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The challenge facing companies: How to attract and retain the right talent?

The challenge facing companies: How to attract and retain the right talent?

SUNDAY, November 19, 2017

MOST ORGANISATIONS today are struggling to attract new talent to support their digital transformation initiatives, but getting talent to come through the door is only a part of the solution.

The bigger challenge for organisations, large or small, is getting the right fit between their digital talents and the work culture to make them thrive. This is one of the reasons why I decided to co-found ScoutOut, a social recruitment platform that allows anyone to be a headhunter and makes job recruitment easy.
Before I decided to launch my own start-up, I had worked with a large variety of companies across many industries - ranging from highly innovative companies like Uber, Google and Line to traditional companies like Muang Thai Life Assurance, CP ALL and Krungsri Bank - helping them acquire new talent. I found that the way these companies managed their talents was very different.
For example, tech companies require a highly dynamic structure to support the fast-moving market, and so they need people that can fit that working environment and culture. Seniority and ranking does not matter as much as the role and responsibilities that have been assigned to each individual. Employees are empowered to initiate new ideas and make decisions. On the other hand, traditional companies are relatively more centralised and less agile in their structure, making it more time consuming because of the decision-making process, and consequently causing them to lose their competitive advantage. 
I use a military metaphor to explain this. Traditional companies are organised in battalions with hundreds of people, while highly innovative companies work more like strike teams. These strike teams are made up of four to five people and their operations last for a few months, which are more finely broken down into a number of working sprints. And every few months, this whole structure is reinvented.
The main challenge modern companies face is not just how to acquire digital talent, but also how to retain them within the company. In order to bring out the fullest potential of the digital talent pool, the companies needs to adapt their culture and working style to allow innovation to happen. If the new hires do not match with or cannot fit into their work environment, then those employees will feel agitated and eventually they will leave the company. Therefore, it is important that we are able to match the right talent that will fit with the company's culture.
This is where ScoutOut comes in. We aim to help companies find the right candidates by applying our algorithm and machine learning to the recruitment process. Right now, it's still experimental. I'm currently working with Muang Thai Life Assurance and Line to help them learn from their data, while ensuring that user information is completely anonymous.
Whether it is our enterprise solution service or the public ScoutOut app platform, our objective is the same. We try to better understand what organisations are looking for and the talents that best match those requirements. If you are a family-owned small and medium enterprise, and you're looking for an ecommerce specialist, then you need to make sure that your new hire will be able to fit your company's culture.

Patinan Vachiramon is co-founder and managing partner at ScoutOut, a member of batch 5 of dtac Accelerate, Thailand's leading tech incubator. ScoutOut just launched a partnership with Line to offer location- based job offers within the Line application. They are also implementing enterprise solutions to help large organisations ensure their talents are ideally utilised.