We’re still only at the start of 2023, but it’s already clear that it will be another challenging and complex year for talent acquisition. With so much disruption, TA Leaders must be able to prove their value to their businesses. One area we are seeing this happen is internal mobility, where the line between talent acquisition and talent management is getting a bit blurry as employers look at talent more holistically.
My guest this week is Manjuri Sinha, Global Director of Talent Acquisition at OLX. Manjuri recently helped launch a highly successful internal talent marketplace called OLX Explore. In our conversation, she shared some of the strategies used to deal with the significant challenges around internal mobility and has some advice to share with TA Leaders who want to prove the value of their teams.
In the interview, we discuss:
• Recruiting challenges
• Tech layoffs and global talent pools
• How Talent Acquisition leaders can demonstrate the value of their teams
• Building internal talent marketplaces
• The challenges of internal mobility
• Building a business case from data
• The importance of C-Suite sponsorship
• Awareness, access and enablement
• Results and ROI
• The role of technology
• What does the TA team of the future look like
Matt Alder (Intro) (18s):
Hi there, this is Matt Alder. Welcome to Episode 491 of the Recruiting Future Podcast. We’re still only at the start of 2023, but it’s already clear that it will be another challenging and complex year for talent acquisition. With so much disruption, TA Leaders must be able to prove their value to their businesses. One area we are seeing this happen is internal mobility, where the line between talent acquisition and talent management is getting a bit blurry as employers look at talent more holistically. My guest this week is Manjuri Sinha, Global Director of Talent Acquisition at OLX.
Matt Alder (Intro) (1m 0s):
Manjuri recently helped launch a highly successful internal talent marketplace called OLX Explore. In our conversation, she shared some of the strategies used to deal with the significant challenges around internal mobility and has some advice to share with TA Leaders who want to prove the value of their teams.
Matt Alder (1m 21s):
Hi Manjuri and welcome to the podcast.
Manjuri Sinha (1m 24s):
Thank you so much, Matt. I’m super excited to be here.
Matt Alder (1m 27s):
An absolute pleasure to have you on the show. Please, could you introduce yourself and tell everyone what you do?
Manjuri Sinha (1m 34s):
I’m Manjuri Sinha and I lead talent acquisition, employer branding, and onboarding for OLX Group. I’ve been in the field of HR for about 19 plus years, worked across different organizations like Accenture, Orlando, Hewlett Picard, lived across India, Sweden, Germany, and call Berlin home right now. And when I’m not, not chasing my fictitious and virtual pandas, I’m actually also dedicating time to conferences, networking, and co-authoring some books which have already done. So, I’m definitely super excited to be speaking to you, Matt, right now.
Matt Alder (2m 16s):
Fantastic. And we met Earlier in the year when we were on a panel together at Unleash in Paris, and it was really interesting to work with you and hear about some of the things that you were doing. So great to have you on the podcast. I suppose just to start off with, give us a bit of background and tell us a little bit about what OLX does and what some of your recruitment challenges are.
Manjuri Sinha (2m 37s):
Yeah, so at OLX, Matt we are 10,000 plus people passionate about building marketplace ecosystems enabled by tech, powered by trust, and loved by our customers. We also prevailing the same ecosystem and environment like most other tech companies. And hence we are faced with certain challenges right now, given the macro and microeconomics that we are going through. It’s an interesting way to look at things as well, I guess. So we see a lot of news about impact on big tech right now. We see impact, if we look at the data recently, about 200,000 plus people have been impacted in big tech alone with layoffs since the beginning of this year.
Manjuri Sinha (3m 26s):
If, you see those numbers pretty big. It sounds a lot, right? However, the reality lies under the covers a little bit. So when we look at the unemployment rates, especially for countries like US or UK, they’re at record low when we rarely d go deep dive and the , the impact on folks who have been laid off the core professionals in engineering or product or even in data science, they’re not really impacted as much. And even if the folks who are impacted do get a lot of opportunities right after they announce the impact, et cetera on social media. And this is, it’s also still interesting that there’s a huge supply-demand gap in technology and certain other professions in the world.
Manjuri Sinha (4m 14s):
And we still will see tech companies dipping into the same pools. A lot of companies will look at because you know cash being scarce will also look at cheaper countries per se for talent, or at least the ones which are perceived to be cheaper for talent. So everybody would be dipping into the same pool and still kind of creating a talent competition per se. And we’ll also see certain other companies. We recently saw the big four announcing, for example, EY has gone on a hiring spree and they’ve announced that they’re going to hire 22,000 plus people. So the challenge for hiring or the war for talent will not end just because we’ve had a lot of noise and news around layoffs.
Manjuri Sinha (4m 59s):
And that is going to be a challenge for all TA leaders to come up with.
