda fit into the bigger HR priorities, and do you work closely with the CEO for this?

At Gates, our recruitment strategy is in line with the company's business goals. We work closely with the business leaders to identify yearly workforce planning. At the same time, we work cross-functionally with the finance team to make sure the hiring budget is within the SGA control requirement. Being a regional talent acquisition leader, our recruitment strategy is to work as a business partner and provide talent solutions to support business growth.

In 2018, we restructured our fluid power business and successfully hired a new general manager to drive business initiatives. As a result, business revenue has increased 50% within 12 months.

Q Share with us your winning recruitment strategy. What were the key business drivers, and how have you executed it successfully?

We understand the business objectives and learnt how to provide feasible solutions by leveraging talent attributes. Most importantly, we are not promoting a vacancy or a job to the talents in the market; we have identified the company's purpose, defined values and implanted business initiatives by leveraging system, processes and people.

Q No execution is free from unexpected hurdles. In what shape or form did you experience challenges, and how did you overcome them?

We had gone through major challenges in attracting frontline sales engineers in SEA market. While candidates had strong sales engineering backgrounds, many weren’t as familiar with the technical details around our emerging markets. In fact, the regional TA team worked together on several tough searches - remote locations, demanding clients, changeable direction and niche market. However, there were temporary solutions to tackle the business challenges.

Ultimately, after discussing with the business leaders, we worked out an Early Career Rotational Programme pilot. We have successfully conducted road shows at the local universities and technical schools like Institute of Technical Education and Nanyang Technological University (NTU). We aimed to engage mechanical engineering graduates. As a result, the successful engineer trainee has become one of the top performers in our three business units. Currently, he is handling multi-million sales in the region. The success had been well recognised by Gates Global's leaders.

Q On to the most important part – results! How did you measure the ROI or milestones of this initiative, and what are you most proud of?

In the past four years, the Regional TA team has successfully saved the hiring cost worth USD150k every year via direct sourcing. I am personally proud of our internal research team the most. They have completed the regional commercial mapping projects of three identified companies. They have collected marketing intelligence and conducted competitor analysis successfully. This market mapping gave us the overall view of the business trends, talent movement as well as the potential business opportunities (business leads).

With two finalists for the In-house Recruitment Professional of the Year category, what are the top five skills that are most in demand to become a prolific in-house recruiter? How are you scouting for and developing these capabilities in your team?

Response by finalist: Jessica Zheng Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, East Asia and India, Gates Industrial Singapore

Top five skills:

  1. Agility
  2. Resilience
  3. Inquisitiveness
  4. Insightful business acumen
  5. Excellent execution capability

How are you scouting for and developing these capabilities in your team?

Internally, we constantly conducted business training, focused on individual strength by using psychometric assessments like Harrison Assessment. We have standardised the TA policies and instructions, and made sure the work flow is clear and consistent.

  1. We have had different role plays to modify our approaches to different audience. As a result, all the team members have a clear business objectives and the personal confidence level has been enhanced.
  2. The regional TA team also has a weekly catch up meeting and share best practices across the region.

Response by finalist: Neha Mehra, HR Business Partner – Talent Acquisition, India, Gates India

Top five skills:

  1. Understanding the business and leadership styles
  2. Futuristic approach & agile attitude
  3. Customer success
  4. Business acumen
  5. Motivated & persistent behaviour

How are you scouting for and developing these capabilities in your team?

  1. Sharing of success stories and challenges within the team enables all to understand various business vertical requirements.
  2. Constant skill upgrade with search engines/portals like Naukri and Linkedin, and interviewing techniques help to be aware of the Industry trends and build capability.
  3. Constant connect with regional & global recruitment teams for projects like new employee survey, hiring manager surveys, C&B related trends, and talent movement updates.
  4. Local & regional business updates to align better with organisational strategy and accordingly partner in the talent mapping & acquisition mode.

Photo / Provided

Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section! 

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