- There is a large scarcity of IT people on the labour market
- Odile from Odin Group believes that everyone has talent, you just have to discover and develop it
Talent management has been a structured process within Odin Groep for years. For example, there is the Odin Career Tracks programme, which gives new and existing employees clarity about the directions in which they can grow within the organisation. Also, the Odin Academy provides the training required to achieve the intended growth. There are also various programmes to familiarise trainees and other new talents with Odin Groep and make them feel at home.
As far as Odile Elshout is concerned, it is mainly about identifying the kind of talent that you need at an organisation, and then discovering it and using it with your employees. “Everyone has talent, but every talent is different. That is why we work with job carving at Odin Groep: we no longer use job profiles with a fixed list of tasks. We prefer looking at what knowledge and skills someone has, and how we can get the most out of this. We manage very complex IT environments, and this involves a huge diversity of expertise. There is not one employee, no matter how talented, who could do it all on his own. That is why we try to find an ideal focus area for each employee, in which they can develop themselves. Besides the technology, we pay above-average attention to personal development and soft skills.”
In addition to nurturing and developing existing talent, talent management is, of course, also involved with recruiting new employees. For this, too, Odin Groep has a specific approach. “You have to be creative. There are quite a few IT people who have trouble describing what they have to offer in a resume, especially younger people. They sell themselves short with this, so as an employer, you have to discover the story behind this. We give people a chance and talk to them without just looking at their resumes. They get plenty of opportunities to figure out what they are good at. It is not only pleasant for themselves, but we also benefit from it as an organisation. It comes with surprising twists and turns sometimes. Growing to consultancy does not make every technician happy, but this is something you have to find out yourself. At Odin Groep, you get that space.
According to Odile Elshout, many people assume that an internal training institution such as the Odin Academy will have an education arrangement. “Like staying employed for at least two years, because otherwise, you have to reimburse part of the costs. Not with us. We facilitate this. The certificates our employees obtain at Odin Academy are necessary, simply due to the customers’ demands. Moreover, we see an investment in our talents as an investment in our organisation.”
Finally, Odile emphasises that they do not only see people in their twenties as talents. “We will not get there with people in their twenties alone. We also encourage people with more experience to use their talent, which they can do by taking care of the younger talents. Moreover, there are enough people who find new talents and interests after twenty years of work. Within Odin Groep, employees do not only have the opportunity to grow in their field of expertise, but they can also choose a completely different path. The most important thing is that we retain the good people in our organisation. With leadership development programmes, we teach our managers to also look at it that way. If a good employee becomes even better at a different spot in the organisation, they have to support that, no matter how much they might miss that employee in their team. Talents should excel, not be limited.”