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Executive Feature

'The Best People Choose Us & Stay With Us': Inside BPTW Winner Schneider Electric

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

December 18, 2019

Schneider Electric believes access to energy and digital is a basic human right, and it’s this mission that more than 137,000 employees in over 100 countries rallies behind and pushes forward. This year, the company increased its investment in employee feedback, benefits & perks, plus a focus on diversity which has led to its first win for the Best Place to Work (plus a 2019 Top CEOs win).

One current marketing manager wrote on Glassdoor, “Schneiders culture is great. Like many companies, they offer healthcare and other perks. But their culture is what makes a difference. They make a true effort to "care" about the employees, and are interested in making sure everyone has an opportunity to be promoted.”

998 20536970 EVP GMA US Landscape GreatPeople 1920x1080Schneider’s care and attention to its workforce have not only paid off when it comes to retaining amazing employees, but it’s also been invaluable for filling their thousands of open jobs. From Business Development to Sales to Technical Leads and Engineers, Schneider Electric is hiring around the globe in a variety of ways.

On the heels of their win for the Employes’ Choice Awards for the Best Places to Work, Glassdoor caught up with Schneider Electric's Chief Human Resources Officer, Olivier Blum, about their win, how they are creating an amazing workplace and what candidates can expect from applying to this top company. Here’s what they had to say.

Glassdoor: Congratulations on your win for being a Best Place to Work! What steps did your company take within the last year that may have led to this win?  

Olivier Blum: We believe that ‘great people make Schneider Electric a great company’. This is our People Vision. We are always committed to our central mission of being a diverse, inclusive and equitable company and our initiatives reflect this. A core Schneider Electric belief is that access to energy and digital is a basic human right—this belief extends to our talent philosophy as well. We seek to offer equal opportunities to everyone, everywhere, and we want our employees – no matter who they are or where in the world they live – to feel uniquely valued, and safe to contribute their best at work.

We made a fundamental shift in our organizational model. To offer the same chance of success irrespective of employees’ nationality or location, we created a multi-hub model and systematically relocated global jobs to these hubs across the world. So, instead of having one global headquarter, we now have three hubs: Paris, Boston and Hong Kong. As expected, not only has this model been helpful in attracting local talent, it has been instrumental in the expansion of our business beyond the traditional markets. Our 26 billion revenue is well balanced across geographies and our employees have strong confidence in the business strategy to lead the digital transformation of energy management and automation. We want to be the most local of the global companies, constantly innovating for our customers in Buildings, Data Centers, Industry and Infrastructure.

When it comes to a policy that we recently introduced, our Global Family Leave Policy is the first of its kind in our industry. Since its launch in 2018, the policy has covered more than 90% of our employees and will achieve 100% coverage in 2020. It is an important commitment from Schneider Electric to our people. It provides fully paid parental leave, family care and bereavement with minimum standards for all our employees across the globe. We have actively chosen to define “leave” and “family” in an inclusive way when designing this policy, recognizing that the definitions of family, life and work are changing every day.

Lastly, we also implemented a Flexibility @Work policy to foster better work-life integration and developed frameworks to help our employees manage their unique life and work.

The initiatives we have recently launched, and the ones we’re continuing to build upon, reflect our goal to be the best place to work, so the best people choose us and then stay with us.

Glassdoor: This award speaks volumes about the company but also signals to job seekers that this is an amazing place to work. Why should job seekers look to Schneider for their next career move?

Olivier Blum: I think the first reason is our meaningful purpose. At Schneider Electric, we empower all to make the most of their energy and resources. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. Our commitment to it extends across our technology, our value chain, our business model, and our culture.

Secondly, we continuously create an inclusive environment and welcome people from all walks of life. Inclusion is the best definition of our culture and differentiator.  A recent example of one of our external recognitions is The Financial Times naming us as one of the top 50 Diversity Leaders.

And we empower our people to do their best and to innovate, while living their unique life and work. Our unique balance of local empowerment and global integration allows our employees to have diversity of career and development opportunities in various businesses, domains and geographies.

The initiatives we have recently launched, and the ones we’re continuing to build upon, reflect our goal to be the best place to work, so the best people choose us and then stay with us.

Glassdoor: How is Schneider Electric looking at hiring in the new year? What roles or teams are you eager to hire for?

