Emi Beredugo is a seasoned Talent Acquisition leader with over 18 years of experience delivering on complex Talent Acquisition projects and programmes whilst leading day-to-day Talent Acquisition teams across various territories including the UK Middle East and Africa.
Emi currently works as the Senior Manager, Recruiting Enablement at Elastic. Her focus is to lead a team of Recruiting Enablement professionals whose role it is to support the Recruiting Team in delivering recruiting operational excellence. With a focus on improved efficiency, improved experience and inclusive recruitment, she oversees several recruitment transformation pillars including: Recruiting Tools and Systems, Recruiting Data and Analytics, Recruitment Marketing, Recruiting Learning and Development, and Recruiting Division Onboarding.
What do you think is the key to being successful as a Talent leader in the current business environment?
Prioritise the Recruiter Experience
It is a tough market for recruiters at the moment. They are having to work harder than ever to attract and hire talent, and this can take a toll on recruiters. That’s why Talent Leaders have a crucial role to play. They not only need to ensure their teams are performing at their full potential, but also keep them motivated when the going gets tough.
So how can Talent Leaders do this? By focusing on the recruiter experience – i.e. the experience and satisfaction of the recruiting team. Focusing on the recruiter experience and effectiveness is critical to delivering better hiring outcomes – more qualified candidates and hires, faster times to fill, and lower costs per hire.
To make it happen, Talent Leaders need to find ways to automate and streamline workflows and create a recruitment experience that’s efficient, smooth, and well-structured. This way, recruiters can focus on the things that truly matter, like finding and building relationships with talent, assessing their skills, and effectively representing their organisation.
As a Talent leader, what is your key advice for managing your teams and people?
Empower your employees
One of the roles of a Talent Leader is to inspire their teams by empowering them.
This means giving their team members the authority, autonomy, resources and support they need to think creatively, make decisions, take risks and learn from their mistakes. And in today’s challenging and dynamic recruiting landscape, the importance of empowered teams should not be underestimated for a number of reasons.
Not only are empowered employees proactive problem solvers that actively seek out solutions, they also have the resilience to bounce back from setbacks and stay positive, no matter what challenges they face.
By empowering teams, recruiters remain agile and adaptable enough to make timely decisions and take actions when it matters most, be it switching up recruitment strategies based on market dynamics or targeting a new pool of candidates.
How has the role of a recruiter changed and what new skills do you think they need to possess and develop?
From Recruiters to Talent Advisors
The role of the modern-day recruiter is undergoing a transition, moving away from a transactional order-taking role that just focuses on filling roles. Instead, recruiters are embracing a more strategic and future-focused “talent advisor” role whose value goes a lot further.
Whilst transactional recruiters view their Hiring Managers as their customers and believe successfully filling a role as their primary measure of success, talent advisors view things very differently.
Talent advisors view the organisation as their customer, the hiring manager as their partner, and prioritise factors such as speed, quality, and diversity as their measures of success. They also do what is right for their organisation, even if it is not what the Hiring Manager prefers.
Becoming a talent advisor is not an immediate transformation. It requires a shift in mindset, time, a new way of working and the application of new skills. These skills include:
The ability to focus on future needs:
Many recruiters work hard at filling current hiring needs for their hiring managers but think that their job is done once the role is filled. In contrast, talent advisors don’t just stop at filling a role.
Talent advisors educate their managers and work with HR colleagues to identify the skills needed to meet both current and future talent needs. In order to understand future needs, advisors must become experts in workforce planning and on advising managers on upcoming talent challenges and opportunities.
The ability to demonstrate strong business acumen:
Talent advisors have a deep understanding of their organisation’s strategic goals and how they impact talent requirements.
Instead of merely filling vacancies, talent advisors prioritise using a wide range of talent strategies, including recruitment, retention, and internal mobility, to achieve these organisational goals.
The ability to make data-driven decisions:
Data isn’t just about numbers and it isn’t just a tool for analysing what has already happened. Organisations use data to help them understand what may happen in the future so that they can make better informed decisions. This is also applicable when it comes to recruitment.
As recruiters transition into talent advisors, they understand that data is equivalent to knowledge. It is this knowledge that allows them to make strategic hiring decisions based on data rather than gut feeling, personal opinions and general observations.
Talent advisors take steps to strategically understand and analyse the data they have access to (e.g. talent market heatmaps, sourcing channel efficiency, candidate and employee demographic data, compensation data) to help hiring decisions such as offering competitive and fair compensation packages and improving recruitment processes. This ultimately increases the chances of hiring better quality candidates, in a quicker and cost-efficient manner.
What do you think is the biggest challenge and biggest opportunity facing Talent and Recruitment?
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)
The benefits of organisations having diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforces are well documented. They include increased employee satisfaction, loyalty, and long-term retention and better problem-solving, improved decision-making, more innovative solutions. This all leads to increased customer engagement and competitive advantages in the market.
However despite this recognition, the topic of DEI still presents significant challenges, particularly in developing and implementing inclusive recruitment practices at every step of the recruitment process. The difficulty that some organisations face is down to the misconception that DEI training alone is the “magic bullet” they need. But in reality, it usually falls short in addressing this complex challenge.
Whilst DEI training provides valuable insights into different biases and their impact on the recruitment process, organisations need practical strategies (i.e. specific tools and techniques) to translate this knowledge into action so they can effectively mitigate and overcome them in the recruitment process.
These practical strategies should be tailored to each stage of the recruitment process and include clear guidance on things like writing inclusive job descriptions, conducting unbiased CV reviews, conducting accessible interviews, and methods for developing fair job offers which do not perpetuate pay gaps.
Without this necessary guidance and strategies, organisations may face ongoing challenges in recognising and addressing areas of improvement. Consequently, they may unintentionally perpetuate bias and exclusionary practices, hindering progress towards DEI.
What is the next stage of transformation for Talent functions?
The use of generative AI in recruitment
Recruiters today must be more than just being a people person to excel in their roles. The incorporation of technology, particularly generative AI, will continue to be increasingly more crucial in shaping the success of recruiters and transforming the way organisations recruit.
Their main use case which demonstrates the potential of generative AI in transforming aspects of the recruitment process is with automating time-consuming tasks. For example, generative AI can be used to:
- create accurate and compelling job descriptions by analysing the requirements and responsibilities of the role
- generate a pool of interview questions and positive indicator answers based on the job description
- tailor communication (e.g. automated outreach emails) to provide a more engaging experience for candidates
- create Boolean search strings based on the job descriptions based on the information provided in the responsibilities and requirements and responsibilities of the role
Leveraging generative AI in this way improves the efficiency and effectiveness of their recruitment process so recruiters are free to focus on more strategic activities , such as interviewing and evaluating candidates, which result in providing candidates with a better hiring experience.
Generative AI has clear benefits, but it is essential to recognise its limitations. It lacks the valuable human skills of intuition, judgement, and emotional intelligence of humans, which means that it should only be used to inform, not make hiring decisions. This means that information generated by generative AI must be reviewed and verified by recruiters before making hiring decisions.
In addition to this, the ethical considerations surrounding the use of AI should not be overlooked. There are potential risks related to data capture, security and privacy, especially as generative AI algorithms are trained on may contain personal and sensitive information about candidates.
However, embracing generative AI, even with its current limitations, can enable recruiters to take full advantage of the strengths of both humans and machines to create a more efficient and effective recruitment process.