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《112-2 GHRM608》 Recruitment and Retention of an Aging Society: Strategies from Swire Coca-Cola Taiwan's HR Director

On Week 8 of the Human Resources Competency Development class (GHRM MBA) instructed by Professors Shyh-Jer Chen and Heidi Chang, Rodney Huang and Jimmy Chen from Swire Coca-Cola Taiwan were welcomed as guest speakers. Swire Coca-Cola Taiwan is responsible for manufacturing and distributing The Coca-Cola Company's goods, offering over 30 distinct beverage options across 14 different brands, including sparkling drinks, water, tea, juice, and sports drinks. Mr. Huang currently serves as the Human Resource Director at Swire Coca-Cola Taiwan, bringing extensive HR experience from his previous roles at Nike, L’Oreal, Diageo, and Unilever. He holds a Master's degree in Human Resource Management from National Sun Yat-sen University and a Master of Science from the University of Exeter. 

Mr. Huang began his lecture with a brief introduction to his academic and career background, followed by an overview of the company. He emphasized the importance, as an HR Director, of aligning aspirations with the company’s goals. This alignment aids in retaining top talent and enhancing employee engagement, thereby facilitating the growth and success of both individuals and the company as a whole. Mr. Huang also highlighted the talent war in Taiwan, driven by negative population growth and the projection that Taiwan will become a super-aged society by 2025, with 20% of the population aged 65 or older. This demographic shift has resulted in a shortage of candidates since 2020, leading to a record high number of vacancies and making it difficult for employers to find suitable candidates.

Moreover, Mr. Huang emphasized the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the context of aligning company goals with employee aspirations. He mentioned that a diverse and inclusive workplace not only reflects societal values but also drives innovation and performance. Mr. Huang also discussed the concept of re-hiring, highlighting the benefits of retaining and retraining existing employees to meet evolving business needs. He emphasized the need to ensure that plans are carefully crafted to achieve their intended purposes, indicating the importance of strategic planning in human resource management. Additionally, in the context of recruitment, he referred to the concept of "Talent's persona," suggesting that organizations should consider not only the skills and qualifications of candidates but also their values, motivations, and cultural fit when making hiring decisions.

Additionally, Mr. Huang presented real-life case studies to the class for critical thinking practices. Each group was asked to serve as HR leaders and develop strategies, such as an appealing campus recruitment strategy to attract younger generations of talent or a plan to promote an online learning platform. These case studies aimed to emphasize that there is no definitive right or wrong answer for each decision. Instead, the key is to consider how to address the risks associated with each decision, generating unique solutions before finalizing the outcome. This approach can benefit the company by enabling informed choices, reducing costs, and ultimately improving long-term performance.

In conclusion, the guest lecture by Rodney Huang provided valuable insights into the importance of aligning aspirations with company goals and the six core competencies for success in their organization. The lecture shed light on the challenges posed by the talent war in Taiwan due to negative population growth and an aging society. The real-life case studies prompted critical thinking and emphasized the importance of considering risks when making decisions. The class found the lecture beneficial and loved how interactive the course was. The class deeply appreciated Mr. Huang and Mr. Chen’s effort, which came all the way to Kaohsiung, and participants overall gave positive feedback after the course.

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