Kia Reed is an accomplished and dynamic professional who holds the pivotal role of Director of Talent and People Operations at BDS Connected Solutions. With a passion for fostering a positive and growth-oriented workplace culture, Reed has made significant contributions to the success and development of the organization.

Please tell our readers about the prevailing challenges and ongoing trends in the industry.

The prevailing challenges in the industry are centered around adapting to a fully remote work environment and ensuring meaningful connections among team members despite the lack of physical contact. Utilizing technology has been crucial in fostering interconnectivity, with tools like avatars and platforms like Meta being employed to enhance collaboration. However, some individuals find it challenging to fully adapt to remote work, and there is a recognition of the value of in-person interactions. Co-working spaces offer a solution for those who still want some local presence, but it can be difficult for some based on their personality style. To address these challenges, being intentional about creating virtual opportunities for social connections beyond business interactions can be beneficial in promoting a sense of connection and engagement among team members.

Could you please elaborate on an interesting project or impactful initiative you are currently overseeing?

Currently, within my role in talent management, we are actively involved in various initiatives. One particularly interesting project is the relaunch of our mentorship program, which is closely aligned with our performance management process and career development. We are focused on implementing career pathing strategies, understanding the talents of our teams, and working closely with managers on succession planning and skill building. This initiative is particularly exciting because our company operates in a predominantly remote setting, making it essential to be intentional about fostering employee growth and development. By proactively discussing career goals with employees and managers, we aim to create more opportunities for promotions or lateral moves within the company. This not only benefits our employees' professional growth but also streamlines the process of filling open positions, saving both time and resources for the organization. It's an exciting prospect for both the business and our employees, as it emphasizes the potential for long-term careers rather than just jobs at our company.

How does your leadership panel typically approach discussions, both in terms of generic points of discussion and specific strategic points that are guiding the company's progress? Could you elaborate on your approach to identifying suitable partnership and solution providers, especially from a technology standpoint, considering that collaboration is crucial in this process?

In our leadership panel discussions, we prioritize engagement and recruiting. Our goal is to attract and retain the best talent, especially in the competitive retail industry where we represent clients. To achieve this, we seek individuals who can excel in this space and represent our clients effectively. Being the preferred agency for the brands we represent requires continuous growth and development of our workforce.

"To stay ahead and foster organizational development, companies should prioritize employee engagement not only in the present but also anticipate their needs three to five years down the line"

When identifying partnership and solution providers, especially in technology, reach is crucial. As we represent clients in diverse markets, including remote areas, our talent acquisition partners must demonstrate the ability to reach a wide pool of candidates. Diversity is equally important, not just in demographics but also in thought processes and experiences. We assess platforms based on their reach, success in providing quality candidates, and their ability to offer both quantity and diversity.

How do you envision the future of the industry?

I believe the most significant aspect to consider is the current competitive workspace, where even other industries have become competitors in attracting employees, including seasonal part-time gig workers and full-time staff. To stay ahead and foster organizational development, companies should prioritize employee engagement not only in the present but also anticipate their needs three to five years down the line. By proactively addressing these requirements, companies can prepare for the future and reduce turnover, which is currently high due to the difficulty in finding talent with low unemployment rates.