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By Saadiq Samodien, Online Event Specialist, Top Employers Institute
By Saadiq Samodien, Online Event Specialist, Top Employers Institute

Key Takeaways - Inside the mind of PepsiCo's Sergio Ezama

The first virtual fireside chat: Inside the mind of PepsiCo’s Chief Talent Officer, Sergio Ezama, was hosted by Top Employers Institute CEO David Plink on 26 March 2021 – to watch the full fireside chat, fill in the form (on the right-hand side). Below are some key takeaways from the event:   

Key takeaways 

Sergio discussed topics both from an HR and business perspective of what global leaders are currently facing and how to respond to them. This includes:  

  • Attracting talent – To attract the best talent, your organisation story has to be compelling. High performance talent thinks about their careers differently and operates differently as well. Thus, the HR playbook must change to facilitate acquiring the very best talent. This includes creating more touchpoints, both internally and externally with high performance talent.  
  • Long-term and short-term goals – with the pandemic, HR teams have to dynamically manage achieving short-term goals while still aligning to long-term goals. 
  • Humanise your employee experience – the increase in technology use has demanded HR to humanise the employee experience. Technology can often be perceived as cold. However, it should be perceived as more of an asset than a liability. Organisations should purposefully focus on building personalisation in their technological capabilities to provide an exceptional employee experience.  
  • Be authentic – Your talent acquisition proposition must be authentic. You cannot promise something you cannot deliver.  
  • Being flexible – the pandemic has taught us that there is no ‘one workplace’ but should shift towards a hybrid model between the office and home. Employees should work from the office or home, depending on the need and what needs to be achieved.  

Sergio also shared some of his personal story and the experience of what is it like to operate at a global level as PepsiCo's Chief Talent Officer:   

  • Career transition – Sergio started his career as a lawyer, but soon found his true passion human resources, to now being the Chief Talent Officer at PepsiCo. This journey also included work across several geographies in Europe and the USA.  
  • Using your time wisely – With new ways of working and a reduced time in travel to work, many people have allocated this time to be more productive – which is unsustainable and unhealthy. The time should rather be used to focus on a more holistic lifestyle, including spending time on hobbies, friends, family etc.  
  • Operating at a global level – Being the Chief of Talent at PepsiCo gives you the license to be involved in everything, including how you organise the teams, developing strategic capabilities and working on short term agendas such as the people you hire and CEO succession. It is an intellectually rich experience that provides variety at a high pace across 200 geographies.