seagate logo teal

How Seagate established workforce diversity and productivity

$1,400,000

in savings within the first four months of launch

58%

increase in participation and assignment of women

90%

of employees registered on the platform within 45 days

When COVID-19 hit, Seagate turned the pandemic into an opportunity for business transformation. By rolling out Gloat’s talent marketplace, the leading data storage solutions provider launched a large-scale talent redeployment that paved the way for a savings of more than $1.4 million.

Overview

  • Headquarters: Cupertino, CA
  • Revenue: $10 billion
  • Company Size: 40,000 employees
  • Industry: Technology
  • Founded: 1978
  • Website: www.seagate.com

First and foremost, anyone using a talent marketplace will be immediately able to discover hidden talent—candidates and skills they didn’t know existed. And they’ll be able to experience how diverse, valuable, and capable these discovered candidates are.

Divkiran Kathuria, Director of Talent Mobility and Talent Technology, Seagate

The company

Seagate Technology crafts the datasphere, helping to maximize humanity’s potential by innovating world-class, precision-engineered data storage and management solutions with a focus on sustainable partnerships. Over the last 40 years, the enterprise has shipped over three billion terabytes of data capacity and secured its status as the world’s leading data storage solutions provider.

seagate 1

The challenges

When COVID-19 hit, Seagate, like many organizations, had to pivot to hybrid work, adjust to changes in demand, and shift operations. This created a need to prioritize emerging areas of growth, while reducing support in areas not operating at full capacity. What’s more, Seagate recognized a need to uplevel its talent development and hiring initiatives.

COVID has opened up a whole different way to look at our workforce, our workplace, how we engage, and how we collaborate. COVID is telling us that there is a way to really exponentially change engagement

Patricia Frost, Chief Human Resources Officer, Seagate
  • Deploying talent resources to serve business needs, on-demand, at scale
  • Reducing manual effort required for internal redeployment
  • Cultivating a culture that supports employee growth
  • Bridging skills gaps
  • Reducing hiring bias to improve global diversity and inclusion initiatives

Deploying talent resources to serve business needs, on-demand, at scale

In September 2020, Seagate’s leaders made a decision that would flip their approach to talent management on its head. The enterprise needed to pivot to achieve business resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than looking to external hires to support this shift, a large-scale talent redeployment emerged as an ideal opportunity to underpin sustained growth without requiring a workforce reduction or additional headcount.

We realized we needed to lift and shift our resources to a new area of business to grow. We weren’t going to lay anyone off or reduce the workforce. Instead, we decided to grow new operations from within.

Patricia Frost, Chief Human Resources Officer, Seagate

Reducing manual effort required for internal redeployment

Putting the right talent in the right roles requires an in-depth understanding of everyone’s competencies and ambitions. But with a headcount of more than 40,000, how could Seagate’s hiring managers possibly keep track of each employee’s unique blend of skills and experiences?

Patricia Frost, Seagate’s Chief Human Resources Officer, understood that they couldn’t achieve the speed and scale they needed with a manual approach. She had witnessed the value of artificial intelligence firsthand during her time in the military and saw an opportunity to utilize it to help the business pivot quickly.

I reached out to my HR colleagues and asked who out there really understands internal mobility? I understood from my previous profession, the value of artificial intelligence, and I knew how that could really accelerate what we were trying to do at Seagate.

Patricia Frost, Chief Human Resources Officer, Seagate

Cultivating a culture that supports employee growth

Enabling internal mobility requires more than technological infrastructure. New workforce management initiatives must be accompanied by behavioral change to maximize their impact. But what does it take to get everyone on board?

When Frost and her team created their strategy, she identified three parameters: inclusivity, equity, and transparency. She also emphasized the importance of creating a shared sense of trust between employees and leadership.

We were looking at a very large-scale redeployment. That’s a huge change in culture. It’s a change in behaviors for your managers, your leaders, and your employees.

Patricia Frost, Chief Human Resources Officer, Seagate

Bridging skills gaps

As part of their talent management transformation, Seagate prioritized hiring internally, with external candidates serving only as a last resort. For this strategy to prove successful, the enterprise needed to bridge existing skills gaps that could hinder internal mobility.

Seagate developed an academic curriculum designed to equip employees with the skills needed to stay relevant and contribute to evolving business priorities. These lessons were complemented by hands-on learning opportunities, including projects and gigs, which employees could access via their talent marketplace to put their newly acquired skills into practice.

