Senior boom at Crédit du Nord
Jean-Pierre Machard is Head of HR at the IS Department and related
support departments at Crédit du Nord. There are 800 employees within his scope,
including several IT specialists, analysts, computer architects, and systems
engineers. In the next few years, several employees from this particular
population will be retiring, and the company will be losing their skills. Here
is a look at the resulting issues at Crédit du Nord, and how it met them.
What are your current hiring issues?
: Like many others, we are facing the effects of the senior boom. At Crédit du
Nord, almost 50% of front and back office teams will retire by 2012. The issue
is not limited to simply replacing them, since there is the related challenged
of transferring their skills and knowledge. We therefore have to have a record
of this knowledge before we lose it.
2012 will be here before you know it. How are
you planning for the new team members?
This increased number of retirements forced both the IS and HR departments to
improve responsiveness in several areas, such as skills inventories and building
on previous knowledge. We have a key role to play in deciding how to perform
skills analyses and which know-how to record. At Crédit du Nord, a wide range of
actions were taken. We drafted job and skills maps, redesigned our processes to
remedy the loss of knowledge, and set up partnerships with graduate schools.
Moreover, a long-standing career committee regularly discusses these issues.
Please tell us more about knowledge transfer,
which is definitely the major issue of the senior boom.
This aspect of knowledge management is of the essence. We take care to catalogue
and record all of our processes so there is always a trace of them even after an
employee retires. We also "rotate" our teams to broaden their range of skills.
We plan for an employee's retirement by implementing a dual buddy/mentoring
system to pass on technical knowledge. People report being satisfied with the
results. People close to retirement enjoy passing on their knowledge; it can't
help but give a sense of self-worth. It is vital to maintain these skills, since
employees leaving our back-offices after a long career at the Group have develop
an irreplaceable set of skills. However, in future, our HR goal is to construct
more dynamic career paths with greater skills mobility. Knowledge transfer will
then become only an end-of-career issue.
What is your approach when selecting new IT
JPM : The IT sector is undeniably
tight for some job profiles. We are obviously not above these difficulties.
However, we work to ensure the loyalty of these new employees at the end of a
successful trial period. We have a strong policy on internships and trial
periods for permanent contracts. We think of them as the "engagement" before the
"marriage" between a new employee and the Group. Crédit du Nord is also highly
visible upstream, at university career fairs. We also develop partnerships with
our target schools at the local level, especially those in the two French
regions where our IT centres are located, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Ile-de-France.
Finally, for a few years we have taken advantage of the Internet. A considerable
amount of our recruitment now takes place on-line.