How to attract and retain the best talent: A conversation with Julie Flowers

January 30, 2024

    Promotional graphic for podcast Episode 12 titled 'How to attract and retain the best talent' from the A to Z STEM Talks series.

    In this week's episode of AI to Z, our guest Julie Flowers, head of Global Talent Acquisition at Chevron and host Anna Frazzetto take on the pressing challenges of attracting and retaining talent.

    Attracting and retaining the best talent is a critical challenge for businesses of all sizes, as high-calibre employees are the backbone of any successful organisation. A company with exceptional individuals not only thrives in its operational performance but also fosters innovation and drives competitive advantage.

    It is essential for employers to understand that the process of drawing and keeping top talent goes beyond offering attractive salaries; it encompasses a culture of growth, recognition, and continuous development.

    Julie talks us through the challenges and opportunities that arise when working globally to discover the best talent and keep talent engaged to ensure businesses and individuals achieve their goals. 

    Listen to the full episode below:

    Aligning company values with employee values

    We try to articulate the impact an employee can have on the world and bringing energy to the world.

    Today's talent market is a complex arena, especially in industries like oil and gas, which face unique challenges and perceptions. To thrive, organizations must not only attract but also retain the best global talent. This requires a deep understanding of the changing dynamics and a strategy that addresses these shifts proactively.

    compelling employer brand is essential for attracting top talent. It hinges on the development of a strong Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and strategic use of social media and marketing to communicate the brand effectively.

    Chevron's narrative in the oil and gas sector is a testament to the power of a strong employer value proposition. The company has successfully navigated its industry image, focusing on its impact on global energy and the environment. This approach underlines the importance of aligning company values with those of potential employees

    The importance of diversity and inclusion in hiring

    Drive those inclusive and equitable practices and processes and programs and really do what you say you're trying to do.

    Flexibility and inclusivity in employment models are no longer optional; they are essential. By catering to various demographics and work preferences, companies can create an environment that attracts a diverse and dynamic workforce. This approach is crucial for tapping into a wide range of talents and perspectives.

    Inclusivity and diversity can be advanced through specific strategies such as equal opportunities in hiring and career development. Companies should implement training programmes that raise awareness and educate employees about the value of a diverse workplace.

    Julie discusses how even a large, global business must look through a 'local lens' to attract talent and ensure the business is benefitting from a variety of different outlooks and perspectives that a diverse workforce brings.

    Using technology to reach talent

    It's like you're a kid in the candy shop sometimes with the amount of tools out there that can help with talent acquisition.

    Julie understands that sometimes the options available to businesses can be overwhelming and there's new technologies being developed all the time that change the nature of talent acquisition. 

    The integration of data and AI in recruitment processes is revolutionising talent acquisition. These technologies not only streamline efficiency but also play a pivotal role in reducing biases, ensuring a fair and inclusive hiring process. Embracing these tools can significantly enhance the candidate experience.

    Recognising and engaging existing talent 

    Companies that excel in engaging their staff frequently solicit and provide feedback. This process is a two-way street; employees should feel comfortable providing feedback to management, and in turn, receive regular performance reviews.

    Organisations with a focus on retaining top talent utilise HR analytics to identify patterns and predict employee behaviour. By analysing data such as employee engagement scores, turnover rates, and performance metrics, businesses can pinpoint areas of improvement and take proactive measures. 

    The importance of transferrable skills

    A lot of people in the marketplace now are really looking for skills and experience. You can have experience in several different areas that are transferable skills to another area.

    Julie emphasises the importance of hiring talent with a variety of skillsets; these employees can then fill internal positions across multiple teams and transfer their knowledge and experience to other departments in the business.

    This means that companies should have a good idea of what they're looking for in all their talent across the business. Identifying what constitutes "talent" requires a nuanced understanding of the industry.

    For instance, in the technology sector, talent may encompass a range of skills from software development to project management. In contrast, the finance industry might focus more on analytical prowess and risk management abilities.

    Key takeaways

    • Understanding the talent landscape: To thrive, organisations must not only attract but also retain the best global talent. This requires a deep understanding of the changing dynamics and a strategy that addresses these shifts proactively.

    • Chevron's approach to talent acquisition: Chevron's narrative in the oil and gas sector is a testament to the power of a strong employee value proposition.

    • The role of diverse employment models: Julie discusses the importance of flexibility and inclusivity in employment models and how they vary from region to region and employee to employee.

    • Integrating technology: The integration of data and AI in recruitment processes is revolutionising talent acquisition. Their is a wealth of tools to help businesses discover talent, but what's giving the best returns on investment in this area?

    • Creating a personalised candidate experience: A human-centered approach in recruitment is vital. Personalised experiences, bolstered by real employee testimonials and targeted campaigns, can vividly showcase a company's culture and values. This strategy not only attracts candidates but also gives them a genuine sense of belonging.

    • Global talent management strategies: Managing talent acquisition on a global scale requires a nuanced approach. Emphasising skills-based hiring and inclusive practices ensures that organisations can tap into a vast pool of global talent, fostering an environment of innovation and growth.

    • Retention and Brand Ambassadorship: Retaining key talent is as important as attracting it. Creating a positive work environment where employees feel valued can turn them into brand ambassadors, even after they move on. This aspect of talent management often serves as a testament to a company's culture and values.

    • Emphasizing purposefulness: The final takeaway from Julie Flowers' insights is the need for purposefulness. Whether it's in personal endeavours or professional strategies in talent acquisition, being purposeful and deliberate in actions and decisions is key to success.

    Article and quotes have been edited for brevity and clarity

    This post was written by: Matthew Hearfield, Marketing & Content Coordinator