Create a Learning Culture for Continuous Professional Development

Building a learning culture for ongoing professional development isn’t a luxury; it’s a must have for modern companies. It demands committed leaders and agreement that learning is an ongoing journey, not merely a stop gap. This type of outlook will hugely benefit an company’s resilience, adaptability, and sustained growth.

Benefits of a Robust Learning Culture:

  • Adapting to Change: With updated technology these days, and changing market dynamics, your approach to change becomes so important. Your learning culture should allow your staff to continually update their skills.
  • Attracting and Retaining Talent: Modern workers, notably millennials and Gen-Z, value personal growth. Learning-centric companies are more attractive to top talent.
  • Boosting Innovation: Encouraging employees to learn and explore can introduce fresh ideas, creating innovation.
  • Enhancing Performance: Ongoing learning will boost employees’ skills and knowledge, increasing productivity, and performance.

Components of a Learning Culture:

  • Openness to New Ideas: A true learning culture fosters curiosity, letting employees voice innovative ideas without fear.
  • Encouraging Failure: Embracing failure, as odd as it sounds, is crucial. Fear-free employees tend to take risks and find more innovative solutions.
  • Continuous Feedback: Constructive feedback helps staff recognise development areas. Frequent feedback blends the learning into daily workflows.
  • Learning Resources: Provide online courses, training sessions, books, or meetings, to support the learning objective.
  • Rewarding Learning: Recognising those keen to learn and grow, be it through promotions, bonuses, or simple appreciation, is powerful.

Cultivating a Learning Culture:

  • Leadership Role: Leaders set the tone. Their engagement in learning marks its significance.
  • Defined Objectives: Setting clear goals, be it driving innovation or upskilling staff, can steer your approach.
  • Diverse Learning Resources: Cater to unique employee needs, offering a mix of online courses and meetings.
  • Psychological Safety: Staff should feel secure stating their opinions and making mistakes.
  • Collaboration: Group learning or brainstorming can deepen understanding through diverse perspectives.
  • Daily Learning: Integrate learning into everyday routines, from short breaks to dedicated skill exploration sessions.
  • Measuring Impact: Use feedback and metrics to gauge your strategy’s success, adjusting as needed.
  • Sense of Purpose: Learning lets employees grasp their role’s ‘why’, boosting engagement.
  • Empowerment: Knowledge arms staff to tackle challenges, elevating their participation.
  • Variety: Continuous learning breaks monotony, keeping roles exciting.
  • Personal Growth: Continuous learning equips employees with new skills, from mastering software to understanding market trends adding to the success of the learning culture.
  • Ownership and Autonomy: Engaged employees, seeing personal growth, are likelier to own their learning journeys.
  • Peer Influence: Engaged staff can inspire colleagues to start their learning paths.
  • Collaboration and Networking: Continuous learning can foster networking and collaboration.

Strategies for Continuous Learning:

  • Personalised Learning Paths: Align learning with individual goals and organisational objectives.
  • Blend of Formal and Informal Learning: Promote formal, and informal, courses and mentorship programmes as part of your learning culture
  • Recognition and Rewards: Celebrate employees’ learning achievements.
  • Feedback Loops: Regular feedback aligns learning initiatives with needs.


In today’s evolving corporate landscape, continuous learning stands at the crossroads of employee engagement and growth. it’s about cultivating an environment where employees contribute effectively to organisational successes. Investing in continuous learning is an investment in employees’ aspirations and future, fostering a virtuous cycle of success and evolution.


We have been in Executive Search for over 20 years and take pride in building enduring relationships with our clients, consistently providing ongoing support and advice to help them find and retain the best talent for their organisation.

We offer bespoke recruitment solutions tailored to cater to the specific needs of each client because every organisation possesses unique characteristics.

Do you need assistance with a single hire? Do you need support for a comprehensive recruitment campaign? We stand ready to assist.

For more information on our executive search practice and our CCS framework please contact our Managing Director, James Cumming.

Recruiting in the age of a Skill Shortage: Strategies and Solutions

Quite often we experience times in our business where we have a skill shortage within a department, or some very niche skills are missing, or even sometimes companywide skillsets are missing.

This will happen now, and in the future. It’s part of business. However, there are considerations we can make to minimise this and look at many ways of upskilling, finding skills and nurturing skills.

Here are some of my thoughts on how we can best tackle this challenge.

