We had a chat with Peter Earnshaw of RedShift. Peter will be the MC for day two of Sourcing Summit Asia.
Q) Can you shed some lights on your background. What problems do you solve for your clients?
I come to the sourcing and recruitment space via the technology space. I started at the first job board in Australia, Jobnet, in the early 00’s where we really experimented with putting together talent and recruiters in a community. I have ridden the wave of technology ever since, seeking out cutting edge cloud technologies and introducing them into new markets throughout Asia Pacific. As such I have been directly involved in hiring a lot of people in a lot of markets to staff those businesses. Through my involvement with the recruitment technology providers I have been part of business transformation programs at recruitment companies, banks, airlines, casinos and retailers. I get involved when businesses need to re-invent themselves and their recruitment strategies to solve problems such as ‘how do I create a talent pool of 1m people that I can engage with within 6 months’ through to ‘how do I go from a standing start to 5,000 people whilst creating a future business operating model’.
A lot of the time it is a case of transferring learning. For example the casinos and hospitality sector has specialised teams that do openings. This team takes the company from a hole in the ground (literally) to a fully staffed and functioning property, and then they hand it over to a management team to run and they go and do the next one. You can take the concept and technologies to the recruitment/sourcing functions in other sectors to allow them to put together program based teams with a particular expertise that can be deployed across lines of business.
Q) What’s your take on the role of sourcing in Singapore in particular and Asia in general?
Singapore has a reputation as a talent-short market because traditionally recruiters would target badges and boxes. That is they need to put a body in the box and the criteria for selection was the badges, in the form of, they worked for a competitor business in a similar role. With the turmoil in the financial services, oil and gas and commercial businesses in Singapore combined with restrictions on foreign workers this type of rip and replace hiring doesn’t work. Sourcing specialists are needed to find and engage talent outside of the traditional matrix such as recruiting start up IT workers for the FInTech and traditional banking sectors. There is not a talent shortage per-se there is rather a misalignment of what companies think that they are looking for and where they are looking for it running up against the way in which talent in the region showcase their skills and abilities.
The difference between Singapore and the rest of Asia is volume and noise. In the wider Asian region sourcers are having to deliver a lot more and the environment is a lot more noisy in terms of being able to get a communication/engagement channel to Talent that can operate at scale.
Q) What in sourcing excites you? In your opinion, are sourcing best days ahead or behind us?
One of the main reasons I love the sourcing community is that they embrace new technology and ideas, and then try and break them. The feedback I have been fortunate to receive from the community over the past decade has probably saved several million dollars in product development costs for my clients. I feel that sourcing is finding its own unique identity as the kind of SWAT team of recruitment. Not only are there a plethora of Special Weapons available to sourcers to allow them to deal with the extremely harsh environment and situations in which they find themselves in but as attendees at #sosuasia will find out from the presenters the Tactics keep evolving in new and interesting ways. The best days of sourcing are definitely ahead of us.
Q) You attended #sosuasia last year what are your impressions of the event?
It is the equivalent of a TED event focused for the attendees. I couldn’t think of a single unnecessary or non-innovative presentation from last year. This year #sosuasia has put together a speakers line-up that covers the whole spectrum of sourcing from thought leaders to large corporates by way of the very best of agency innovation.
Q) This year you are the MC for #sosuasia, what can delegates expect to learn? How can they get the best out of the event?
#sosuasia can be overwhelming given the amount of insights and ‘hacks’ the speakers give away. You need to concentrate because a lot of insights are distilled down to actionable items, last year I almost ran out of ink (I am Gen X) writing them all down. My advice is to make copious notes and then follow up directly with the speakers in the networking sections to get some contextual help on how you can apply their advice into your individual situations. It is not just the speakers that you will learn from but your peers so be ready to contribute.