HP top talent encouraged to work abroad

Rising stars at technology firm HP are being told to work abroad to avoid getting stuck in a rut by the IT giant’s new people development director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Jane Keith, who stepped up to the 52-country role last month, told Personnel Today that her main drive was to increase movement of talented staff. She said the policy would help develop more rounded employees, increase company knowledge in regions HP was new to, and boost staff retention.

“In some countries we have a wealth of experience, which we need to transfer into emerging markets,” she said. “For example, we might have a German worker with 25 years’ experience ready to relocate to Dubai.”

Keith said the focus was on moving those people who had been identified as HP’s top talent. “The key thing is to move people around geographically and across business units,” she said. “They know that to move up the chain, they need to experience working across geographical and business boundaries.

“People can get put in silos, but I think traditional career paths are quite old-fashioned. I want people to think a bit broader.”

Keith added that she wanted to encourage the loyalty from staff that she felt to the company since being given flexible working hours while her children were at school. There are more than 46,000 HP employees working across the regions Keith covers.

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