Holding onto talent
Global brand name and local market penetration strategies are crucial in recruiting top talent to Ernst & Young, says MENA D&I leader Zaid Al-Hadhrami. He believes that a growing percentage of talented people are looking for high compensation packages, but have become more sophisticated in their search for appropriate job opportunities. This means career development often takes priority over financial benefits. “EY is well known in this region for its programs that are focused on building the experiences and skills of its employees at all levels,” he says.
In a bid to boost retention, the organization has several talent management programs which are usually categorized and designed to develop the skills of partners, senior leaders, managers and senior managers. Al-Hadhrami explains that participants take part in technical and soft skills training based on business needs and relevance to their level and role in the organization. When progressing through the ranks, employees go through mandatory tailored developmental programs: ‘new senior’, ‘new manager’ and ‘new senior manager’. Some employees also take part in technical training.
“We want to help all our employees reach their full potential,” he explains. “This applies whether they are fresh graduates or experienced executives whose roles are to grow the business, enhance client relations and help build a future talent pipeline. University leavers go through the graduate development program. This is a three-year structured scheme built on business requirements, which leads these employees to achieve their professional qualifications with the support of the company.”
Global NextGen is a high level, two-year leadership program for senior managers and directors on their way to becoming partners. The three modules focus on building business, people and account leadership skills. The organisation is hiring more partners that have graduated from this program, reveals Al-Hadhrami.
Another priority is deploying gender-specific programs which are aimed at helping female employees achieve their potential. “Our Navigator program helps women challenge beliefs, build their personal brand and strike a balance between their social life and the career options available to them,” he says.