Article: Employer branding for talent management is evergreen: Sharyn Jones

Employee Engagement

Employer branding for talent management is evergreen: Sharyn Jones

For effective talent management, HR strategies should be focused on enhancing employee experience, hiring diverse talent, adapting learning parameters, and performance feedback, suggested Sharyn Jones, Global Head of Talent Management at BNY Mellon.
Employer branding for talent management is evergreen: Sharyn Jones

Navigating the changing workforce landscape, shaped by the gig economy and remote work culture, poses a unique set of challenges for HR professionals. In a candid conversation with People Matters, Sharyn Jones, Global Head of Talent Management at BNY Mellon, sheds light on the significance of employer branding, talent management strategies, and crafting learning approaches spanning generations from Gen X to Gen Alpha. Sharyn provides a glimpse into the evolving HR landscape and how BNY Mellon stays ahead in enhancing employee experience and engagement.

Here are the edited excerpts:

How is the concept of employer branding evolving globally in recent years? 

Employer branding is evergreen, it’s always evolving to attract and retain talent. Due to the global pandemic and the increasing number of Gen Alpha talent entering the global workforce, employers are listening and adapting their talent marketing approaches to fit expectations for today and the future. From creating more value-add and insightful storytelling content, designing more inclusive and equitable candidate experiences, to collecting data and repositioning employer value propositions, shifts are taking place to compete for top talent. Employers are taking note of what talent is asking for and expecting out of the candidate to employee lifecycle. There has been a rise in employee advocacy efforts to encourage employees to share their personal, employee experiences across social media. At BNY Mellon, we are focused on adopting high-touch, candidate experiences with an emphasis on employer value proposition (EVP) alignment. With the Indian market experiencing as high as 57% offer dropout rates across roles and industries, it’s more important than ever to increase alignment of our culture and values prior to the start date. 

How is BNY Mellon effectively adapting its learning parameters to bridge the generational gap from Gen X to Gen Alpha?

Adapting our learning parameters based on trends and data can be seen across our candidate-to-employee lifecycle. This includes the use of talent attraction tactics in employee learning and development approaches. 

In terms of talent attraction, a study found that nearly half of Gen Alpha and Millennials with work experience have applied to jobs they found via social media. With younger generations of talent spending a higher amount of time across social platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and the like, we’ve increased our targeted social media presence across our India market to increase brand awareness and engagement with the use of source-coded, job postings to report them on the return-on-investment applicant and hire data. For onboarded talent, over the past few years, we have used digital innovations to bridge the gap across multiple generations of talent. At BNY Mellon, we focus on the pivotal first years that someone comes into the firm through the required foundational learning experiences. For early career talent (Gen Alpha), we ensure they get off the ground and are set up for success by gaining both technical expertise and power skills in leadership, communication, agility, change, etc.

How have shifting workforce dynamics, such as the rise of the gig economy and remote work, impacted global and regional approaches to talent attraction and retention? 

Over the past few years, the gig economy, where we hire contractors and freelancers and do remote work, has helped us provide both services to our clients and retain talent in our firm. The gig economy allows our teams to work in a more agile way through cross-collaboration, while simultaneously growing new skills. As we have shifted back to being in the office, we have found that our teams want to collaborate and interact in person, hybrid, and virtually across regions and globally - and we do it well. 

How does BNY Mellon prioritise employee well-being and foster a healthy work-life balance within the organisation?

At BNY Mellon, our programmes are designed to support our employees and meet them in each of their life moments, whether it is related to physical, mental, or financial well-being. We have built an ecosystem of well-being resources and support to help balance the demands of a career and family, e.g., confidential 1:1 mental health support with the employee assistance program (EAP), improved personal resilience through tools, fitness apps and digital health coaching, health screenings, financial wellbeing seminars and counselling, 16 weeks of parental leave, two weeks of caregiver leave, etc., as well as many in-person and online training supports. Globally, we also have trained and certified mental health champions across all regions and businesses to be an additional layer of support for our employees.

What initiatives or programmes does BNY Mellon have in place to attract and retain top talent in a highly competitive financial industry?

BNY Mellon has continued to attract top talent across Chennai and Pune by utilising emerging technologies to help attract the right talent across regions in India, despite the competitive market scenario. This also helped to provide a good candidate and stakeholder experience. Our focused, India-specific branding strategy on our culture and values has helped us enhance our visibility as one of the most sought-after employers, with a high rate of offer acceptance across the board, despite the increase in the volume of roles by 40% in 2023. 

  • Through our focused efforts on hiring diverse talent, we have been able to attract strong talent from underrepresented groups, and our gender diversity hiring is industry-leading and has consistently grown year after year in India.
  • Hiring managers and recruiters are trained in the nuances of interviewing diverse talent. We continue pursuing non-traditional candidates to expand our talent pipelines through partnerships by focusing on returners to work after career breaks and veteran populations. 

How does BNY Mellon stay ahead of evolving HR trends and best practices to ensure the organisation remains at the forefront of employee experience and engagement? 

BNY Mellon leverages data and best practices to ensure we remain at the forefront. This includes surveys to understand what our employees need.  Our performance management continues to evolve from cyclical tasks e.g., setting goals, mid-year check-ins, year-end reviews, etc. to an ongoing conversation anchored in growth & development. Implicit within this is increasing individual and organisational competence in coaching, giving & receiving feedback, and encouraging a growth mindset. We are applying a future-focused lens to how we think about the potential. The interesting thing about anchoring in skills is that once you establish the core set for an organisation, you can start to map out a natural growth progression e.g., early career to senior executive. This allows consistent language to frame development and performance conversations about one’s potential. 

BNY Mellon has a rich history spanning 239 years. How does the organisation balance its long-standing legacy with the need to innovate and stay agile in a rapidly changing financial landscape? 

BNY Mellon is a pioneer of modern capital markets. Through times of prosperity and uncertainty, our comprehensive platform helps our clients operate reliably and efficiently, allowing them to focus on their core businesses. We support the entire investment lifecycle, with products and services that enable our clients to create, hold, trade, manage, service and distribute investments. Our innovative platforms touch approximately 20% of the world’s investable assets allowing us to offer trusted expertise, value and insights not just to our financial clients, but to communities, businesses, governments and people everywhere.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Employer Branding, #HRCommunity

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