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Talent retention is one of the biggest issues on every CEO's widespread agenda, what are companies doing to retain core talent within their company and what is their specific competitive USP? We speak with Simon Lancaster, Global Head of Resourcing - Supply & Trading and Corporate Functions, BP to understand what is of high importance at BP.
There are many considerations for talent professionals in this modern business age. There are numerous questions to be answered… Are you using technology within your recruitment strategy, if so, is it the right kind of technology? Is your company able to keep up with the AI demands of the present day? Do you need to consider global talent sourcing, and efficient ways of finding talent on a global scale. These only skim the surface of talent resourcing challenges.
According to a 2017 Glassdoor recruitment report, 72% of CEOs are concerned about onboarding the correct skillsets. Within the same report 84% of employees with high benefit satisfaction reported high job satisfaction with a higher chance of staying within the role.
We spoke with Simon Lancaster about the challenges that face BP currently and how they are overcoming these.
What are the current recruitment trends at BP?
When people think of BP in the context of careers, the first thing that comes to mind is often engineering. However, we are continuously hiring across many parts of our business that people can be less familiar with – Supply and Trading or Biofuels for example – so we actually have very diverse recruitment needs. These include trading, analytics, and technology, to name a few. Digital is certainly high on our agenda, which reflects a wider investment in digital technology across the company.
Our increased digital investment means we’re now competing with big tech companies like Facebook and Google for talent. The challenge is to communicate that BP, and the energy sector, offers just as exciting opportunities for digital talent.
How does BP ensure they are staying innovative with their talent strategies?
We are constantly looking to modernise, making better use of social channels like Facebook and LinkedIn to appeal to a wider range of talent, and video interviewing where possible to provide much needed flexibility to candidates. We regularly trial other technologies and new offerings in the market in order to better understand their potential value to BP. Over time, I expect us to increase our use of technology such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and gamification at certain stages in the recruitment process.
“Digital is certainly high on our agenda, which reflects a wider investment in digital technology across the company.”
We are making use of some of these technologies already, for example, taking VR headsets to some of our recruitment events to showcase existing BP technology.
What challenges do resourcers face in this current climate?
The competition for talent, in general, is fierce. The rise of technology has created further competition from start-ups and gig economy-type employers, who are all competing for the same talent pool as large employers like ourselves. They can often be more nimble in their approach, so we need to act fast and challenge more traditional approaches even if they have worked for us in the past.
To find talent with some of the new skills we need is tough, as we have to source via different channels and interact with them differently. We are also learning about some of these digital skills for ourselves so we must learn quickly, develop expertise within our resourcing function, and raise the profile of BP as an exciting employer in this space.
How do you think these challenges will change in the future – have you got any examples from BP?
These challenges are not going away so we have to continue to adapt. Within resourcing, we are directly aligning our teams with the disciplines that are essential to the future success of BP. That includes focusing on the new digital technologies, to find the right people with the right skills as technologies evolve and new trends emerge.
I think the importance of candidate experience will grow and its influence on our reputation may increase. We see this trend play out in many aspects of daily life and we need to be thoughtful and innovative in how potential candidates experience BP, so that their experience can be as good as that of our consumers.