Canadian HR Reporter

May 4, 2015

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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CANADIAN HR REPORTER May 4, 2015 FEATURES 19 RECRUITING FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS? O er positions to over 190,000 Members Highly targeted advertising Immediate matching resume database access FOR MORE INFORMATION, TELEPHONE•416 204 3284•EMAIL• 14-126a_EN_CPAsource_fullpagead_9.625x7.indd 1 10/8/2014 3:40:37 PM EMPLOYEE CAREER MANAGEMENT Following a not-so-linear path Geneva-based JTI focuses on building competencies, succession planning, performance management among global workforce By Sarah Dobson C areer paths are chang- ing — they're not always linear. Which is why Ja- pan Tobacco International (JTI) encourages employees to build their competencies and skills beyond their core functional areas of expertise, according to Ilona Alonso, global HQ hu- man resources vice-president in Geneva. "We take a truly global and flex- ible approach to help them grow within the company." JTI was one of five companies worldwide to receive the Top Employer Global 2015 from the Top Employers Institute, rec- ognizing exceptional employee environments. "Investing in people and mak- ing JTI a great place to work, a top employer, does not only attract the talented candidates from out- side but it also makes employees want to have a career in our own company, so it's from both sides a good message," says Alonso of the award. e 27,000-employee company is dedicated to fostering a diverse work environment where workers excel, she says. "Recruiting the best candidates and developing employees' skills and competencies across the or- ganization is in JTI's DNA. We work hard to invest in tomorrow's leaders with a solid performance management and succession planning platform." If you don't have that focus, you will not be able to attract the people you want to attract, she says. "It's always important to make this balance between outside re- cruitment but also keeping our employees happy inside and have a career inside the company... You still need to feed your organiza- tion, of course, with talent from the bottom up and if you need specific technical skills that are very rare, well you go outside, that's for sure, but the preferred path is an internal career path." About 80 per cent of JTI lead- ers are appointed internally and about 7,000 positions were filled or back-filled with internal candi- dates over the last two years, she says. Ninety-eight per cent of the company's vice-presidents are in- ternal promotions. "That is powerful, that you know this can happen to you," says Alonso. "Really, you build your ca- reer in JTI." e tobacco industry is chang- ing and new roles are emerging, which has implications for career paths, she says. "e traditional single func- tional careers are becoming less common... so many JTI leaders have diverse career paths and this trend is, I think, accelerating," she says. "You have to go also hori- zontal in your career, that's some- thing new too, I think. You need a lot of different jobs horizontal before you can go vertical and that's fine, that's not a problem — you need to learn a lot of dif- ferent competencies and capabil- ities beyond your core functional skills to be better-equipped as a leader." More than 800 employees at JTI are on long-term, short-term or rotational international as- signments, and the assignments are very helpful for their careers and providing cross-functional opportunities, says Alonso. "It's retaining talent and in- creasing our pool of future lead- ers; it's a long-term investment, so if you offer these kinds of inter- national assignments, cross-func- tional opportunities, short-term assignments, that is a long-term investment. You will not see, the first six months, what's happening but you will see it in the long term." Succession planning Part of JTI's success is because of a strong focus on succession planning, at all levels of the orga- nization. Planning is done in ev- ery market, in every country, and people in leadership positions are discussed on a regional and func- tional level, so there are a lot of layers, she says. "ere's real focus on succession planning on a one-to-one (basis), but also succession talent pools," says Alonso. "It really focuses on the capabilities and the behaviours that make future leaders, not just past experience but also look at the future. And it has increased options and flexibility for the or- ganization in terms of selecting the future leaders. So succession planning is a big basis for us." It's about preparing employees who are in development to ac- quire skills for the next level, says says Nancy Bourdon, HR direc- tor for the Canada market at JTI- Macdonald in Mississauga, Ont. "We focus on succession plan- ning and the talent pool because we don't have high turnover and we realized within Canada that we have a lot of people approaching retirement every year, so we need 'DIALOGUE' > pg. 20 "You have to go also horizontal in your career, that's something new."

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