british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2009 - Attracting, developing and retaining the right people


Our reputation as an employer

Our employer proposition describes British American Tobacco as an employer to current and prospective employees. In 2009, we rolled out the proposition in selected countries. It was communicated internally first, building a sense of advocacy among employees. Some have become ambassadors, a part-time role involving representing British American Tobacco internally and externally at recruitment events.

Attracting, developing and retaining the right peopleWhile the current economic climate may be a factor, in our Asia-Pacific region, where the roll out is more advanced, the number of management trainee applications has increased significantly. For example, comparing the full-year figures for 2008 to the first six months of 2009, applications increased from 304 to 877 in Australia, from 488 to 880 in Pakistan and from 935 to 1,517 in Taiwan.

Recruitment and induction

The quality of our recruitment and induction has also been identified as an area for improvement if we are to continue recruiting and retaining the best hires and ensuring they perform well as early as possible.

During 2009, our Asia-Pacific region reviewed its processes, highlighting areas for improvement, such as a mismatch between expectations and actual job experience. A new process was developed for new joiners, including a standard 90-day induction plan. The effectiveness of the programme will be monitored and, along with global standards for recruitment, this approach will be adopted, subject to results, throughout the Group during 2010.

Global integration

We are experiencing a period of organisational change as the Group becomes a more globally integrated organisation. It is clear that as our business changes, what we need from our employees also changes. We see it as a priority to support our employees through reorganisations by helping them to understand the capabilities that will be required of them in the future and how their career paths can be shaped.

During 2009, we updated our leadership capabilities to reflect new commercial skills that are becoming increasingly important attributes in our people. The leadership capabilities are those core competences required by our employees to deliver business results and they are used to help evaluate skill gaps and plan career development.

In 2010, we will carry out a full review of our learning and development programme for managers at global, regional and local levels. The aim is to align the programme to current and future business needs and to ensure that learning opportunities are made accessible to as many employees as possible through the use of both face-to-face and online learning approaches.

We will support our employees in developing the capabilities needed in our future organisation by:

  • Developing a standardised, integrated approach to learning and development for leadership and management across international, regional and local programmes;
  • Increasing our use of online learning and using it in combination with face-to-face training to speed it up and ensure coverage throughout the organisation; and
  • Implementing a single online platform to deliver and track learning and make it more accessible to our employees.

Attracting, developing and retaining the right people: what’s next?

Our focus is on our recruitment capability and a key priority for 2010 will be building on our ability to recruit people with high potential. Another priority will be helping our employees understand the skills, knowledge and behaviour that will be required of them in our future business. We aim to support our employees’ learning and development and to ensure they can see how future career ambitions can be achieved.