The Future of Talent Acquisition – How Digital is transforming hiring?

NewsJanuary 28 2021

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Could you please introduce yourself and describe your role at AKKA?

“My name is Arnaud Lemercier, I am a French national born in St-Malo, Brittany. After completing my studies in Germany, I started my career in recruitment at a large headhunting company. I joined AKKA 18 months ago as Managing Director of The AKKAdemy and additionally, for a few months now, I have taken over the responsibility of Talent Acquisition (TA) and Talent Management (TM) for the Group.”


How do you see the evolution of Talent Acquisition in the future?

“Anyone working in recruitment will tell you how important it is to meet your candidates face to face. It’s important for the candidate, as it provides them a more precise picture of their potential future employer and colleagues. It gives him or her a glimpse of the company culture, how the offices look like, etc. I guess everyone that has been a candidate before will understand what I mean here! Also, very important for the recruiter or the employer, it is easier to assess a candidate while meeting physically. 

However, the current pandemic situation has forced us to change and adapt, as minimal physical contact and home office guidelines have been recommended or imposed. Talent Acquisition specialists and hiring managers have started to complete the recruitment processes digitally and are hiring people 100% digitally. That’s something no one would have dared months ago! But it does work, and I am quite convinced that’s going to remain the case after COVID. Obviously, this has a big impact on organizations and requires a great deal of change management not only on the part of the employer but also that of the  candidate.  

Another trend we are going to observe will be an increase in internal mobility. I believe organizations will put a stronger focus on “internal talent acquisition” which will imply a higher focus on succession planning, stronger efforts on people development – via digital learning capabilities – and a clear employer branding strategy to keep turnover at a minimum and increase digital awareness of their brand on the job market.”


In your opinion, what are the new skills recruiters should have?

“I am not sure recruiters will require any specific new skills to perform their jobs at their best. Despite the growth of remote working and the decrease in face to face interviews, recruitment remains a people business. I’d rather say they will  have to further develop critical skills that have always been key to success in recruitment: listening skills, curiosity, authenticity, resilience and a strong commercial approach. The job market – despite ups and downs – remains  very competitive, as  organizations always strive to get the best talent on board. If you want to attract the best talent for your organization, you’ll have to  approach them directly in order to convince them with an appropriate career project in line with their shortmid and long-term expectations. In this new digital environment, those skills are even more important than ever. Another aspect of our job that recruiters will have to further develop is the capability to collect data and provide them to hiring managers. The insights gleaned from this data will help companies to make informed decisions when it comes to talent pipelining and recruitment. By using all the tools available on the market today to perform their jobs digitally, recruiters are sitting on a goldmine of data allowing them to build efficient talent acquisition strategy and focus pipelining on the right geographies, sectors, universities and business schools. This way, talent acquisition specialists will be very well positioned to advise an organization about competencies mapping and anticipate potential skills shortages.”


How can TA & TM  impact the Digital Transformation of the company? 

“Behind every transformation process in an organization, we have our people: the women and men implementing and leading the change on the field. In the context of our digital transformation, the impact of Talent Acquisition is key. Sourcing and attracting digital competencies needed for our clients  is the role of every recruiter and Business Manager today at AKKA. There is no better demonstration of the impact our talent acquisition teams can have on our digital transformation. However, as I mentioned earlier, it is not only about attracting talents outside our organization. Through different re-skilling programs, especially in France and Germany, we are giving new opportunities to our consultants to kick off new careers in the digital world, by providing them the necessary technical skills to implement and lead digital projects for our clients. Moreover, we have recently launched different learning programs for our sales and recruitment audience to support our customers in the new challenges they are facing right now and answer the key questions.. what is digital at AKKA? How do I sell a digital project? What is our value proposition when it comes to our digital offers? How do I identify and recruit a digital profile? Talent Management and its learning programs are making and will continue to make a significant contribution to the digital transformation of the group.” 


As Head of Talent Acquisition  and Talent Management at AKKA, what actions are you taking to support  Digital Transformation within your scope?

“I think we are already well-positioned when it comes to the digitalization of our recruitment process. The year 2020 just accelerated the process. Being an international group, our talent acquisition specialists were already used to recruiting new employees remotely. Obviously, there are still some areas of improvement. I believe that overall, today we have  all the tools necessary to successfully carry out our recruitment digitally. It is just a matter of using those tools properly, demonstrating flexibility and being creative!” 


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