CHRO Jo Mason explainsÂ DXC Technologyâs agile approachÂ to attracting and retaining talent.
By Debbie Bolla
As a global player in the technology services business,Â no one understands the speed of change better thanÂ DXC Technology. Jo Mason, the companyâs executiveÂ vice president and CHRO, has led a dynamic andÂ comprehensive approach to human capital managementÂ that helps DXC guide its 6,000 clients across 70 countriesÂ on their digital transformation journeys, even while theÂ company transforms itself.
DXCâs own transformation began when it was formed inÂ the spring of 2017 through the merger of CSC and theÂ Enterprise Services Business of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.Â With 130,000 employees worldwide today, Mason saysÂ the organization thrives on change during their journeyÂ of transformation. âThe pace of change over the last fewÂ years continues to get faster, especially in a digital world,âÂ she says. âWe are on the leading-edge of innovationÂ with so much opportunity for our people, clients, andÂ company.â
Here, Mason shares how DXC focuses on client interestsÂ with workforce management; attracts talent in the uber-competitiveÂ digital landscape; reskills its employees toÂ create opportunity while filling skills gaps; and navigatesÂ the complexity of mergers and acquisitions.
HRO Today: What are the keys to DXCâs talent strategy?
Jo Mason: For me, whatever I approach in workforceÂ management or HR is based on business strategy. And anÂ element that is critical to this is understanding the talentÂ we already have and the talent we need.
DXCâs mission is to design and deploy new digitalÂ solutionsâat scaleâthat integrate with a clientâsÂ mainstream IT to produce better business outcomes. So weÂ need to manage our talent in two ways: internally throughÂ reskilling and externally by ensuring we have the rightÂ processes in place to acquire the right talent and skills. OurÂ employees are motivated by the fact that they are able toÂ work on innovative projects and can develop and growÂ within the organization.
The digital landscape creates challenges; competingÂ organizations are fighting for the same skills. As we lookÂ at our digital offerings, we are asking ourselves:
- What skills do we have internally?
- What skills do we need to acquire?
- What reskilling needs to take place?
Right now, some of our clients are exploring automationÂ technologies, and that creates an opportunity to reskillÂ our talent. DXC is making sure we have the right trainingÂ and reskilling engines to be able to succeed in newÂ technologies. For example, we are able to reskill throughÂ our university partnerships. DXCâs strong relationshipsÂ within our university and college networks are soÂ proactive that we have input in shaping their curriculumÂ and developing the skills taxonomy. We work with theseÂ partners to train and certify our employee base. DXCÂ University has a large breadth of learning that helps growÂ and reskill our workforce. Weâve also created a series ofÂ lab environments and digital transformation centers.
HROT: How does DXC leverage technology in its approachÂ to talent?
Mason: We have the âDXC Dynamic Talent CloudâÂ to support what we like to call the âunincorporatedÂ workforce.â It supports a population of people who donâtÂ want to be traditionally employed. The âDXC DynamicÂ Talent Cloudâ is a community of talent that bids on short- orÂ long-term projects. Organizations need to create anÂ environment that suits the needs of talent. This approachÂ also allows us to attract the best candidates for our clients.
Itâs also critical that we have good analytics. Analytics areÂ really important when you are looking at the workforce,Â at the areas where you may need to invest or put moreÂ assets. Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a big role. TheÂ ability to allocate and deploy your global workforce,Â especially at the size and complexity of DXC, is critical toÂ understanding the skills youâve got and the ones you needÂ to acquire.
More traditional recruitment practices arenât necessarilyÂ relevant anymore. Looking at the traditional way of hiring,Â the responsibility was really on the hiring manager toÂ create a position, review profiles, and move forward withÂ what they needed. It was also often personality-drivenÂ recruitment. This produced a much slower cycle. WhatÂ we are seeing now is technology driving an analyticalÂ approach to hiring. Organizations can leverage certifiedÂ recruiters and that creates speed and agility. This helpsÂ make the process faster with a better quality result. AnÂ agile recruitment approach allows organizations to scaleÂ in a much more successful way to bring talent into theÂ organization.
HROT: How does DXC develop and retain employees?
