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Turkey, Trimmings and Talent Acquisition... in the Tropics

14th Dec 2012


As 2012 draws to a close, thoughts inevitably turn to a reflective summary of the past 12 months – the laughter, the tears, the wins, the frustrations, the welcome surprises and curve balls that keep you on your toes… but enough of my assessment of the England cricket team, how is life in the Lion City for the Xpand crew?

This year, perhaps more intensely than any other year I have experienced, we have seen consistent industry challenges and a running commentary about the role and relevancy recruitment consultants play in the theatre that is ‘Talent Acquisition’. Industry HR blogs headline the death knell of the recruiter; growing and better skilled internal TA teams – new, latest and greatest recruitment/CRM software is launched to automate and supposedly streamline parts of the recruitment cycle; social media strategies abound to challenge our carefully built and maintained networks and the omnipresence of LinkedIn looms large – short term friend but long term foe? …the list goes on.

This blog is not the forum for me to step upon the well worn soapbox and give an impassioned speech in defence of our role and industry in the face of the aforementioned challenges – (some in our industry have done this recently with an almost bellicose stance – aimlessly waving their point of view around whilst simultaneously burying their heads in the sand!). The recruitment landscape is undeniably changing and will continue to do so over the coming few years. Personally I am in favour of embracing the opportunity to evolve with these changes – using technology, social media and taking accountability to enhance the skillsets of a consulting team to build relationships, specialise in core markets and deepen trust will maintain our relevancy and value to client and candidates over the longer term.

Thus the challenges we face specifically in Singapore are no different to other global regions. However given the ‘plateauing’ of more mature recruitment markets and the fiscal cliff dangling in the US or extended austerity plans in the UK/Europe, there has been a marked upswing of international recruiters entering the SEA market in the search for “Fields of Gold” (went to see Sting last night so challenged myself to get a song title into this blog – neither Roxanne or Englishman in New York seemed entirely relevant). Clients perhaps lured by lower fees in an attempt to land grab by these recruiters are likely to come up short when this short term transactional approach systematically does not deliver the outcome so glibly promised with a reduced fee but lack of effort… my Message -In A Bottle (okay that’s two!) is, do us all a favour either take pride in your work and attach a fee and service that is realistic and maintains the true value of what we provide the market or take the road marked ECP (East Coast Parkway to the locals) but also (Exit for Consultant Plonkers) all the way back to Changi airport!

Here at Xpand I think we do a pretty good job at recognising that it is the people aspect that we need to promote and show the market – the face behind the mask of Recruitment Brand X or Y. Genuine and passionate people, plugged into their sector, hungry to learn and most importantly driven to help secure the best possible talent for clients or best career step for candidates. There is always more we can do and the search for recruitment nirvana continues but being commercially aware, building a strong and committed team, supporting each other and maintaining high levels of motivation ensures we can all share in each other successes.

We are all looking forward to the Roast Turkey, Leg of Ham and time spent with friends and family over this festive season. I have also threatened to roll out my Grandma’s potent old egg nog recipe to the team – with a mixed response it has to be said!

It’s been a roller coaster of year but like all adrenalin fuelled rides, once the carriage draws to a stop, you become inclined to strap yourself in again, smile to yourself in anticipation and charge forward into 2013.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to One and All!