Shared Value Recruiting

During the six years I led talent acquisition for Deloitte New Zealand, much of our employment brand strategy revolved around humanizing our brand and creating an engaged talent community. We aimed to do this through allowing people to experience our culture and what it was really like to work at Deloitte NZ. We did this through social media initiatives and other means. Our culture and value proposition appealed to some and not to others — this was our aim and I believe it was successful.

So we had this engaged talent community — that’s great, what’s next?

Recruiting Needs to Look Outside of Recruitment

Fellow Kiwi Paul Jacobs (@pauljacobs4real) has often said to me that corporate recruiting needs to look outside of its own field for real opportunities, ideas, and inspiration to innovate and add value.

2011 was the final year of my MBA study; one of the real benefits of this time was that I read daily about new thinking coming out of other business disciplines and sectors. A trending topic that resonated with me was how thinking and practice around corporate social responsibility is evolving.

I was hooked on this topic after reading the article Creating Shared Value by Harvard Professor Michael Porter and Managing Director of FSG (Foundation Strategy Group) Mark Kramer. They describe the shared value approach as different from more traditional corporate social responsibility as its emphasis is on delivering an economic return to the company while it delivers a positive social impact.

Put at the core of business strategy, rather than the periphery, shared value has the potential to drive value for business and society. In this respect, business should view social responsibility as an opportunity to increase economic return rather than an obligation or an expense aimed at creating a better brand image.

Shared Value Recruiting

I am certain there is an opportunity for recruiting as an industry to spearhead this new approach through innovation and collaboration. The focus must be commercial, and there are sound reasons for recruiting leaders to consider this approach:

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  • Employees and job seekers want employers to be doing meaningful work in this space
  • Create brand influence and job seeker engagement through allowing an opportunity for talent communities to be involved in your socially responsible initiatives
  • Engage job seekers who have a greater alignment to your companies values and culture
  • Ultimately the aim is to create a deeper engagement with your brand and drive better quality of hire

This is not a fad; some of the world’s largest household names are adopting this approach. Companies are increasingly placing social responsibility at the core of their business strategies and they require aligned talent who can drive these strategies and maintain their competitive advantage. Surely this is where we as recruiters come in!

Just prior to me leaving Deloitte NZ in October 2011 we developed and initiated a collaborative project with shared value thinking as a foundation of our talent attraction strategy. The aims are simple:

  • Create brand influence, drive deeper levels of engagement, find more suitable candidates, have better offer to acceptance ratios and drive increased quality of hire
  • Provide increased value to our talent community
  • Provide increased value to society

I’ll be discussing the Deloitte NZ journey and this model in more detail during my session at the ERE Spring Conference. The aim of this initiative is to shift the Deloitte NZ talent community to a talent movement — an engaged and energised community that has a purpose.

The New Normal

The world is changing, society is changing and business is changing. Recruitment leaders shouldn’t be responding to this business change. We should be leading it. The opportunity is there for corporate recruiting to innovate and act commercially and strategically — for the good of the businesses we serve, the markets we operate in and the society we live in.

Richard Long led talent acquisition and recruitment at Deloitte New Zealand, a role that saw him set the firm’s strategy in this area along with leading national projects across recruitment and HR. He was responsible for leading the development and implementation of Deloitte NZ’s award-winning Facebook presence and its strategies around social recruiting. Based in New Zealand, Richard he left Deloitte and is working as an independent consultant with an Australian law firm, leading the set-up of their internal recruitment capability. ?He has an MBA from The University of Auckland and around 10 years of recruitment and HR experience gained across consulting, banking & finance, and professional services.

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