Talent management involves finding and retaining the right people at all levels of the organization and in a wide variety of functions, including equipment operators, laboratory analysts, office staff and production engineers. For Umicore the main drivers are linked to the Horizon 2020 growth ambitions in the sectors and regions where we are active.
The number of employees in fully consolidated companies increased to 10,420 at the end of 2018 from 9,769 in 2017, in line with Umicore’s growth trajectory and primarily reflecting new hires in China and Korea. The recruitment of new colleagues in these regions, which are characterized by significant competition for talent, shows that Umicore is an attractive employer with wide recognition of its pioneering role in sustainability and in offering solutions to societal problems. New colleagues were also recruited in Belgium for R&D and in the Hoboken plant.
Significant regional differences in turnover rates continue, with Asia Pacific reporting the highest turnover rate at 16.55%, and South America (2.20%) and Africa (1.54%) the lowest. The high turnover rate in Asia Pacific is not unique to Umicore and is due to the highly competitive and fluid labor market in the region. In recent years the voluntary leavers rate increased, with about 39% occurring during the first 6 months of employment. Both these factors are more pronounced in our newer Asia Pacific sites which have seen significant growth, further underlining the challenge in attracting and retaining the right people in these areas.
Significantly, Umicore can attract, develop and retain high caliber leaders by offering attractive and challenging leadership roles, supported by suitable development opportunities.
Umicore provides managers with a training curriculum aligned across all regions and promotes career development using an internal online vacancies tool, promoting greater internal mobility. Training at Umicore encompasses traditional classroom-type modules, e-learning, and inservice instruction.
In 2018, the average training hours per employee reached 43.10 hours, a slight decrease from 2017. Data show that managers’ training hours (37.59 hours) are lower than for other employees (42.94 hours).