In this global initiative, Valentine Kunnas, HR Advisor at Talantlers drives a series of interviews with all our TALANTLERS Community members on different topics. In parallel, Romain Tisné, Partner, shares with us some of his experience and concerns on those matters. Today, Valentine meets Alexis Colmant, Partner at TuneUp. Solutions, a recruitment expert active in Singapore and with whom we regularly work with on Luxembourg recruitment projects.

Romain, why did you want to share this moment with Alexis?

RT: First of all Alexis is a friend. While I was starting my career in recruitment, he has been one of my mentors and literally taught me all the basics of this great job.  After his long career in Luxembourg where he became a real expert, life has pushed him to set up in Singapore and create a recruitment A-player there. While we keep working together on different cross-border assignments, I sometimes have the impression that the Asian market brings some innovation on some aspects and this is why I thought interesting to involve him, being an expert of both markets, in this series of interviews.


Thanks Alexis for participating in this initiative. To start, could you please explain to us which bridges you can see between Luxembourg and Singapore markets?

AC: I have spent around 10 years in Luxembourg before moving to Singapore in 2016. I kept a strong professional relationship with Luxembourg as most of my clients have businesses both here and in Singapore. I have quickly realized that Singapore was the Luxembourg of Asia. In a pure sociological way, Singapore is an international platform, a financial and innovation hub like Luxembourg. There are plenty of bridges between both markets, and I am convinced that the relation between both markets will grow stronger with time. One of the most obvious market bridges I have encountered is around fund administration and asset management in general. Singapore has invested a lot to attract Fund Managers and created a SPV based on the vehicles developed in Luxembourg, called VCC (similar to Sicav and Sicar). Most of the big fund administrators are growing fast in Singapore. They are mostly focusing on alternative investments like hedge funds, private equity, and real estate funds. The market in Asia is booming in this industry and Singapore is becoming a clear center of excellence for fund administration and fund managers. Like in Luxembourg, Singapore encouraged substance to grow its market base and gave multiple grants for fund managers to start administering their VCC in Singapore. Singapore is slowly becoming a clear global competitor for Luxembourg but it also encourages emulation and development of this industry in general for both of them. 


Over there, the new generation is also a key topic – how did you adapt your approach to this new population of talents?

AC: The new generation is much more connected, in all possible ways. Social media plays a big role in the way they communicate and they approach their job search. When LinkedIn was already a powerful tool, it became the main source of connections in the past 3 years. On the other hand, the younger generation also values human contacts and networking. They build long-term relationships based on transparency. Therefore, it is also much easier to get referrals from good candidates, especially when you took time to understand their needs, and deliver a good level of service. They won't only recommend you to the market, but they also will work actively to connect you with their friends and colleagues when a concrete need arises. Your best talents become your main source of candidates. Using this network and making sure you build a long-term relationship with your pool of talent makes a huge difference in the current market. 

RT: Fully agreed. In parallel, I think that this change in paradigm also pushes us, recruitment players, to have new discussions with our clients, the employer. While talents are much more connected to each other as mentioned by Alexis, I think that the other side of the playground is also reinventing what to offer to the new generation, how to attract them and how to retain top talents... I would then add that, more and more, while joining a company, young people openly ask new questions about their future evolutions or possibilities and are demanding some visibility, hence the emergence of Graduate or Talent program offering clear visibility on milestone. Obviously, it represents a “risk” for the recruiter, but the ones who will dare to integrate those discussions upfront will certainly have the opportunity to see their candidates have a successful path at their client.


When it comes to Search & Selection profession, we increasingly talk about support or coaching – what is your position on this transformation?

AC: The old model is dying. Soon, bots and AI will do most of the work that recruiters are currently doing. If you want to last and survive, and even thrive in the current and future market, you have to change your business model. In our case, we are offering different options to our clients. We have to adopt a consulting approach. We are not only providing candidates, but we are looking to improve and modernize their whole talent acquisition strategy. First, we developed a RPO model, where our consultants offer tailored-made support to our client, in a more holistic way. Being closer to our clients' main points, being involved in their processes and full talent acquisition life cycle help us to identify the real point of actions our clients have to work on. Secondly, we developed a range of training topics related specifically to talent acquisition. We don't focus only on the HR practitioners, but also and on the hiring managers. We are convinced that having hiring managers properly trained for acquiring talents, will have a huge impact on companies’ profitability. We also developed some "hot topics" like inbound recruitment, allowing companies to focus on a long-term recruitment approach. 

RT: Since 2007, we have always been aligned with Alexis on this question. I think that we can become innovative when it comes to the services we offer and the pricing models. Search & Selection is still, despite all its benefits, quite expensive for the end client. Even if sometimes it’s inevitable for some companies or some roles, a lot of great employers could massively optimize their Cost/TopTalent ratio while entering into a real partnership with a recruitment expert. By doing so, the professional will limit the burden of the process for the client, combine sourcing approach, continuously improve the employer branding and opt for complex and expensive sourcing methods only as a complementary tool. Luxembourg is a market of subsidiaries and sometimes HR professionals are required here to deliver the full HR package with the limited resources of a branch. In this context, the RPO partnering approach is definitely spotted as a real efficient alternative.


Thanks a lot to both of you for this exchange. Might you wish to discuss cross border recruitment matters with Romain and Alexis, feel free to contact me via


See you soon for a new interview.

Publié le 18 mai 2021