On Thursday 25th April 2013, 19 Global Talent Acquisition Heads met for lunch at the world headquarters of McGraw-Hill, in New York, to discuss talent acquisition trends related to emerging markets across the world.

In collaboration with Bradley Arnold and Gregory Karanastasis, Executive Recruiting and Global Mobility Heads, respectively, at McGraw-Hill, The Chapman Consulting Group (ChapmanCG) was represented by Matthew Chapman, CEO, who chaired the session.

Global Talent Acquisition Heads from Pfizer, Avon, Credit Suisse, Cigna, Experian, MasterCard, Gartner, Deloitte, American Express, Marsh & McLennan, Unisys, AmerisourceBergen and several others attended the session. ChapmanCG hosts Regional Talent Acquisition Leader briefings in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, but this was the first meeting in New York.

Bradley Arnold, of McGraw-Hill, welcomed the group and introduced the business and HR structure of the McGraw-Hill Group of Companies. He told the group about the upcoming rebranding of the company to McGraw-Hill. Arnold spoke about the fact that McGraw-Hill, like many organizations in the room, had been experiencing rapid revenue and employee growth in emerging markets. Gregory Karanastasis, of McGraw-Hill, then continued with a frank look at staffing challenges being faced in hot emerging markets, particularly China. He also discussed the company’s approach to building the right talent acquisition model to cope with these challenges. Karanastasis was particularly glowing of the recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) model that the company had built in China.

The second presenter was David Crawford, Group Head of Talent Acquisition, at Mastercard. Crawford spoke of the fact that 17% of the company’s global hires are in Asia Pacific and this number is steadily growing. Crawford spoke about a particularly creative employee referral system that the organization has implemented. Apart from offering a fee to employees for successful applicants referred, the company had launched an internal advertising campaign highlighting “how” successful referrals had spent their referral fee. Examples of this advertising campaign included slogans such as “I paid for a trip to Italy for my parents” and “I bought our new baby a complete set of new toys”. The program had been particularly successful and was a creative approach to enabling MasterCard to cut its recruitment costs, particularly across Asia Pacific, where internal fill rates have improved from 15% to more than 50%.

Finally, Donata Davenport, VP Recruitment Global for Unisys, spoke about the challenges that Unisys has had in Asia Pacific in building their recruitment model. Like McGraw-Hill, Davenport was a strong proponent of using an RPO model to handle non-essential recruitment. She also spoke about the need to use different providers across different countries, depending on their strengths, and cautioned about a “one size fits all model”. Davenport had also achieved success by splitting Asia into North and South and having two separate recruitment leaders to manage their internally driven and externally driven (RPO) recruitment.

The Global Talent Acquisition Leaders Group, hosted by ChapmanCG, will reconvene in New York in October 2013. Details will be announced soon.