The Recruiter's Soapbox

Executive Networking Breakfast

Executive Networking Breakfast for Heads of Talent

Last week, Chris Parker, Head of Talent Acquisition, Retail Banking Services at Commonwealth Bank hosted and facilitated a round-table discussion for Heads of Talent from various industries at an Executive Networking Breakfast. Whilst Chris did lead the session talking about their structure, systems, processes, innovation and strategic vision for the future, all attendees contributed sharing their experiences, challenges and ideas.

Chris set the scene with CBA’s journey from recruitment team managing a vendor management process utilising agencies to transactional Recruitment to Talent Acquisition towards a strategic Talent function responsible for talent management as well as talent acquisition. Their team has grown to 150 nationally and is responsible for 11,000 requisitions and 300,000 applications each year. The whole process is managed in-house rather than any of it being outsourced or offshored as through metrics and a focus on productivity and continuous improvement the function has been able to demonstrate its effectiveness to the business.

Across each BU, there are executive, specialist and volume recruiters, as well as a sourcers, and their Centre of Expertise is responsible for EVP, diversity, recruiter capability, vendor management, career transition, technology, metrics and process improvement. Vacancies fall into one of three priority categories and are managed differently depending on whether they are business-critical or senior roles, specialist or volume roles.

CBA has transitioned from being a government-owned bank to privately owned with a clear strategy to invest in technology and a brand promise around customer experience. They have the largest digital team within the banking and finance sector and have a $2m innovation lab. 70% of candidates are customers and the Talent team doesn’t struggle to attract candidates but does now need to build talent pools so they can place fewer ads that allow candidates to assess whether or not they are suitable for that specific role.

As of 1 July 2015, the Talent Acquisition team is now a Talent team. Half of all roles are filled internally and there are opportunities for the team to take the rigour of the recruitment systems and processes and apply these to talent management. This is an exciting development for a team of this scale as it will allow internal recruiters in a large team an additional career path beyond team leader or management roles into Talent Management, which has typically been in the domain of HR/OD. Many recruiters, whether from an agency or only an internal background, will be comfortable talking to hiring managers about future roles and projects, areas of growth and investment, and succession planning, but will be able to develop further in identifying and retaining top talent for their business.