Tech Jobs – Cultivating top talent

6 Jun 2011

Oracle is so focused on recruiting and retaining talent that it has created a ‘talent academy’ and dedicated centres to help its employees realise their true potential.

Miguel Milano, senior vice-president at Oracle Direct, says talent is one of the most precious assets within the entire Oracle organisation and it is investing a considerable amount of resources and time into talent recruitment, development and retention.

“Oracle Direct is our EMEA inside sales organisation selling all Oracle technology solutions and services from Dublin. It has been conceived as the ‘talent academy’ for Oracle Europe,” he explains.

“Many of the most successful professionals in our European organisation started their careers at Oracle Direct. There is a plan to strengthen this ‘academy’ role to make it the crown jewel within Oracle when it comes to talent. And we are looking at both senior sales experts, as well as graduates, who are just embarking on their careers.”

Part of the focus on talent has been the establishment of ‘Talent Development Centres’, designed to support staff development and progression. Currently, the centres support: telemarketing reps transitioning to sales roles; inside sales reps transitioning to field sales roles; and individual contributors transitioning to manager positions.

“Talent recruitment, development and retention are the cornerstones of the Talent Development Centres. We have a rigorous process in terms of how we attract new hires, develop and retain talent,” says Milano.

Candidates are assessed in multiple ways, for example, education, commitment to previous employers, relevant IT/sales/industry experience and attitude/leadership.

“We ask ourselves if the candidate has what it takes to progress his/her career within Oracle and whether or not the exiting Oracle Direct employees would be proud to have him/her as a new colleague,” he explains.

The work of the Oracle Direct Talent Development Centres

The Oracle Direct Talent Development Centres devote significant effort to supporting the progression of candidates through skills enhancements and development, coaching, mentoring and training.

“We strongly encourage each individual to own and actively manage their own personal development plan, which is reviewed each quarter with their line manager,” Milano notes.

Oracle actively supports job rotation across all lines of business and across regions and encourages people to work on projects outside their core roles to ensure they have diversity and the opportunity to extend their scope of responsibility and skills.

The organisation drives a culture of talent management at a management level through regular Talent Review Board meetings, helping those at the top to put the right resources and plan in place to support and nurture talent.

One of the ways Oracle retains talent is through salary progression.

“In some instances, professionals at Oracle Direct can see total earnings double or triple within their first five years, while they move from entry-level positions to field roles or management roles,” says Milano.

He says Oracle is actively hiring across all skill sets and has a substantial growth plan to continue investing in people.

“The skills range from sales to finance, business development, engineering and other support functions, with sales being the predominant one. And there are many exciting areas in which people can work, such as cloud computing, super-fast hardware products like Exadata, and mobile technologies.

“We believe the greatest skill a candidate can bring is ability, positive attitude and a willingness to learn – with this foundation we can support them on any skills gap they may have.”

Milano says Ireland has a rich pool of local and international talent and it’s a “great location with some of the best of breed IT companies located here”.

“IT companies have plans to significantly staff up their teams in the coming months. Oracle is among them. That is why we offer a more differentiated journey to build a well-established and structured career development path where Oracle and the candidate jointly invest to progress the individual’s career.”

Oracle employs 104,500 people globally, including 30,000 developers working full-time on Oracle products.

Change in strategies for managing talent

More than half (59pc) of Irish companies are not using benchmarking metrics of any kind to assess the value their people bring to the organisation, but 19pc say they plan to in the future, a survey released by PwC has revealed.

The HR Transformation: Cost or Investment? survey carried out in February of this year aims to identify the changing role of the human resources (HR) function within Irish organisations.

The survey revealed that the most important HR priority by far over the next 12 months, indicated by 57pc of the respondents, is the reorganisation of business processes to better meet customer needs and reduce costs. This was followed by ensuring the availability of appropriate talent and skills (38pc) and transforming the existing HR function (33pc).

Mark Carter, HR services partner, PwC, said: “The survey findings for Ireland are consistent with the PwC 2011 Global CEO Survey finding that an overwhelming majority (83pc) of global CEOs are planning to make ‘some’ or a ‘major’ change to their strategies for managing talent.”

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