This week saw a gathering of the best and brightest in the Total Talent sector, to discuss the latest developments and share best practice and their experiences. Attendees combined organisations from varying stages on their Total Talent journey, with companies including: PwC, Atos, Nespresso, Amazon and WPP.
Introducing Total Talent today
The event kicked off with Adepto’s CEO Chris Milligan introducing the current definition and state of Total Talent, drawing comparisons between fictional cartoon family ‘The Jetsons’ and today’s workplace. He drew attention to the fact that many elements of the cartoon have come true (or are fast being developed). Flatscreen TVs, robot vacuum cleaners and smart watches are commonplace. However, the workplace doesn’t live up to the Jetsons’ expectations. Chris then went on to explain how the world of work is changing, from the length of the average career (70 years) to the half-life of learned skills (less than 5 years). Setting the scene for two other speakers to take the floor and explain their own journeys towards Total Talent.
Unilever’s route to talent strategy
The Global Route-to-Talent Director at Unilever, Rachel Suarez, then presented on the consumer goods company’s plan to unlock new routes to talent for its hiring managers. She noted Unilever’s commitment to sustainable living and how this extended to its talent network. Later elaborating on the changes that she saw in the workplace, such as the need for greater agility and the entry of digital natives to the talent pool. Rachel spoke about how organisations could create a seamless candidate experience across multiple recruitment and procurement channels (such as permanent employees, gig workers, contractors and alumni).
Central to this is the development of a single landing page or portal where candidates could manage their skills profile, access career and learning opportunities and celebrate company news. Hiring managers could see available candidates, open communications, resourcing needs and budgets.
There are four initiatives that Unilever are currently working on under the ‘route to talent’ umbrella. They are: digital recruitment, flex experiences, resourcing for temporary projects and building agile teams.
Global Route-to-Talent Director at Unilever, Rachel Suarez
BAE’s approach towards its purple squirrels
Following Rachel’s talk, BAE Systems’ Head of Talent and Resourcing Beth Rowland offered her insights and experiences on BAE’s Total Talent journey. She described a specific challenge that the company was facing in finding talent “that didn’t want to be found.” Candidates that she compared to mythical purple squirrels.
BAE Systems has to recruit highly skilled workers, with high security clearance, However, often that aforementioned clearance prevents them from being publicly available on platforms like LinkedIn. To attract and retain such talent within BAE’s available talent pool, a different way of resourcing and engagement is required.
This differentiated approach uses several methods. Suitable candidates are invited to join closed talent pools. Forward planning to uncover future skills needs (and therefore candidate requirements) is done, and BAE is happy to play the long game. Often engaging with talent over months or years, through role-specific challenges and events.
Future events planned
Feedback from the event was positive, with many attendees expressing interest at the experiences of two different organisations from very different industries. Several were happy to hear about the diverse opportunities unlocked through Total Talent and the forewarning of challenges to anticipate.
Future events with industry influencers are planned, to drive the conversation and knowledge surrounding Total Talent further. If you’d like to be a part of this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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