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Talent and people

Building a future-ready talent organization  

Perspectives from Capgemini

Capgemini Research Institute spoke with Anne Lebel, Chief Human Resources Officer, Member of the Group Executive Board; Natalie Hughes-Jacquemin, Group Head Talent & Learning Officer and Pallavi Tyagi, EVP and Group Head – PX Design Hub & Future of Work 

Anne is Capgemini’s Chief Human Resources Officer and a member of the Group Executive Board since July 2020. Prior to joining Capgemini, Anne was Chief Human Resources and Corporate Culture Officer for Natixis and a member of the Senior Management Committee.

She is a graduate of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Strasbourg (France) and the Institut d’administration des entreprises (IAE) Paris.

Natalie joined Capgemini as Chief Talent & Learning Officer in May 2021. She drives the talent, learning, and development strategy for the Group.

She has a Degree in Systemic Coaching and Organizational Development Consulting from ISB Wiesloch and a Master’s in Organizational Psychology from RWTH University of Aachen.

Pallavi heads Capgemini’s People Experience Design and Future of Work Expertise Hub.

Her profile spans the entire gamut of the HR function, including strategy, leadership pipeline development, manufacturing operations, compensation and benefits, talent management and acquisition, and diversity and inclusion, with a strong focus on high emotional quotient, interpersonal capability, and strategic stakeholder management.

Over the past few years, a range of factors have seriously disrupted global talent markets, which have been rocked again more recently by high inflation and rising economic uncertainty. In this context, digital skills are at a premium as organizations scramble to ensure they have the resources to conduct a smooth, successful transition.

Resilience, speed, and agility are required of HR solutions to create value for the business and for employees. Traditional recruitment methods, as with traditional forms of employment, require remodeling to meet the demands of the new business environment. Similarly, the convention of permanent employment is breaking down as employee work models change, meaning that organizations need to accept and tap into the gig economy and other unconventional pools of talent as a legitimate source of talent.

How can HR help organizations to overcome these key talent challenges? 

The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in response to widespread digitization of jobs across industries, leading to a high demand for skilled workers.

These pressures are leading organizations to rethink their talent-management strategies.

The following three priorities underpin Capgemini’s talent transformation:

  1. Create highly energizing people experiences
  2. Expand our talent ecosystem
  3. Transform into a skills-based organization

1. Create highly energizing people experiences 

The Capgemini People Ambition initiative is designed to help Capgemini become a true leader and “talent magnet.” As part of our transformation, we have created a People Design Hub, a mechanism to allow the HR value chain to implement the changes to the people experience that we perceive to be a necessary response to evolving business requirements.

It is focused on enhancing the people experience in the four main stages in our employee life cycle (Join, Daily Experience, Grow & Develop, and Next Steps). Unlike traditional employee experience programs, which typically take a top-down approach to changing the experience, our program is built according to the moments that matter for our people, with the support of our people and sponsored by our leadership.

We are aiming to build a culture of trust, nurturing a sense of community and belonging. We are doing this by elevating listening, enabling engagement, and embedding enthusiastic acceptance of innovation and change. We are also focusing on our organizational leadership as the nucleus of innovation, designing best-in-class experiences for our colleagues. The Hub is researching best practices in the marketplace and leveraging internal best practices, and is bringing to its employees a cutting-edge experience while using the latest technologies.

An example of creating a One Capgemini experience is our employee journey during the first nine months at Capgemini, which we call Melting Pot. It helps our new hires acclimatize via an immersive experience, allowing them to align their own purpose, ambition, and values with those of Capgemini. The workshop is conducted in the second month after joining. It focuses on Capgemini’s purpose, values, and ambition, and also includes reflection on the individual’s positive work and career experiences of the past and their expectations going forward with Capgemini.

2. Expand our talent ecosystem 

With the current scarcity of skilled talent, an enlarged talent pool is a requirement for fueling our continued growth. From a business perspective, offering a more flexible employment framework that incorporates the gig economy not only helps attract new talent by allowing employees to work in a culture of trust and flexibility and offering a better work-life balance, but it also reduces attrition, giving us a competitive edge over our peers as an innovative and agile organization.

