Discover how Sequotech tackle recruitment challenges, promote skills development, foster diversity and inclusion, and manage organizational change effectively. Don't miss this insightful article!
How are you tackling the challenges of recruiting and retaining skilled talent in the sector?
When it comes to recruitment, our main challenge lies in our ability to focus on both the social and technical skills of potential employees. Given that our consultants work closely with our customers and regularly provide on-site services, the relationship dimension is of paramount importance. Indeed, we attach great importance to establishing a close relationship with our customers.
This also applies to our Service Desk team, which assists customers in resolving their problems or when we deliver training courses. What's more, we are aware that, as well as social skills, cultural and linguistic skills are needed to operate in our specific environment.
We have also introduced a strategy based on co-option, for example by offering bonuses to employees who recommend candidates. We have found that this approach promotes better integration and increases the chances of success. For this reason, we have decided to extend this strategy to the whole Group.
Within Sequotech Group we sometimes receive unsolicited applications that do not necessarily correspond to the profiles sought by the company to which they are sent. To deal with this situation, we regularly identify human resources needs of each company in the group. This approach enables us to match relevant candidates with Sequotech Group companies according to their specific needs. In this way, we maximise the chances of finding qualified talent and promoting successful hires for each company in the group.
When it comes to the challenges of recruiting and retaining skilled talent in our sector, our biggest challenge is retention. We want to create a lasting relationship with our colleagues because they are talented, and we trust them. They are already technically trained, with great expertise, and share our corporate culture.
At UDITIS, we make a strategic effort to meet this challenge by offering a comprehensive package designed to build loyalty among our employees. This package includes several elements:
- Organisational structure: UDITIS is an Agile company that encourages its employees to be autonomous and offers great organizational flexibility, which is greatly appreciated and valued. This is an essential aspect of our approach to retaining talent.
- Values: We place people at the heart of the UDITIS project. This fundamental value enables us to create a positive working environment that encourages the professional development of our employees.
These are the main factors we rely on to keep our talent within our company. Across the Sequotech Group, we are also meeting this challenge by encouraging a mutual sharing of experience between our various placement agencies and the headhunters we work with. This approach allows us to benefit from best practice and make the most of our resources for the whole group. By comparing our respective employment agencies and sharing our knowledge, we can identify the most effective strategies for attracting and recruiting qualified talent. This allows us to strengthen our negotiating power by formulating group-wide.
What approaches do you adopt to encourage employee skills development?
To promote the development of our employees' skills, we attach a crucial importance to in-house training. As an integrator of new technologies, we are the single point of contact for our customers on a wide range of topics. It's a real challenge to be experts across the whole spectrum! It's essential for us to build up our skills both internally alongside our partners.
According to the Basel Institute for Economic Studies (IWSB), there will be a shortfall of no fewer than 120,000 IT specialists between now and 2030. 40,000 are likely to come from schools, 40,000 from immigration and 40,000 positions will need to be filled. As the market is 'dry', one of the approaches we're going to take to deal with this problem is to give priority to training through apprenticeships. By this way, we will be able to take advantage of the initial synergies offered by Sequotech by drawing inspiration from the dbi services Data Academy model.
However, we are still at the draft stage and our objective is not to reproduce this model on the scale of the Sequotech group, but rather to duplicate the concept within the member companies, adapting it to the specific business activities of each of them.
The continuous learning culture is also encouraged internally by our employees. We offer a range of training courses and give employees the freedom to decide which ones they need. In this way, it is the employees themselves who drive their own development.
At dbi services, training and certification are extremely important. From the very first discussions with our candidates, we clarify this aspect and have included it in the employment contract since the very beginnings of the company. When they complete a training program that has been defined in advance based on their skills, they receive a pay rise. This is a motivating factor, but it really comes into its own if employees are genuinely committed to their personal development.
To ensure that this process runs smoothly, our employees have time for self-training. On average, our employees have one day of training every fortnight. We also take care to plan these training days wisely, placing them during slack periods.
I would like to echo Cédric's answer about the possible synergies, particularly through the Data Academy. In a nutshell, this is a free 10-day training program for students in our areas of expertise. During these training sessions, the speakers at identify the most promising students who are most interested in joining dbi services. On average, we recruit 1 to 3 people each year in this way. This is the first step in their career path.
They then join the ROokie Onboarding Track (Root) program for two years, where they continue their training and hone their skills on the Services Desk. At present, we already have 8 employees who have come through the Data Academy, and we are aiming to recruit 1 or 2 more people in this program this year. All we need to do is maintain a balance between junior and senior staff to ensure effective mentoring and knowledge transfer.
