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Interview with Jean-Marie Ferrand, Head of Training at Talan Group

Jean-Marie Ferrand, Head of Training at Talan Group, reviews the Group's strategy, the impacts of the lockdown and the prospects for the Group's training.

Jean-Marie Ferrand, Head of Training

The Group's strategy

What is the Talan Group's training strategy?

Our strategy is to enable employees to train throughout their career to meet client needs, but also to learn new skills in line with market trends and technological innovations. 

Depending on their profile, each employee will be invited to follow a specific training course. Of course, this strategy goes beyond the different entities: it involves being as cross-functional as possible and internationalising the training programmes as much as possible.    

This strategy revolves around three main lines of action:

  • The first is corporate training. These are long-term courses that employees take as soon as they join Talan. The objective is to support them in their job over several years. There is both the course for consultants with training in areas such as public speaking, communication or posture, as well as courses for managers with training more oriented towards law, financial management and management techniques.    
  • The second deals with certifications. We have developed partnerships with editors such as Microsoft or UiPath and encourage our employees to train in order to be the most competitive on the latest technologies. We also invite our employees to train on methods such as Agility.
  • The third is called "Boost Your Talan." After three years of with Talan, employees can propose a project before a jury made up of Executive Committee members, in order to be eligible for funding as part of a training programme for excellence in management, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation.    



How has the lockdown period impacted the training programme? 

This period has really accelerated the training programmes planned for our employees. In the space of six months, we have put in place what was initially planned over one year. On average, 30 to 40% of our employees are trained each year. We're already at 39% and the year is not yet over, not to mention the sharing of skills between peers, such as those organised within the Labs via the Beehives, or the training in new Microsoft tools organised in particular by the Operations teams.
We were also able to initiate training courses that we had not necessarily identified before, for example, the preparation of the "post-crisis" or training on soft skills, which allows us to complete our business skills. New needs have indeed emerged following the period of lockdown.

This has also led us to review our training methods. Attendance has always been an important part of our training strategy. Today, we are moving more and more towards blended learning, which consists of providing digital training that allows employees to develop their skills at their own pace thanks to e-learning (via Microsoft Learn, Unow, Udemy or OpenClassRooms), while integrating virtual classroom or face-to-face modules to enable interaction with others.   


Clients and prospects

How does employee training meet the needs of Talan's clients?

To successfully complete their projects, our clients need certified employees who are up to date on the latest technologies and master certain skills.    
For example, thanks to training on the Agile method, employees can then more easily support our clients on their transformation needs. Moreover, at Talan, our training courses are scalable and adapt to market trends in order to meet our client’s expectations. For my part, I work closely with the various BU managers to build the entire training programme and to be at the heart of the latest technological developments.   

What are the prospects for training at Talan in the coming months?

The idea is to go even further in the Group's strategy and in the logic of internationalisation of the programme, while capitalising on all existing best practices. The idea is to deploy them as much as possible in all Talan entities, both in France and abroad.
One of the important themes of the training programme is the Agile methodology, but also Microsoft tools, which will be all the more important as we have recently moved closer to Ai3. We will be able to capitalise on their experience to boost the skills and knowledge of our clients.