What happened at disruptHR Colombo?



On 6th December (last Thursday) disruptHR Colombo kicked off with the participation of recruiters and HR managers. Here is quick recap on what was discussed,

What is disruptHR?

Main goal of the event is to inform and empower HR specialists.

The global HR sector is exploding. Dramatic changes, driven by cutting edge technology and innovation are transforming the way HR works and recruitment happens.

The Sri Lankan recruitment and people management market is also changing and there is a lot to learn from international experiences. DisruptHR featured speakers to share their experiences and answer questions, and provide an opportunity to network and build a sophisticated community of HR professionals in Sri Lanka.

What was the topic for this month?

This month’s edition was on talent acquisition and on why companies should focus more and fear less.

Who are the speakers?


Venuje Weerasekara

HR Business Partner

Expo Lanka Freight

Venuje, HR Business Partner at EFL specialized in supply chain solutions. With more than 5 years of experience in managing and aligning business objectives with employees. He will be sharing his thoughts on how talent acquisition should be tackled by companies.




Shalinda Abeyawardana

Director – Talent Sourcing

Career Builders

Shalinda is heading talent sourcing at Career Builders, a recruitment and outsource agency in Sri Lanka, with a growing reputation for being ‘Your Strategic Staffing Partner’. And will be talking about challenges in talent acquisition.


So, how did the event go & what was discussed?

The event kicked off with registrations and friendly chats on Thursday night. The event was moderated by Imthiyaaz, CEO of SIXER VIDEO who stressed that HR managers and recruiters need to communicate and share knowledge to strengthen the HR eco-system.

With that note, speakers were introduced and panel discussions started. First off,



What’s your view point on the current talent acquisition environment in Sri Lanka?

The lack of training and short term plans for service sector by policy makers in Sri Lanka has made the talent market left behind. Companies are left with investing in learning and skill development programs that needed to be integrated from high school level.

From Shalinda’s perspective. Yes, the market is facing a talent shortage and as Venuje mentioned it falls on the companies to train the employees. A prime example is the IT crowd, handful of skills who are not reliable to stay at one company and are looking at opportunities abroad.

What does companies get WRONG about talent acquisition?

It’s simple the process that’s where companies get talent acquisition wrong. Companies are so caught up with doing interviews more and focus less on spending time with the right candidate. When we recruit for companies, they tend to have multiple interviews or assessments this makes the process quite time consuming for the candidate which frustrates them.

Venuje agreed with Shalinda. At EFL we dedicate Wednesday as interview day but we make sure that a candidate doesn’t go through more than 3 interviews for a job. And the on-boarding experience also has to be a positive one or you’re best found talent may find the process time consuming. And the recruitment process should be a positive one because that’s the first impression of a company’s process.



Where does the importance of technology play in talent acquisition? Yes we all know about HRM system but are we truly using the best of it?

HRIS (human resource information system) is important for a company. But don’t have one for the sake of having one. Have a goal on why it is required, many companies are rejecting HRIS systems at the stage of recruitment which they should not. Use tech as much as possible, you will find the experience smooth for both you and candidate.

Why is it so hard to reach HR manager of a company?

Both speakers and the attendees agreed this is a common problem. Venuje said the best solution is internal advertisement of the job. So that everyone or whoever is closest to picking up a phone call at a company should be informed about any job openings this will make the experience a positive one.



Given Shalinda’s experience in headhunting for different industries. Shalinda’s take on talent acquisition for new age companies and startups.

Again it’s the process make it a positive one. We may find 50 or 100 candidates for your company. But if you bore them or frustrate them they will probably end up rejecting your offer before listening.

What is the best way to tackle talent acquisition shortcomings? Is it time management, use of technology to reduce workload or simply get the current staff to work more?

Both speakers concluded shortcomings can be reduced by perfecting the process and speeding up the onboarding steps. But at the same time companies should start investing in training and development of staff and community if policy makers are not doing their job.

After keynote of Career Builders, SIXER VIDEO and HomeTree the event concluded. Followed by networking session among speakers and attendees.




Second edition of disruptHR Colombo will be take place in February 2019.



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