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How Schneider Electric increased employee retention

$15,000,000

savings in enhanced productivity and reduced recruiting expenses

360,000+

unlocked hours

80%

of employees would recommend Gloat

$15,000,000

savings in enhanced productivity and reduced recruiting expenses

360,000+

unlocked hours

80%

of employees would recommend Gloat

When internal surveys revealed that nearly 50% of exiting employees cited a lack of internal growth opportunities as their primary reason for leaving the business, Schneider Electric recognized it was time to make a change. The organization devised a new strategy designed to empower people to take ownership of their own career development. By rolling out their talent marketplace, Open Talent Market, the leading energy management and automation enterprise brought their vision for an internal gig economy to life.

Overview

  • Headquarters: Rueil-Malmaison, France
  • Revenue: $25.2 billion
  • Company Size: 155,000 employees
  • Industry: Energy
  • Founded: 1836
  • Website: www.se.com/us/en/

This technology is the right kind of technology to explore if you have the aspiration to create more agility in the way that your teams are organized and if you want to empower people to drive their own careers.

Dean Summlar, VP HR Pacific Zone

Company

Schneider Electric is a global leader in energy management and automation. The enterprise drives digital transformation by integrating cutting-edge process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software, and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure, and industries.

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  • The challenge
  • Choosing a solution
  • Launching Schneider Electric’s talent marketplace
  • How it works
  • An inside look at Open Talent Market
  • Results

The challenge

Schneider Electric’s mission is to ensure that “life is on” for everyone, everywhere, at every moment. This promise extends not only to their customer base, but also to the more than 155,000 individuals who make up Schneider Electric’s workforce.

While the enterprise aimed to empower employees to grow with the business, internal surveys revealed that this vision didn’t always align with the day-to-day realities at the company. With nearly 50% of employees citing a lack of internal growth opportunities as their primary reason for leaving the business, Schneider Electric recognized it was time to make a change.

The organization devised a three-part strategy to enhance internal mobility and nurture its talent pool from within. Operationally, Schneider Electric’s priority was to improve employee retention. From a talent perspective, the enterprise aimed to empower its people to take ownership of their career development. Finally, with the gig economy continuing to flourish, Schneider Electric wanted to encourage employees to partake in ad-hoc projects and professional development opportunities.

Choosing a solution

Innovation is a core part of Schneider Electric’s DNA and it has also played a leading role in its approach to internal mobility. Instead of shying away from change, the enterprise leveraged technological breakthroughs to take career development to the next level.

Leaders looked to artificial intelligence to enable them to match the supply and demand of talent within their organization. As Summlar explains, “We have to create more of an appetite for agility to create the business of tomorrow. At Schneider Electric, we wanted more agility in our organization so the talent marketplace was really going to support us in that way.”

From small startups to global solutions providers, Schneider Electric evaluated every leading player in the market. Following a comprehensive review process, the team selected Gloat’s talent marketplace. Key differentiators included customizations, an ambitious product roadmap, and an ongoing commitment to ethically-constructed AI.

When we saw the three action items, which were around positions, projects, and mentorships, and Gloat’s use of AI, that was the standout. I’m not sure there was anyone in the market that was leading as well as Gloat was.

Jean Pelletier, VP, Digital Talent Transformation
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Launching Schneider Electric’s talent marketplace

After selecting their vendor, Schneider Electric set out to introduce their new talent marketplace, Open Talent Market, to employees across the globe. Their launch process began with a pilot, which was designed for the enterprise’s HR function.

After initially focusing on a gradual, country-by-country roll-out, Schneider Electric ultimately pivoted to a big bang launch in April 2020. As Pelletier explains, “We went with the fast rollout at this time because we wanted to send the message that development and growth were alive and well at Schneider during COVID-19.”

From the first pilot users to employees who engaged with the platform after its global launch, every Schneider Electric team member has access to the same caliber of highly personalized opportunities in real-time, based on an individual’s skills, experiences, and ambitions.

With only a 30-second time investment from employees, Open Talent Market learns each user’s unique professional profile and pairs them with the full spectrum of opportunities, including part-time projects, internal positions, and mentorships. “The technology enables you to do something at scale that you couldn’t possibly do with humans alone,” Summlar says.

