Treat people well and they will want to stay with you

29 January 2016

Rebecca Martin

Sally Scott has been working with Emerging Talent at Skanska since 2014 and leads a team that focuses solely on early career talent, development and progression. Having started out at the company as a sponsored student and with an impressive academic resume, she progressed in her career through a number of learning and development roles to management level. Today, she believes that the biggest challenges within recruiting lie not just in finding great candidates with the appropriate skills but those that fit into and enrich the existing structure.

“It’s not just about finding great candidates with the skills we need.  It’s about finding great candidates who will become great employees for our company.  Ones that share our values and fit our culture,” she told The LINK.

For some roles a shortage of great candidates may mean hiring managers consider a compromise.  They can choose a candidate with the skill but who doesn’t share the values of the company or a candidate who shares the values but needs to be taught the skill. 

“Often hiring managers would choose the candidate with the skill because it is a short term gain.  The challenge is to encourage hiring managers to choose the candidate with the values who is the better long term investment,” says Scott.


Three quick questions with Sally Scott:

In what way have new digital innovations helped the process forward?
All the innovations in the world don’t take away from face to face contact, real time conversations.  For me, Facetime / Lync / Skype are the best innovations because they reduce my travel time and allow me to talk to more people, which makes everything happen more efficiently, with the bonus of being more environmentally friendly!

Do people want different things today as compared to 10-15 years ago? If so, what are the differences? Is this a generational question or just a change in mind set?
In my experience, people have always wanted to get a job where they are happy and are able to deliver something meaningful.  The main difference is that now people want to do this whilst maintaining a positive work life balance.  Flexibility to be a good sister, brother, mother, father, friend etc. isn’t generational.  Everyone wants work flexibility but for different reasons at different times of life.

How do you go about finding – and retaining – the best talent today?
Always treat people with honesty and respect.  They may not be perfect for you today, but they may become a future client or customer.  Someone who has been treated well through the recruitment process will be a positive sales person for your organisation and help you find another recruit.  In graduate recruitment, you often get a wave from a particular course or university where friends have spoken to each other about their experiences.  And it’s exactly the same for retention. Treat people properly and they will want to stay with you. 


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 Sally Scott, Head of Emerging Talent, Skanska


Feature Image Photo Credit: Brian Tracy/Flickr

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