Q and A: Exclusive Interview with Minh Hua

January 26, 2022 by Verified First

Black & Decker Q&A Blog

The war for talent is intense. Large organizations often have the upper hand when recruiting, hiring, and retaining talent, but that’s all about to change.

We hosted Minh Hua, Stanley Black & Decker’s Chief Talent Officer, in the season 2 premiere of our HR at the Table webinar series. We talked about top factors impacting talent recruitment and retention in a chat titled “The War for Talent: David vs. Goliath.”

In his interview, Minh answered four key questions that shed light on the current state of the talent market to help small and mid-sized companies compete with industry leaders.

  • What are the current talent market trends and their impacts?
  • What practices should smaller organizations leverage?
  • How can small organizations take down the giants?
  • How can HR and Talent Acquisition (TA) professionals level-up their strategy?

What are the current talent market trends and their impacts?

The last two years, and even the last six months, has had a dramatic effect on the market. Minh describes the recent way business is conducted as a “series of whiplashes.” For example, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) typically ranges between negative 2 percent and positive 4 percent. During the second quarter of 2020, GDP plummeted at negative 31 percent. Yet, three months later, GDP soared at a positive 33 percent. This has led to a surge in hiring and the fastest rate of wage growth in recent memory.

Interestingly, Minh theorized that the talent market is starting to cool off. Business leaders are learning to do more with less — a trend that will only increase the longer we remain in a pendulum of economic uncertainty. Minh recommended that organizations shift focus toward quality of talent, team productivity, and business continuity.

What practices should smaller organizations leverage?

The most successful companies play to their strengths. A great example of a small company that plays to their own strengths is one that pays market pricing for talent but closes the deal with a personal touch.

Social bonding, the degree to which an individual is integrated into a company, is an area where small companies can consistently compete in and win. Large organizations are often limited due to multiple degrees of separation and bureaucracy. Small and mid-sized organizations, though, have many opportunities to connect with applicants and employees. When employees feel like they belong and the company is successful, there is a spark that’s hard to dwindle.

How can small organizations take down the giants?

In the story of David vs. Goliath, David is able to take down a giant with a few small stones. When it comes to recruitment and retention for small organizations, Minh has a few stones lined up to take down the Goliaths as well.

  • Play to your strengths and love that you’re not big - Small companies have a lot to offer. When companies feel insecure about their value proposition, candidates can tell. Have confidence in your company's capabilities.
  • Provide a personal recruiting experience - Minh offers the following advice “pretend you're recruiting your cousin,” not a stranger you found on LinkedIn. This will create a sense of familiarity and belonging at the candidates first major touchpoint with the company.
  • Tell your story - Tell the story of why that specific person should join the company. Create a picture for the candidate to see how they fit into the company and the opportunities that lay ahead.

How can HR & TA Professionals level-up their strategy?

Your strategy doesn’t have to be complex or encompass all of your financial and human resources. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. How can I gain access to as many different types of candidates as possible?
  2. Who is telling me ‘no’ and why?

When asked how to leverage technology, Minh shared a secret. “There's a very weak correlation between hiring success and the sexiness of technology.” Technology is unquestionably important to communicate, but it should not become the end all be all in any talent acquisition strategy. Instead, energy should be placed on selecting top talent and persuading them to work for your organization. 

In Conclusion

For more insight from Minh Hua, watch the entirety of this HR at the Table webinar here! To be a part of our next discussion with an HR and TA professional, register for an upcoming HR at the Table webinar. Next month, we’ll host Chris Brenchley, the co-founder and CEO at Surehand, for a chat on how to reinvent your talent acquisition strategy to fit today’s talent landscape and competitive market. 

About Verified First
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