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Mar 15, 2021

For this Human Resources-focussed episode of the EMEA Recruitment podcast, we were joined by Keith Bunnell, the Director Global HR Business Partnering at DKSH. 

“There’s nothing worse than not having feedback; if someone’s not been successful, we give them value-added feedback on where their pitfalls were, so you build them up as successful when they go for another role with another company.” 

Keith spoke to Paul Toms, our Founder, from his home in Thailand. He’s hoping that global vaccination programmes will allow him to travel across various countries in Asia to meet with stakeholders over the coming year. Despite the HR challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Keith also describes the past year as one of the most progressive times for the function.

Working with four businesses under one corporate umbrella was a challenge for Keith before COVID-19, but by placing employees at the forefront of its business, DKSH has ensured that its teams work collaboratively, and that all employees and their families are safe. 

Keith and Paul discuss the key factors for successful recruitment and retention, as well as the specific values that help DKSH attract top talent. We also find out Keith’s essential steps for an efficient and effective recruitment process; although it all starts with internal efficiency, he explains the importance of ensuring an effective experience from an external standpoint.

Paul asks Keith about his experiences with Business Intelligence (BI) & Data and the challenges it may pose to strategic HR business partners, who must “embrace data” from both commercial and HR perspectives. 

Keith reveals the true cost of making the wrong hire, as well as the moment he decided to make the move from Finance to HR. His “glass half-full” approach to life is the reason that he believes he’s been able to grasp the opportunities presented to him – the most recent being his move to Asia five years ago. 


If you’d like to find a certain part of the episode, please use the timestamps below:

01:06: The positive learnings from the pandemic
03:17: Keeping employees at the forefront of your business
05:19: The key to hiring and retaining great talent
07:11: DKSH’s main values
09:49: Becoming an employer of choice
14:27: Implementing an efficient and effective recruitment process
20:42: The data behind HR
25:45: The true cost of a wrong hire
30:08: The moment Keith realised HR was for him
32:05: Making opportunities work for you
35:24: How to reach out to Keith directly 


Visit Keith’s LinkedIn profile to connect with him:


We’re honoured to partner with international medical charity Operation Smile on the EMEA Recruitment podcast. We want to raise awareness and funds for the vital work that Operation Smile does to deliver life-changing surgery to children and adults with cleft lip and palate. If you can help in any way, please click here:


This episode was hosted by Paul Toms, Founder & Co-Owner of EMEA Recruitment, and Rose Jinks, our Senior Marketing Executive. 

To learn more about our specialist recruitment services, please visit our website: 

You can also find us on LinkedIn: 

If you’d like to connect with Paul, his LinkedIn profile can be accessed here: 

He’s also active on Twitter: 


Please send any suggested topics for the EMEA Recruitment podcast to Rose: 

#emearecruitment #emearecruitmentpodcast #keithbunnell #paultoms #recruitment #thailand #operationsmile #hr #humanresources