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In The Spotlight with Kobi Ampoma

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In our latest In The Spotlight series, we sat down with Kobi Ampoma, the Head of Talent Acquisition Netherlands from Heineken about his career, how to engage an ever evolving workforce, what talent acquisition will look like over the next few years.

Starting off his career at Nike, Kobi has led the way in talent acquisition in The Netherlands for over 20 years, working for globally renowned brands such as ASICS, PVH, Getir, Otrium and now Heineken.

He is a LinkedIn Top Voice for recruitment and is a DE&I advocate, notably being an advisory board member for OMEK, which is an organisation to connect and champion bi-cultural people of African descent.

You’ve had an inspiring career to date, what advice would you give to those entering into the talent acquisition world?

Entering the talent acquisition world is both exhilarating and demanding. It's a field that demands resilience, as you'll encounter pressure and working with varying stakeholders who aren't always easy to deal with. It’s important to be resilient to ensure you're able to bounce back from setbacks, stay focused, and remain motivated despite the challenges. Additionally, a mindset of continuous learning is crucial. The talent acquisition landscape evolves rapidly, so being eager to learn and adapt to new trends, technologies, and best practices is essential.

Moreover, taking initiative is key and proactively seeking solutions, building strong relationships, and driving positive outcomes are vital in this dynamic environment. Finally, staying true to your values is paramount. Uphold integrity, fairness, and respect in all interactions, and prioritise diversity and inclusion in hiring practices. By embodying resilience, a thirst for learning, proactive initiative, and unwavering integrity, you'll not only navigate the pressures of talent acquisition but also thrive and make a meaningful impact in your career.

What should businesses know about engaging today’s workforce?

In today's rapidly evolving landscape, businesses must recognize the importance of engaging with the modern workforce. Firstly, understanding the diverse needs and preferences of employees is crucial.

Flexibility in work arrangements, such as remote work options and flexible schedules, is increasingly valued by today's workforce. Additionally, fostering a culture of open communication and transparency can enhance employee engagement and satisfaction. Providing opportunities for growth and development, such as training programs and career advancement pathways, is essential for retaining top talent. Moreover, prioritising employee well-being and mental health initiatives demonstrates a commitment to the holistic welfare of employees. Finally, embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives promotes a sense of belonging and acceptance among employees, leading to a more engaged and motivated workforce. By prioritising these factors, businesses can effectively engage and retain today's workforce, driving productivity and success.

How do you continue to learn and grow professionally? Are there any resources or practices you'd recommend?

I am big on reading and listening to podcast. My favourite one is from the Digital HR Leaders with David Green - he sits with all the People Leaders from different industries and talk all things HR, Talent Acquisition, People Analytics. It's a brilliant listen.


How do you navigate the balance between innovation and tradition in your work?

This is a great question. I think it’s important to embrace new technology however there is also a an element of fear on what has traditionally worked. I think being open to trying new technology is going to be key - as a function you don’t want to be lightyears behind innovation.


In what ways do you think talent acquisition will evolve over the next few years.

I think as more and more companies incorporate new technologies it will be much more of a great space to be part of. In the coming years, talent acquisition is poised to undergo significant evolution driven by technological advancements, changing workforce demographics, and shifting employer expectations. Also, automation and AI will streamline recruitment processes, enabling more personalised candidate experiences and data-driven decision-making. We must also not forget that remote work trends will continue to expand the pool of global talent, necessitating innovative sourcing strategies and remote hiring practices. Diversity, equity, and inclusion will become more central to recruitment efforts, with a focus on reducing bias and fostering inclusive workplaces. Additionally, employer branding and candidate experience will continue to gain importance, shaping organisations' abilities to attract and retain top talent in an increasingly competitive landscape.


What’s your one big dream for the future of the industry?

It would be more towards hiring for skills. This will open up more talents to a shrinking pool if we continue the old ways of hiring. Which for most part is inequitable, biased and inefficient. We can do better when it comes to the candidate experience and candidate journey.


What advice would you give right now to talent acquisition leaders in the Netherlands?

I would advise Talent Acquisition leaders to include the engagement of bi-cultural talent into their strategy because if they don’t they will miss out opportunity on the next generation of talent.