Sunday, April 06, 2008

Global Talent Acquisition-Network Orchestration!!

Tomorrow I am off for the NPA international conference at Nashville, USA- hoping to meet as many international recruiting partners as I can-from among over 200 associates across the 6 continents-who will be attending the event.

Just to recap- I had become a member of this global recruiting network about 3 months ago-and suddenly a plethora of options has been opened up. The idea of working in a network of similar minded independent premier recruiting firms -was soon short lived as I had three false starts. An American partner wanted me to source a software professional for Russia. Another offered to place infrastructure professionals ( of a specific nationality) with his international client in India-and my client's foray into a South East Asian country got delayed due to some political event. So, in order to understand my partners better, I thought I shall attend this international conference so that I could explain 'the value propositions' I bring to the table.

The last fortnight or so, have been very enlightening for me-as I went about taking stock of the environment- preparing a story to present " Discover India- a global talent hub"-in order to help others understand where I come from!

And so, it was serendipity that I chanced upon a podcast today. Inspired by MrThomas Friedman's masterpiece,Victor and William Fung, group chairman and managing director of Hong Kong-based Li & Fung, and Yoram (Jerry) Wind, a professor of marketing at Wharton, deal with this issue in their new book, Competing in a Flat World: Building Enterprises for a Borderless World, spoke with Knowledge@Wharton.

Well, the transcription gives a very good insight for us to learn and benchmark against the best practices of manufacturing - eg fast response & dispersed production units, servicing of pockets of niche markets, cooperative relationships,..all for providing better customer value proposition!

The speakers point out:

  • the world is getting flatter in the sense that it is now easier to communicate and for parts and materials to go from one country to another for processing. Our ability to use the best factories, at the best locations, to manufacture any order, is becoming a reality.

  • the needs of the market are changing very rapidly. The need for flexibility makes it imperative for a network of suppliers instead of a single monolithic, sort of hardwired, vertically integrated manufacturer in the first place. The need to keep providing all of the options needed by the market is obviously always a challenge.

  • there are needs for networks to customize a custom supply chain that is the best in delivering the right product, at the right price, at the right time, based on the right specifications of the consumers.

What are my learning's? We could be on the right path!! I am part of three separate networks. Each of them loosely knit and yet, non-exclusive. While each one does allow us to stretch and rise to the standards required, each leaves us enough space to learn from better techniques and best practices as we keep transacting with each other.

Over the last 7-8 years, I have had several informal associations with recruiters in India-some of them with complementary skills across the country (specialists in IT hiring, pharma hiring, process industry, financial services etc). Essentially we flanked each other -with the reach to specific candidates ( Options & returning Indians) -and relationships my associates had with their clients-across the 10 major cities in India. While we exactly haven't had coffers filling, we have all become great pals- with a tremendous respect for each other's abilities

About 4 yrs ago, we became part of ERA which has agencies of varying sizes- and business models (selection, staffing and search)- in a growing fraternity that embodies ethics and best practices in the Indian subcontinent. We have been having spurts of collaborative efforts in special interest groups focussed on retail /insurance industry for example.

During the last 10 days my NPA network has been testing waters!! A Thailand based associate has given us a mandate for their Singaporean client to hire an expat with infrastructure experience for a project based in Bangalore. We are at the brink of identifying some one interested!!

A KPO client of mine-an Indian MNC- is exploring opportunities to set up offshore development centres in Canada, Philippines, and Hungary this year to help improve their customer offerings. And would Options become an orchestrator- leveraging on my NPA members in the above regions-so that my clients can benefit from our network?

Time will tell...

One thing is for sure. In the threat of a possible US recession-it is imperative for companies to come up with innovative processes and solutions to improve their value propositions..and help companies excel. Wasn't it Darwin who said..isn't the biggest or the strongest-but those who can respond fastest to the changing world!!

Can someone help me put the jigsaw pieces together-and see the larger picture? I shall be glad to hear from those well wishers reaching me offline -invariably have been helping me think through the maze.

Yes, communication, internet -and globalisation has been a great catalyst. As I embark for a promising get-together - it does not bother me that I am yet to physically meet any of them!!

No comments: