Growing talent so they don’t leave your business

Matt Kershaw of Domino’s Pizza to speak at National HR Summit in March

Growing talent so they don’t leave your business

In a market with more jobs than people to fill them, employers need to create environments where their best talent will grow and be fulfilled – or risk losing them.

The war with Russia and Ukraine, the aftermath of COVID-19 and now the inflation pinch mean hiring is much more difficult than it has been, and companies must work harder to attract and retain good people.

Matt Kershaw, Global Head of People Development at Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, said employees aren’t just looking for bonuses and other types of renumeration while the lack of supply continues.

“We know talented people will leave the business if they stop growing,” said Kershaw, who will be presenting at HRD Australia’s National HR Summit at Luna Park in Sydney in March.

“People will stay where they are because of money, but also because they feel like they belong and have a purpose.”

Empowering people

Giving workers a purpose entails discovering and providing career pathways that provide opportunities for promotion and for achieving their strategic goals.

“You get the best out of your talented people when you empower them with an environment in which they can do their best work. That’s in our DNA as a company,” he said.

“One of the worse things we could do is have someone who wants to move into corporate but is stuck in a store and we lose them – we need to identify them.”

Domino’s, which operates 900 stores globally and is the largest pizza company in Australia and New Zealand, encourages staff to reach out directly.

Potential leaders can also be identified through the company’s gaming app which encourages staff to build and develop skills.

“There are avatars and maps and worlds to navigate through,” Kershaw said. “We can map where our people are at using data and analytics as they progress through the app. We can see people getting stuck and can reach out to them, and we can also see people with a real appetite for growth.”

Kershaw said it is important for businesses to provide career pathways for workers at an early stage so they are aware of where they could potentially go.

“Our big project is the ‘Path to Excellence,’” he said. “It’s a framework that takes someone from day one on the job to their next pathways.”

With a recruitment policy of “grow from within,” a relatively young person working in a store at the ASX-100 listed company could choose to run a franchise, move into the operations team supporting stores and managers, or transition into corporate programs such as IT and marketing within head office.

“The task for us is how we move talented people into leadership programs, equipping future leaders,” he said. “Leaders who have worked in our stores bring a great dynamic to the business. Today’s delivery drivers and pizza makers are exposed to that and that sparks a desire in them to be leaders.”

Kershaw said traditional leaders who had been part of the Baby Boomer generation were often leaving jobs, paving the way for a new generation of employees driving changes.

“We are in such a fast-paced changing employment landscape — I am looking at hiring through a different lens.”

Adidas’s director of talent acquisition, Mick Bradfield, will also be a speaker at HRD’s National HR Summit , where he will share his views on recruitment success.

Maximizing skill sets

Aside from core competencies, Kershaw looks for soft skills, which he said could really be hard skills.

“Are these people curious? Are they risk taking? Are they seeking innovation? Do they have high emotional intelligence, and can they hold their own in interesting conversations?”

The company talks to employees about their ideal roles and how it can go about crafting those.

“We don’t necessarily build conventional boxes for people’s careers. Rather than fit people into a box, it’s about how we create roles that maximise skill sets.”

When looking at how recruitment and people management will change in the future, Kershaw said the company doesn’t fret about the unknown.

“Our theory is rather than try and predict what we don’t know about the future, let’s focus on what we do know will stay constant in the next five years and focus on that. We know talented people will leave the business if they stop growing. We know mobile technology will continue to dominate HR processes, like learning and managing rosters in stores. We know people will expect the recruitment process to have less friction and investment in artificial intelligence will continue. And how do we centre our strategy around those things?”

Kershaw will expand on these strategies when he presents the Domino’s case study at HRD’s National HR Summit at Luna Park in Sydney in March.

He will look at:

  • Redesigning career pathways with opportunities for promotion and leadership tracks 
  • Coaching leaders to develop their own leadership styles 
  • Instilling company values to engage and inspire employees with an authentic purpose  

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