Skill shortage is more than just a buzzword. It represents a widespread challenge affecting businesses and the entire economy. But what does it mean when the demand for certain skills outpaces their supply in the workforce? And how can businesses adapt?

We can attribute skill shortage to several interconnected reasons:

Technological Surge

Rapid technological advancements this century require businesses to seek experts in emerging fields. However, there’s a lag in education, leading to a skills gap.

Changing Industry Dynamics

With industries constantly evolving, the skill sets they demand also undergo transformations. For instance, with the green revolution in energy, there’s a burgeoning demand for solar technology experts – a demand that was comparatively muted two decades back.

The education landscape might sometimes focus on certain areas, believing them to be more market relevant. This inadvertently leads to an abundance of some skills and a deficiency in others.

The repercussions of these intertwined factors are palpable. Companies often find themselves allocating more resources to talent acquisition. But this risks settling for employees who may not necessarily align with their precise needs. Such compromises can, in turn, impact operational effectiveness.

Building Employer Brand

Far from being a fleeting trend, the employer brand stands as a linchpin in a company’s talent acquisition strategy. Think of it as the company’s persona in the vast job market. It’s what makes a prospective employee think, “This is where I want to be.”

A potent employer brand doesn’t just garner interest; it attracts the right kind of interest. Candidates who find alignment with the company’s ethos, its culture, and its outlook are naturally more inclined to apply. This synergy usually results in better role compatibility and diminishes employee attrition.

To nurture such a brand, here are some strategies:

Employee Voices: Nothing speaks louder about a company than the voices of its own employees. Authentic testimonials from them, especially when showcased on platforms like LinkedIn or the company’s official portal, can offer a realistic glimpse into the company’s culture. Often, these authentic insights overshadow even the most polished marketing campaigns.

Narratives of Growth: Stories highlighting an employee’s evolution within a company can be incredibly influential. Be it an account of swift upward mobility or a tale of role transition and skill acquisition, such narratives spotlight the myriad growth avenues within the enterprise.

Engage in Community Initiatives: A company’s active involvement in community or philanthropic endeavours not only adds to its goodwill but also amplifies its brand image. Such gestures accentuate the company’s commitment beyond profits, resonating with a large pool of potential employees.

Rethinking Job Requirements

In the modern job market, focusing primarily on degrees and years of experience seems increasingly outmoded. The problem with this method is its inherent narrowness. Many prospective candidates get overlooked merely because their credentials don’t fit the brief.

Here’s how businesses can pivot:

Highlight Transferable Skills

Not all skills are industry specific. For instance, a project manager in the tech world might be well-versed in skills like team leadership, efficient time management, and juggling multiple tasks — skills that are just as crucial in, say, a healthcare setting. By recognising and valuing these adaptable skills, companies can access a more varied talent base and fix all skill shortages.

Value Potential Over Pedigree

It’s high time companies moved past an over-reliance on qualifications and past job titles. Instead, the emphasis should be on evaluating a candidate’s potential. Attributes such as inquisitiveness, enthusiasm, and a keenness to learn often give a better sense of how an individual will adapt and flourish in a role. Some, if not most, of the required attributes can easily be honed to fix the skill shortage.

Broaden Skill Perspectives

While technical expertise is undoubtedly essential, soft skills shouldn’t be sidelined. Qualities like efficient communication, analytical thinking, and a capacity to adapt are often paramount, especially in roles that require collaboration or direct consumer engagement. Recognising the significance of these skills can lead to better team cohesion and improved client relationships.

Collaborations with Education Partners to fix the skill shortage gap

An innovative way to bridge the skills gap is for businesses to join hands with educational bodies. By fostering collaborations with universities, colleges, or vocational schools, companies can play an active role in shaping the curriculum to mirror industry requisites. This alliance also opens doors for real-world experiences for students through internships, workshops, and guest sessions, enabling them to gain a better grasp of market demands.

Furthermore, these ties facilitate early identification of burgeoning talent. Companies can potentially scout and secure promising candidates even before they step into the professional world, ensuring a steady influx of adept talent.

Internal Talent Development

The quest for talent need not always be outward. Sometimes, the solution lies within. Especially when the sought-after skills are so specialised that the external talent landscape is barren, it makes more sense for companies to focus on upscaling their current team.

By initiating consistent training programs, workshops, or even courses, businesses can ensure their teams are always abreast of the latest trends and techniques. This not only bridges the prevailing skill void but also improves employee morale. When employees see their organisation actively investing in their progression, it fosters loyalty. And, if you have people already working for you that can solve the skill shortage why wouldn’t you use that talent first?

