Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
Winning Secrets: How UOB Thailand's talent acquisition team completed 100% of headcount requests on time

Winning Secrets: How UOB Thailand's talent acquisition team completed 100% of headcount requests on time

Raviphan Panitcharoen, AVP, Talent Acquisition, UOB Thailand, on how the team has been successful in recruiting special roles on a tight timeline. 

Founded in 1935, United Overseas Bank (UOB) has a well-established regional presence, particularly in Asia with its network in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and China. As part of UOB, United Overseas Bank (Thai) PCL is a regional bank rooted in Thailand that brings financial expertise and connectivity to its customers. 

At the third annual edition of HR Excellence Awards - Thailand in 2023, UOB Thailand won silver for 'Excellence in Talent Acquisition' as well as bronze for 'HR Leader of the Year'.

To celebrate this milestone, we catch up with Raviphan Panitcharoen, AVP, Talent Acquisition, UOB Thailand, on how the migration of Citi’s Consumer Business products and services to UOB has seen talent acquisition come up as one of the most important components, with the team having to recruit special roles on a tight timeline.  

Q Congratulations on your top performance at the HR Excellence Awards! How has your HR and people strategy contributed to your success this year?

The most challenging project this year involved the acquisition of Citibank retail products. Talent acquisition has been one of the most essential components of the Citibank acquisition. It is not only a "business as usual role", but we have had to recruit special roles on a tight timeline. We have been working closely with business units and other human resources teams to serve the business seamlessly.

A well-executed talent acquisition strategy can have a significant positive impact. We have managed job hires more efficiently, whereby 1,022 positions were filled in 2022 (95% of the total). For the transformation project (critical hiring) related to business acquisition, the talent acquisition team completed 100% of headcount requests on time, which assisted the businesses in operating smoothly. 

Q Looking back at your achievements, what aspect of your HR initiatives are you most proud of and why? 

It is not only the dynamic situation of the Citi project, but the talent acquisition team has also faced a talent candidate war in the labour market. The talent acquisition team has focused on the following framework:

Reimagining the talent acquisition process with new systems: The talent acquisition team's position as a strategic partner is to provide the best candidates by applying 'cNPS: Candidate Net Promoter Scores' on all steps of the talent acquisition process to enable the best candidate experience.

Broadening the talent pool through our employee value proposition (EVP): To offer attractive financial incentives to existing UOB colleagues through our employee referral programme to serve our business needs.

Workforce agility & flexibility: Utilising data and segmentation to analyse trends from the past to estimate the required resources needed to fill positions and use the total capacity of our resources. 

Q During your HR journey, what were some significant obstacles you faced, and how did you overcome them to achieve excellence?

The Citi acquisition and migration challenged the Bank’s ability to continue its mission of providing the best customer experience possible. Talent acquisition (team) has acted as a genuine strategic partner with our business units and we have adapted our working framework to serve business requirements.

Talent acquisition (team) must not only understand a position’s required responsibilities requirements, but we must deeply comprehend the critical things that a business needs for recruiting the right candidates. The agility and flexibility framework is very important to serve our business. 

Q How does your organisation measure the success and impact of your HR initiatives?

A strong talent acquisition strategy can help an organization attract and hire top talent, especially during dynamic situations. We have managed job hires more efficiently. 

As shared previously, in 2022, 1,022 positions were filled (95% of the total). For the transformation project (critical hiring) related to business acquisition, talent acquisition was able to have a 100% completion rate of headcount requests filled on time, and assisted businesses in operating smoothly. We have also closed critical hiring gaps with agency cost avoidance expenses of about THB 53mn.

The faster we find people; the less impact it will have on business continuity.

Promoting the Bank's branding along with UOB Values through our referral programme saw 288 positions (28% of the total source of hires) being filled through this programme. This tool, combined with the engagement tool ('SAY, STAY, STRIVE') shows that employees have been highly engaged.

Overall, a well-executed talent acquisition strategy can have a significant positive impact on an organisation. 

Q In what direction do you see the HR/people function evolving in the future, considering the emerging trends?

In the future, the talent acquisition landscape expects to undergo significant changes. Being tech savvy is the trend for which businesses are trying to find ways in which to bridge the gap. Our team strives to ensure candidates consider UOB as their first choice of employer by providing them the best experience possible.

We are focusing on a candidate-centric approach and building up the digital candidate journey; to improve the candidate experience by utilising data from the 'cNPS: Candidate Net Promoter Score'. This powerful tool help us gather direct feedback from candidates and hiring managers to enhance the candidate experience at the right points.

In addition, the new HR system will focus both on internal & external stakeholders, reducing paperwork and resulting in time reductions to create a better user experience. By redesigning the referral programme using a gamification" concept, we are creating an immersive recruitment experience for both bank employees and candidates.

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

Photo / Provided by UOB Thailand

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