Just two days until the Benefex Summer Forum! To get you warmed up, we’re giving you a sneak peek of what’s to come from our incredible speakers. We won’t give too much away; but we’ve managed to squeeze a few drops of wisdom from them before the big day...

We’re so excited to be joined by none other than David D’Souza, Director at CIPD.

David is the CIPD’s Membership Director and is responsible for growing membership and ensuring they connect effectively with the profession to understand how to continually improve support to members. Prior to joining the CIPD in 2014, David worked as an independent consultant, having held previous roles across a range of financial services and retail organisations.

Described as “one of the UK’s most influential HR and workplace commentators”, David is a respected and in demand speaker and writer on progressive HR and business practice. David has expertise in a wide range of areas, including organisational development and culture, learning and development, corporate ethics, employee engagement and the future of work. He gave us a little bit of a preview into his session on the future of talent...

Where would you say talent recruitment is heading? Are there trends which can give us a hint to where it’s going?

There is a rapidly changing external environment but with some embedded and enduring challenges that haven’t shifted much since I started my career in retail volume recruitment 15 years ago. There is a skills shortage in some areas, and people being seen as disposable assets in others. Recruiting fairly at volume is a challenge as is maintaining a high quality of candidate experience – and I’d include giving developmental feedback to candidates that aren’t selected as part of that. Fair and unbiased selection remains tricky and candidates expecting more rapid response to queries complicates things further. There is lots of tech – working out the right tech is a high order puzzle. The noise around candidate experience should be a good signal as to where we are heading.

What can employers be doing now to make sure they’re ahead of the curve in recruitment?

Focus on quality solutions. We know that the buzzwords of AI, blockchain and the gig economy will dominate the narrative over the coming years but the organisations that stay ahead of the curve will be distinguished by their intelligent usage of tools rather than wholesale blind adoption of every piece of technology going. There is a craft to solving for better results and technology is part of that but not all of that. If you create an organisation that natures talent and allows it to flourish, you will always find ways to attract the best.

You’ve been described as “Esteemed, eloquent and sometimes sassy…” What would you say makes you sassy?

It was a long time ago and I think it was probably the only time I have ever been called 'sassy'. I’m more often called ‘beardy’ or ‘clumsy’. I try and avoid jargon and that can seem challenging to some, but we are all human beings so the less we talk like corporations and the more we talk like people the better.

That's music to our ears, as our forum is focusing on building human workplaces.