Oerlikon is committed to offering an attractive, engaging and safe workplace that facilitates every team member’s safety, well-being and personal growth. During 2020, the human resources priority was naturally implementing all necessary measures to protect employees from the pandemic.
With lockdowns implemented in varying degrees since the spring of 2020, a large number of office-based employees have been working from home. For employees who continued their work at sites, safe distancing measures and devices, as well as masks, were implemented (see Health & Safety section for more details).
In keeping with its digitalization strategy, Oerlikon had already been planning digital initiatives in areas such as recruitment and training. In the face of COVID-19-related workplace restrictions and reduced in-person activities, the company accelerated execution of those plans and successfully utilized digital and mobile technologies for its recruitment and training programs.
Oerlikon extended its engagement over online resources with pilots, tests and assessments of the value of recruitment sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed. The initial outreach brought noteworthy returns, particularly in the areas of online employer brand visibility and increased quality of applicants. In the 15-month time frame of selected pilots, candidate engagement as quantified by page visits increased by 65%. By the end of 2020, over 45% of all applications were sourced online, which enlarged the pool of future candidates.
These online tools also enable Oerlikon to accelerate the applicant review and hiring process and reduce recruitment costs. The company also successfully expedited the pilot launch of video interview software to support and transform existing hiring processes. Based on the software’s initial performance, the company plans to integrate it into the recruitment process permanently starting in 2021.
For learning and development, Oerlikon offered a combination of internal educational resources and learning options provided by platforms such as RedVector and Udemy. This made it possible for employees to participate in professional development on any device and regardless of their location. This, too, was a pilot program, and it will be expanded gradually during 2021 to meet targeted training needs.
The debut of Oerlikon’s global high-potential program Horizons brought excellent results. More than half of the inaugural class of 37 graduates, who completed the program in December 2019, were promoted or entrusted with additional responsibilities in 2020, and all received personal career-planning support. A second class of 25 began the 18-month program in September 2020.
Diversity remains a core value at Oerlikon, whose employees in Europe, the Americas and Asia represent 86 nationalities and are well balanced in terms of age and experience. The company makes every effort to encourage and optimize the presence of women at all levels of staff, notwithstanding the extent to which engineering is a male-dominated profession. The company’s welcoming environment for diverse candidates strengthens its talent pipeline, which has a direct impact on its capacity for sustainable growth.
Please see the Social Commitment chapter of Oerlikon’s Sustainability Report 2020 for additional details about these programs and more specifics about the company’s progress as an employer.