Benefits of Remote Work

The digital revolution has redefined traditional work paradigms. A substantial chunk of jobs today can be executed remotely, effectively erasing geographical constraints. For businesses, this means an opportunity to tap into a global talent reservoir. This becomes particularly invaluable when a specific skill set is scanty locally but plentiful elsewhere.

Apart from the evident advantage of a broader talent spectrum, the remote working model also brings along other rewards. These include notable savings on operational overheads and heightened employee contentment, as the autonomy and flexibility associated with remote work are highly prized by many professionals today.

Redefining Compensation Packages

When it comes to hiring and retaining top talent, the power of compensation cannot be overstated. Yet, compensation is not merely about the salary number that appears on the monthly pay cheque. In the modern workplace, it embodies a comprehensive package that includes base salary, performance bonuses, and a range of benefits. These can range from health insurance to retirement savings plans, and even extend to intangibles like work-life balance and growth opportunities.

Let’s talk specifics: a competitive salary can be the initial magnet that attracts talent. But what keeps employees anchored are the additional perks. Think of health insurance not just as a box to tick, but as a signal to the employee (and their family) that their well-being is a priority. Similarly, a retirement savings plan goes beyond current compensation—it symbolises an investment in the employee’s long-term prosperity.

Additionally, making room for professional development—like offering workshops, courses, or tuition reimbursement—shows employees that their growth and the company’s growth are aligned. This embodies a sense of loyalty and reduces turnover, positioning the company as an employer of choice for professionals who are ambitious about their career path.


Harnessing Tech in Recruitment

The impact of technology on talent acquisition is both deep and wide-ranging. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and industry-specific job boards have forever changed the dynamics between employers and job seekers. These platforms are more than just digital billboards for job openings; they are dynamic ecosystems rich in data, analytics, and network connections.

However, leveraging these platforms effectively requires nuance. A job posting should not just be a laundry list of responsibilities and requirements. It should also be a narrative that gives potential candidates a glimpse into the company’s culture and values. A well-crafted job description will attract not just applicants, but the right kind of applicants.

Further, technology offers analytical tools that can scrutinise hiring metrics, revealing trends and efficiencies—or lack thereof. Armed with these insights, companies can refine their recruitment strategies, enhance their targeting precision, and even predict future hiring needs. This is an opportunity not to be missed to help you with your skill shortage.

The Role of Employee Referrals

Employees are more than just cogs in the company machine; they are ambassadors who carry a deep understanding of the company’s strengths and weaknesses. They have a firsthand understanding of the work culture, what it takes to succeed, and what areas might need a little sprucing up. Given this, who is better to recommend other candidates than current employees?

Employee referral programs essentially incentivise this process. They turn employees into scouts on the lookout for new talent within their own networks. By offering incentives for successful hires, companies not only enrich their talent pool but also increase engagement and satisfaction among existing staff.

This strategy tends to offer three main benefits: faster hiring cycles, because candidates come pre-vetted to some extent; reduced hiring costs, as companies can sidestep at least some advertising and screening expenses; and a more harmonious work environment, as new hires often integrate more smoothly when they have a pre-existing relationship with current employees.


At re:find we have been in Executive Search for over 20 years. We believe that recruitment is not a one-off transaction but rather a long-term partnership. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients, providing ongoing support and advice to help them find and retain the best talent for their organisation.

In addition, as a business, we understand that every organisation is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruitment. That’s why we offer bespoke recruitment solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether you need help with a single hire or a full recruitment campaign, we can help.

We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality service. As part of this, we ensure that we take the time to understand your organisation’s culture and values, as well as the specific skills and experience needed for each role.

For more information on our executive search practice and our CCS framework please contact our Managing Director, James Cumming.

Global Planning in HR has never been more important

I have seen so many changes to the way that companies have adapted their strategy, as the world faces different challenges, turns, and events. But particularly more so in the last few years.

Human resources (HR) play a crucial part in the modern, changing, global business environment. Because of the challenges of dealing with global employees in this unique environment, strategic and global planning in HR has become even more important.

Being strategic, having awareness, and being able to make changes, is always the best way to make sure you are on the front foot for the success of your business.

Here I share with you some valuable thoughts and ideas, to help you on that journey of global planning in HR.

