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Q&A with Andrew Stotter-Brooks

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Andrew Stotter-Brooks, Vice President Learning and Development Etihad Aviation Group.



The most impactful talent acquisition practices

What are the most significant trends shaping talent acquisition today? How have these trends affected our traditional methods?


The future is moving faster than anyone could have predicted, I’ve read articles recently in the UK Daily Telegraph that are predicting the end of mankind in the next two years. Talent professionals and employees will need to be extremely agile, relentless, and open minded in their approach to learning in the following years. AI is on the march. Best guess is that we’ll all have to get a lot more human in our interactions with others. Re learning skills that perhaps have become rusty, empathising, building rapport, tolerance and acceptance, questioning, being creative and above all listening.


How has technology changed the way we source and recruit talent? How are AI and machine learning being leveraged in talent acquisition?


Machines are learning incredibly fast, repetitive skills and data entry type roles have and will disappear. The best employees of the future will be able to leverage their humanness and develop creativity data translation and trend spotting using data. New work will involve helping machines become more human and directing machines in the search of answers.


How does your talent acquisition strategy ensure diversity and inclusion? How are you addressing unconscious bias in the hiring process?


Ensure every interaction is inclusive. Gen Z is the most diverse generation and they read reviews on Glassdoor and Handshake, social listen on Twitter, Insta and Linkedin and note the organisations that miss the mark with DEI. Don’t get caught out. Make sure everyone has a voice. No one speaks twice until everyone has spoken once. Be a great ally for underrepresented groups. I use my influence to sponsor promising members of my team, the greater the difference the greater the opportunity. Don’t hire or promote in your own image. Remove barriers to entry for underrepresented groups, discriminate positively. Being open to all and removes barriers. For future leaders to look like the rest of us, create opportunities at entry level, and develop early talent to improve upon that stat. For example, start by promoting women if you want to hire more women. I’d encourage you to start small rather than imagining grand ideas. Keep it simple. Measure frequently, what gets measured gets done. Clear gauges on what success will look like matter. You know you need to make data-informed decisions, but taking last year’s strategy and making small adjustments won’t move the needle. It starts with you. Own it! Significant levels of training and raising awareness of unconscious bias. The more we expose, challenge and discuss the faster we’ll see improvements.


How important is the candidate's experience in your talent acquisition strategy? What steps are you taking to provide a positive experience?


They say “choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”, but figuring out what job you want and how to get there can often be the most challenging part. Career Connections is about helping the Aviation family do just that – take ownership of their career i.) by having access to information about vertical, lateral and cross-functional roles and ii.) through understanding the skills, experience and expectations of a desired job. These two inputs then make it possible for anyone to build a personalised development plan aligned to their career goals - their own unique career itinerary. Career Connections is about setting you and your teams up for success. When people think about planning their career, they often think in a traditional vertical journey upwards – as shown by the middle career path. But as organisations become leaner and career growth becomes dependent on business-critical skills and broader experience, lateral or cross-functional moves are becoming more common – but what are they? A lateral (or horizontal) move is where employee moves sideways into a new role, often at the same grade, to gain skills, experience or knowledge. This move can be in the same team or department. A cross-functional move is where employee may keep the same role or take on a new one but also move to a different division to gain wider exposure to new business areas.

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