british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2010 - Attracting, developing and retaining the right people

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Sustainability Report 2010

Attracting peopleIn attracting, developing and retaining talented individuals, we have the opportunity to build a winning organisation. However, some people do not want to work for a tobacco company, so recruiting outstanding candidates can be more challenging for us. Having a strong and clearly differentiated reputation as an employer is therefore critical to our long-term business sustainability.

We aim for our benefits to be in line with the upper quartile of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies and we track employee satisfaction. This includes our biennial employee opinion survey and monitoring of gender diversity and our talent pipeline.

Recruitment and induction

As part of our current focus on getting the basics right, we are enhancing our approaches to recruitment and induction.

In 2010, we completed the roll-out of our employer proposition in all but one market, where we are expecting full alignment by end 2011. Based on the experiences of existing employees, this describes British American Tobacco in a compelling way to potential employees. We hope this will help to address the negative perception of our industry.

We also developed new standards to help ensure that interviewers have the capabilities to successfully assess candidates.

As well as rolling out a Group-wide programme for new joiners that includes a standard 90-day induction plan, we mandated exit interviews for any regrettable losses. Although these are not high, we hope that by better understanding their reasons for leaving, we will be able to further improve our retention of key talented employees.

Learning and development

We have carried out a review of our learning and development programme for managers, including detailed analysis of employees’ learning needs.

As a result of the review, we are developing a global learning management system that gives our regions and functions a clearer view of the learning and capability gaps in their operations. By identifying and addressing these gaps, they can better meet current and future business needs.

Succession management

It is our long-term aim to have succession plans in place for every senior role with at least one local successor ready in the short term and two local successors identified for long term development. We also have an aspiration for a 70:30 ratio of local to expatriate senior managers in each business unit.

Succession plans for key roles remain stretched mainly as a result of reorganisations over recent years. However, we were successful in redeploying talented employees during these reorganisations and filled many key roles with internal candidates.

See the succession management data charts.


We are committed to providing equal opportunities to each prospective and current employee. Our Group Employment Principles state that we will not discriminate in hiring, promotion or retirement decisions on the grounds of race, colour, gender, age, social class, religion, smoking habits, sexual orientation, politics or disability. Rather, we match the requirements of the job to the ability and potential of the individual.

We continue to support the career development of our talented female managers, with a view to increasing the proportion of women in senior management positions. This includes tracking development plans for our senior women, assigning mentors and encouraging the recruitment consultancies we use to draw up gender-balanced shortlists of candidates when we recruit externally. Metrics for women in senior roles are tracked at our Management Board Talent Review meetings.

While we recognise that it will take time, there has been a small increase in the Group figures – see below – and we have made good progress in some markets including Brazil, Nigeria and South Africa. You can view our markets’ performance in this area and for other key measures in their balanced scorecards.

Percentage by level200820092010
Management trainees48%48%48%
Management grade 3433%33%35%
Management grade 3531%32%32%
Management grade 3626%28%29%
Management grade 3722%23%24%
Management grade 3812%13%15%
Management grade 3911%9%8%
Management grade 403%4%5%
Management Board0%0%0%
Non-Executive Directors38%38%33%

At 31 December 2010, the Management Board had 13 members and the Board of British American Tobacco p.l.c. had 13 members, four Executive Directors and nine Non-Executive Directors, including the Chairman. 


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

We will complete the development of our global learning management system and implement it across the Group. We will also continue to support our employees’ development.