How it works

Managers post open projects and positions and are then presented with diverse Schneider Electric employees whose skills and interests align with each opportunity.

Simultaneously, employees fill out their profiles and add in their aspirations and professional interests. They then receive instant recommendations for career, project, and mentorship opportunities.

Employees get access to learning opportunities and hands-on experience that help them achieve their professional goals, while managers get a smart supply of relevant internal candidates to staff their projects.

An inside look at Open Talent Market

How exactly does Open Talent Market play into the three-pillared internal mobility strategy that Schneider Electric devised? From an operations perspective, Open Talent Market provides employees with growth opportunities that the Schneider Electric workforce may not have had visibility into before.

Instead of looking outside the organization for new experiences, people can turn to the platform for relevant gig work, career transitions, and mentorships, all at their fingertips. “Open Talent Market has created incredible transparency,” Summlar notes. “It has created a de-biased process because the decisions are not in one manager’s hands. All of a sudden, our entire online workforce has access to it.”

The talent marketplace also gives employees greater autonomy to chart their own path forward within Schneider Electric. Users can review projects, postings, and learning opportunities and handpick the experiences that interest them most.

Summlar describes this fundamental change, explaining, “We want employees to feel empowered that they’re the ones in the driver’s seat of their career. For us, this ownership was really key so that employees can own and navigate their careers. More and more, we want to use technology to enable employees to go much faster through the journey of exploration than they would be able to otherwise.”

When it comes to embracing the gig economy, Schneider Electric’s talent marketplace ensures every employee has an equal opportunity to take on new projects. Rather than staffing gigs based on visibility or geographic proximity, Open Talent Market surfaces candidates with the skills needed to succeed.

In describing this process, Pelletier notes, “Our first step is that we have matching that helps de-bias so that we’re leading with skills and experience first. We have an employee inventory that doesn’t just look at what I did at Schneider but also my past history. We’ve never been able to mine that from an AI perspective before. So the talent marketplace does di-bias who your candidate slate for new projects could be.”

Results

$ 0

savings in enhanced productivity and reduced recruiting expenses

0 +

unlocked hours

15 second

time-spend to receive personalized opportunities

80%

of employees would recommend Gloat

Open Talent Market has been a success from the very beginning. Within the first two months of launch, the platform achieved an adoption rate that surpassed 60%, enabling more than 2,300 employees to begin to explore new roles within the business. As a result, nearly 127,000 hours of hidden capacity were unlocked in a matter of weeks.

Momentum only continued to build since Open Talent Market’s initial debut. To date, Schneider Electric’s talent marketplace has unlocked more than 200,000 hours and created a savings of over $15,000,000 in productivity gains and reduced recruitment costs. As Pelletier explains, “Definitely, the ROI is the unlocked hours. Think of your projects and your gigs. Normally you might go and hire a contractor to do something when there is someone who has the bandwidth within your own company to do what you need.”

Summlar expresses a similar sentiment, noting, “It has allowed us to achieve productivity. It has allowed us to have additional work done that we otherwise would have had to spend money to make happen.”

In addition to this impressive cost savings, Open Talent Market transformed internal mobility at Schneider Electric and activated the workforce’s own gig economy. In Pelletier’s words. “The one feature that gets the most play is mentorships. That has always been a strong cultural thing in Schneider Electric. What we did is we actually made it digital. So we took something that was a cultural norm and now we’ve got 12,000 involved in mentoring today. On average, every mentor has about two mentees, which is a wonderful thing to be able to see that and track it.”

The women of the workforce have quickly taken the lead when it comes to projects and gigs, with 55% of all assignments going to female applicants.

When I think about the ‘projects’ feature in the tool, it hit a home run. We can post projects and can tap our own talent to harness the potential within our workforce.

Jean Pelletier, VP, Digital Talent Transformation

The platform’s impact goes above and beyond improving employee retention, the core challenge that it was initially brought in to solve. Instead, Open Talent Market revolutionized Schneider Electric’s approach to human capital management by putting every employee at the helm of their career.”


Reflecting on their journey, Pelletier says, “What I am learning is that it’s a complete rewrite of HR. You need to think differently about speed and how you go deep and broad in an organization using AI. Gloat’s talent marketplace is an absolute game-changer.”

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