IN THE MIDDLE | career advancement

War for Talent: Winning It Rather than Winging It

By Alyanna Silvestre
Published October 04, 2021

Talent acquisition across many industries has been more challenging and tedious amid the pandemic. Finding common ground when negotiating work arrangements and salary expectations with top job candidates and closing the deal with prospective employees have been even more critical. On top of that, some companies struggle to reach out to the best ones as other companies well aware of the competition in this war for talent make an effort to retain promising employees.

Understanding the need for talent in such an uncertain time, Icon Executive Asia held an event last September 22 entitled "War for Talent: Targeted Recruitment & Selection,” hosted by Shoppertainment Live co-founder and CEO Hiyasmin Neri-Soyao, to help businesses and recruitment professionals step up their talent acquisition game.

The successful webinar proudly featured IEA's very own battle-tested professionals, namely IEA's managing director, Mr. Patt Soyao, and senior recruitment consultants, Ms. Loradel Ang and Mr. Jay Lord Avenida.

With a lineup of seasoned recruiters, HR decision-makers and business owners attended the flagship event to discover various ways tried and tested by IEA recruiters themselves and navigate the tight labor market. Here are a few points highlighted by the speakers that could help take a company's recruitment strategies to the next level.

Going Back to Basics and Beyond

To set the stage for better recruitment strategies, Ang and Avenida discussed the basics of recruitment and shared a few pointers based on their respective experience as long-time headhunters that could help advance one's approach to hiring.

In Ang's presentation, she underlined the importance of creating a recruitment process that an HR professional must follow and the significance of understanding the requirement at hand.

In this era where new job titles that require fresh sets of skills are emerging, HR professionals must help employers make sense of their wish list of what they want in an employee and identify the talent they really need. 

Ang also tackled two different ways of sourcing, namely proactive and reactive. According to Ang, while she favors proactive sourcing for urgent requirements as it helps her tap even the seemingly unavailable professionals, reactive sourcing is not as bad, especially "if you have the luxury of time and money."

Meanwhile, diving deep into the technical part of recruitment, Avenida took the attendees to the ins and outs of interviewing a candidate and stressed the weight of having and following a structure for interviews. He advised raising behavioral and agenda-based interview questions that are open-ended and specific to get the answer you need. He also added that the traditional STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method remains effective today.

Aside from attempting to hear the answer you need, proceeding with interviewing a candidate with a structured process up your sleeve can make hiring not only more accurate but more efficient as it can help a recruiter bring out the candidate's best, and maybe even the worst. Be creative with your questions, but don't forget to keep things friendly and professional.

Winning the Second War for Talent

As we live in a hyperconnected world, Soyao highlighted in his presentation that understanding how to maximize social media platforms to build a strong brand can help companies and HR professionals tap passive and active job seekers.

According to Soyao, recruitment is both sales and marketing. In the point of view of recruiters in this war for talent, the professionals are the customers while the company and job requirements are the products. To effectively pitch your products, it is necessary to prove and not just claim that your company is a great place to work. You can do this by making an effort to be more visible and relatable in the virtual space and using not one but every available platform to cast a wider net and present your company in a better light, all at the same time.

As he closed his presentation, Soyao advised the attendees to keep an eye out for professionals with a generalist approach and maybe even be a generalist themselves. While there is a negative implication on being one, having a wide array of knowledge in various fields can be an advantage as it allows one to think outside the box and dispel limits, which is especially needed when change is constant.

A Different POV

Presenting the perspective of a business owner, Neri-Soyao, the event’s host and a business owner herself, spoke as a client of Icon Executive Asia to share her company’s experience with the headhunting firm’s services and recruitment process.

Citing the challenges that her company Shoppertainment Live has faced when livestream shopping has only started booming, she applauded IEA’s fast recruitment process and its recruiters’ strategies to attract and tap professionals from various industries up for the position they needed.

“Finding these opportunities to really integrate different industries could also help growing industries like us. So, just like the different digital businesses out there thriving from online opportunities, the demand for manpower resources is really high. Fortunately, Icon Executive Asia has been a great strategy for us to make the most out of the time,” Neri-Soyao stated.

In the event's conclusion, it is undeniable that the support and interest of the attendees and the hard work of the people behind Icon Executive Asia made the webinar a success. With no intentions to stop sharing insights and battle-tested strategies, IEA will continue to organize future events to assist struggling recruiters and HR professionals in improving their talent acquisition tactics. 

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