Let’s shift the dynamics

Everything is getting smaller. Improvements in communication and technology have lowered the barrier to entry for companies on a worldwide scale. As companies go global, having employees who can communicate in the right way in the target culture is of huge importance. The COVID-19 pandemic drove home the need for specific global planning in HR and the need to be able to be agile and to adapt the company.

Start to identify the cultural nuances within your global planning in HR

Culture is at the heart of any nation. What is popular in Japan may not be the same with the Brazilian public. A tactic that works great in the United States may flop in India. Businesses must consider these differences, or they will lose employees, and by default, customers.

Explore the local regulations

Different countries have varying labour laws, tax systems, and business rules. Try to take advantage of any benefits or tax breaks the local region may be offering.

Strategising your HR global challenges

Have global strategies but with a local focus

A global strategy gives everyone a clear goal to work toward. The standards, customs, and laws of one place may differ significantly from those of another. Therefore, HR must have the ability to adapt global strategy to these differences in HR Global Planning.

Let’s look at the offered ‘yearly leave’ sample. For example, a business may provide each of its locations with 21 days of paid leave every year. Modifying global rules so that they conform to local customs without changing the global strategy.

Maintaining constant communication with local human resources departments and upper management is one approach to guarantee a smooth local process. To keep their finger on the pulse of local operations, the global HR staff can benefit from hosting regular meetings.

Show appreciation and respect of our differences

In addition to adding flavour to everyday life, diversity in the company is a potent driver of success. We should appreciate and celebrate our diversity, and not just treat it is a tick box exercise.

To succeed in today’s world, being cultural savvy is a must have skill. The ability to learn, value, and cooperate clearly with others from diverse cultural and social contexts. Human resources must make it a top priority to encourage this kind of wit at every level of the company.

Have a big focus on development

A global company often means a blend of cultures, languages, and practices. Training and development can help with cohesion and efficiency. Hosting regular meetings should be a staple in global companies. They help employees understand the cultural dos and don’ts, fixing gaps, and reducing any misunderstandings. Such meetings can cover topics ranging from basic cultural norms to deep dives into local history and their influences on the work cultures we see today.

Different languages can often be a significant hurdle in global operations. Investing in language training not only helps with better communication but also shows employees that the company values their comfort and efficiency.

Understanding local business etiquette can be the difference between a successful deal and a missed opportunity. HR can ensure that employees in client facing roles are trained in these areas. Whether it’s the way meetings are chaired in Japan, or the negotiation styles used in the Middle East.

Are your compensation and benefits attractive?

Compensation and benefits stand out as primary drivers for bringing in new talent and keeping existing talent. At the heart of global compensation and benefits lies a dual mandate. On the one hand, there’s a need to maintain stability and on the other, a desire to remain attuned to local market dynamics. The aim is to ensure that employees, regardless of their location, receive fairness and equity in their compensation.

HR teams need to be adept at producing regular market surveys and salary assessment exercises in each region in which they operate. This not only provides detail into the compensation trends but also helps in identifying potential areas of improvement to remain competitive.

While being flexible with salary structures is essential, organisations can standardise core benefits. For instance, health insurance, pension contributions, or education assistance can be standard themes across the board, but the detail may vary based on local norms.

So, a good global framework for performance reviews can be set, but the rewards and bonuses can be aligned with local standards. This ensures that the top performing employees in every region feel rewarded.

Invest in accessible and suitable technology

With operations in various locations, HR is flooded with data. Platforms with live data analytics can change this data into clear insights. Be it showing us the talent gaps, looking at the effectiveness of training programs, or gauging employee satisfaction, data analytics allows HR to make informed decisions.

In large global companies, the voice of individual employees can sometimes get lost. Technological systems that allow easy feedback collection—like regular surveys or virtual idea boxes—ensure that employees from all regions have a channel to voice their opinions, concerns, and ideas.

Especially in the post-COVID era, virtual training tools have emerged as valuable tools. Whether it’s onboarding a new team member in Europe or giving a training session for employees in Asia, technology ensures that distance is no longer a barrier. These tools also allow for content to be tailored according to regional requirements, ensuring relevance and effectiveness.

With teams often across time zones, collaboration tools play a critical role in adopting cohesion. Tools that allow for easy communication, document sharing, and project management ensure that teams function as a unified entity, without their location being a negative factor.

How to consider cultural nuances

Coming towards the cultural aspect of globalising strategies, here’s what you should be considering.

Have induction programs

When employees join a company or are transferred to a new country, induction programs can familiarise them with the local culture, business practices, and social norms. This eases their transition and ensures that they can function within different environments.

