Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Time to Plug the Brain Drain; Just the Job: How Can Companies Attract Talented People When Money Doesn't Work? Margaret Coles Finds Out

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Time to Plug the Brain Drain; Just the Job: How Can Companies Attract Talented People When Money Doesn't Work? Margaret Coles Finds Out

Article excerpt

Byline: MARGARET COLES

OVERZEALOUS downsizing is costing big companies dear as they struggle to attract the talent they need in a highly competitive market. Even as they attempt to remedy the past, they are still getting it wrong, says Tim Osborn-Jones, research associate at Henley Management College. Unable to offer job security or regular promotions, they try to buy loyalty and commitment with pots of money: and it doesn't work.

In his report, Managing Talent, Osborn-Jones reveals what keeps senior people loyal: fulfilment, a sense of accomplishment, fun and enjoyment; not the money and not, in any case, job security. What is needed is "the right mix of terms, benefits, values and attitudes", he says. "Organisations must find flexible and creative approaches to securing commitment and eliciting the best from key employees."

It seems they are not doing so. Only a little more than half the 476 senior executives questioned felt committed to their organisations.

Deutsche Bank has recognised that the deal between employer and employed, the socalled "psychological contract", has changed. It intends to establish a global employment brand image in order to counter a reduction of one-third in its talent pool of graduates from the 21 countries which make up the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) over the next 30 years.

Martin Moehrle, global head of talent recruitment at the bank's headquarters in Frankfurt, sees this as a marketing project. "We 'sell' jobs and have to please our customers," he says. Pleasing customers will need the creation and adaptation of jobs to meet individual needs, he believes.

Investment bank Nomura, which has 2,000 employees in Europe, recognises that money is not the answer. "Though we pay well, someone is always willing to pay more," says Ian Davidson, a senior human resources manager.

The bank flattened its structure, removed job titles and announced that progress would be measured by individual development skills and business opportunities. This flexibility allows people ownership of their ideas all the way through to completion, which will attract talented people, according to Davidson. "If you're good at what you do you will be moved on as quickly as you want," he adds.

Royal Dutch/Shell has 96,000 staff in 135 countries and, like any global organisation, has a constant need to attract talented graduates. However, it has discovered that it is handicapped by an "old-economy" image and a perceived lack of flexibility.

The firm surveys its staff regularly to get a clear picture of how attractive it is and what could be improved, says Michael Osbaldeston, head of global learning. Shell says talented people will choose companies because of their values, beliefs and culture. If it is right, it has quite a job on its hands to counter the bad publicity in recent years over human rights and environmental issues. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.