Talent Acquisition & Retention Summit Europe Edition: the impact of the “new normal” on this region

The fascinating summit explored the impact of the pandemic on employee satisfaction and how to keep them happy today and in the long-term

Presented by DiversityQ, the Talent Acquisition & Retention Summit Europe Edition kicked off online, covering topics crucial to business success during the course COVID-19 and beyond as employees increasingly demand more personal development and a supportive work environment.

The first keynote panel discussion of the day was ‘Gen Z Talent Insecurity’, moderated by Diana Croitoru, Global HR Leader & Managing Director, SteppingUpHR. The speakers were Judit Kmoskó, HR expert, Founder, HR Inkubator™, and Géraldine Charavel, Senior Partner & Global Head of Talent, Columbus Management Group.

Kmoskó said because businesses are scaling up so much, many are lacking a “certain agility”, including values meaning they need to create a company culture that comes from the centre of the business. She also said Gen Z want to see companies back up their culture and values daily, without which businesses will start to see high turnover rates from this talent pool.

Croitoru asked the speakers what Gen Z wants from businesses in terms of security. Charavel said taking employees for granted today will not work, adding that “walking the talk” on values must move through every single level of business. She said that Gen Zs are constantly connected due to social media, meaning that companies must be part of this process, but in the right way. “They need to show themselves and be well prepared for it”, she added.

Charavel also said good communication is key in the digital world; however, she added that accompanying future leaders through real-life situations is essential for their development.

In terms of intergenerational collaboration, she added that Gen Z could learn from the knowledge of older generations while older generations can get inspired by the “energy” of Gen Z talent.

Kmoskó said it’s important to “forcefully create groups, processes and projects” where generations can collaborate where their best skills are utilised “in a strategic way.”

She also said that employees need better physical safety and a “secure workplace whatever it takes” as this affects productivity and retention rates where COVID-19 is still a real threat. She added that employers should consult professional help to make this a reality, whether for remote or office-based workers.

Next came a case study session entitled ‘Counting the Cost: How Businesses Risk a Post Pandemic Talent Drain’, which was presented by Ben Kiziltug, Head of Northern Europe, Personio.

Kiziltug said that 38% of employees are looking to change roles in the next six or 12 months, meaning that companies could soon be losing a significant portion of their workforce.

He said that a few factors could trigger a soon-to-be exodus, including a declining work/life balance and pay freezes, which have come about due to the pandemic.

He said that “a brilliant HR function” is key to retaining talent; however, a significant segment of HR managers are not making their people a priority strategy. He added that HR decision-makers might want to have a greater impact, but too much admin and lack of data are issues.

He also said that automating certain functions should enable HR leaders to focus on their people more and have a greater impact on their organisations.

He also said to help retain talent, leaders should more frequently check in with staff about their career goals, but they need to be empowered by HR and the training they can offer for this to be effective.

A fireside chat session followed called ‘Upscaling organisations and the necessary steps to be taken for success’. The conversation took part between two speakers, Erik Lignell, HR Business Partner Kivra, and Alexandra Protsenko, Director of Talent Acquisition, Airtame.

Protsenko said that diversity, equity and inclusion, (DEI) is a long-term project that requires internal and external implementations. She said her firm has a “women in tech community”, which they are working to make more visible and are implementing initiatives such as workshops for training and self-development internally, and they have started inviting people from other companies too.

Lignell said his organisation doesn’t have a strict return to office policy, meaning they can diversify their talent pool by hiring people across Sweden and abroad. He added that the “new normal” of remote work has been beneficial to their business, where they can now hire people with different backgrounds.

He added that they have a “straightforward recruitment process” involving everyone in the team where the hire is being made, meaning that a manager can’t hire someone without getting input from their team, which he said has proved to be successful.

He also said the Nordic countries have social security policies such as shared parental leave, making the region attractive for diverse groups seeking job positions.

To find out more about this summit, get in touch with the Talent & Retention Virtual Team here.

In this article, you learned that:

  • Gen Z talent want company culture and values proven daily.
  • Intentionally creating intergenerational groups for work can encourage skills-sharing and utilisation.
  • Management should get training from HR about checking in with staff about their career goals.

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