Retain and build loyalty: how to win the battle
While recruitment has tended to be the main focus of the war for talent, growing employees and supporting their development are equally important factors in attracting talents.
“In an employment market favorable to applicants, you have to have a pitch!” explains Gilles-Henri Dubouillon, and financial considerations are not the only factor. The company’s values, ethics, role in society and positive impact on the planet are also key arguments to attract younger generations. And, once on board, the induction process, working atmosphere and inclusive culture are vital to build their loyalty, as are career development and geographic mobility. “At Saint-Gobain, we encourage the development of a TEC (Trust, Empowerment, Collaboration) culture, combined with a more collaborative and engaging managerial approach in order to retain talent.”
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A company’s meaning, values and purpose are also strong arguments for the employer brand. “The contribution and positive impact on the planet that Saint-Gobain aims to achieve with its target of carbon neutrality by 2050, as well as its purpose, Making the World a Better Home, are very strong arguments in recruiting and retaining our employees, particularly the younger generations,” adds Gilles-Henri Dubouillon.
New recruitment practices
This labor and talent shortage necessarily implies a change in recruitment methods. How can we therefore become more attractive – whether in terms of workers or experts in new professions – in a highly competitive employment market, all around the world? By putting a slightly new twist on traditional recruitment methods. One example is the commissioning, in the first quarter of 2022, of an offshore wind turbine plant in Le Havre, France, by Siemens Gamesa, for which it had to conduct a massive recruitment of workers. Instead of the traditional combination of a resume and cover letter, recruitment via simulation was chosen. This involved testing the candidates in similar situations to those they might encounter in their future position. The advantage of this technique is that it assesses the candidate’s abilities rather than their qualifications and experience, making it possible to identify profiles that would not have been selected via the usual recruitment process.
Although head-hunters are still often the preferred means of locating talent for management positions, Saint-Gobain has chosen to innovate for the recruitment of intermediate-level employees, who are generally younger. With the explosion in digital technology, the company decided to adapt its processes by creating its own recruitment teams specializing in social media. Talent Acquisition Teams have been set up in several countries and across all the Group’s business lines. They identify and communicate with future recruits via online recruitment platforms.
Meanwhile, the first stages in the recruitment of future executives and managers at consumer goods giant Unilever will be managed by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool specially developed for the Group. To promote diversity and focus on their potential and skills, candidates’ resume and surname are not revealed. All that matters is the candidate’s ability to succeed in a virtual game, a video interview and a simulated “day in the office” at Unilever. These three stages are supervised by an AI system. Only then will a meeting be held with managers, in order to save time and improve efficiency.
A focus on local roots
In any case, to be able to recruit in the midst of the war for talents, “companies’ roots in local communities” are essential, according to Gilles-Henri Dubouillon. “We need to be present in schools, universities and training institutes and to take on interns, apprentices and work-study students to promote our Group and its values to younger generations. Local recruitment and co-optation are strong recruitment levers,” says the VP.
“We never have enough talent!” concludes Gilles-Henri Dubouillon. “The worst situation for a business is not having enough human resources to fuel growth. Without human resources, there is no growth!” he adds emphatically.
In the future, companies will need to take on the challenge of developing new skills, in order to anticipate the constant search for rare talents... whose profile naturally varies between markets and countries.
Photos credits: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock // Dusan Petkovic/Shutterstock