Chief Human Resources Officer

Avature’s CEO on Candidate and Employee Engagement and its Impact on Succession Planning

Dimitri Boylan, President & CEO of Avature, talked about taking inspiration from outside your core business function to prepare for changing needs, like how HR professionals can learn about engagement from their marketing peers.

“The way to think outside the box is to look into somebody else’s box,” advised Boylan as he began his presentation at the 2015 Argyle Human Capital Leadership Forum in San Francisco on October 29th. Years ago, he advised recruiters to attend marketing seminars rather than recruiting seminars, because the employment climate was changing rapidly and marketers were ahead of recruiters. In this case, the other box—marketing—was a complicated, unsettled space, he explained. But if recruiters didn’t go there, they weren’t going to be able to engage candidates, which was one of the aspects of business that was rapidly changing. To be competitive, a recruiter had to play in this space, stated Boylan.

Several years later, Boylan found that very few recruiters had taken his advice because their companies had made huge investments in applicant tracking systems and set up metrics about how people perform that didn’t allow for locating passive candidates and really engaging with them.

“’It’s not necessary to know your company’s strategy. If you have a great relationship with your managers and they have a great relationship with your people, that strategy will just appear.’”

Recruiting automatically aligns with the strategic objectives of the business when it engages managers in a deliberate, constructive way based on service delivery and service management, said Boylan. “It’s not necessary to know your company’s strategy. If you have a great relationship with your managers and they have a great relationship with your people, that strategy will just appear.”

Employee engagement is the first issue facing talent management, and a second issue is succession planning. “If you’ve ever tried to do succession planning with a Millennial, you know it’s a waste of time, because they don’t plan on being in your company more than two and a half years,” said Boylan. The core role of talent management is to facilitate employee engagement and manage and measure employee response to company life. And the role of HR in talent management is to be the facilitator of that engagement.

The Avature CEO believes the best way to introduce something new is to wrap it in something familiar. Millennials have seven years of social Internet experience, he pointed out. That’s the familiar, and the ‘something new’ is corporate life, which they haven’t had and need to adjust to. “We in HR need to adjust them to it. If they don’t adjust, they leave.”

Visit Argyle Executive Forum's HUMAN RESOURCES LEADERSHIP FORUM - New York City in New York, NY on Apr 23, 2020

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