Matt Alder (5m 3s):
I think that’s really interesting because there’s been so much talk of this big tech winter and all these kind of layoffs. But as you say, if you look at the underlying issues, it’s still a huge challenge for many, many employers. And I’m guessing it’s still gonna be a huge challenge as we move into 2023.
Manjuri Sinha (5m 23s):
Absolutely, Matt. And I think it’s not, it’s nowhere loss that we will have as TA leaders or even HR leaders across the industry. We’ll still have our pulse strengths very tight. Whenever we look at certain, most of the companies are looking at a faster path to profitability today. Affordability in organizations has become a very, very key question. And when such initiatives happen, the first witch hunt obviously begins either from the sales or advertising budget, or even talent acquisition budgets. So it’ll become very hard for talent acquisition leaders and HR leaders to look at if I, you know, to look at next year when we to talk about 2023 or look at even 2024 maybe till the tables turn around a bit.
Manjuri Sinha (6m 8s):
I actually foresee most of talent acquisition leaders having to do more with less. In a sense, having lesser agility as such in terms of lesser budgets, maybe also spreading across and having a balance between RPO support and internal in-house support, et cetera. Things like focus on diversity hiring or focus on higher expensive recruitment marketing will become a luxury at least for the next one year is what I foresee.
Matt Alder (6m 37s):
And also during these kind of downtimes or these sort of economic headwinds and it seems to be perhaps panning out differently from country to country as well. Obviously, the focus is very much on TA and what it does for the business. How can the TA leaders who are listening, how would you advise that they can prove their value to the businesses during potentially tough times?
Manjuri Sinha (7m 8s):
Absolutely. I think I see a silver lining in all of this as well, and this is a lot of conversation historically that we’ve had on the fact that should TA have this, have a seat at the table, should we claim a seat at the table, et cetera. And I think we see that playing out right now. We can definitely have a lot of value created through initiatives and being super innovative in our approach. Couple of examples could be wire automation. So really stop throwing people at the problem and look at certain redundant activities that could be automated and making them productive in that manner. Other activities are things that we’ve we’ve neglected for some time because we were looking at really high ramp-ups.
Manjuri Sinha (7m 51s):
And everybody was looking and, okay, let’s go and get talent from the market and let’s go and get the high bar of talent from our competitors and et cetera, et cetera. What we’ve really, really overlooked in the past years is our internal pool of talent. And this is a very, it’s an opportune area for some of us leaders to look at. And I can definitely take an example of what we’ve done recently in our organization with the launch of something, what we call as OLX Explorer, which is an internal talent marketplace that we came up with to address this very challenge in the organization to encourage folks to move internally.
Manjuri Sinha (8m 35s):
Maybe if I extend that also it’s interesting external studies, for example, be it McKinsey or what we hear from even speakers like Josh person have said that we have more people leaving organizations during the great resignation, the great attrition, and the different terminologies that we heard because of lack of career opportunities. And this was also interesting for us when we looked within the organization, looked at our exit interview survey results, this was also one of the things that came up as one the top reasons for people leaving. And we decided to take a look at it and address it within the organization as well.
Matt Alder (9m 21s):
I mean, I think that’s really interesting because I became very much aware at the start of the pandemic when lots of companies thought that they were gonna be losing, losing CA teams or leaving staff, losing people within their businesses that focusing on that internal Mobility was very important. It was kind of on everyone’s wishlist to do, but then people seem to kind of run into problems with really understanding the skills that they had within their business and really kind of getting those internal marketplaces going. How have you, what sort of challenges have you come up against putting yours in place and what are some of the ways that you’ve overcome that?
Manjuri Sinha (10m 0s):
Absolutely. That’s a very good question, Matt. I think the first and foremost challenge is sponsorship. Till you hit the wall it is not understood that it’s internal mobility is a problem in the organization. The first and foremost aspect here is to get the buy-in from the senior-most leadership, your executive team, or your management team, or your even the CEO for that matter. And that is driven by arguments and data on cost saving. It’s interesting to see there’s data available as per at CMI that internal hires cost 18% less. 21% less these internal hires are 21% less likely to leave the organization in the first one year and they’re also highly likely to reach their time to productivity faster.
Manjuri Sinha (10m 50s):
It is also seen that 41% folks in the organization l stay along with the organization, 41% longer if you actually have an internal hiring process and a successful one at that. So, the first thing is to look at your internal data and present it to your executive decision-makers, and get their buy-in and ensure that the sponsorship comes from the right at the top, whether it be the CEO or the management team. In our case, it directly came from CEO himself and it really, really helped us in pushing the program forward. The second aspect would be going to the populations within the organization, checking whether there this is felt as a pain.
