Q&A with Marie Moynihan, VP Global Talent Acquisition, DELL

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Marie Moynihan is Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition in Dell and is responsible for hiring all employees within Dell. She leads a globally dispersed organisation of over 450 team members, filling several thousand positions annually. In addition she oversees HR for Europe Middle East and Africa.

Q How is technology innovating your talent acquisition and recruitment strategy?

Technology has been the biggest influencer in how recruitment has evolved in recent years, from the advent of the ATS, to CRM tools to social media.

Right now, our strategy is all about being more social! Ensuring we are communicating our brand in an authentic way, and engaging with candidates in many different social sources. The availability of “big data” trends helps us target our efforts better, including: type of skills, location, and diverse mix of candidate pool. The other big impact of technology on recruitment is it allows companies to focus more on the skill than on the location, as so many roles can now be done on a remote, work-from-home basis. This also cuts cost not just at the interview stage (video interviewing), but also avoids expensive relocation.

QCompetition for skilled talent is rife, certainly for scarce technical skills. Active and passive candidates, especially millenials, expect and demand much more from businesses in the way they are attracted and recruited?

How are you enhancing candidate experience and engagement in order to attract the best talent the marketplace has to offer?

Engagement is the key issue here, from an attraction point of view. We take the view that we have to be very present and live in our interactions with candidates on social media. We have a dedicated social media team who post interesting material and respond in a very timely manner to followers. In addition we have clear ‘candidate commitments’ published on our careers web site that let candidates know what they can expect from us. We train both recruiters and hiring leaders on these commitments. We are also working on our application process to shorten the ‘up front’ online questions by more than 50 percent, and collect relevant data instead at different stages of the process as candidates progress.

QFrom big data, to mobile, gamification and social learning, organisations are transforming into social businesses. At Dell your journey is well underway, with your company-wide social enablement strategy.

What challenges have you faced in implementing this strategy? How did you go about resolving them and what has been the impact thus far on your business?

Getting not just your recruiting organisation–but your whole organisation–to see social media as a true window to customers is a huge change management exercise for any organisation. Many people either do not see the benefit, or are fearful of the live and public nature of social media.

We have taken a two pronged approach – selling the benefits, and building the skills to engage. We developed a programme called ‘Hire the Best’ which has a great data about the value of social media as a ‘route to market’, as well as tips on who to engage. We have a company-wide Social Media certification programme (SMaC—Social Media and Communities) that all our recruiters and more than 10,000 of our staff have undertaken, which qualifies them to speak on behalf of Dell on social media. We also have the advantage of having a highly social CEO! Michael leads by example and is very open about his expectations of active social media engagement with his leadership team.

QHow do you envisage talent acquisition evolving in the next 3-5 years and what are the biggest challenges you’re set to face?

I expect the Social Media revolution to continue, with many more outlets emerging, so it is imperative that we keep pace with these developments and stand ready to take advantage and evolve with this ever-changing engagement model. I expect gamification to become an increasing trend in engaging candidates, and also possibly in the selection process. As we continue to evolve organisations to be more global, matrixed and fast-paced, I think we will all need to up our game in selection, particularly as it relates to assessing attitude and culture fit with an organisation, with skills becoming more of a ticket to entry. For us, increasing our ‘early in career’ hiring will be a key challenge in the coming years, as we try to develop skills necessary for new technologies from within our organisation. Finally, integrating our many different tools and systems to a more holistic end-to-end data system that will allow better analytics and efficient data flow, will be crucial to enabling our talent management and attraction.

QThe reality of having an increasingly virtual and remote workforce means that proponents of work-life flexibility are better positioned in their ability to attract, engage and retain their people.

What are the channels and technologies have you implemented at Dell? What has been the impact on engagement and work-life satisfaction as well as business performance?

In 2010 Dell launched Connected Workplace, with the purpose to create a highly mobile, collaborative and agile work environment in response to our changing, digital workplace.

Dell leverages multiple technology solutions to enable our team members do their best work wherever and whenever they can. For Connected Workplace, Dell mainly uses solutions such as Microsoft Lync to allow Dell team members to stay connected to their colleagues while in a flexible setup. We also use tools like Salesforce.com’s Chatter to bring a “virtual watercooler” into the environment, and virtual webcasts to make large-scale meetings truly global. Dell has also initiated a global strategy we’re calling “workplace of the future.”

This focuses on shifting the office space from the classic cubicle to a more adaptable layout. We will be shifting the overall workplace layout to create different types of spaces (collaborative, innovative, etc…) designed to foster our flexible workforce’s productivity and creativity. Team members’ feedback will help us determine how Dell facilities should look and function in the future.

Forty percent of team members are currently leveraging some type of flexible work solution at Dell. Our annual internal survey, Tell Dell, shows that team members who utilize a flexible work solution are more positive about their role and the company in general. Additionally, within the same survey, team members rated the concept of flexibility as a key engagement factor.

While Connected Workplace was designed to help our team members balance work and life, participation also helps Dell reduce the environmental impact associated with our facilities, by shrinking the amount of office space needed in some buildings, or avoiding the need for additional spaces in other locations. In FY14, our Connected Workplace program helped Dell avoid an estimated 12 million kWh of energy and 6,700 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (as CO2e). Growth of the program in FY14 also saved Dell an additional $12 million in workplace-related expenses.

QAs the world becomes increasingly volatile and unpredictable, organizations that can quickly and easily adapt to changing business conditions will outpace their competitors. HR must fundamentally remodel itself into a key strategic function which serves as a critical driver of agility. Agility is an overarching theme of the HR Vision event in November.

How are you fuelling agility at Dell and in your talent acquisition strategy?

Our overall People Strategy has three core components – Inspiring Leadership, Winning together and Entrepreneurial Spirit. All team members in Dell have specific goals under the latter two, so we are constantly challenging our team members, including those in HR, to be looking ahead and innovating not just what we do, but how we do it, for the benefit of our customers both internally and externally. From a TA perspective, we also have a global Centre of Excellence whose specific purpose is to create enabling tools, processes, training, data, etc., for our delivery teams so they are constantly looking externally for the latest trends and tools that keep us at the leading edge of innovation in attracting talent to Dell.

You can hear about these topics and many more at our next HR Vision conference.

HR Vision is the elite, boutique style event, where HR leaders gather to discuss core business strategy.

Visit www.hrvisionevent.com to discover the next upcoming conference date and venue most suitable to you.


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