Svitlana, you are the head of talent at Deutsche Telekom. What are your main responsibilities on this position?
My main responsibility is to unlock internal talents in Deutsche Telekom. I am overseeing talent management and future skilling. It’s all about uncovering an internal pool of people whom the company can leverage for critical positions, roles and projects of the future.
When you hear the word teams, what is your first thought?
Two words that come to my mind: energy and diversity. Energy is what people create when they come for a purpose to deliver value. Diveristy is a combination of different strengths, backgrounds, ideas, opinions that helps to create a better and stronger energy to achieve the required purpose.
How do you recognize the talented one within the team?
All of us have own and unique talents and strengths, which we develop. The first questions to ask „talent for what“„what are my strengths?“ What makes me tick? Drive? What puts me in a flow and gives me energy? Do I have my energy in leading people and creating diverse, effective and productive teams? Does my motivation lie in data science, or in agility? Hence, the first fundamental is this self-awareness.
The other important elements are your ability, attitude and aspirations. Ability is how you master your strengths and levels of complexity you handle; attitude is your growth mindset, engagement with the team and company you work for, your willingness to multiply your knowledge; aspirations – your personal drive for more.
In Deutsche Telekom, we have many teams with different purposes. In talent scouting, we start with „business backwards“ work: clarity of what roles are in demand for DT today and tomorrow. Then, we are scouting for future experts and leaders, change makers and pace setters for these roles. We do that by engaging with the leadership teams though talent reviews, but also by self nominations. If you have the ability, right attitude and aspirations, you can raise your voice and self-apply. You will go through the professional assessment, an interview and potentially invited to a global Talent HUB. The Talent HUB serves for us a strong internal sourcing tool.
I had the opportunity to hear DT podcast, episode that touched upon talent specifically, but could you elaborate a bit more on this podcast? What is its purpose?
The idea of the Human Centric Podcast is to share with others our journey of re-wiring ourselves. As you know, we believe that life is for sharing. In this podcast we talk about human centric aspects of corporate life and explore how they change as we move to the 4th industrial revolution. We stop for a moment and go deeper into the words we hear so often, e.g. talent, passion, strategy, leadership, culutre. I think it’s a very brave move of Deutsche Telekom to be a bit vulnerable, and to open up and say, we are on the journey, we are trying to rediscover human centricity.
Working with talents in the right way is crucial for keeping them more engaged and connected to the company. How does Deutsche Telekom work with these talents?
Engagement is something very much personal. Your engagement comes if you’re in the flow, if you see the purpose of your work, and you see why you are waking up every single day, do your best, make an impact. Deutsche Telekom talent management starts right there. We are looking for people who are good at different things and enjoy the continuous mastery of the skills. How do we work with them? We have many different practices as we are a large orgnaization. Globally, we just start with the new approach that i describe here. It has three HOWs. First, creating a community of like minded people: connecting these people across functions and countries. People learn from people. Second, future oriented development, of course. What are the skills all of us need to master for the future? Is data, software and digital skills only for experts or something all of us need to master? We believe in the latter. Third, creating a supply-demand marketplace: connecting people to jobs through an open platform. Similar to what you see in Uber or AirBnb. Breaking the barriers of silos, connect people directly to the opportunities such as roles, projects, gigs inside the company. This creates a model where talents collaborate, co-create and actually take the gigs they want to have for the future and find new impactful jobs. All of it together, unlocks a very different kind of potential inside the organization.
For the very end of this interview, is there something we haven’t asked, but you consider important and would like to stress?
I would like to invite professionals, experts and managers with whom it resonates to follow our Human Centric Podcast, to connect with us and have a discussion about what is happening in your company, what are your talent practices. We would be happy to share and learn, and thus enrich and facilitate the evolution of human centric practices.