The Fight for Talent

Veolia’s Augie Schulke has fine-tuned his approach to talent development to attract and retain the best candidates at the company

The global workforce is at a crossroads. While many people from the baby boomer generation are retiring, not enough millennials are coming in to replace them, says Augie Schulke, chief human resources officer and executive vice president of human resources for Veolia North America, a leading provider of environmental solutions.

This is creating intense competition for the best and brightest job candidates, and only companies with a comprehensive talent development strategy are going to succeed in the new business landscape, he says.

“There’s a war for talent, and that’s where I think branding your company is important,” Schulke says. “Being able to emphasize what your company does best and why someone should work for you versus another company is more critical than ever.”

And thanks to Schulke’s efforts, Veolia is notching victory after victory in this battle. Two programs in particular are earning Veolia recognition as an industry leader in talent development and retention.

Schulke has spearheaded the Leaders of Tomorrow leadership program, as well as the Women in Leadership development pipeline as a way to create a robust talent pool at Veolia, in addition to cultivating an environment where employees feel like they are able to grow and advance within the company.

Individuals in the Leaders of Tomorrow program work with mentors to build their leadership profiles and to find out which behavioral competencies they excel in. Then, they train with these mentors to develop their technical and behavioral competencies.

People in the program also collaborate closely with a manager to discuss their career development. To showcase what they have learned, individuals present a thirty-minute capstone presentation to senior leaders at Veolia at the workshop’s conclusion.

The Women in Leadership program is an initiative aimed at increasing the visibility of women throughout the company and highlighting their contributions to the business. The program also sets up an intracompany network, where women in the company can come together and learn more about the company’s different functions through one another.

Veolia North America has been recognized for the success of both programs, and he has been asked to speak at several conferences about how he has implemented such effective talent development strategies at Veolia.

“Those two programs have become nationally known at conferences,” Schulke says. “I’m proud of these programs because they are developing people into future leaders and other companies have found them to be very interesting.”

Read more about Schulke’s work in the upcoming issue of Profile.