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Human resources

le défi social de l'infogérence

In 2004, outsourcing contracts (not to be confused with offshore agreements), which often involve the transfer of employees from one national company to another, accounted for 5,363 new people joining Capgemini.

Capgemini’s success depends on the harmonious integration of these new colleagues into the organization. While individual hires and the corresponding onboarding process are critical, there is no more stringent test of a company’s human resources policy and execution than these massive and very rapid transfers of resources.

For people joining the Group through outsourcing contracts, the situation is not the easiest. To start with, the transfer was not their decision. In their company, they often enjoyed monopoly power... no other department was competing with them. They were used to a central role - as members of the information technology department for example. And their roles and working environment were normally well defined and stable. In a services company like Capgemini, the wind of competition is blowing heavily: clients want only the best, individual capabilities are benchmarked against those developed by many colleagues around the world and one moves from assignment to assignment. A workers’ council representative of a major client company put it so well: “In [our company], we’d been very much an integrated and vital part of the business and we were concerned [in Capgemini] we’d be periphery, or rather little IT fish in a big IT pond.”

Understand their aspirations

Facilitating these transfers, making them positive experiences, might well be the most critical success factor in the outsourcing business. They are necessary to serve the outsourcing client well - the first priority. But also, the new resources will become more valuable in the longer term only if their capabilities can be put at the disposal of other clients.

In Capgemini’s approach, the first step is to listen carefully. What are the aspirations of the new employees? What are their fears? What are their expectations? What is the perception of gain and loss when moving from the client’s organization to Capgemini? Whenever possible, bodies representing the people being transferred become the interpreters and formulators of their views. In the case of the ASPIRE project for the UK Inland Revenue, Capgemini engaged in detailed discussions with the employee representatives in the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, representing 60 percent of the workforce to be transferred through outsourcing.

Maximum consultation

The Group then explains its policies and practices, making sure that the proper representatives can get in touch with the relevant people and executives, and check things for themselves. Getting to know each other in very open exchanges is a good start for a collaborative relationship. In the case of ASPIRE, both sides concluded early on that a new agreement, between PCS and Capgemini, was a key to success. In four workshops, with an intensive use of collaborative approaches, a new and innovative agreement was created. To quote a member of the PCS National Executive: “What was good was the transparent way we started from a blank sheet of paper. [...] What we saw, through our discussions, was the creation of something we had built together.”

New careers

Capgemini makes the people transfer process the very center of its outsourcing policies through questionnaires, personal interviews, development plans, mentoring, open exchanges and intensive communication. This process is given top priority - in the conviction that the other steps, notably the technical ones, will be successfully mastered if a motivated team tackles them. After the short term worry and excitement of the move to a new world, the acid test comes later: how well do the new Capgemini colleagues flourish, building new careers in their new home? To judge from the many positions occupied in the Group by colleagues coming from outsourcing deals, things have worked out pretty well for them. As a colleague who joined the Group through an outsourcing deal in 1999 recently said: “For many of us Capgemini has offered more variety, both in terms of clients and technologies, than was available before.”

Capgemini’s most prized asset: its people

At the end of 2004, Capgemini numbered 59,324 employees worldwide. This total is made up of both young teams - 45 percent of the workforce is in the 2534 age bracket - and more experienced people, more than half of whom have been with the Group for at least five years. The average age of Group employees is 37, 75 percent of whom are men.

The services offered by Capgemini - Consulting, Technology, Outsourcing and Local Professional Services - call for people with strong qualifications. Managing intellectual capital and motivating the men and women who make up the workforce are factors critical to the Group’s success. The diversity of experience and the skill development needed to work in collaboration with colleagues from different disciplines form the basis of Capgemini’s approach to “Corporate Responsibility.” To meet these goals, the Group’s global Human Resources policies focus on:

  • The fundamentals which set a certain number of principles related to the kind of relationship the Group hopes to establish with its employees.
  • Customized career development based on competency models and yearly evaluations directed toward the employee’s personal career development plans
  • Training: Capgemini has established and invested heavily in an overall training policy which anticipates skill development requirements while, at the same time, meeting the career aspirations of its employees, and providing certification tracks for some professional communities - a pledge of high quality performance.
  • Internal communication is the main channel for deploying knowledge and information. Several initiatives, both at Group and regional level, are aimed at encouraging a regular and lively exchange.

Corporate Responsibility

To assure wider deployment of its Corporate Responsibility policy, Capgemini decided, in March 2004, to adhere to the “Global Compact,” launched in 1999 by the United Nations Secretary General. As a signatory, the Group is committed to supporting ten regulations dealing with human rights, respect for the environment, workers’ rights, and even a new regulation against corrupt business practices. In all of these areas, Capgemini has undertaken a number of initiatives that focus on issues of ethics and human dignity.

Also, to underscore its respect for environmentally responsible and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) business practices, Capgemini now actively promotes and offers sustainability services to its clients (through its “Becoming Sustainable” offering).