A 'local bend on global frameworks'
While in a centralised organisation you can create a central team and then build a business case for resources, SABMiller had to adopt a different approach. For Candee, this involved being flexible and finding appropriate solutions to fit. “My role is to facilitate collaboration and foster best practices. I’m here to advise people, give them examples of what’s worked, and put people in touch to discuss that,” she adds.
For example, to fund a dedicated talent acquisition function, SABMiller’s South African business created talent acquisition professionals as a profit centre – charging out for recruitment to their own business. “You get a lot of questions from different markets about how it should be structured, how many requisitions a typical recruiter should have – but it depends on what works for that individual business and only they can understand that,” reveals Candee. And the approach is working.
SABMiller’s procurement team, for example, is now at 100% direct sourcing up to exec level. While the percentage of direct versus agency varies according to how much resource a certain business unit has, Candee estimates that across the markets that have actively implemented and resourced for direct sourcing, the average is approximately 70% to 100%. Those that are leaner resourced may tend to be slightly lower in the first couple of years. Examples of successful markets include Latin America, Australia and South Africa regionally; as well as global procurement and IS.
“We still have a percentage that’s hired through agency which we would like to lessen and we’re working with global procurement on that,” she admits. However, currently there is not a TA manager in every country, so for Candee and her team, this means working with individual markets to help lay out foundational frameworks and strategy for the function and influencing what needs to happen from there, to ensure there is “a local bend on global frameworks”.
And while Candee wants direct sourcing to become the “default setting” for the business, she is also clear that finding the best talent is paramount and, as such, there may be instances where it does not make sense. This, she says, will usually be around specialist or niche roles – where it would be inefficient for a recruiter to work alone. Here, Candee acknowledges the need to develop strong PSLs, and seeks to grow partnerships with researchers to help build a robust talent pipeline.
On the recruitment process itself, Candee is proud of SABMiller’s approach, which typically includes six hours of assessment, including face-to-face psychometric testing, and feedback is given whether they are taken forward in the process or not. For successful candidates, this forms the basis of career chats and results are discussed with potential line managers. “We always look at least two positions ahead and talk about where they can get to strategically – where they fit in the organisation, their potential and culture.” For Candee, this is about finding out how the person thinks, how they work with others, what strategic level they are at, their potential for growth, whether that’s aligned to the role in question and if that is going to set them up for success. “It helps us make strategic decisions on talent and it works extremely well,” she says.