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HR strategy

The Schaeffler Group’s strategic human resources activities are based on the HR strategy, which was redefined in 2016, and the related Roadmap 2020 with a set of initiatives for Human Resources (HR) that are designed to work in concert.

The strategic direction of HR is summarized in the HR strategy house. Its starting point are the HR vision and mission creating a uniform global identity for the HR function. The HR strategy house is built on five pillars illustrating the fields of action prioritized by HR vis-à-vis employees.

  • Strategic human resource planning
  • Talent management
  • Leadership & corporate values
  • Training & learning
  • Employer branding & recruiting

The company has created initiatives and projects for each of these pillars and is consistently working on them and driving them forward. They reflect the demands of demographics, diversity, and digitalization by assessing and appropriately taking into account their current and future impact. Underlying Schaeffler’s human resources activities is an HR operating model including strong HR governance and a strong HR organizational structure as well as a solid and efficient process and systems landscape.

Strategic human resource planning

Strategic human resource planning integrates the Schaeffler Group’s strategic human resources activities into its Strategy and Technology Dialog.

It provides a basis for determining quantitative and qualitative staffing requirements for the medium to long-term planning period. Being able to quickly and efficiently determine long-term global staffing requirements is essential for responding to significant changes, for instance in the future growth areas of E-Mobility, Digitalization, and increasing globalization.

The results of strategic human resource planning serve as a basis for deciding what actions are required, such as internal and external recruiting, qualification programs, or in- or outsourcing strategies. These actions enable the Schaeffler Group to identify and actively mitigate the risk of excess personnel or a shortage of staff. In late 2017, the company initiated a project to investigate the need for future technical and commercial vocational training and engineering degree programs at universities offering cooperative education in Germany. The results will be available in early 2018 and will be used as input to the Strategy Dialog.

Talent management

Talent management supports management in identifying talents and promotes the development of all employees based on a uniform standardized approach worldwide.

One of the key responsibilities of talent management is the personal development of each and every employee within the company. To the Schaeffler Group, talent management is an integrated approach to providing employees with opportunities for development, identifying high-potential staff, and protecting key positions using focused succession management.

The worldwide standardization of the talent management process as part of the Global Talent Management HR initiative divided the process into two integrated phases: the Employee Development Dialog (EDD) and the Global Talent Review (GTR). Actions decided upon in EDDs and GTRs are realized throughout the year. The software developed specifically for this purpose and the related processes have been rolled out successfully in most countries, covering approx. 86% of relevant employees worldwide. Starting in 2018, the “Global Talent Management 2.0” project will work on an even more effective and efficient process and IT system in order to considerably increase its utility to everyone involved – employees, management, and Schaeffler as a company.

Leadership & corporate values

The Leadership & Corporate Values initiative that is part of the “Agenda 4 plus One” addresses the question of what leadership should look like within the Schaeffler Group in the future and defines leadership essentials applicable around the world that reflect the four corporate values.

The first phase of this initiative, which started in 2017, was an extensive analysis surveying a total of approx. 400 employees. All Executive Board members were interviewed, and workshops with participants representing various hierarchical levels and responsibilities were held in each of the four regions. An online survey was part of the process as well. The analysis was centered around the issues of how leadership is currently perceived within the company and what Schaeffler requires in terms of leadership in the future. Following the data collection phase, the results of the analysis were further consolidated using a variety of focus groups. Participants of the Schaeffler Top Management Meeting dealt extensively with an initial draft of the new leadership essentials in workshops of various formats. After further reviews, the six leadership essentials, along with descriptions of five leadership behaviors for each, were issued in their final form in early October 2017. Starting now, these leadership essentials represent the framework – applicable around the world – preparing the Schaeffler Group’s management for future developments.

  • Connect for success
  • Empower your team
  • Care for people
  • Manage for results
  • Drive the change
  • Take on responsibility

Together with the four corporate values and the leadership principles, the leadership essentials create a uniform understanding. The corporate values describe the Schaeffler Group's identity and provide orientation to all employees. The leadership principles and leadership essentials illustrate the benchmark in terms of leadership and how managers are expected to lead their staff.

Training & learning

All training and continuing education courses worldwide are consolidated under the umbrella of the Schaeffler Academy.

The Qualification for Tomorrow initiative, part of the “Agenda 4 plus One”, addresses the challenges of the future, such as an increasingly complex workplace, shorter and shorter development cycles, and a steady rise in information. As global networks and a digital work environment are becoming more and more essential for meeting today’s needs, lifelong learning anywhere anytime is a success factor for being able to compete worldwide. As a result, this initiative focuses on the most important core issues and the company’s future strategy related to the issue of learning.

The introduction of a new learning management system in 2017 is an important initial milestone in a modern world of learning. The cloud-based system is easy to use and is gradually being rolled out worldwide. Staff in Germany, France, and China are already enjoying its benefits.

The Schaeffler Academy supports the company’s strategy by providing tailored qualification programs. Trends like digitalization and Industry 4.0 are transforming products and organizational processes as well as employee qualification requirements. In response, the Schaeffler Academy is adding issues such as design thinking, data analytics, and Scrum to its training program, supplementing them with modular programs geared toward the relevant target groups.

Redesigning training content and methods creates a modern training program preparing trainees well for changing job profiles. A new comprehensive qualification program was created and launched in 2017. It prepares instructors for future challenges and provides them with input on issues like digitalization, generation Y and Z, new media, through to migration and diversity.

Employer branding & recruiting

HR’s employer branding & recruiting activities strengthen Schaeffler’s perception as an attractive employer and the position of the employer brand “Schaeffler” with the aim of contacting the best talents worldwide and recruiting them for the company.

The human resources strategy is driven by the key commitment to making employment with the Schaeffler Group fit for the future – for external candidates as much as for employees that have been with the company for many years. Effectively positioning the company as an attractive employer worldwide is fundamental to continuing to successfully compete for the brightest talents in the future. The Schaeffler Group ranked highly in recognized employer rankings in 2017. Research institution “trendence” listed the company as one of the ten most popular employers among young professionals in the automotive sector and among the 30 employers most attractive to engineering students in Germany in 2017. The group was also successful internationally. In China, the Schaeffler Group was named “Top Employer China 2017” by the Top Employers Institute and received the “Best Employer of the Year” award for the Suzhou district from career platform Zhaopin.com.

In order to attract qualified students and graduates, the company focused on cooperative and sustainable partnerships with universities, student unions, student associations, and organizations such as Formula Student Germany in 2017 as well. As part of its university marketing activities, Schaeffler held more than 30 events in Germany alone during the year. Additionally, Schaeffler’s technical departments helped run realistic case studies at universities and assisted students in various practical projects.

More on cooperation with universities see chapter technology.

In 2017, Schaeffler took the important step of establishing global employer branding and recruiting functions aimed at creating global standards and utilizing synergies more effectively. This year, recruiting activities were especially affected by an increasing need for staff and changing job specifications since the implementation of the strategy “Mobility for tomorrow” requires new job descriptions and new qualifications on the part of candidates.

In addition, the market for internal candidates remains a key source for filling open positions. In Germany, more than 40% of vacancies were successfully filled with internal talents in 2017.

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