This is why large organizations struggle to attract and retain digital talent

dtac accelerate alumni Scoutout co-founder Patinan Vachiramon shares his tips

Everyone is scrambling to attract more digital talent to their organization to help them with their digital transformation. The app I co-founded, Scoutout, is a social recruitment platform that allows anyone to be a headhunter and makes job recruitment easy. What remains difficult is transforming the culture in large organizations so that new hires can thrive there.

I’ve helped Uber, Google and Line but also am trying to help traditional companies like Krungsri. I understand both sides. In fact, I used to be head of digital at CP All. And you can see the differences quite clearly between tech companies and non-tech ones that want to grow tech.

For tech companies, it’s easier to recruit and retain. They’re built for it, built for this culture. At Uber or Youtube, for example, your rank is secret. Because tech projects require people to work across the board, tech companies want to remove the issue of whether an assistant feels comfortable chasing a chief about his project. The want the process to be work-centric, not rank-centric.

The other issue that removing rank resolves is that most tech talents are below the age of 30. And the very good ones are even younger. So if you’re in a system where title and rank come together, and where those are aligned with salary, you simply can’t compensate those bright young people adequately. The recruitment process breaks down and they go work for Google. This is very difficult for a traditional company.

I use a military metaphor to explain this. Large companies are organized in battalions with hundreds of people. Google is more like strike teams. The groups are made up of four to five people and their operations last three months, divided into two-week sprints. Every three months, they reinvent the whole structure.

Scoutout can help large companies by applying machine learning to the massive amount of data they have on their teams. Right now, it’s still experimental. That’s why I’m doing it for free with select partners like SCB and PTT. I can help these companies and my machine can learn from their data. But the employee information itself is completely anonymized.

Whether using this enterprise solution or the public Scoutout platform, the objective is the same. We try to better understand what you’re looking for and who to match with that. If you’re a family-owned SME, and you’re looking for an e-commerce specialist, that potential hire needs to understand you won’t have the same culture as a tech startup.

In short, talent isn’t hard to acquire. The issue is making sure the relationship won’t break down once they’re hired. One solution is to hire the right person, using Scoutout for example. But the other is to question your company culture. If you can’t retain talent, you might have to look inwards for a solution.

Patinan Vachiramon is co-founder and managing partner at Scoutout, which was in batch 5 of dtac accelerate, Thailand’s leading tech incubator. Scoutout just launched a partnership with LINE to offer geolocated job offers within the LINE application. They are also implementing enterprise solutions to help large organizations ensure their talent is ideally utilized.