Cyndi Selke

Executive Director
Human Resources for the Americas
Ford Motor Company

Cyndi Selke

This is an exciting time for our Company, especially when it comes to recruiting. In early 2013, we announced plans to hire 2,200 salaried workers. The last time we hired that many employees in one year was in 2000.

One of the challenges, from a human resources perspective, is getting our recruiting machine back up and running at a pace that we have not experienced in more than a decade. With the economy recovering in North America, companies – and especially major automakers and key automotive suppliers – are competing for talent. We have increased our presence on college campuses, and we’re doing much more with social networking to attract early-career candidates.

However, most of the individuals we’re hiring are experienced workers – engineers and information technology specialists in particular. So the question becomes – where do you go to find them? We’re hosting virtual career fairs and leveraging social media sites to reach out to the best people.

Among current Ford employees, one of our primary areas of focus is employee development. To thrive in this economic environment, we must develop our employees so they have the skills to succeed and the desire to continue working for Ford Motor Company. Our attrition rate is very low, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t constantly thinking about how to retain our employees.

Our Employment Value Proposition (EVP) – simply defined as why people choose a given employer and then stay with that employer – is based on three core elements: our corporate reputation (“Great Products, Strong Business and Better World”); our global brand promise of “Go Further” (which defines who we are and what we do); and a skilled and motivated team (focusing on working together, employee development, leadership quality, compensation and benefits, and worklife flexibility). These are the elements that make Ford a great place to work.

Every interaction between a leader and an employee is an opportunity to strengthen the value of working at Ford. Defining and strengthening our EVP will improve our ability to attract, engage and retain prospective and current employees. The ONE Ford plan is the driver for realizing the core elements of our EVP, and an effective EVP becomes an enabler for the ONE Ford plan.

Of course, when we talk about skills development, we’re not just talking about our current workforce. We also must look ahead to the workforce of the future. One way we’re getting involved is through school-based programs that promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics – otherwise known as STEM initiatives. We simply must get high school students more interested in these areas so we can be sure we have a viable pool of candidates for the years to come.

As strong as we are in America right now, we must remember that our European operations are having a difficult time and are going through hardships similar to what we experienced in the U.S. five years ago. As a global company, when one of our regions struggles, we all struggle – that’s one outcome of the ONE Ford approach. So, we’re taking what we learned from our North American restructuring and applying those lessons to Europe.

Despite the difficulties in Europe, I see so much enthusiasm from Ford’s workforce today – enthusiasm around our products, our leadership and what the ONE Ford plan is delivering. Taken in total, these elements form the basis for why people come to Ford and stay at Ford. You can’t have great products if you don’t have a company that cares about its people and about ethics.

You have to have an engaged team to deliver results. If you don’t have the hearts and minds of your employees, then you can’t succeed. Employees today want to be part of something that’s bigger than themselves. They want to work for a company that makes products that are safe and products that are green. In other words, they want to make products that our customers want and deserve. So much of what we do today at our Company resonates with our employees. But it all starts with the product, and I’ve never seen so much excitement around what we’re building.

There’s nothing better than growing, and we’re growing with exciting products around the world. I never want to go back to the place where we were five years ago – it’s not something we ever want to repeat.


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