Following the recent success at the Asia Recruitment Awards 2020, Singapore virtual ceremony, Splunk Services Singapore’s Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition, Ambu Arun comments on the two accolades the organisation won.

Amidst the finalists for the categories Best Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Best Candidate Assessment Process, Splunk Technology has emerged as silver winners for both.

The virtual awards ceremony on 24 July saw two of our esteemed jury members along with Human Resources Online's Publisher and Regional Editor announce the gold, silver, bronze, and individual winners across 26 categories.

We caught up with Splunk Services Singapore’s Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition, Ambu Arun, to find out the company's winning secrets.

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?

World-class talent is one of the three key pillars which our CEO has identified as critical for our success and therefore our mission for Splunk’s Global Talent Acquisition team is to continue to fuel our growth by identifying, attracting and hiring our unfair share of world-class diverse talent.

The components to help achieve this include, but not limited to aspiring for excellence in:

  • Business partnering
  • Talent marketing/EVP
  • Candidate assessment & experience
  • TA programmes, operations and technology innovation
  • Strategic sourcing

Being a disruptive and high-growth global technology firm where change is a constant and as our solutions continue to evolve to meet our customer’s needs and expectations, so must the success profiles we recruit. This has been in the form of technology changes with our move to cloud solutions, acquisitions of new businesses, and establishing new regional markets just to name a few.

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

Easy! Splunk’s winning strategies are based on our corporate values. Our values are what makes Splunk, Splunk. Splunkers are encouraged and empowered to be innovative, passionate, disruptive, open and fun. We therefore recognise employees who consistently demonstrate our values — employees are nominated by their peers and winners are selected by our Value Ambassadors.

Splunk stands for equal opportunity. We enthusiastically embrace different cultures and perspectives, believing in respect for all human beings. Diversity is at the very heart of who we are, as a global company made up of of committed and caring people from every corner of the world.

Acting together, we can shift workplace D&I in ways that will truly bring about the change we seek in the world.

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

Overall, the percentage of women and employees in underrepresented groups hired in 2019 rose, an indication of progress in our diversity efforts. We hire the most qualified candidates and increasing the diversity of our candidate pool has resulted in more diverse hiring. In particular, we’ve made significant progress with both of these groups in leadership and management positions.

We are committed to recruit, retain and develop high-performing, innovative and engaged Splunkers with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We created the D&I Splunk Council (DISCO) to set and track D&I progress across all functions and geographies. We have also implemented processes, tools and education to try to prevent unconscious bias across our hiring and talent recruitment processes. It has also given us a company-wide vernacular to label bias where we see it.

In order for us to mitigate biases and maintain an equitable recruitment process, we partnered with the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI) to develop a science-based unconscious bias programme. NLI provides unique brain-based, process-focused and outcome-driven methodologies and frameworks that help individuals and organisations facilitate positive change and lead more effectively. It is of vital importance to continually drive the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) principles and standards across the business strategy and not just the HR strategy.

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?

Our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy is built on three key pillars: growing a diverse workforce, nurturing our culture of inclusion in the workplace, and driving positive change in the marketplace for Splunkers, customers and partners.

Beyond improving our workforce numbers and culture, we aspire to drive positive change in our communities. Splunk supports organisations and initiatives that rely on data for social impact, including STEM education, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. In 2019, our DEI efforts caught the attention of the wider business community. We were truly delighted when Splunk was honoured with placement on Fortune’s “Best Workplaces for Women,” “Best Workplaces for Parents,” “Best Workplaces for Millennials” and “Best Workplaces for Diversity.”

This industry-wide outreach was prominent at .conf19, our premier customer and partner conference, where we featured a D&I booth on the show floor and hosted 13 D&I-related sessions that covered topics such as women in leadership, inspiring African American youth in STEM, and how organisations can become more accessible for deaf and hard-of-hearing employees. We believe that Splunk is uniquely positioned to be a force for good. Acting together, we can shift workplace D&I in ways that will truly bring about the change we seek in the world.

Splunk is proud to announce that in 2019, women constituted 27.7% of the total Splunk workforce, which has steadily climbed in recent years from 25.3% in 2017 and 27% in 2018.

Q What does it mean to build an inclusive organisational culture for your employees?

A culture of inclusion not only makes Splunk a great place to work, it also drives the success of our business. A more diverse, equitable & inclusive Splunk will help us achieve our mission of making machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone, and drive great outcomes for our company, our communities and each other!

We’re committed to cultivating a culture of inclusion and making Splunk a place where everyone can thrive. Our Employee Resource Groups provide community for underrepresented groups and allies, offering support, mentoring and networking opportunities. Splunkers lead many groups, not limited to Pride, Womxn +, Veterans to name a few. We know that Splunkers are made up of a million different data points. In the last year, we rolled out a number of initiatives for Splunkers and their families, including expanded paid parental leave benefits, paid military reservist time off, and global family planning programs.

Our Million Data Points culture invites everyone to be their truest selves. Unconscious bias training, internally known as Breaking Bias is one way that we foster that culture as leaders at Splunk, by practicing thoughtful and inclusive decision making to drive great teams and great results.

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