Ali Zaman is one of the speakers on iRecruit 2013, june 20-21 in Amsterdam. As a media partner, RecTec had a chance to talk to him before the conference about his position at Akzo Nobel, his visions and his talk.

You’re the global recruitment manager at Akzo according. Yet you don’t have a recruitment or HR background. How did you come about this role? And do you consider it something that more companies should consider?

AkzoNobel believes in cross functional movement of employees in a bid to (a) develop managers with a broad spectrum of general management skills going beyond their primary discipline and (b) facilitate cross fertilization of ideas between functions which brings in fresh perspective and also enhances better understanding between functions. So far as my personal case is concerned I was offered the opportunity by Corporate HR to assume responsibility for our mission to modernize Talent Acquisition as they were looking for someone with business experience in order to bring in that perspective. There is strong merit in moving employees across functions and in addition to the benefits stated above it can be highly motivational for the individuals involved as it was for me as it presented an opportunity to enhance my skill set.

You have an MBA in marketing. In the Netherlands we have heard over the past 5 years a lot that recruitment is more or less marketing. Do you agree? And where does it differ?

There is certainly a strong element of marketing in the Talent Acquisition function. In the highly competitive arena of the talent market, in order to acquire the best talent out there you really have to understand what the labor market wants and that too in a segment wise manner, then to develop the appropriate messaging targeting each segment and to promote your EVP etc. these are all strong examples of elements where a marketing oriented approach can be really effective. However it is not all marketing as Talent Acquisition is a component of the overall Talent Management function and thus specialist HR knowledge and skills are critical to managing this function effectively as part of an integrated holistic approach. Thus in any Talent Acquisition team there should be some representation in the form of a marketer however it shouldn’t only be just that.

As the global head of recruitment, what is your role exactly? How does Akzo organize it’s recruitment, taking global and local recruitment into consideration?

Talent Acquisition at AkzoNobel is a decentralized operation with Centers of Expertise set up in each of our key countries. The Talent Acquisition global team at headquarters is tasked with:

  • designing and developing organization structures
  • standardization of processes
  • negotiating and managing global contracts
  • ascertaining capability development needs and organizing the appropriate training interventions
  • developing and monitoring global KPIs for the function in AkzoNobel
  • looking at global trends
  • along with the Corporate Communications department’s expertise develop the global EVP.

The country teams are responsible for

  • actual recruitment
  • monitoring in-country labor trends
  • adapting and rolling out EVP
  • implementing global contracts and manage local contracts
  • monitoring and managing their KPIs.

And last but not least: can you share a little about what you are going to be talking about at the event?

I will be talking about this extraordinary journey that AkzoNobel is going through to take its operational excellence to a new level in which Talent Acquisition has been identified as a critical and strategic element. I will be sharing the thinking behind this initiative, the challenges faced in achieving our ambitions and very importantly the key learning from the process that others could benefit from.

Thank you for your time and insights into the recruitment of AkzoNobel.

As a media partner RecTec is allowed to offer our visitors a 2 for 1 discount to the event. If you register here and enter the code VP2F1 (not applicable for vendors or consultants) 

Over de Auteur

Bas van de Haterd Bas van de Haterd is professioneel bemoeial en expert op het gebied van technologie en werk. Hij schreef o.a. de boeken '10 banen die verdwijnen & 10 banen die verschijnen", "de maatschappelijke impact van de zelfrijdende auto" en "(R)evolutie van werk". Hij schrijft over recruitment in de brede zin van het woord en hoe dit beter kan door technologie slim in te zetten. Hij adviseert hier bedrijven over en geeft over dit onderwerp ook regelmatig inspirerende lezingen. Hij is te bereiken op bas@vandehaterd.nl

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