How a major corporation’s VP of talent acquisition leads worldwide recruitment efforts.
By Christa Elliott
Schneider Electric has more than 185,000 employees across more than 100 countries—and Yvette Stortz, the company’s global vice president of talent acquisition and mobility, oversees the talent acquisition function for all of them. Her leadership has not only reduced headhunter reliance for executive recruitment in half, but also brought recruitment agency use down to less than 2 per cent for North America and produced similar numbers globally.
So how did Stortz manage such impressive numbers through global talent acquisition management? Here are a few strategies that paved the way for Schneider Electric’s success:
Streamlining processes and tools. Stortz oversaw the implementation of Schneider Electric’s first global application tracking system (ATS), which has increased internal mobility across the organisation and made more positions visible to candidates. A global ATS also made it easier for the company to manage reporting and analytics and manage a consistent recruiting process.
“Recruiting technology plays a big part in our day-to-day operations,” Stortz says. “Schneider Electric is a large, global company and having a global ATS in place, along with common recruiting processes, ensures that we not only offer a consistent experience, but also provide our employees with a complete view of all available opportunities internally.”
In addition to providing a streamlined experience for candidates across the globe, Schneider Electric’s global ATS improved communication between the company’s operational talent acquisition teams and their global colleagues. In turn, this has led to a global approach and view on different topics such as hiring manager satisfaction, candidate satisfaction, and critical role dashboarding.
Rethinking leadership. Prior her current role at Schneider Electric, Stortz was the organisation’s director of talent acquisition for North America. Under her leadership, the North America talent acquisition team grew in size and success, and the job prepared her to become Schneider Electric’s first global leader of talent acquisition and mobility.
Stortz’s new role was the result of an organisational decision to expand Schneider Electric’s global talent acquisition function as its reach continues to extend around the world.
“Schneider Electric is a very unique company in many aspects, but one [thing] that stands out is how global we are. Our business needs have evolved, and creating the global talent acquisition function has enabled us to not only harmonise our processes and approach, but has also allowed us to ensure Schneider Electrics critical, global talent acquisition needs are met,” Stortz says.
“We are able to be more agile when supporting our business needs and bring much better focus and visibility to global areas of focus such as employer branding and onboarding, whilst keeping the local context in mind.”
Fewer headhunters, better global contracts. It’s no secret that top-notch, executive talent can be difficult to source, especially when the added cost of using a headhunting service is factored in. Stortz tackled this problem first by reducing reliance on headhunters.
Specifically, SE reviewed and assessed its executive search firm spend, consolidated the number of firms they partnered with, and ensured that only the most engaged firms were working to yielding the best quality outcome.
“We wanted to really understand which firms we were working with in the past, including the overall spend,” Stortz says.
“We are continuously reviewing who can best serve our business needs, but a large number of our fills in this space stem from the in-house global executive recruiting team at Schneider Electric.”
For executive roles that were recruited by headhunters, Stortz also negotiated cost-saving global contracts that contributed to her total annual cost savings of 3 to 8 per cent.
Expanding the employee value proposition. Over the past three years, Stortz has transformed the talent acquisition space and elevated its function within the organisation. She has also created global alignment within talent acquisition for Schneider Electric, organised an executive recruiting team, driven efficiency, and built a comprehensive employee value proposition (EVP). This EVP has come to define Schneider Electric as an organisation and helps the company differentiate itself from competitors in the employment marketplace.
“The global EVP acts as a guide and framework, but allows for local or function specific adaptations. It is also very closely aligned with our values and culture as an organisation,” Stortz says.
Despite the complexity and scope of Schneider Electric as an organisation, Stortz has proven that a cohesive global talent acquisition strategy is still possible.
“We are at times a complex organisation, and therefore intimacy with a select group of the right partners is very important to ensure they understand our strategy, our employer value proposition, our critical business needs, our profiles, and how to best position Schneider Electric as an employer of choice,” Stortz says.