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Marcus Insights
Innovative Paper Manufacturing Company in Asia-Pacific: Attracting Young Talent


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Role: Senior Director of Talent Acquisition
Industry: Paper Manufacturing, Asia-Pacific

Situation: The paper manufacturing industry is often perceived as traditional and slow to change, but it is currently facing significant disruption due to digitalization and environmental concerns. Our company, a leader in the Asia-Pacific region, has a strong market presence and is renowned for its quality products. However, we struggle to attract young talent, who perceive the industry as lacking in innovation and sustainability practices. Internally, our organizational culture is resistant to change, with a hierarchical structure that impedes agility and innovation. We're considering strategic changes to our talent acquisition and development programs, focusing on promoting sustainability and innovation as core values. Additionally, we're looking to flatten our organizational structure to foster a more inclusive and dynamic workplace culture. The challenge of competing with more glamorous tech and finance sectors for top talent is daunting.

Question to Marcus:


What strategic changes to our talent acquisition and development programs could make us more attractive to young professionals, highlighting sustainability and innovation?


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Based on your specific organizational details captured above, Marcus recommends the following areas for evaluation (in roughly decreasing priority). If you need any further clarification or details on the specific frameworks and concepts described below, please contact us: support@flevy.com.

Employer Branding

Employer Branding is crucial in positioning your paper manufacturing company as a destination for young talent, especially in the Asia-Pacific region where the competition for such talent is stiff. To highlight sustainability and innovation, start by crafting a compelling narrative around your company's commitment to these values.

This includes showcasing real-world examples of innovation in your production processes or product line, and highlighting any sustainability initiatives or achievements, such as reduced carbon footprints or significant recycling efforts. Leveraging digital media platforms to tell these stories can greatly enhance visibility among younger demographics. Additionally, creating partnerships with educational institutions for research projects or sustainability programs can further cement your company's reputation as an innovative and environmentally conscious employer. In this narrative, emphasize how employees are empowered to contribute to these areas, making the roles more appealing to individuals looking to make a difference through their work.

Talent Management

Revamping your Talent Management strategy is essential in attracting, developing, and retaining young talent in the paper manufacturing industry. Begin by identifying skill gaps, particularly in areas that align with sustainability and innovation, and design targeted training programs to address these.

Implementing mentorship programs where experienced workers share knowledge with newer employees can foster a culture of continuous learning and collaboration, breaking down hierarchical barriers. Additionally, providing clear pathways for career progression can motivate employees to invest in their development within the company. Incorporating sustainability and innovation as Key Performance Indicators in employee evaluations can also reinforce their importance within the Corporate Culture. This approach not only prepares your workforce to meet the evolving demands of the industry but also attracts professionals who are eager to work in a learning-oriented environment.

Learn more about Corporate Culture Talent Management Key Performance Indicators

Organizational Culture

Changing the Organizational Culture to one that embraces change, innovation, and sustainability is critical. Start by engaging Leadership at all levels to champion these values and lead by example.

Encouraging open communication and collaboration across departments can break down silos and promote a more dynamic exchange of ideas. Implementing cross-functional teams to work on innovation or sustainability projects can also demonstrate the company's commitment to these areas. Recognizing and rewarding employees who contribute innovative ideas or make strides in sustainability efforts can further embed these values into the corporate culture. Creating forums for employees to voice ideas and concerns about the company’s direction in these areas can also promote a sense of ownership and engagement. Shifting towards a culture that is less hierarchical and more Agile will not only make your company more attractive to young talent but will also position it better to adapt to industry Disruptions.

Learn more about Agile Organizational Culture Disruption Leadership

Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic Workforce Planning is vital to ensure that your company has the right talent to navigate and lead in the changing landscape of the paper manufacturing industry. This involves forecasting future talent needs, especially in areas related to digitalization, sustainability, and innovation, and developing a plan to meet these needs.

This may include hiring for new skills, upskilling current employees, or restructuring teams to better align with strategic goals. Involving employees in these planning processes can provide valuable insights into potential gaps and opportunities within the workforce. Additionally, crafting flexible roles that allow employees to explore and develop in different areas of the business can attract individuals who are looking for dynamic and growth-oriented careers. By aligning workforce planning with the strategic direction towards sustainability and innovation, you can ensure that your company is not just reacting to industry changes but actively shaping its future.

Learn more about Strategic Planning

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion should be integral to your talent acquisition and development strategies, especially when attempting to attract young professionals to the paper manufacturing industry. A diverse workforce can foster innovation by bringing a wide range of perspectives and ideas to the table, which is crucial for Creativity and problem-solving.

Ensuring your hiring practices are inclusive and actively seeking candidates from a variety of backgrounds can enhance your company's appeal. Furthermore, creating an inclusive culture where all employees feel valued and able to contribute their best work is essential for retaining talent. This includes providing training on diversity and inclusion, implementing policies that support equality, and creating spaces for diverse voices to be heard and respected. Showcasing your commitment to diversity and inclusion in your employer branding can also make your company more attractive to young professionals who value social responsibility and inclusivity.

Learn more about Creativity Diversity

Change Management

Implementing Change Management effectively is key to navigating the shift towards a more innovative and sustainable business model while dealing with resistance within the organization. Start by clearly communicating the reasons for the change and the benefits it will bring to the company and its employees.

Engaging employees in the change process, perhaps through workshops or feedback sessions, can help to mitigate resistance by giving them a sense of ownership over the change. Providing training and resources to ease the transition can also alleviate fears and build confidence in the new direction. Recognizing and celebrating early wins in the process of change can build momentum and demonstrate the positive impact of these efforts. This approach can help to shift the organizational culture to one that is more adaptable and open to innovation and sustainability, making it more attractive to young talent.

Learn more about Change Management

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