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Retaining talent, the Adobe way

One of Silicon Valley's most happening players is the Adobe Systems Inc. The company that made Photoshop a household name, is among the top firms in the hiring scene today. So what exactly has the software giant done on the job front?
It has ensured it stays steady with the hiring number at 1000 every quarter. And the man who is considered to be the driving force behind the company's showing is Jeff Vijungco, wasits vice president for global talent.

As is the case with every other firm, the process of onboarding has been vital for the company’s success. According to Vijungco, his first task on hand was to ensure the new recruit sets foot on the career trajectory right away.

This, proved to be helpful for the firm in the long run, as the strategy ensured that freshers turn into productive employees within a few months of their joining. “We changed the way supervisors handled the newcomers. They were given definite tasks with deadlines, that focussed on helping out the joinee with the work, apart from giving feedback”, he says.

One of the highlights in the Adobe formula for retaining talent is the plan chalked out for the freshers themselves.

This is made ready by bringing the recruiters on board in the orientation programme.

Unlike in other firms, where the recruiter team’s work is done, with the moment a selected candidate signs on the dotted line, here, the members are infused into the work culture too.

The freshers too obtain a whole new perspective of the job at hand, with all the departments of the company working together to set him or her up.“The newcomers are handed over a schedule, that re-defines short and long term goals. This is a joint work done by the recruiting team, the human resource personnel and the candidate”, he explains, adding that this trend minimises the yawning gap between hiring and development. 

This is not just the kind of programme that gets done after the candidate familiarises with the work culture. What makes the tactic a true success is when the team frequently follows up on the new hires. 

All of these strategies prove to be beneficial, a couple of months down the line, when there is a serious staff and knowledge crunch, it is learnt. The collective knowledge gained in the initial stages all come into use at this point of time, with the employees, who largely benefited from the orientation programme, do not fail to rise up to the ocassion. 

Another major scheme that put Adobe on the front foot, is the transition of the company to the Creative Cloud- its cloud-based subscription model.

 This significant change also resulted in a huge chunk of  leadership development content online, which in turn gave rise to the popular Adobe Connect — the company’s mobile web conferencing software.

This helped create a huge database of learning courses, which the staff were able to take home.

Healthy participation and subsequent productivity were the results of this brainwave.

 Apart from this, a learner could also avail the online library, it is said. What is the point of bringing in new technology with no results to show? Adobe found easy answers to this too.

 It made sure itsdevelopment team joined hands with the IT department, which in turn used its skills to develop a reporting tool to set up dashboards to highlight results.  Identifying skill gaps was a major issue that was resolved with the help of this technology in learning aspect, and also ensured a clearer picture emerged with the usage.

 Within months, the results were for all to see.

According to the firm, more than 8,000 employees in 2015, completed the digital Leading@Adobe course. This was a huge upswing from the 500 odd numbers in 2013. And the task at hand- ensuring the company’s talent does not wear away also proved to be a benefactor of this.

 In five years of implementation of e-learning, the retaining of newcomers rose to almost 100 percent.