"We are dedicated to supporting every employee in their career development plan"
With its 20,000 employees, Arkema around the world calls upon highly skilled teams in terms of technical expertise, professionalism and performance. To sustain this collective energy, the Group relies on maximizing talent.
Interview with Dominique Massoni, the Group’s Human Resources Development and Internal Communication Vice President.
What is Arkema’s hiring policy?
Every year we recruit some 1,700 employees around the world, including around 400 in France, at both junior and experienced level, looking for demanding and stimulating responsibilities. Talent alone matters: the Group leverages profiles, regardless of age, sex or origin, that are operational and able to carry a forward-looking vision to build the future. New recruits are often surprised by the degree of autonomy they enjoy within our structure, which gives priority to action. Our professional practices are based on Arkema’s fundamental values: simplicity, accountability, performance and solidarity.
"Talent alone matters"
R&D, manufacturing, process, logistics, marketing, finance and human resources: with over 200 professional streams, there are plenty of points of entry into the Group. In France for example, Arkema offers young PhD researchers the possibility of preparing their theses in a number of fields, including polymer chemistry, chemical engineering and human sciences, through Conventions industrielles de formation par la recherche (Cifre) [Industrial agreements for training through research] as well as partnerships with higher education establishments.
What career development prospects do you offer your employees?
Mobility between business units or between subsidiaries, international assignments, project startups within or outside France, opening of sites…, opportunities for advancement are available to all of the Group’s talents! For example, we currently have a major project entailing the construction of a plant in South-East Asia, mobilizing a large number of expert competences around the world and offering great challenges to our teams.
Arkema practices a proactive internal promotion policy in every profession or activity and at every level of responsibility. We strive to help our employees progress up the chain of management as well as in expert fields: this represents one of the key vectors of our career management policy. The Group’s HR function assists every employee in their desire for advancement and the shaping of their career path. We have created a Talent Manager function in Europe, Asia and the United States, the idea being to nurture talent in every country in which we operate by offering positions of responsibility, locally or worldwide.
Helping employees advance in their careers implies sharing career development objectives with them based on their own professional interests. Accordingly, the Human Resources Division now uses a development tool based on a principle of self-appraisal and regular interviews. It helps formalize development plans based on training and career stages, in order to enhance and complement skills.
How do you encourage talent in women?
Historically, the chemical industry has been a highly male-oriented sector. However, for a number of years now we have endeavored to change the situation by hiring female talent, including in highly operational job functions in the plants for production or process management posts.
"Counteract the risk of the ‘glass ceiling’"
Women all have their place at Arkema, which is in fact the message we are conveying in the latest employer brand campaign we have just launched! 35% of managers at Arkema are currently women. And women account for 21% of the senior management against 18% two years ago. In order to counteract the risk of the ‘glass ceiling’ and support the advancement of its female employees, Arkema has actually set up a mentoring program. Both male and female volunteer ‘sponsors’, from senior management teams, are trained to tutor their female mentorees in developing their careers.
Do you have programs improving the quality of life at work?
For a number of years now Arkema has been implementing a proactive prevention policy targeting occupational stress and psychosocial risks in the broad sense, with the intention of emphasizing quality of life at work.
Both managers and employees are trained in this area, and occupational physicians are mobilized to assist them. A trailblazer in this area, the Group has set up a ‘Central Stress Observatory’, responsible for detecting ‘at-risk situations’ on the sites in France. Similar actions are in place in the United States. Every year, the ‘Digital Lifestyle or Netiquette Week’ reminds everyone in a fun and educational way of the balancing rules in terms of logging on and off. The quality of living together at work is at the heart of Arkema’s values, which is why we are so vigilant on these principles.