Mason: We encourage our employees to thrive on changeÂ and invest in themselves. Itâs the responsibility of DXC toÂ create career paths and for individual employees to investÂ in themselves.
DXC University offers the opportunity to learn and grow.Â We encourage employees to take time from their dailyÂ responsibilities through our âTake 10â program. EmployeesÂ take 10 minutes during their day to think about their ownÂ learning and development needs.
Collaboration and knowledge is powerful. DXC WorkplaceÂ is a tool that allows teams from all over the globe to talkÂ to each other and share. It creates an opportunity for openÂ forums, discussion, learning opportunities, and dialogues.
Across the globe, a common theme I see among youngerÂ workers is that they want a career path and a community.Â They want a network of peers and expert professionalsÂ that can help them. And they also want to work globally,Â and DXC offers that through its global ecosystem.
HROT: How do mergers and acquisitions (M&A) impactÂ DXCâs business strategy?
Mason: We have a very targeted M&A approach. WeÂ look at acquisitions as a way to acquire skills or enhanceÂ the offerings in our portfolio. We heavily reinvest in thisÂ organization.
The more you go through acquisitions, the better youÂ understand that there isnât a one-size-fits-all approach toÂ integration. For example, the company acquired UXC inÂ 2016, and its ecosystem of recruiting was very differentÂ from a large-scale services organization. So, you mustÂ find that hybrid approach and then enable and empowerÂ employees to allow them to realize their full potential.Â There is a delicate balance. Itâs key to understand the assetÂ and how it contributes to DXC so you can provide supportÂ in areas that need it and successfully grow and scale theÂ organization.
HROT: What role does HR play during the acquisitionÂ process?
Mason: We have a disciplined approach that starts with anÂ M&A committee looking at business targets. HR is presentÂ on that committee. Every acquisition we make must alignÂ to our strategy. For example, an acquisition may bring inÂ IT technology, expertise, or niche talent. We look at anÂ integration model to see if thereâs alignment with theÂ asset. We are in step in shaping how the acquisition wouldÂ integrate. This helps both sides understand the benefits,Â the people, the culture, the practices, and the design ofÂ the integration model.
Itâs important when you bring organizations togetherÂ that thereâs a robust culture and an environment ofÂ performance and opportunity at all levels. You donât wantÂ to stay stagnantâyou canât afford to.
HROT: How does DXC embrace transparency?
Mason: DXC is very agile and open, and we embraceÂ authentic communicationâreal, open, honestÂ communication. Thereâs not a week that goes by that IâmÂ not having a conversation with an employee who hasÂ some ideas of what we could do better.
HR needs to embrace the knowledge of the entireÂ organization. We listen to our people. We embark onÂ town halls because they are unstructured and unscripted.Â As leaders, we have to be able to listen and answerÂ questions and not be afraid. What I love about DXC is ourÂ employees are not afraid. But that is powerful: You canâtÂ transform a company from the topâit comes from within.
HROT: What is currently on your agenda?
Mason: Diversity and inclusion (D&I). I love the diversityÂ of our workforce. We have a very open and inclusiveÂ culture. Weâve seen D&I really become the heart of theÂ talent agenda. Iâm very proud of what weâve been ableÂ to achieve over the years. Our non-hierarchical, inclusiveÂ environment allows our diversity to shine through in theÂ organization. We invest in our D&I through differentÂ efforts. For example, our âDandelion Programâ works toÂ hire people on the autism spectrum and provides the rightÂ work environment and support. And this is a benefit toÂ DXC because we find fantastic talent.
DXC has recently launched a strategic leadership programÂ focused on cultivating high impact women leadershipÂ across the company. I co-designed the program to beÂ authentic in both its challenges and results.
We focus on talent of all types in our recruitingÂ practices. We have efforts to work and support peopleÂ with disabilities, veterans, the LGBTQ community, andÂ female leaders in technology. The richness of a globalÂ organization like DXC touches different cultures, faith,Â people, and personalities. Itâs so important to embraceÂ that. If you create an open culture, are willing to listen,Â and support a rich diverse workforce that is empoweredÂ and enabled, that makes coming to work interesting andÂ motivating.