Create mentorship initiatives

Pairing employees with mentors from their region can help them get around the professional landscape while also fixing any cultural gaps.

Take time to celebrate diversity

Events, meetings, and celebrations that show various cultures can foster understanding and respect among employees. For instance, a global company might celebrate Diwali, Hanukkah, and Christmas, fostering a sense of inclusivity and unity.

Invest research in local regulations

As much as it’s important to focus on global regulations, locality shouldn’t not be ignored and must be considered within the HR Global Planning strategy.

Collaborate with local experts

HR teams should work with local consultants or legal experts who are familiar with local labour laws, tax structures, and business rules. This ensures that the company remains compliant while optimising operations in that region.

Schedule regular audits

To stay ahead of any changes, regular audits of HR practices against local rules are crucial. This approach can save companies from potential legal troubles.

Include employee feedback mechanisms

Employees on the ground can often provide information about changing regulations or local sentiments. Establishing robust ways of gathering feedback can offer valuable, ground-up insights.

Employee retention in the global talent landscape

Talent is the differentiator. As opportunities burgeon across the globe, companies are struggling with a new challenge – not just attracting top talent but retaining it. Thus, weaving employee retention into the fabric of an international HR strategy isn’t a mere choice; it’s a compelling necessity that must be considered within the HR Global Planning.

Create a challenging work environment

While attractive compensation can draw talent, what makes them stay is often intangible. The promise of a challenging work environment, where skills are not just utilised but stretched, is a magnetic force for talent.

An environment where tasks aren’t mundane, and every project poses a new set of challenges ensures employees remain engaged. Engaged employees don’t just execute tasks; they invest in them.

By setting regular challenges, companies can also evaluate the current skill set of their employees. Areas of improvement become evident, paving the way for timely upskilling initiatives. This not only ensures that the employee grows professionally but also ensures that the company has a workforce that’s equipped with the latest skills.

Offer transparent and steady communication

With remote work becoming the norm, maintaining clear channels of communication is paramount. For an employee sitting miles away, understanding the bigger picture is crucial. By communicating short-term goals and aligning tasks with these goals, companies can ensure that every employee, irrespective of their location, feels aligned with the company’s mission.

Tools like Loom, Zoom, and Google Meetings aren’t just software; they are lifelines in a remote working setup. They help simulate the office environment, encourage collaboration, and ensure that distance doesn’t lead to communication gaps.

Promote internal recruitment and career growth

Employees today aren’t just looking for jobs; they are scouting for careers. Meaning, showing them a clear path of progression within the organisation is integral to retention. By allowing employees to shift roles, departments, or even geographies, companies not only provide growth but also variety, which can be a potent tool for retention.

With role shifts should come skill enhancement. Although investing in training ensures that employees climb up the organisational ladder, they are well-equipped to handle the increased responsibilities.

Encourage regular hiring of fresh talent

As organisations evolve, there’s a need for fresh perspectives and new skills. Regular hiring ensures a continuous influx of fresh ideas.

Diverse perspectives are enriched by the addition of new employees. In a less diverse workforce, innovative ideas and approaches might not surface. The corporate world is always changing, which means that the talents you need now may not be useful tomorrow. Organisational resilience and preparedness for the future depend on having the most up-to-date skill sets, which can be maintained through consistent hiring practices.

Our conclusion?

Strategic human resources management in international business is a juggling act. There is a tension between sticking to your company’s core values and worldwide standards, on the one hand, and the requirements of local governments and communities, on the other.

Dedication to diversity, inclusion, and respect for all employees is essential to achieving success in this difficult endeavour, along with a mix of proactive planning, technological integration, constant learning, and, most importantly, continual improvement. To stay globally competitive and locally relevant, firms must adapt their HR Global Planning strategy as the environment shifts.


At re:find we have been in Executive Search for over 20 years. We believe that recruitment is not a one-off transaction but rather a long-term partnership. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients, providing ongoing support and advice to help them find and retain the best talent for their organisation.

In addition, as a business, we understand that every organisation is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruitment. That’s why we offer bespoke recruitment solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether you need help with a single hire or a full recruitment campaign, we can help.

We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality service. As part of this, we ensure that we take the time to understand your organisation’s culture and values, as well as the specific skills and experience needed for each role.

For more information on our executive search practice and our CCS framework please contact our Managing Director, James Cumming.