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Q&A with Heba Al Amin

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Heba Al Amin, Chief People and Organisation Officer at SED

Topic: The most impactful talent acquisition practices

About the Current Trends:

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

Talent Acquisition is an ongoing strategy to search and find the right staff who can be successful future executives in your business/ company. So in the process, we have to focus on the set of skills a candidate possess, how far his/her mindset and behavior matches the internal culture, how far do their values align with company values. In other words, it’s a sophisticated and complex process that should consider many aspects in order to make the right decision. Over the past years, we have witnessed some drastic changes that led to major changes in Talent Acquisition methods:

1- Pandemic: I have to say here that the market perceptions has changed after the pandemic from both sides: candidates & companies. New technologies were incorporated, as well as agility. The ability to contact large numbers of candidates in seconds created a wide range of ways to find candidates. Social Media, online job boards, company websites… etc.

Yet, I have to say that still some methods that we used in the past still dominate and proved success like employee referrals, internal job posts and in some positions, professional recruiters’ services.

From candidates’ perspective, after the considerable number of lay offs and business shut down at time of pandemic, candidates started feeling unstable and unsecured, that drove them to look for companies that provides compensation in case of unvoluntary termination and they prefer companies with more flexible working hours, or work from home schedules and companies that put employees’ mental health and wellbeing on their priorities.

2- Economic Circumstances: Talent Acquisition also changed with the change in global economic circumstances. Recession and high unemployment drove us to select from a wide pool of applicants, thus making the decision even harder.

3- Demographic Changes: The fact that Baby boomers retire and millennials joining the job market, knowing that the retiring generation is larger in number than newer ones, will decrease candidates pool and create a more competitive market for talent acquisition.

These changes and more have left the Talent Acquisition with no choice other than following a data driven approach and in continuous need to analyse and measure the efficiency of each sourcing method, and decide accordingly where to concentrate efforts.

About the Impact of Technology:

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

No doubt Technology has changed the rules of the game in the sourcing and recruiting. Previously, we used website Job board, recruitment agencies, face to face interviews, we even used to bear the cost of travelling a candidate from his hometown to the interviewing location in some cases. We used Assessment tools, Competency Based interviews, Ability tests.

Currently, Social media has taken job advertising to another level, allowing recruiters to reach the right people using social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The rapid evolution of mobile technology has dramatically changed how we connect with the world. We are now using mobile apps and mobile recruitment strategies to reach a wider audience. Interviews are conducted through Zoom, Microsoft Teams… etc.

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) and AI-powered software is helping Talent Acquisition teams to influx resumes they receive with each new job posting.

Despite my belief that technology is constantly enhancing the recruitment process and is helping us save time & money, yet in my personal opinion, I still think that employee referrals, assessment tools and face to face interviews remain the most effective.

About Employer Branding:

How important is employer branding in talent acquisition? What strategies are you employing to enhance your employer brand?

A company is only as great as its people, and talents tend to be associated with high brands. I have seen people accepting our offers even if we offered salaries less than what they make in their current companies. Accordingly, it is essential for companies to invest in employer branding and showcase their values, culture, and mission to the job market. To Build a strong Employer Brand, we needed to focus from beginning to end on 4 aspects: Brand, Trust, Awareness & Loyalty.

1. Search & Source: tools, language, job post designs used to search for its targeted candidates says a lot about the company; the key here is a dedicated digital presence in general, not only limited to job posts.

2. Interviewing: the level of professionalism a company uses to communicate and invite candidates for interviews, and the candidate interview experience is a very important part in building employer branding; the key here is providing candidates with all information about the job requirements, interviewers, locations … etc., and make sure interview is held on time and interview questions should be meaningful and job related.

These 2 points represent the “BRAND”

1. Selection: during the selection process, we give equal opportunity, set a clear selection criteria and we focus on finalizing the process at the soonest possible. We respond to rejected candidates with a “Thank you” email. Then we communicate the offer letter to selected candidates explaining all details clearly.

This is “TRUST”

1. Placement: once the candidate is hired and referred to as “employee”, another journey starts. First day impression lasts, so we care to show warmth and welcome for the new joiners, orienting them and introducing them to the company and providing them with all the information and tools that help them inducted. A meaningful onboarding program is a major component of employer branding.

Eventually, collecting feedback on their hiring journey helps you adjust or tweek as required to enhance.


Building a strong Employer branding doesn’t stop at this stage, it continues in order to retain top talents, nourish and develop them and ensure they are all playing within the right track helping companies achieve their strategic goals. Appreciate & recognize top achievements. It also requires enticing a culture of transparency. Same as in “Brand differentiation” used in Marketing strategies, the more you differentiate your Employer Branding strategy by helping employees learn, develop, grow and feel their value, the more they are engaged and loyal to the company and the more they will be positively speaking about it and help you attract more talents.

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