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‘Our employees are invited to be part of our legacy’

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It’s not a job offer – it’s an invitation

“You need to also look at the possibility that this brings as well, it creates a fantastic opportunity to celebrate on the efforts – reassess and reinvent ourselves. For instance, we no longer provide someone with a job offer – we present an invitation to join us in our journey. That just feels updated to us.”

It’s the idea that while the pandemic may have brought a slew of tough obstacles, it also acted as a catalyst for strategic change in organizations. Regarding recruitment, the advent of remote work opened up a sea of global talent – location no longer mattered when it came to job openings. This in turn led to investments in HR technology such as enhanced applicant tracking systems and productivity monitoring software – with data from CB Insights showing that VC funding for HR tech companies blew to $5.5 billion, up from $4.5 billion in 2020.

The change has been monumental – as have the overall benefits. At AkzoNobel, he tells HRD that by allowing employees and new hires to be a part of that journey, they tend to stick around.

“When you feel that impact, you feel you’re part of our sustainability efforts – you become part of that legacy,” he says. “It’s taking that opportunity to revamp how we see professionals. How do we see teams? How do we see successful companies? No matter the challenge – what matters is how we take it and convert that to a solution, an opportunity. That’s the key.”

‘Legacies take time’

Boasting around 35,000 employees across the globe, the Dutch multinational manufacturing giant is a tour de force. For Gouveia, sitting at the helm of the HR strategy for AkzoNobel, he really drives down into that notion of legacy. Or, more specifically, what legacy can do to the overarching employee experience.

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