Deloitte’s Hayley Strachan told an Aberdeen event that firms should take advantage of their ‘internal talent marketplace’ to drive productivity.
The director of global employer services for Deloitte pointed to Unilever as a good example of a firm that has adapted how it looks at its in-house talent.
Ms Strachan said that Unilever has “looked across their business and understood the skills that exist within” to assess where best to utilise the talents of its workforce.
Speaking at Offshore Energies UK’s (OEUK) business breakfast this morning, Ms Strachan championed this approach, saying that Unilever is working to “remove the construct of silos of jobs” as it questions “what can our people do and what do we need?”
By doing this, the firm saw a 41% increase in productivity, something that the Deloitte director of global employer services told attendees at P&J Live was “pretty striking”.
Hayley Strachan said: “Outputs from their pilot showed that flexibly deploying skills to projects and tasks through their internal talent marketplace gained around 700,000 hours of unlocked capacity to put towards more than 3,000 business critical projects, reducing the need to hire new people because we’re more effective with the employee skills they already had.”
Ms Strachan contextualised why this people-first approach to managing talent is important in today’s market.
Pointing to the Deloitte 2023 Human Capital Trends report, she showed that only 20% of 7000 respondents felt as though their employers were ready to move away from a jobs focus and instead turn attention to the skills of their employees.
However, 93% said that this was “critical”, the Aberdeen Business Breakfast heard.
“We are all experiencing a workforce revolution” following the COVID-19 pandemic, she said, as people are looking for different things from their employers, including the ability to work from home.
Changing how businesses quantify success
This focus on people was echoed in the panel session that followed Ms Strachan’s talk. Sandor Janosi, executive global HR directory for Baker Hughes Subsea & Surface Pressure Systems, argued that moving forward firms will have to strike a balance on how they assess themselves, looking at both earnings as well as social factors.
Mr Janosi questioned if there needs to be a “fundamental change in how we measure success in business.”
He said that quantifying EBITDA and other “traditional measures” are not going to go away. However, factors like a business’s impact on society and its “use for its employees” will also be of increasing importance as attitudes change.
Mr Janosi conceded: “The senior management is in a tough spot because they have investors that are still measuring the old way.
“But this old way starts to become mixed with the new way as well because social responsibility starts to become part of that measurement, then you can’t anymore successfully run a business without having a programme on some of these, or diversity.”
Ensuring that a business is environmentally conscious and inclusive is something that the global HR directory for Baker Hughes thinks is becoming more valued.
He said that gender diversity in the energy sector is a “huge untapped resource”, adding: “When you look outside, certainly there’s a lot more we can do.”
Measuring diversity more effectively
Quantifying diversity within a firm is a difficult thing to do, Hayley Strachan explained, as often gathering data relies on employees self-reporting.
“They are not going to do that without trust and the right culture,” she said.
Gaining that level of trust that Ms Strachan outlined requires “lots and lots of small things all the time.”
She added: “Leadership have a huge role to play, to set kind of culture in tone at the top. But that has to be embedded and delivered right across the organisation for people to really feel values and values come across in lats of different ways.”