Officeworks invests in career pathways and balanced leadership

officeworks-career-parthways_bannerOfficeworks believes diversity supports the development of an enhanced talent pipeline by enabling access to a broader pool of talent.

Officeworks believes a diverse culture that supports balanced hiring decisions and opportunities for career growth makes good business sense.  Diversity enables us to provide greater alignment to customer needs, make balanced business decisions, improve the creativity and innovation of leadership teams; and it supports the development of an enhanced talent pipeline by enabling access to a broader pool of talent.

Officeworks undertook a career aspirations survey as an opportunity to further understand team member engagement and to strengthen its strategic objective to build a stronger team. The survey asked team members for feedback on the development support required to progress a career at Officeworks. Overwhelmingly, team members responded with training and work experience as the key development needs.  This feedback prompted the development of three new leadership programs that were introduced in 2017 to develop an internal pipeline to accelerate progress towards balanced leadership. The programs included Store Business Manager In-Training, Coordinator In-Training and Emerging Leaders.

These new programs were designed using the 70/20/10 learning principles (70 per cent On-the-Job; 20 per cent Relationships and Networking; and 10 per cent Formal training and education), to encourage participant engagement through a variety of learning activities which included peer forums, on-the-job actions, on-the-job coaching, online learning and traditional classroom learning.

These programs have helped Officeworks identify early in career female leaders to develop and grow, whilst striving for balance in overall participation. Participant nominations and selections are managed in accordance with the principles of the Officeworks Hiring for Leadership process which aims to ensure that the strengths of both males and females are considered equally in the applicant journey.

Since introducing the career pathways programs, 58 per cent of program graduates have been promoted to new leadership positions, of which 52 per cent were female - compared to 46 per cent for the prior year. More internal promotions from the graduate pool are expected as new vacancies arise. 

The Officeworks Hiring for Leadership (HFL) process supports our diversity imperatives to hire the best person for the job based on technical, leadership and cultural imperatives. Officeworks has implemented a number of processes to ensure that the strengths of both men and women are considered throughout the applicant journey for both external and internal recruitment and promotion processes. Hiring panels are designed to mitigate for bias and to ensure the best hiring decision for Officeworks, interview guides shift the focus of the interview away from experience to leadership attributes, and an emphasis on balanced candidate pools ensures careful consideration of non-traditional candidates. Careful monitoring of candidate data throughout the application, shortlist, interview, preferred candidate, and offer stages of the process has shown that the HFL process has influenced more balanced selection outcomes, despite females being under-represented in applicant pools.

The career pathways programs, along with the Officeworks HFL process, have resulted in an increase in the number of females in leadership positions from 35.6 per cent as at October 2015 when the HFL initiative was introduced to 40.9 per cent as at 30 May 2018.

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