If we absolutely couldn’t find the right candidate, it was a good way for us to start understanding where our skills gaps were in our company. We introduced an academic curriculum because we are a highly technical company, to ensure that employees can be successful.

Patricia Frost, Chief Human Resources Officer, Seagate

Reducing hiring bias to improve global diversity and inclusion initiatives

Pivoting the business relied on finding the right talent and ensuring every worker had equal access to opportunity. Seagate wanted to eliminate the biases that can influence career trajectory and ensure hiring decisions were skills-led. While it’s impossible to eliminate all bias from human decision-making, Seagate recognized that a talent marketplace reduces the possibility of bias creep by design, relying on AI to surface candidates who are truly the best fit for the roles hiring managers are trying to fill.

To truly manifest that ‘right talent at the right place’, and to have the whole world as your talent pool, it’s critical to shed our biases. And without the augmented intelligence supporting us, it can be slow and painful.

Divkiran Kathuria, Director of Talent Mobility and Talent Technology, Seagate

The solution

With the belief that every crisis creates opportunity, Frost and her colleagues began building the foundation for Seagate’s talent management transformation. The organization embarked on a redeployment journey that would soon touch thousands of employees. Enhancing internal mobility would enable the enterprise to pivot quickly and cultivate the next generation of talent from within.

Already familiar with the value of artificial intelligence, Frost thought it could be leveraged to accelerate Seagate’s redeployment strategy. It was this belief that led her to explore what a talent marketplace could offer. As she explains, “That’s what brought me to Gloat and we really felt that Gloat was the answer to meet the scale and speed that Seagate needed.”

Just two months later, the enterprise was already moving people on Career Discovery, their talent marketplace. The organization’s internal mobility initiative utilized two approaches simultaneously: talent redeployment to fill full-time roles, as well as staffing ad-hoc projects so employees could explore career development opportunities that they were passionate about.

For redeployments, hiring managers were encouraged to look for internal candidates who met 75%-80% of the role’s qualifications. To bridge this gap and upgrade applicants to 100% best-fit candidates, Seagate introduced an academic curriculum. “Career Discovery supports upskilling and recruiting of internal talent within Seagate to fill open positions and drive the gig economy; helping us harness our employees’ career goals to satisfy the business needs,” Kathuria summarizes.

Seagate’s talent marketplace also eliminated many of the biases and barriers that can prevent enterprises from unlocking their workforce’s full potential. To illustrate how Career Discovery achieved the goal of “talent without borders”, Kathuria tells the following story:

When I opened a project for the first time on our talent marketplace, I ended up having a team from across the globe that helped me bring in the local context to our internal communications plan. None of us were from a primarily English-speaking country and despite that we worked beautifully together. And I could have never thought of those cultural and local nuances alone.

Divkiran Kathuria, Director of Talent Mobility and Talent Technology, Seagate

Results

$ 0

in savings within the first four months of launch

0

hours unlocked during the first four months of usage

90%

of employees registered on the platform within 45 days

58%

increase in participation and assignment of women

After introducing Career Discovery in November, Seagate’s talent marketplace enjoyed near-instantaneous success. The percentage of employees who’ve registered on the platform approached 90% within the first 45 days of launch, with nearly all users reaching a high profile completion rate.

This adoption surge enabled Seagate to leverage its existing internal talent pool to rapidly pivot the business. As Frost explains, “At one point, we were doing up to almost two redeployments a day, or running a redeployment and then filling these projects. And I will tell you, we have gotten tremendous positive feedback from our employees about the projects they have worked on.”

In addition to winning over their workforce, Career Discovery also generated an impressive ROI, with Seagate’s Global Head of Talent and Learning, Andrew Saidy, estimating that the platform saved the company $1.4 million within its first four months. Frost echoes a similar sentiment, noting, “The talent marketplace has saved us millions in contractor spend and helped us provide opportunity for our people to grow. Gloat is changing the way we work.”

Rather than marking the end of their journey, the launch of Career Discovery signaled a new chapter in Seagate’s talent management transformation. Looking ahead, Kathuria notes, “This is just the beginning. We are looking forward to harnessing the power of Gloat’s platform to explore more capabilities like mentoring, networking, dynamic sourcing, succession planning, dynamic career pathing, and more.”

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