‘We’re losing talent every day’ – Mondelez’s Bonin Bough on how businesses can compete with Google and Facebook for people

Traditional brands must overhaul their recruitment and people retention processes if they are to win the war on talent and compete with the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter for staff, according to Mondelez media boss Bonin Bough.

Speaking with Tubemogul founder Brett Wilson at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity Bough said the “scariest” challenge currently for brands is talent, and brands must restructure themselves so they can take a proactive role in helping train the next generation of leadership.

“There is a drain on our industry in terms of talent, and the fact our partners like our agencies are having a tough time retaining talent, and the fact we are losing talent every single day. So what is the future of talent? How are we as an industry going to reinvigorate talent to come and work for us?” he said.

There was a time when FMCG giants such as P&G Unilever and Kraft, were among the top brands people sought to work for were, whereas now Google, Facebook and other major tech innovators are attracting the brightest talent.

Bough stressed that clients have “been lazy” on the talent front, and must understand it is just as much their responsibility as it is their agencies to ensure they are creating attractive places for people to want to work in.

“We have to change the model. So it’s no longer about saying – come work for me for 24 years, it’s come and work with me for 24 months – it’s about how do I change the value equation. Right now we take so much from people and we don’t give back. How do we make sure when people come to our organisation, they will be more marketable at the end of it than when they came into it.

“My job is to create rock stars – I don’t care if you can go double your salary elsewhere, in fact I want you to double your salary and tell every single person the reason you were able to double it is because you worked for Mondelez. The days have changed - I know I am not going to be able to retain talent for a person’s entire life time - we don’t offer things like pension, protection - we don’t offer any of the things which we used to,” he said.

However, there is a huge opportunity currently for traditional brands undergoing digital transformation strategies to begin attracting young talent.

“There is a moment we have right now where we can train a new generation of leadership that can accelerate their career and transform and grow our business in a way they never have,” he added.

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