Attracting The Right Employees For Your Organization

We had a chat with Jakob Wolter when we interviewed him about attracting the right talent in big companies as well as the role of technology in the recruitment process. Jakob emphasises how important it is to provide employees with flexible working hours and places. Otherwise, he believes one will miss out on the best talents. Continue scrolling to learn more about recruitment within Novo Nordisk.
You have been at Novo Nordisk for a long time. What have been the primary factors for you wanting to stay? 

Actually, I have never had a full time job in any other company – crazy as it sounds. Novo Nordisk is special in several ways. First of all the work has meaning. We are not producing plastic containers or rubber boots, we are producing life saving medicine and that makes a big difference for me. Every time a study reveals great results or we launch a new product I feel proud to be a part of Novo Nordisk. Secondly, its probably one of the best run organizations in Denmark with a strong growth outlook and ambitions to be the best at whatever they venture into. That also makes it a lot of fun.

When working in a big company what are the most important factors in the recruitment process? 

Everything is important – and even more so when you are a big company, because any fault in the process will get replicated so many times. Especially Technology becomes crucial to get right as the volume grows because both annoyances and efficiencies gets duplicated many many times. That said, the most important part is still the people in the team. I see my team as the guardians of what we call “The NN Way” – our culture and way of doing things. Over a period of just 5 years we recruit more than 10000 people for Denmark alone – which is more than 60% of the employees we have in Denmark. If we hire the wrong people Novo Nordisk will truly suffer. I need a team that truly understands that mandate and cares about getting it right – and luckily I believe I do have that.

I see my team as the guardians of what we call “The NN Way” – our culture and way of doing things.

How do you ensure that you attract the right talent for your organization?

We are in a very special situation in Novo Nordisk Denmark. Our brand is super strong – especially within life science. For the vast majority of roles we simply post the job and that attracts a strong field of candidates. We are, however, seeing a shift towards more niche profiles being needed by the business and that definitely challenges that model. Therefore we will be ramping up our ability to proactively approach passive candidates and spending more resources to advertise on local channels when we need to attract candidates from markets outside Denmark. Because as world famous we may be in Denmark – we are largely unknown in the rest of the world.
 

Because as world famous we may be in Denmark – we are largely unknown in the rest of the world.

And how can HR adapt to increased demands from employees when attracting talent? 

Flexible working is here to stay. Covid-19 showed us that employees can work from anywhere and still be productive. I am certain that will be a demand from future employees and HR needs to ensure that the company provides solutions to accommodate that need. If not – we will miss out on the best talents.  

A strong Employer Brand has its employees at the heart of all communication.

 In relation to the above how can technology generally help improve the recruitment process? 

Technology will be absolutely key the coming years in Talent Acquisition. I believe that the biggest disruption will come in the process around identifying candidates with the right skills and motivation for a position. This will be automated very soon, which will severely challenge the search agency business models but also in-house functions like mine. Maybe we can dispense of the CV and the cover letter soon? Maybe we can start focusing even more on getting the culture match right instead of worrying about candidate name generation?

I also see great potential in chat-bots for repeat volume roles – potentially handling everything up to the actual interviewing and selection, and finally I believe that there is great potential in tools that can assist the workforce planning processes that take place around the organizations. In general workforce planning is not done well, and it is usually because of lack of data insights and scenario forecasting.

Jakob Wolter is Director of Talent Acquisition Denmark at Novo Nordisk.  Here, he is responsible for recruitment activities across Novo Nordisk Denmark.

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