“Offering a more flexible employment framework that incorporates the gig economy gives us a competitive edge over our peers as an innovative and agile organization.”

Managing these “alternative” relationships no longer falls solely to procurement teams or department heads. We have to adopt a strategic approach to talent management, developing an in-depth understanding of our talent requirements, creating employee stickiness, and managing capability and capacity in line with these in a more responsive way than is provided by the conventional employer-employee relationship.

By enlarging the dimensions of our talent ecosystem, we give ourselves access to flexible talent pools of remote workers, part-time staff, internal and external gig workers, and “on-demand talent.” This also means getting access to a much wider range of qualifications, experience, and specialist skills.

As an example, during COVID-19, we launched a program in India called Sakhi Drishtikon (Friendly Foresight) to train marginalized women in rural communities in IT skills, allowing them to bridge the digital-skills gap. This has been achieved through collaboration with colleges in these rural areas and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which can provide counselling on soft skills and cybersecurity. To date, we have onboarded almost 700 women and trained them to use platforms including ServiceNow, PowerShell, Python, SAP Basis, SQL, and Big Data. More than 200 Sakhi Associates have attained a certified skill level in data-center, cloud, and cyber operations.

“During COVID-19, we launched a program in India called Sakhi Drishtikon (Friendly Foresight) to train marginalized women in rural communities in IT skills.”

Careers are increasingly focused on gaining a breadth of experience, contributing to interesting projects, and personal development, rather than the status- and salary-based goals of the past. As a result, employer-employee relationships are evolving and are no longer necessarily structured via a specific job application and a permanent contract.

Rather, talent communities and social media are facilitating a more fluid relationship so that employers can make contact before a work opportunity arises, as well as stay in touch after completing an engagement. The increased mobility of employees, as well as a rise in the number of contingent and project-based assignments, means that talent can be a regular feature without the need to be ever-present.

“Talent communities and social media are facilitating a more fluid relationship.”

Capgemini utilizes a set of Talent Ecosystem Parameters: 

  • Time commitment: full-time/part-time
  • Location flexibility: Medium (hybrid) – High (work from anywhere)
  • Time flexibility: Medium (new normal) – High (select the projects you want to work on)
  • Exclusivity of contract: permanent employee/freelance
  • Familiarity: High (retirees, alumnae) – Low (new relationships)

3. Transform into a skills-based organization 

According to Korn Ferry, this digital-skills gap could cost the global economy $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenue. Capgemini is shifting to an innovative skills-first approach, to protect our future competitiveness and meet the market demand for digital expertise.

Instead of looking backwards to solutions that worked in times past, Capgemini is transforming performance-management, hiring, career-management, workforce-deployment, rewards, and talent-management processes to craft a skills-based talent strategy.

Our initiatives include the following:

  • Level of skills maturity is now included as a measure of performance for every employee
  • Non-linear career framework that supports reskilling, upskilling, cross-skilling, and provides clear pathways to career growth and acquisition of in-demand marketable skills. According to Capgemini research, “Upskilling can help a 50,000-strong organization save $278 million over three years, compared with organizations that are yet to upskill their workforces at scale.”
  • A dynamic skills-based culture to optimize workforce planning and nurture global professional communities
  • Employer as educator: the employer takes the lead on training and education for internal employees and the broader talent ecosystem, promoting and enabling readiness for the jobs that will come out of the digital transformation
  • Prioritizing individual well-being as a foundation of organizational health and productivity and a prerequisite of personal and professional progress
  • Removing traditional barriers to entry-level job applications to allow consideration of non-traditional skills and experience
  • Boosting retention and motivation by rewarding employees based on skills and performance, rather than position, tenure, status, or relationships

“We are prioritizing individual well-being as a foundation of organizational health and productivity and a prerequisite of personal and professional progress.”

Capgemini has always been a strong advocate of digital-skills development and we have increased the employability of millions of our people by helping them to develop stronger digital skillsets. According to Capgemini Research Institute research, only 56% of organizations are currently taking adequate steps to adapt their employees’ skillsets to the changes engendered by the automation trend. We are enabling the transition to the digital economy on many levels, for our workforce as well as our clients, and contributing to the digital skills pool for a more enabled business ecosystem.

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