The Stack Archive Press Release

Why we’re placing a big bet on emerging talent

Fri 11 Sep 2015

Richard Warley, CenturyLink EMEA Managing Director

The most important indicator of the long-term success of any business is its ability to attract, develop and retain passionate and talented people, but we quickly forget this as the demands of the short-term trump the benefits of thinking and acting in the long term.

Rapid changes in our business and work environments are also changing the skill-sets that we need to succeed. The skills and attributes necessary for success in one era are not the same in the next. Google, amongst others, has figured out that a top degree from a good university is not necessarily the best indicator of whether or not someone will succeed in their organisation. Grit, determination and ambition are equally important and these can be found in many diverse environments.

For these reasons, we recently joined the 5% Club. This is a nationwide group of companies that are committed to having 5% of their overall UK headcount on a formalised apprentice, sponsored student or graduate programme.

The commitments that we have made as part of joining this group will ensure that we keep our eye on the long term benefits of attracting the right talent into the organisation and, as importantly, that we spread our net wide enough to give opportunity to those coming into the workforce from a broad range of backgrounds.

We already have our own example of such a scheme working in practice. Ian Burgess joined us in 2001 as an apprentice. He now runs a substantial global organisation with people located in the UK, US, India and Singapore. Ian is now also about to embark on the next phase of his personal development by studying for an MBA at Henley Business School.

The energy that comes from smart and determined people like Ian fulfilling their potential in a dynamic environment provides the fuel for a company to grow and prosper. We are looking forward to finding new talent and to welcoming the next generation of superstars into CenturyLink.

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