What initiatives are being undertaken to promote diversity and inclusion?
Diversity and inclusion are constituent elements of the HR pillar, which is itself part of the company's Social and Environmental Responsibility strategy (CSR), alongside pillars such as sustainable sourcing, ethics, and the environment. Last year, we carried out a number of initiatives in collaboration with Comp-On AG, including obtaining the Fair- O n- Pay certificate, for which a full salary analysis was carried out.
We are also attentive to the woman/man ratio, which currently stands at around 12 % at dbi services. This percentage is very low, but unfortunately it reflects the reality of our sector. There are very few women working in Information and Communications Technology in Switzerland.
As far as cultural diversity is concerned, we simply decided to include this social theme in our company rules, because it is deeply rooted in the culture of dbi services. We encourage our employees to take everyone's sensitivities into account.
At dbi services, real efforts are being made to promote the inclusion of women in the IT field. One of our employees, Elisa Usai, is particularly committed to this through her mentoring program and spends time raising awareness of the issue. Similar efforts are also being made in the secondary schools that provide training, but there is still room for improvement. For example, we note that vocational schools offering CFC training in IT still have difficulty opening the doors of schools offering compulsory training to promote the profession among young girls. In some cases, schools providing compulsory training in Switzerland are still very reluctant to welcome vocational schools wishing to promote their course.
One of the fundamental values of UDITIS is trust in everyone and respect for all. This value has been chosen and defined by our employees. We also have a non-discriminatory pay policy, guaranteeing equal pay for men and women, and for Swiss and foreign employees. Although we naturally have more employees from the local economic fabric, there is no geographical discrimination when recruiting.
In addition, in our regular sessions, we also have a facilitation mechanism, allowing everyone to speak in an equitable manner.
As far as women are concerned, we also note a low ratio of 15% female employees, mainly in administrative positions. I agree with Grégory on this point: the efforts made by the schools need to be considerably improved.
What measures are you taking to ensure a smooth transition during organizational changes?
Our agile, horizontal business model is designed to encourage autonomy and shared responsibility. However, this can be a challenge for employees who join us from a more traditional business model. To ensure a smooth transition, we rely on a quality induction process so that new employees can adapt quickly.
We also offer in-house courses to teach new employees the fundamental concepts of agility, so that they can gradually take ownership of this model. In short, our organizational structure ensures that changes come from our employees rather than from management. As a result, they are more easily accepted and understood.
Finally, we have set up a mentoring system, where new employees are supported for a period of 6 months to 1 year, so that they have someone to turn to if they have any questions or need guidance.
At UDITIS, we place great importance on communication and transparency about our future. We understand that our employees need to feel informed and confident about the changes ahead. That's why we hold regular plenary sessions, bringing all staff together to discuss issues and challenges on the horizon.
We also have a special day called 'Gather Together Day' (GTD), which focuses on internal communication. On this day, we bring all our employees together for a day dedicated to communication, information, sharing. It's a great opportunity to bring our teams together and share key information about organizational changes, future objectives, and strategic decisions. The CEO of the Sequotech Group, David Hueber, also had the opportunity to talk to our staff to explain the direction the Group is taking. However, I think Gregory would agree with me that, at Sequotech level, there are few changes to note for employees.
Indeed, at Sequotech level, very few changes are to be noted, as this is not the group's objective. The member companies of the group have the autonomy they need to manage themselves, and I think that's very important to emphasize.
I believe that clear, proactive communication is the key to a smooth transition. Before undertaking any change, we make every effort to explain in detail what is going to happen, the reasons behind it and the objectives we want to achieve. This up-front transparency plays an essential role in preparing our employees for the changes to come. Strategic communication also takes place through our dbi xChange, where we communicate both past events and upcoming changes.
What's more, at dbi services we naturally have a culture of feedback. This enables us to put in place mechanisms to actively involve our employees, who are the agents of change. We therefore create an environment conducive to the expression of ideas by regularly soliciting their suggestions and taking their concerns into account. This is also one of the objectives of the employee representatives.
At dbi services, we adopt an approach based on employee representation, ensuring that their voices are heard and taken into account in the planning and implementation of change. We are actively involved in the Great Place to Work assessment and certification process. This enables us to measure and understand their experiences, and to take concrete steps to continually improve our working environment. We attach great importance to this feedback, as it helps us to identify areas where we are exceeding our employees' expectations, as well as those where we have potential for improvement.