Retaining Talent Through Technology, Smart Solutions

by: Sofia Garduño for Mexico Business Talent

Q: How has Kilpatrick’s commercial proposition adapted and evolved to target the Mexican market?

A: We arrived in Mexico six years ago with a large project for an Italian organization. As we ran operations from our US entity in Miami, we quickly came to recognize the potential of Mexico’s market, which led to investment initiatives and, ultimately, to the growth of a local team. Since then, we have become a key resource for organizations searching for people with the language skills and international experience necessary to serve across industries in both the US and Latin America. As such roles demand, we were in constant search for talent capable of thinking “outside-the-box,” talent Mexico has.

Furthermore, we did not find it particularly difficult to adapt to the Mexican market because we entered with the objective to be unique in the market. That allowed the company to focus on educating clients on the added-value of hiring an external partner for recruitment services supported by consulting and technology. Our application One grants our clients complete transparency on ongoing projects and tracking of real-time progress, while also serving as a medium for around the clock communication. This approach differentiates us from other market competitors, allowing client relationships to progressively mature until they see us as a partner working towards mutual interests.

Q: How has the gradual digitization of HR functions within organizations forced Kilpatrick to adapt its services and solutions portfolio?

A: The COVID-19 pandemic did not change anything internally for Kilpatrick because we had already begun to invest in digitalization five years prior. Therefore, by the time the trend began to take off in Mexico and beyond, we were already well positioned for market capture. Moreover, all the technology we use has been developed and implemented by us; we have not purchased any technology or software licenses.

Initially, most of our business concerned preparing our clients for the “new normal,” namely organizational restructuring around digital work models, developing a smart work model and identifying the communication tools that best fit them. For some of our clients, overcoming this market shock was more strenuous than for others but, ultimately, we have helped them all embrace technology solutions without compromising on the human touch. This is true even for Kilpatrick, even as we look forward to the possibilities of a new digital reality, people remain at the center of our services, technology and innovation efforts.

Currently, we are exploring other technologies aimed primarily at automating. In collaboration with startups in Israel and the UK, we have already begun our first tests on a facial recognition software capable of conducting interviews, helping companies gauge and build individual profiles at record speed so that they can reduce their time-to-hire.

Q: What is the difference between Recruitment 4.0 and Recruitment 5.0?

A: The main distinction between Recruitment 4.0 and Recruitment 5.0 is that the former focuses on social media as a networking system mechanism while the latter looks to extract insight from big data. Early pioneers of the latter include Google, which uses data to analyze an individual’s interests, values and behaviors to channel their interests accordingly. In regards to talent attraction, big data promises to enable organizations to take a step forward in identifying candidates with the right qualifications and hard and soft skills for their organizational needs.

Q: Companies have experienced a high turnover rate among senior and C-suite executives. What is the root cause of this turnover and how is Kilpatrick addressing this matter?

A: During the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the organizational hierarchy realized that there was more to life outside of work, prompting the Great Resignation. C-suite executives that were often busy with work and did not have time to invest in their social life, left their long-time jobs to do different things. Technology and flexibility are here to stay, however, there will be an adjustment with regards to this trend and we will soon switch to a hybrid model as for some large organizations, the full remote option will not be sustainable in the long term. In the meantime, to avoid the “bleeding” coming from the resignation of C-suite executives, we are working, together with our clients, on creating succession plans and recruiting a strong second line of managers that can take over the leadership.

Q: As brand strategy development gains traction as a recruitment strategy, how do Kilpatrick’s “effective marketing strategies” address this matter?

A: We are investing in marketing and working with clients to improve their recruitment and talent pooling strategies. We work on their employer branding by using marketing material and technologies that can help clients to communicate more effectively their values. Our Marketing department works with clients to sell their achievements on our network. We are always innovating and keeping up with new technologies in the market to help companies promote themselves.

Q: How are you handling the transition to millennials and Gen Z and how is that impacting recruitment?

A: Mexican companies often focus on recruitment strategies instead of retaining talent. Understanding how to retain your talent is one of the toughest challenges companies are now facing. Talent is now more mobile than in the past and it is difficult to convince candidates to embrace your project and your culture. It is challenging for companies to understand that younger generations think differently. Younger generations want a fast career and to be constantly validated for the value they bring into the company. They can also feel uncomfortable assimilating difficult feedback, which is rarely mentioned. We need to make young people understand that progress in a company is related to results and is not necessarily defined by their social, economic and academic environments. Companies must change their perspectives and activate different plans. We are in the middle of a large generational change. The real task is creating good leaders for the future.

Q: What primary objectives would Kilpatrick like to accomplish before the end of 2022?

A: We doubled our revenue during the past three years, growing our team across the Americas. In the EU, we are focusing on big data, cybersecurity and the digital sectors, and we want to import these skills to our Mexico branch. We will continue to invest in Mexico because the expected global supply chain adjustment will benefit this country.

The Mexican market is a reference in Latin America and a large workforce market for the US. The USMCA gives Mexico a very strong competitive edge.