Globalized Talent Management: Pemex and Banamex

Talent management challenges vary from country to country.  We recently completed a series of discussions with Pemex and Banamex in Mexico, as well as several companies in China and Europe.  While here in the US our biggest challenge today is leadership development and building the leadership pipeline, in many developing countries the problems are more fundamental:  there are not enough trained professional or technical workers available to grow.

In Mexico, for example, one of the biggest and most successful companies is Pemex, the Mexican energy company.  Pemex’s challenges, like any oil company, include development and training of highly technical professionals in exploration, production, refining, and other production roles.  Because Pemex is such a large employer and the country has an under-educated workforce (and a lack of educational infrastructure), Pemex has built a comprehensive multi-year development program for employees in almost every role.  This program, which is built around an in-depth competency model, enables Pemex to develop and deliver many forms of education and development in a highly targeted way.  It also enables the company to implement multi-year career and succession models for critical roles.

Pemex has a highly advanced set of processes:  they have more than 900 employees engaged in the talent management program, along with 500 executive positions with named successors.  They use psychometric assessment tools to measure competency and potential, and this information is captured in an internally developed performance management system (migrating to SumTotal over time).

At Banamex, another high performing company in Mexico (the Citibank subsidiary), the company went so far as to build an internal university – designed to deliver college degrees and advanced degrees in business to their high potential employees.  Banamex employees who participate in the program do homework in the evenings and consider themselves highly priveliged to be invited.  The program has built a tremendous employment brand for Banamex – which is considered one of the premier employers in Mexico.

These companies have something else going for them:  they take a long-term view of their workforce.  Because they see many key employees retiring and a limited source of people by age or skill level, they do not have an “up or out” mentality to their workforce.  Rather they use what we call the “coaching and development” form of performance management:  focusing on finding the right jobs for people, developing them over time, and building a long-term career investment in each individual.  These may seem like old-fashioned ideas to many fast-growing US companies, but these are the principles which build “enduring organizations” when the labor market gets tight.

Lots to learn from global talent management strategies – we are actively globalizing our research now, and you can expect to see more in-depth case studies on these and other global companies in the coming months.