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CTDO Magazine

Talent Development at Hilti

Friday, September 14, 2018

"We're a company that grows through evolution, not revolution."

Eivind Slaaen

Head of People and Culture Development

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Eivind Slaaen has been with Hilti for almost 30 years. In his current role as head of people and culture development, he oversees the company's L&D agenda.

How do you define talent development at Hilti?

Talent development has always been part of the company's vision. Founder Martin Hilti stated that personal growth and company growth must go hand in hand. We clearly believe that everybody can grow and everybody can have a career. In our leadership model, leaders are responsible for developing people as well as achieving outstanding results. Their efforts at talent development are reflected in their performance reviews.

How has the definition of talent development evolved over time?

The fundamentals are the same, but we're enhancing certain things. Topics such as diversity and inclusion have become part of our agenda, and connection to a purpose has become much more important. The need to increase competences throughout the organization has also become more important. In addition, we're enhancing our understanding of how to do assessments of people and create individual development plans that guide them to achieve their goals.

Hilti is built on the pillars of innovation and direct sales. We're a company that grows through evolution, not revolution. Currently, we're looking at the future needs of the construction industry and at increasing the number of women in engineering roles to be proportionate to their numbers in local talent pools.

What are the three most important components of talent development for Hilti?

One important element is our caring and performance—oriented culture. That gives us a common base throughout the company. Another is that every team member is required to have a development discussion that produces an individual development plan. HR orchestrates talent reviews, but responsibility for doing them rests with line managers. A third important component of talent development is that in career discussions we have always been very open to cross—functional and cross—country moves.

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Where does talent development fit into the org chart?

I report to the head of global HR. She reports to one of our six executive board members—the CEO and five colleagues. The officer we report to is responsible for the energy and industry business, which is a new division for us. He is also responsible for IT, HR, and corporate development. My global team consists of 25 people in five countries at 10 locations.

Read more from CTDO magazine: Essential talent development content for C-suite leaders.

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