HRO Today Global APAC 2018 - 8

APAC in Focus
to migrate from a mentality of selling books to selling
To enable the transition, Abbott says the company hired 70
per cent new talent whilst retaining 30 per cent of existing
employees. This required leveraging an RPO due to the
dynamic of the new business model, which called for
frequent ramp-up and ramp-down periods.
Indeed, the company ceased to have even a 12-month plan
for its talent acquisition needs and instead realigned its
talent every six to 12 weeks, he says. That meant telling
employees, " We need your skill set now. We will not
need your skill set within a year. So come in, deliver, we'll
support you, we'll celebrate your successes, then we'll help
you move on, " says Abbott.
Case Study: Reskilling at AT&T
Technology has experienced another sea change: the
evolution of telecommunications and data over the past
10 to 15 years, says Henness. This includes a shift from
voice to data networks, from using hardware to leveraging
cloud-based servers, and even the shift away from
landlines to mobile phones.
Amidst those technological changes, AT&T realised that
100,000 of its workers were in hardware jobs that would
no longer be needed. However, these employees had
intimate knowledge about the organisation that needed
to be preserved, Henness says.
Those workers needed to transition their skills from
hardware to software, spurring a multi-year learning and
development programme that included online courses,
career centres, and collaborations with local universities.
AT&T's efforts aren't expected to be completed until 2020
when it will have re-educated 100,000 workers, but the
program is more than 50 per cent fi nished, says Henness.
" When the pace of technology is outrunning skills,
companies do not have the time to continually swap out
their workforce, " he says. " So in the case of AT&T, if they
had gone out into the market and tried to hire those
people, they would have effectively pushed up the rates of
those employees to such a level that they would not have
been able to fi nancially survive. They also would have lost
a great deal of knowledge around their workforce and
around what it took to run AT&T as an organisation. "
Reskilling workers can bring other rewards to companies,
Henness notes, with research fi nding that employees who
are retrained are four times more likely to have career
advancements. Moreover, staff that is retrained within the
same organisation are twice as likely to have a critical role
in the company.
Case Study: Acquiring Skills at Sephora
Martin Garnes, regional talent acquisition for Asia at
Sephora, points to yet another way to secure talent,
particularly for in-demand segments.
Cosmetics retailer Sephora has been moving to an " omnichannel "
sales model which allows customers to purchase
goods through their preferred channel, whether online or
in the store, Garnes says. Omni-channel shopping is meant
to provide a seamless experience even across different
As part of a strategy to secure talent in Southeast
Asia, Sephora acquired e-commerce cosmetics retailer
Luxola. " That's the extreme way of acquiring talent-by
buying another company and integrating it into the
organisation, " he explains.
The deal was completed in 2015 via Sephora's parent
LVMH. At the time it was acquired, Luxola reportedly had
a talent pool of 120 people across 12 markets, including
Southeast Asia, Australia, India, and the U.A.E.
" During that three years since we acquired that company,
it was probably quite challenging to make the integration
happen and now its fully integrated as one company and
we have the talent and employees in place, " Garnes says.
AT&T will have reskilled
workers in its move to cloud-based services.

HRO Today Global APAC 2018

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