Although the serious challenges facing society, such as the energy transition and digitalisation, are calling for more technically trained employees, there are huge shortages of well-trained technical personnel. Improving the attractiveness of the company on the labour market therefore remains a strategic policy priority at Unica.
Employee involvement and staff retention are important starting points. By offering personal attention and creating space for training and development as well as providing serious improvement programmes following feedback from employees, Unica is working to reinforce the already high level of loyalty among the workforce. Unica started as a family-owned business and many of the companies that have been acquired over the past few years share a similar background. Although the company has grown in size, the DNA of a family-owned business still remains a decisive factor at all the company’s locations in making Unica an attractive employer.
To help support further growth, once again in 2021, Unica was successful in the recruitment of new employees. Nonetheless, Unica recognises that on a labour market hallmarked by such extreme shortages, the recruitment team will have to continue to demonstrate dedication and creativity. To achieve sufficient growth in future, the recruitment model will be reassessed in 2022 to identify what is needed to continue to fulfil the severe demands on recruitment over the coming years. A newly developed ‘Careers’ website, due to be launched at the start of 2022, will be the first step in this direction. The application procedure and underlying systems have been simplified and made more efficient for both potential candidates and the management of Unica.
Corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion are further important elements in increasing the attractiveness of an employer and ensuring continued employee loyalty. One of the spearheads formulated by Unica in this respect is to reach out to and employ people distanced from the labour market, a broad target group that offers considerable potential for a number of positions. In 2021, the largest organisation component of Unica reached step 2 in the Performance Ladder Social Entrepreneurship (PSO). This achievement is further evidence that Unica embraces its social responsibility and is serious in its efforts to be an attractive employer for people distanced from the labour market.
As well as boosting the intake of people with a distance to the labour market, Unica also encourages lateral entry from other sectors. In recent years, Unica has taken part in a series of initiatives and has acquired valuable experience of how lateral entrants can contribute to fulfilling Unica’s recruitment needs and achieving its social ambitions. These successful lateral entry programmes are often regional initiatives, including the ‘Be An Engineer’ programme in Amsterdam, that led to a number of candidates joining Unica. Together with other stakeholders, Unica plans to make best practices more scalable over the coming years, and to extend them to other regions. Technological solutions may also open up the work to people not yet suitable given their current background.
The diversity platform Unique, that was launched at the end of 2020, took on real form in 2021 through a mentor programme and (digital) meetings for female talent within Unica. In line with other players from the sector, participation by women at Unica is on a similar level, but Unica has expressed the ambition to better reflect international business standards with a more balanced gender ratio. To arrive at that situation, Unica will continue to focus attention on retaining and attracting (technical) female talent. Having taken the first steps towards more gender equality at Unica, other components of inclusivity will be introduced to the diversity programme, starting in 2022, for example to also achieve a better age and ethnicity balance.