Experts estimate that the United States may soon have a personnel deficit of 20 million. For Southwire to attract and retain employees and develop leaders to continue our prominent role in the market, we must leverage technology, give employees experiences they would not receive elsewhere and help employees connect to our culture.
Southwire’s current recruiting process seeks to strengthen our talent acquisition and track the status of recruits through weekly reporting. These formal programs provide a consistent recruiting platform throughout Southwire. We now process professional openings in a consistent, structured manner, supported by a recruiting and applicant tracking system that follows applications and key metrics such as:
- Time to hire
- Candidate diversity
- Total cost of recruitment for open positions
- External offers accepted versus rejected
- The number of positions filled internally versus externally
We also track turnover rates and conduct exit interviews to determine the reasons employees leave and the consequent cost of employee turnover for the organization.
Leveraging technology for professional recruiting became a key objective in 2015. In 2016, Southwire implemented its Human Capital Management system, which includes recruiting and applicant tracking software. In the future, social media recruitment and branding campaigns will become recruiting platforms for attracting candidates to Southwire.
Southwire continued to enhance our college recruiting and college relations programs in 2016. Southwire Professional Staffing continued its participation in the Georgia Association of College and Employers (GACE). Additionally, college-recruiting activities continued at Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Auburn University, Purdue University, University of West Georgia, Mercer University, Mississippi State University, University of Georgia, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Clemson University, Georgia State University, University of Alabama and the University of Mississippi.
Southwire enhanced and continued to grow the Engineering Co-op program, which has been implemented in the Construction Systems & Solutions Group and Corporate Logistics group. The program expanded from six co-op students to 25. Our Corporate Accounting and Finance department continued the Finance Rotational Program to recruit entry-level graduating students. In 2016, our Human Resources department launched a rotational program to build its pool of potential Human Resources Managers.
Partnerships previously developed with Georgia Tech’s Office of Minority Educational Development (OMED), Auburn University’s 100 Women Strong, North Carolina A&T State University’s Engineering School and the University of West Georgia (where we sponsor the Southwire Sustainable Business Honors Program) continue to strengthen Southwire’s branding and community relations in a mutually beneficial manner. For example, some Southwire Sustainable Business Honors Program students intern at Southwire, providing us with an emerging talent pipeline.
Our other educational recruitment programs include the Southwire Engineering Academy and the 12 for Life® program. Southwire actively works with students in these programs to increase their familiarity with a variety of working environments, while affording Southwire opportunities to train and develop a potential source of future leaders and technical ability ready for immediate professional assignments with limited on-the-job training after graduation. To learn more about these two programs, visit our Communities page.
As part of our overall talent management programs, we enhanced our talent acquisition management and development through our new Human Capital Management partnership with SAP SuccessFactors.
As Baby Boomers leave the workforce, both Generation X and Millennials will need to take leadership positions—Millennials at a younger age than previous generations of leaders. In the past, leaders spent time learning on the job; in the future, employees will need to learn more quickly before taking leadership roles.
External research indicates that engaging in coaching conversations and developing corrective actions are more effective than ratings systems. Building from our previous implementation of Performance Acceleration, a framework for informal and formal feedback between managers and employees, we continued to train managers in this way. Additionally, we are now tracking objectives and performance coaching conversations in SuccessFactors.
The Coaching Guide acts as a catalyst to the Performance Acceleration process by helping employees better understand their personal strengths and gaps to close. The process focuses on the Essences of Southwire—leadership skills and attributes unique to the Southwire culture—and articulates the specific implications these leadership traits have for fostering our culture and driving high performance. We also developed a performance guide for managers that illuminates how certain behaviors, competencies, and creating a “line of sight” for employees to connect to Southwire’s vision and strategy contribute to our company’s success. As part of the rollout, Southwire completed training across the organization.
Executive Leadership Assessments
In 2014, we administered executive leadership assessments that included personalized growth plans to one-third of the executive leadership team. In 2015, we assessed an additional third of the executive leadership team, but we put this program on hold in 2015 while we launched our Performance Acceleration program. In 2016, we resumed our executive leadership assessments and will complete them in 2017.
Southwire Leadership Academy
Our leadership academy augments and develops leadership traits, enhances succession management planning and grooms individuals through a production management approach. Southwire aspires to graduate 150 senior leaders by the end of 2018. To date, the program has 96 graduates.
The body of work surrounding emotional intelligence suggests that it accounts for approximately two-thirds of a person’s success in a leadership role. To assess and build the emotional intelligence of Southwire’s future leaders, our Leadership Academy includes RocheMartin’s Emotional Capital Assessment. To build these key competencies, the weeklong academy includes group exercises to build participants’ awareness and acceptance. After the event, Southwire provides one-on-one coaching to participants to help them learn their emotional intelligence strengths and opportunities for development as they grow in their leadership competencies.
Taking place approximately six months after the week-long Southwire Leadership Academy, the Alumni Experience is designed to immerse Southwire’s future leaders in a “Day in the Life of the CEO.” Using real examples of a CEO’s life and the challenges of running a business with competing and sometimes conflicting priorities, attendees gain an understanding of what it means to lead an organization with the size and complexity of Southwire. The program emphasizes Southwire’s distinguishing characteristics as an organization: driving for results, creating a caring culture and investing in the communities in which it operates. The Alumni Experience encapsulates building these traits as fundamental to the success of the organization’s leadership.
Southwire offers a series of professional skills development courses through our web-based learning management system (LMS). This system enables us to better track, trend and analyze utilization. In 2016, the LMS was upgraded as part of our implementation of SuccessFactors.
To train hourly employees for new opportunities, we analyzed various positions, created a list of required competencies and matched employees based on their skill set and role.
Leading in OPS Culture Graduates
Management Training Graduates
Leadership Academy Graduates
|In 2015, 21% of Southwire’s salaried managers participated in the voluntary performance acceleration program, falling short of our goal of 25 percent.||In 2016, 100% of our leaders participated in the performance acceleration program. This will continue to be rolled out to the organization through 2018.|