From Reactive to Proactive Talent Sourcing

From Reactive to Proactive Talent Sourcing

Written by Charlotte Christiaanse

Charlotte leads the Global High-Value Targeted (HVT) Company program for Royal Philips. Focusing on data-driven recruitment and hiring the highest quality talent. Before that, she worked for 10+ years for international executive search firms and a market research company.

How to win the highest quality talent

Philips has been – and still is – undergoing a huge transformation journey. As every company globally is likely experiencing some form of transformation journey, I thought I would share how we switched from reactive to proactive talent sourcing and a few other tips I’ve learned along the way.

In 2011, Philips began their transformation journey, and, as a result, we updated our recruitment strategies.

As a team, we saw this as an opportunity, determined to stay relevant in the world of recruitment. While continuing to recruit the highest quality talent. We were eager to find Individuals who would help shape the future of Phillips.

Prior to the transformation, we operated reactively. This had to change. So we started investing in talent intelligence. By creating functional aligned internal talent sourcing/headhunting teams. We were slowly shifting towards proactive recruitment.

We started speaking with business leaders about what they were hoping to achieve. Proactively starting the process, before the vacancies/requisitions arrived at our desks. As a result, we were able to advise which High-Value Targeted (HVT) companies were leading in this space. In addition, we made future skill needs visible via online talent platforms. We gathered talent intelligence on companies. As well as the skills and external trends we wanted to recruit from. This helped recruiters to effectively search from companies and industries that would accelerate our transformation.

In 2019, a total of 26% of all hires in Software and R&D were from HVT companies. We had sources a pool of individuals identified as ‘best in class’ for talent. All directly sourced without agencies.

What I’ve learned from this experience is: 

1. Use the power of (external) data / Talent Intelligence to achieve business results
2. Be proactive with stakeholders before requisitions come to you
3. Overall recruitment focus should be aligned with future vacancy demand/business strategy of your company

In my next blog, I will share my second tip. “How to effectively align your Employer Value proposition to strategic talent sourcing (without agencies)”. I will share our Personal outreach strategy as well as our use of Battle Cards in the ‘’war for talent’’.



In a series of three blog posts, I will be sharing some insightful tips on how you can accelerate your strategic recruitment efforts. (1 of 3)
At Philips, Talent Intelligence has added value to our day-to-day recruiter Activity, strategic workforce planning discussions as well as strategic marco-level reports 

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