Talking Talent Leadership Profiles: Andrew Wilkinson, Group Managing Director, Europe and Asia Pacific

There are a lot of new perspectives and British accents around PeopleScout since our acquisition of TMP Holdings LTD (TMP UK) in June 2018. For Andrew Wilkinson, who was the CEO of TMP UK prior to the acquisition, it’s been a whirlwind. He has crisscrossed the globe visiting PeopleScout operations in Chicago, Krakow and Sydney, meeting with PeopleScout clients in the U.S. and Australia, speaking at the Candidate Experience Awards (CandE) Awards in Orlando and HRO Today Forums in Amsterdam and Hong Kong, and attending the PeopleScout NEXT Talent Summits in Chicago and Sydney.

I caught up with Andrew in PeopleScout’s Central London office to get the scoop on PeopleScout’s UK operations, talent advisory practice and his insights after six months in his new role as PeopleScout Executive Leader, Group Managing Director, Europe and Asia Pacific.

How has our acquisition of TMP Holdings LTD changed PeopleScout?

I believe that we significantly expanded PeopleScout’s on-the-ground capabilities and expertise in the UK with an EMEA HQ in London and a highly effective RPO delivery center in Bristol. Since June, we’ve begun to have a lot of collaboration as a global leadership team talking with clients that want to expand their program to new geographies as well as starting new conversations with global prospects.

The deal not only established a European PeopleScout footprint, it also significantly enhanced PeopleScout’s talent advisory capabilities in employer branding, assessment and recruitment marketing. Our RPO model was built on our 25-year legacy in the UK as an award-winning employer brand and recruitment marketing agency and is a huge differentiator. Whilst underpinning our RPO business, we also offer talent advisory services directly to clients to help them tell a compelling story to their target audiences and create a positive candidate experience.

Why are talent advisory services becoming increasingly relevant in today’s market?

With talent shortages in virtually every global market, the candidate is in control. For that reason, helping our clients bring their employer brand to life to give them an unfair advantage in attracting critical talent is very timely. Additionally, there is a growing awareness of the positive and negative impact that employer brand experiences can have on your bottom line.

For instance, one of our clients – a telecom company – studied the cost of having a bad candidate experience and found that candidates that had a negative experience were inclined to change providers. Given their candidate volume, this equated to millions of dollars in potential lost revenue annually. Global research from the CandE Awards aligns with this – showing significant positive and negative revenue correlation with candidate experience.

How does employer brand relate to creating a compelling candidate experience?

Every company has an employer brand – intentional or not. This brand is based on their reputation, how they communicate, what others say about them and the candidate experience that they deliver. As they say, perception is reality.

To that point, having a managed employer brand is critical. For us, that begins with helping our clients understand what they want to achieve and who they really are through insights gathered from current senior leaders, employees, exit interviews and existing corporate materials.

Starting with those insights we begin to identify the themes that allow them to tell their story, one that allows them to “own” a space in their target talent groups’ minds and ultimately draws this talent into their pipeline. This is their employer value proposition (EVP) and we use that as a compass point from which we design their whole employee experience. The EVP defines what you deliver to your employees but also what you expect in return. This last point is critical, in that you don’t want to be a magnet for all talent, you want to be a magnet for talent that will thrive in your organization.

Clearly, this is a balancing act between authenticity and aspiration – you’ve got to deliver from the inside out on your EVP through the entire candidate and employee lifecycle.

How do you help create positive employer brand experiences – whether the candidate gets the job or not?

Creating great employment experiences begins long before a candidate joins an organization. The typical candidate journey has upwards of 25 touch points. These touchpoints inform a candidate’s opinion of your organization and ultimately their decision to join.

When you consider a candidate’s experience as they explore multiple job opportunities, they are sorting through a lot of messages. To stand out, your employer brand message must be compelling and consistent because candidate attention spans continue to decrease for anything but the most compelling engagement tactics.

Our goal for every interaction is to enhance the candidate’s perception of our client’s brand. We’ve done our job when a candidate doesn’t get the job but walks away from the experience thinking “that’s a great company.”

What’s next?

2019 looks like another exciting year. We have now completed the key integration project and I believe that the opportunities for PeopleScout next year are huge as we start to unlock our true global potential. We are already having so many different conversations across geographies as we better link our total capabilities to clients’ needs. We are bringing to the UK the scale and resources of being part of the PeopleScout team which will benefit our existing RPO customers as well as dramatically change our offer to potential new customers.

In addition, for me, that also means supporting Guy Bryant-Fenn, our new Managing Director for Asia Pacific operations, and strengthening our global ties with each region. I am excited to be working together with some amazing talent on the global team to develop synergies across regions and build on our current success to continue to drive growth in Asia Pacific and around the globe. Traveling is back on the agenda with visits to Chicago, Washington D.C., Sydney and India all on the itinerary but not before a ski break to relax!

Post by Caroline Sabetti