Olivier Blum: We employ more than 137,000 employees in over 100 countries. We seek great people in a wide range of roles from frontline commercial, digital, R&D, supply chain, plant management to marketing, sustainability and other corporate functions. Of highest focus right now are various digital and technical roles like software engineers, cybersecurity experts, field service engineers and commercial sales at the country level, to name a few.

At Schneider Electric, we believe that every employee is a talent. We are also working to transform how to find the right internal talent for the right position. We recently embarked on an exciting and transformative trial to create an internal talent marketplace: The Open Talent Market or OTM.

OTM is a disruptive technology acting as a one-stop-shop for career development leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to match the supply and demand of talent throughout Schneider Electric. It allows our employees to find what they are passionate about within the company: full time roles; part-time gigs and mentoring/learning opportunities.

It also supports our leaders in finding diverse talents faster, building the best teams, creating networks of expertise with greater diversity, and reducing attrition and turnover.

Glassdoor: A new decade is here, how is your company investing in company culture to attract and retain top talent?

Olivier Blum: We re-launched our People Vision in October 2018. It starts with our Employee Value Proposition as our promise to potential employees. And it has five core values and five leadership expectations to define our culture and the way we behave both collectively and individually.

12 months after the launch we asked employees from 10 countries to share feedback, with over 13,000 responses. We learned that while our employees know and believe in our People Vision, they do expect more visible signs from our leaders. As a matter of fact, they recommended to select, promote, recognize and reward people according to demonstrating behaviors aligned with our People Vision. This goes to show how our employees embraced this vision and made it their own, giving us a common language and of course strengthening our unique culture.

We regularly survey our teams to measure employee awareness and to gather and address their feedback. Our behaviors have been incorporated progressively in all our people rituals such as recruitment (behavioral interviewing), performance evaluation, recognition and promotion of leaders (based on our defined behaviors). Consistency is key and we must show that we do what we say. Ultimately, I believe that if we succeed to change in the way we all work together, our culture will be a unique business differentiator to win in the market place.

Glassdoor: How are you using Glassdoor to attract the types of candidates you’re looking for?  

Olivier Blum: We are in the middle of a business and cultural transformation and Schneider Electric must keep pace in order to stay ahead for our customers, employees and candidates. We all know that employee engagement has a financial impact, and HR is re-defining what new standards are in the workplace as an experience. Creating a compelling experience requires a deep understanding of employees’ and candidates’ expectations. Sites like Glassdoor help us to gain critical insights and make continuous improvements.

Secondly, it shows our transparency as a company and amplifies our story. Though we operate in over 100 countries, much of our work is business to business, so not everyone knows Schneider Electric. Sites like Glassdoor can broadcast what our employees are experiencing at Schneider Electric with the outside world, inviting candidates to understand our commitment to a meaningful purpose, inclusive and empowered values as well as our business successes.

Glassdoor: How do you screen candidates to ensure that they will be engaged and thrive within your culture?   

Olivier Blum: Like every other organization, we want people to join us who are going to be great at doing the job we’re recruiting for. But at Schneider, our purpose and our values are equally important too. They guide what we do as an organization and how we work together. So it’s just as important that someone should be aligned with what we are trying to achieve and what we expect of each other as we go about trying to achieve it together. To help people make the right hiring decisions, we employ a number of supporting tools, including Behaviour Interviews structured to look for examples of our values and assessment tools that provide insights into motivation. They ensure an engaging candidate experience and limit bias in our hiring decisions.

One of our values is about the importance of diversity and inclusion. We are able to achieve what we do because we bring a wide range of different backgrounds, life experiences and ways of thinking into our teams. So we are always looking for people who can add something different, and we give them the space to be their authentic selves. Careers paths in Schneider can be equally diverse, so we also try to look for what someone could become – what is likely to be their potential to develop and grow into new roles, including those that don’t even exist yet.

Glassdoor: Lastly, what hiring trends do you predict will really take hold in the new decade? 

Olivier Blum: Today’s world is marked by volatility, and jobs are changing. Talent scarcity, gig economy and multi-generations in the workplace are making companies rush for the future of work. It is no secret that trends like AI, machine learning and predictive models will strengthen and evolve in the field of talent acquisition. They may become a commodity, redefining the way decisions are taken as well as their accuracy.

But people should be always at the heart of any transformation, not just technologies. They cannot replicate the unique experience and interaction that people bring.
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