What pushed AB InBev GCC to embrace AI & ML to transform its hiring?

The Global Capability Center of AB InBev-GCC plans to hire 500-600 people

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AB InBev GCC, is the Global Capability Center and strategic partner for Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). In the last five years, AB InBev GCC has become an innovation center, that leverages the power of data and analytics to drive growth for critical business functions such as operations, finance, people, and technology. The company uses these capabilities to drive innovation at AB InBev, the global brewing company that produces over 500 beer brands which includes global brands such as Budweiser, Corona, and Hoegaarden.

Runa Dhawan, people director, AB InBev GCC, further reveals that the Company is gearing to hire 500-600 people by the end of this year. Founded five years ago, the company’s Bangaluru centre has now grown to more than 2000 people.

In keeping with its growth and need for expansion, the Company has transformed its hiring processes, allowing technology to play a major role.

For fast screening of candidates, Dhawan reveals that the Company uses an AI-enabled screening tool, which helps screen large volumes of resumes and shortlist the most relevant ones.

Technology has also enabled candidate selection on the basis of gamified assessments to gauge aptitude fitment and cultural alignment in addition to identifying the transferable skills from the candidate’s experience that will make him/her more suitable for the role in question. AI and ML technology has proven to be a game changer in recruitment especially since it equips the hiring manager with more qualitative data, which brings in stronger volume of hiring activity without compromising on quality.

“Growth in hiring numbers was just a push for us to move towards technology and transform our hiring processes. However, our true aim was to make our processes better using technology and relieve our HR team of cumbersome and repetitive procedures, so that they can focus more on strategic areas of HR”

Runa Dhawan, people director, AB InBev GCC

As Dhawan explains, “Growth in hiring numbers was just a push for us to move towards technology and transform our hiring processes. However, our true aim was to make our processes better using technology and relieve our HR team of cumbersome and repetitive procedures, so that they can focus more on strategic areas of HR.”

With technology at its disposal, the Company believes it is in a better position to gather more insights about the core and soft skills of the candidates. This, in turn, will make the interview conversations more precise and in depth.

As of now, the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning is under process. It is being completed in phases and the Company hopes to complete the entire integration process very soon.

Recruiters, hiring managers and the talent acquisition team at AB InBev GCC are being trained and coached on developing an AI and ML-based approach.

Additionally, Dhawan reveals that from the 500 to 600 hires that the Company is planning, 70 per cent will be for tech roles. “We are looking for data scientists, data engineers, cloud architects, UI/UX designers and so on,” shares Dhawan.

Adopting a mixed approach, depending on the role and the level of experience they need, “we are hiring from the campuses, and also relying on employee referrals and lateral hires,” says Dhawan.

As we all are aware, the demand for techies has grown and gone above the roof. Multiple tech giants are inducting techies in huge numbers.

With people now being aware that flexibility is no longer a perk, they tend to demand it. They all know that work can be done remotely, and this is a challenge for every Company.

For AB InBev, attracting tech talent is a key priority.

Since the demand for techies has increased, it has become an employee-driven market. They have multiple offers in hand and the compensation that they demand is also high.

Dhawan reveals how there is a growing demand for flexibility so AB InBev GCC is working on a new model that addresses these requirements while attracting top talent.

Presently the company is working remotely but as things slowly limp back to normalcy, the company may introduce a hybrid model of working that Incorporates a mixture of in-office and remote work.

Though the tech talent is getting expensive, AB InBev has kept their compensation very competitive. “In terms of compensation, we have a benchmark and we are quite competitive compared to others,” asserts Dhawan.

The existing employees are the brand ambassadors of AB InBev GCC, according to Dhawan. The GCC’s people policies are quite transparent and this attracts the best talent.

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