Changes in business models, technological development and socio-demographic and economic factors are altering the employment scenario with consequences that are not always predictable, but that a company is forced to handle. This is why, over the next years, we expect new jobs to be created, others to disappear, the skills required in existing jobs to evolve and, more generally, a new way of working.
To be effective when selecting the best talents available on the market, two distinct yet strongly interlaced aspects need to be considered: the attractiveness of the Hera brand and the quality of the selection process. From this point of view, the effectiveness and efficiency required to cover personnel needs must include a good experience offered to candidates by the individuals in charge of selection.
The levers to strengthen both these aspects are: digitalisation, simplification, agility and people analytics. A first important result in 2018 was the implementation of the new job application management system. On the one hand, the system standardised the process, making it uniform and improving its effectiveness and relevant monitoring; on the other, it made it easier to apply for a job, thanks above all to its easy access (even from a smartphone) and its ability to automatically import data from applicants’ CV or Linkedin profile. The new system was started in July 2018 and over 8,500 applications were registered in just a few months. The independent analysis by Potentialpark – a market-leading research company that publishes an annual ranking of companies that, through their online communication, are more attractive for job seekers – was launched in September 2018. The result was first place in the “Applicant Tracking System” category and second place in the “Mobile” category.
The Her@futura survey, already used for mapping the digital propensity of the entire corporate workforce, was made available to applicants. The goal is to make a tool available to all persons interested in getting to know Hera better. This tool increases individual awareness of the level of readiness to use new digital working methods in an environment that runs the risk of creating a gap that is difficult to bridge between individuals who already have specific skills and individuals who have not yet embarked on their digital transformation journey. In just two months, over 700 applicants took part in the questionnaire and have already received personal feedback. Furthermore, several studies show that the duration of acquired skills wears away at in increasing pace over time and that, in order to continue to be effective in the business world, it is ever more crucial to possess and develop learning agility. For this reason, all of our candidates have the opportunity to take an aptitude test that examines relational aspects, the ability to work in a team, result orientation, the propensity for innovation and critical thinking, as well as specific aspects linked to learning agility.
The professional roles sought after are highly varied and balanced, with specialisations both with regard to staff functions (e.g. procurement and contract regulatory experts, legal and personnel management controllers and experts) and to marketing, sales and customer management (area managers, key account managers, back office employees), operations (process engineers, plant managers and technical operators) and information systems (functional analysts and systems engineers).
Briefly, the effects of the selection process contribute to the generational change (average age of 34 years for new hires compared to 48 years of the Group) of the company workforce, to the increase in the number of women (51% of hiring excluding blue-collar workers regarded women) and the percentage of graduates (75% excluding operating profiles).
With respect to the channels used, 90% of selections are covered using internal tools with an average selection process time of around 40 working days.
Effective selection must inevitably be accompanied by an equally effective and well-structured entry programme. The aim is to support new hires entering the company through specifically dedicated actions seeking to integrate them in the company environment and help them fully perform their role. The main benefits are undoubtedly: better performance, strengthening employees’ sense of belonging and so a greater ability to retain talent. For this reason, the programme for the entry of new hires in the company was revised in 2018. New support tools were introduced: a handbook; a welcome letter from top management and a welcome kit; structured listening and feedback with the respective manager to stimulate dialogue, giving new hires the opportunity to play an active part in their growth in the company; and the introduction of a “buddy”, a colleague who supports new hires in taking their first steps in the company. Furthermore, to demonstrate the ongoing attention to digital technology, virtual plant visits were planned using special virtual reality viewers.