Article: Engaging and supporting talent holistically is a strategic imperative: Bentley de Beyer, Goldman Sachs

Talent Management

Engaging and supporting talent holistically is a strategic imperative: Bentley de Beyer, Goldman Sachs

“We found that individuals who have regular performance conversations are ~5x more likely to feel like they have growth opportunities compared to their peers, says Bentley de Beyer, Global Head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs.
Engaging and supporting talent holistically is a strategic imperative: Bentley de Beyer, Goldman Sachs

Bentley de Beyer is Global Head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs. 

Mr. de Beyer first joined the firm in 1999 in the Investment Banking Division in the Sydney office. He rejoined Goldman Sachs in 2020 as a Partner in the Human Capital Management Division in the New York office.

He is a member of the Management Committee, Human Capital Management Executive Committee, Partnership Committee, Firmwide Enterprise Risk Committee and Global Inclusion and Diversity Committee.

Before rejoining Goldman Sachs, Mr. de Beyer worked in human resources at several multinational organisations across various industries, including Johnson & Johnson, where he served as head of human resources for the global supply chain. 

Prior to that, he held several leadership roles in human resources for Standard Chartered Bank’s private banking and consumer banking businesses, based in Singapore and India, and worked at Barclays Capital in Asia. Mr. de Beyer started his human resources career in executive compensation consulting at Mercer.

Mr. de Beyer serves on the Board of Directors for The Trevor Project, a nonprofit whose mission is to end suicide among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people.

In this exclusive interview with People Matters, Mr. de Beyer talks about what a successful people strategy encompasses today, tackling micromanagement and performance assessment in the hybrid reality and the hiring outlook for Goldman Sachs in 2022.

Here are excerpts of the interview.

There is a visible shift in power as employers attempt to elevate their EVPs and engage top talent. How do you see this shift impacting the future of work?

The current talent market is a powerful reminder of why it is so critical for companies to make ongoing investments in their employee value propositions (EVP). One way organisations can do that is by adopting an employee listening framework that helps leadership teams better understand employees’ experiences in the workplace and identify shifts in their expectations and preferences over time. 

Last year, we implemented a new approach to employee listening, “GS People Pulse” - a short, bi-annual firmwide survey that serves as an important channel for leadership to hear from our people more frequently, and identify and prioritise solutions to enhance our EVP. 

As one example, feedback from GS People Pulse has helped us launch several new initiatives, including new and enhanced benefits designed to further help our people to rest and recharge, and focus on their mental, physical, and financial health. Within the past year, we have announced expanded family care leave and bereavement leave, as well as enhanced vacation benefits, and introduced a new sabbatical benefit and changes to our retirement plan.  

Engaging and supporting talent holistically is a strategic imperative to remain a leader in a competitive and dynamic talent landscape. 

How is GS approaching 'people strategy' in the new world of work? What constitutes a successful ‘people strategy’ today?

In the same way that businesses evolve their strategies and operating models, organisations must also evolve their people strategies to deliver on business objectives.

A successful ‘people strategy’ should support the organisation’s long-term business strategy, deliver a compelling talent value proposition to employees and allow for flexibility to quickly pivot in response to changes in the external environment. 

At Goldman Sachs, HCM collaborated with leaders across our businesses to co-create our people strategy. We are focused on advancing the firm’s diversity, equity and inclusion agenda; enhancing our foundational people practices, such as performance management; engaging and retaining our talent; and providing differentiated benefits and wellness offerings that support our people and their families.   

Talent remains a fundamental driver of business success. As employers continue to navigate the great resignation, how can companies address the overheated talent market globally?

Organisations must broaden traditional recruiting channels, and offer prospective candidates a positive and transparent hiring and onboarding experience that is consistent with their external brand and culture.  

In addition, to compete in today’s talent market, organisations must also invest in engaging and retaining their current talent with increased growth and development opportunities. At Goldman Sachs, we are committed to providing our people with opportunities for growth, including via internal mobility. 

We are focused on enhancing our people’s experiences with internal mobility, by making it even easier for individuals to express their interest in opportunities across our businesses.  We are also providing new tools to help our people identify roles that best match their skill sets and long-term professional goals.  

What does the hiring outlook look like for GS in 2022? How is the prevalent demand for digital acceleration impacting skill needs at GS?

Goldman Sachs’ growth story in India has been phenomenal, with our footprint in the country spanning our Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad offices.  Each office has a unique identity and is growing. Thanks to the deep talent pool in India. 

With the Mumbai office driving our India business, our Bengaluru office is one of the fintech hubs for our global businesses, and our Hyderabad office - opened in 2021 - continues to grow as a global centre of excellence for consumer banking services and human capital management services. In 2021, we welcomed thousands of new colleagues in India, and our hiring momentum continues this year in support of the firm’s strategic priorities.

Advances in technology continue to have profound impacts on the workplace, and a technology-oriented skillset continues to be critical for many companies across industries.

Increasingly, technology expertise and related skills are also becoming important in many non-engineering roles across our firm. At Goldman Sachs, we expect to continue hiring talent with engineering skillsets not only for critical programming and coding roles, but also for a number of non-engineering roles across our businesses where our teams collaborate on innovative and creative solutions on behalf of the firm and our clients.  

The ongoing pivot to a hybrid reality of work calls for a shift from micromanagement to trust and revamping of performance assessment. How is GS tackling these two pieces in the EX puzzle?

The pandemic highlighted the importance of increased transparency in building trust between an organisation and its people. At the end of 2020, we rolled out an evolved approach to performance management called the “Three Conversations at GS”.   

This new approach supports our people in setting goals and enables our managers, as leaders, to take a more active coaching role with their teams by facilitating transparent discussions on progress and performance. Goal-setting drives a focus on outcomes and impact. Even the most elite athletes require coaching to bring out their best, and our people are no different. 

We found that individuals who have regular performance conversations are ~5x more likely to feel like they have growth opportunities compared to their peers. We continue to enhance the tools and resources for how we manage performance at the firm, including through the Three Conversations at GS, by encouraging our managers to serve as coaches, and by recognising our people’s contributions through our recognition program.

As you continue to serve on the board of The Trevor Project, based on your learnings, what would your advice be for business and talent leaders as they work towards building inclusive workspaces? What is needed from organisations to build a safe and level playing field for every individual?

We are committed to maintaining Goldman Sachs’ position as an employer of choice for diverse talent, and to ensuring that all of our people feel like they can be their authentic selves at work.

We value diverse perspectives and understand that in order to maintain a safe space for every individual, we must work together to foster trust and make sure every voice is heard by encouraging our teams to invite input and feedback.

As part of our data-driven approach, which includes the results of our employee listening efforts, we are working to better understand the experiences of our diverse populations and identify areas that require additional focus. This has allowed us to direct additional investment to our diversity initiatives and continue to leverage our Inclusion Networks effectively to bring our people together.    

While we have made steadfast progress towards our aspirational diversity and inclusion goals, we recognise we still have much work to do.

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Topics: Talent Management, #GreatPowerShift

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