Recruitment & Retention: The Critical Balancing Act

August Leadership hosted its Global Talent Acquisition Leaders Forum’s second virtual event on May 5, 2021, on the topic ‘Recruitment & Retention: The Critical Balancing Act.


“Today’s Talent Acquisition Leaders face the continuous pressure of filling the leadership pipeline with top talent. But what happens if they keep leaving?”



We had a great panel, with Talent Acquisition Leaders from across 2 continents:

    • Roopesh Panchasra, Global Head of Executive Talent Acquisition, Uber
    • Blair Bennett, Senior Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition, Pepsi
    • Susan Hailey, Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, OpenText

This session moderated by our Partner Tiffany Goodlet revealed 5 key learnings regarding:

Pandemic  Challenges 

TA leaders faced a steep challenge of rapidly developing and improving virtual hiring experiences, transforming their talent attraction approaches to meet evolving expectations from candidates and hiring managers. Charisma and articulation became valuable skills that all on-screen time had to embrace.

Business hiring requirements changed rapidly, and recruiting teams had to adapt swiftly. Remote positions required a robust test of competencies such as resilience and the ability to work independently when compared to in-office jobs.

Talent Management & Acquisition

Talent management and acquisition teams are collaborating more than ever before in a joined-up talent partnership model. Virtual learning and development programs, along with virtual onboarding, hiring guides have helped drive success of internship programs, as well as in retention, cultural integration, and progression of new employees.

Internal talent marketplaces are helping with career progression, and succession planning to meet future hiring requirements.

Impact on Women

TA leaders are aiming and planning for higher representation for women at all stages of the recruiting cycle, while taking bias out of the process.

Programs for getting women back into the workplace are becoming essential. A higher ratio of women are being hired and promoted to roles that were traditionally occupied by mostly men, e.g. Sales, Engineering, and Supply Chain roles.

DE&I Dashboards

Talent acquisition teams are building greater transparency into the dashboard tracking process. TA leaders not only focus on hiring numbers but also on retention and recruitment strategies to meet DE&I objectives.

The right candidate may not always be present at the time of hiring, so TA leaders are addressing this through innovative programs, such as community development and continuous pipelining and talent engagement through candidate relationship programs.

Future of Work

Expectations from leaders have changed, and with that leadership competencies are also changing. Breaking down silos, increasing collaboration, agility, and finding new and unique way of doing things have helped, and this will continue.

Companies increasingly are announcing a reduction of real estate footprint, reduction of office space, and encouraging continued flexible and remote work patterns.

We would like to thank our speakers, Roopesh, Blair, and Susan for sharing these valuable insights, and all those who participated in the event from across the globe.

August Leadership is a global executive search firm headquartered in New York City with offices worldwide. With a global mindset, we solve our client’s biggest talent leadership challenges.

We are committed to doing our part to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I). We are proud participants of :