Manjuri Sinha (11m 32s):
And what is the pain exactly? When you say it we’ve had challenges or heard of challenges from people on how to roll this out, it’s very important to understand what are these challenges. We launched a survey prior to going ahead and designing OLX Explorer as a product. And this survey told us that we literally had three problems. One was awareness, that as people were not even aware there’s a program like this and they didn’t know how to look at the jobs, or where can they find the jobs. The second one was access, which means that yes I can, I’m probably based in India, in our OLX office, but I want to apply to a position in Portugal.
Manjuri Sinha (12m 12s):
How can I do that? Who will encourage me to do that, number one? And number two, if I do that, will I get any kind of relocation support or not? So how do I make it accessible? And the third is enablement. And this was very interesting because this needed a lot of mind shift change. This came from the fact that one of the biggest inhibitions for internal movement for were people’s managers, they were really not very comfortable in discussing this with their managers that I want to try another opportunity within the organization. They found it easier to look out and move out of the organization. So, when we look at, looked at these three aspects, we decided to address these three aspects as a part of the product that we offer and reduce any kind of obstacles from the path for people increase.
Manjuri Sinha (13m 1s):
You know, we tied up with degreed as a platform, ensure that we can have higher publishing of the jobs regularly, which are internal. We also decided to publish our jobs internally first and then go externally. So look at people, look at the talent internally first and then go out into the market as well. So yeah, so reducing those obstacles were really, really key for the success of the program, plus the sponsorship from the top. And we saw humongous success just after the launch of the program. We’ve seen an increase in applications, internal applications by 52% month and month. And we’ve also seen an increase in internal hires by 43% month and month, which was really, really encouraging for the organization.
Matt Alder (13m 52s):
Yeah, I mean that’s amazing results there. What role has technology played in that? I think you mentioned the sort of the technology you’re using there. How important is technology in making that work for you?
Manjuri Sinha (14m 5s):
I think it’s, it plays a big role. So, it has to be hand in hand with the change management, with the mind shift change as well for sure. I won’t say that that’s not important, but technology is important because as we saw that a lot of people didn’t know where to access the jobs on and we have offices and teams based out in different countries across the world, so very important for us to have one platform. Also very important for us to ensure that we can automate when the jobs go live, et cetera. The other aspect of the tool, which we are in the process of exploring is skill matching as well.
Manjuri Sinha (14m 46s):
So, in this case, you have internal employees who can update their skills and they would start getting recommendation for the internal jobs vis-a-vis their skills and their expertise as well. This part of the platform we haven’t explored as yet. We are still working out the implementation of the same with decree.
Matt Alder (15m 6s):
So it’s right at the start of 2023. We’ve talked about the challenges in the market, the challenges with budgets, and how TA leaders can really prove their value and really kind of accelerate the whole sense of internal mobility within organizations. Just to look into the future, if you were to look ahead a couple of years, so I don’t know, beginning of 2025. Bearing in mind the kind of the sort of the massive disruptive evolution that talent acquisition’s been through in the last two years. What do you think the future looks like?
Matt Alder (15m 45s):
What is the TA function of 2025 gonna be like when hopefully we’ve moved on from the economic issues that we’re currently having?
Manjuri Sinha (15m 56s):
Excellent question, Matt. I think thanks for also making me look into the future like that. Couple of things that I have been noticing right now and I think this takes me to 2025. I foresee the TA architecture to change a lot. Two changes that I see is, in the way that teams are designed right now. We are looking at a lot of operational designing. We look at recruiting, we look at sourcing, we look at TA Ops. We need to move away from this and also bring in the strategic part of the talent piece in this. And I foresee there is a thin line between talent acquisition and talent development and management.
Manjuri Sinha (16m 38s):
I foresee that line blurring further. There would be things, I mean, I just shared with you. I already take care of onboarding in my organization, which is also a piece, which in some organization actually sits with the talent management team. I see this line blurring and I see that the role of a recruiter will evolve. It will not just stop at sourcing, and hiring, and getting the talent through the door, but it’ll be further into org design. It’ll be further into advising on what kind of benefits packages I’ll be looking at. It’ll be further into the whole piece of, yes, we can bring in the talent, we can rotate the talent, but we can also retain the talent in certain ways by helping upscaling, by helping these of design, et cetera, strategies as well.
Manjuri Sinha (17m 29s):
So, I definitely foresee the role and the entire TA team architecture evolving through the next two years.
Matt Alder (17m 38s):
Manjuri, thank you very much for talking to me.
Manjuri Sinha (17m 41s):
Thank you so much Matt for having me here.
Matt Alder (17m 44s):
My thanks to Manjuri. You can subscribe to this podcast in Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or via your podcasting app of choice. Please also follow the show on Instagram. You can find us by searching for Recruiting Future. You can search all the past episodes at recruitingfuture.com. On that site, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Recruiting Future Feast, and the inside track about everything that’s coming up on the show. Thanks very much for listening. I’ll be back next time and I hope you’ll join me.