Bureau Veritas’ Helen Bradley on Why Everyone Can Be a Talent

Learn how a nearly two century-old company is empowering a new generation to drive growth

Few companies can say they have as much talent with expertise in as many areas as Bureau Veritas, which employs 70,000 people in 140 countries. So it’s no wonder that the firm’s human resources (HR) leadership has instituted a program to unlock the full potential of all that talent.

Founded in Belgium 191 years ago to inspect and certify ships, Bureau Veritas has since broadened its mission to include “building trust between client companies, public authorities, and consumers.” Today, the company serves an array of industries — including transportation, public infrastructure, food, energy, and financial services — and is pioneering the maintenance of rigorous standards for sustainability.

Like all rapidly expanding firms, getting and retaining the best talent is a top priority for Bureau Veritas. When it comes to millennials — who are 60 percent of the company’s workforce — that means providing a path to self-betterment and learning while on the job. In the U.S., professional development can be a powerful attraction for millennial talent. According to Deloitte, roughly 80 percent of millennials believe that on-the-job training or employer-provided professional development will help them “perform at their best.”*

Bureau Veritas is addressing this trend with a program they call “Everyone Can Be A Talent.” In the words of Helen Bradley, the company’s executive vice president for Group Human Resources, the program makes it possible for people “to feel that, every day they come, they learn, they grow, and they flourish.” The goal isn’t just making sure that employees master safety standards or the complex technical requirements needed to do their jobs. The ultimate goal, in Bradley’s words, is to create a learning culture, starting with improving the technology experiences of Bureau Veritas employees, especially millennials.

This is particularly important for a company with a large front-line workforce that spends a lot of time out of the office and working independently. They rely on the best tools of human experience management (HXM) to balance an entrepreneurial spirit, which includes a desire to learn about potential growth areas for the business, with a scrupulous adherence to the company’s standards. It is Bureau Veritas’ ability to invest in its employees that allows the company to meet this challenge head on.

But Bradley herself is only too aware of how tough it can be to make sure that professional development offerings are keeping pace with technology and the expectations of the workforce for a consumer-grade user experience.

In her first week, Bradley dropped the company’s mandatory safety training after just two minutes because the user experience was, in her words, “awkward.” As part of Everyone Can Be a Talent, the training content has been reworked and optimized for mobile. Since the program’s rollout, adoption for company learning is up, and with it, so is the company’s potential for growth.

HR Untold: Bureau Veritas

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Bureau Veritas is a recognized world leader in testing, inspection, and certification services (TIC).

Kirsten Allegri-Williams is chief marketing officer for SAP SuccessFactors.

*Source: 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey