Senior Director of Global HR
The exams we deliver at Pearson VUE have a direct and positive impact on communities around the globe, driving progress and helping our clients deliver on the promise of their indutries. In this series, we’re taking a deeper look at the ways we make that happen, by speaking to people from around our business who are making a lasting impact in a particular area of assessments.
This time we’re focusing on how to empower employees while driving organizational success. As Senior Director of Global HR for Pearson VUE, Scott Chabot plays a pivotal role in shaping our workforce strategy and championing a culture of inclusivity, engagement, and continuous growth. But what does it take to align our HR practices with our overall business objectives and foster the workplace culture we need to be successful?
Q. We’re keen to learn more about you Scott. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself? What motivates you?
I’m driven by a genuine desire to help those around me succeed, whether it pertains to their pesonal aspirations or professional endeavours. This extends to my relationships with family and friends, as well as my colleagues across Pearson. For me, success is not merely an individual pursuit; it's a collective journey and motivates me to always do my best work, not just for myself, but for the benefit of my team and the wider business.
Q. Please briefly describe your role at Pearson VUE. What does a typical day look like?
I have the privilege of leading our global HR team at Pearson VUE. We have an incredible team of passionate HR professionals who partner closely with leaders throughout the business and help support and guide our employees, who are based all over the world.
While there are many different facets to my day, I spend a good portion of time partnering with our leadership team to maintain and evolve our workforce strategy. It’s my job to ensure that our HR practices, policies, and initiatives are strategically linked to and support the overall business strategy and performance goals.
Q. As you say, a key part of your role is to align our HR practices with our business objectives. How do you collaborate with our senior leadership team to achieve this alignment?
Collaborating with senior leaders (to align our HR practices) involves building strong relationships, understanding (and supporting) our organizational goals, and effectively communicating how HR initiatives contribute to Pearson VUE’s overall business success. The experience of achieving collective goals fosters a trusting environment where we can enjoy shared success that we can further build upon.
For example, as we move up the value chain and further grow the business, we’re working in partnership with the business development team as they identify key opportunities for expansion. This close collaboration helps us to understand the talent pool and market dynamics where we see opportunity.
We can then tailor our recruitment strategies to attract the best people. By aligning our talent acquisition best practices with our business objective of market expansion, HR contributes directly to our organization's continued success.
Q. What changes have you seen in the culture of the company over the past few years?
I’m very proud of the growth I’ve seen at Pearson to support a culture of inclusivity, where all employees feel heard, respected, and valued. This responsibility is shared by every one of our employees — we’ve raised the bar and are holding ourselves accountable. My team supports wider company initiatives such as the Pearson Inclusive Learning Experience series, which is aimed at building a culture of belonging for everyone that works for and with us. These are powerful learning opportunities for all our employees, supporting the culture of continuous improvement across Pearson, and our commitment to an inclusive workplace.
Q. Our company regularly measures employee engagement. How do you ensure that the data captured is used in a meaningful way?
Our leadership team prioritizes employee engagement because it helps create an environment where everyone can perform at their best. Engaged employees are generally more motivated, committed, and productive, leading to positive outcomes for the entire business.
Pearson uses the Gallup Q12 survey, which measures 12 actionable workplace elements that offer proven links to performance outcomes. Gallup finds that 70% of the variance in team engagement is down to the manager alone. We agree that managers are the critical link between employees and the business and are in fact, a key enabler for employee engagement. Our HR team supports them to make sure they understand how to interpret the results and then set meaningful actions based on what the data is telling us.
We then use these insights to help inform elements of both our business-level goals and individual team goals. For example, as a business, one area we’re focusing on for 2024 is employee recognition. As a leadership team we’re working to bring more awareness to the great work our employees are doing every day and where our people demonstrate Pearson’s values.
Recognition matters, and what gets recognized gets repeated which leads to higher engagement!
Q. How do you continue to come up with new ways to shape our talent strategy?
A successful business must clearly communicate a compelling vision for the future of the organization and articulate the role of talent in achieving that vision.
At Pearson VUE, I think we continue to do this very well. This is evidenced both in our employee engagement data and our overall business results. From a recruitment and retention standpoint, we benefit from being a market leader in our industry and our strong performance culture is a big part of that success story. To maintain our competitive advantage as we grow, we need a talent strategy that adapts to changing market conditions, emerging industry trends, and the evolving needs of the organization.
Q. As our customers’ needs continue to evolve, we’re building our long-term strategy to further grow and transform the business. Can you give us an indication of the role HR will play?
We’re very excited about the company’s long-term growth strategy and our HR team is deeply involved in all aspects of strategic planning and aligning our workforce strategies with our business goals. This includes everything from our global talent strategy and how we attract and retain top talent, to ensuring we provide opportunities for employees to leverage their strengths and learn new skills to meet future industry challenges.
Q. The HR function in large organizations continues to shift and adapt to new ways of working. Looking ahead, what are the most urgent priorities for HR leaders?
We’ve identified several areas where our HR team will play an instrumental role in the coming years. This includes continuing to drive a culture of continuous learning to keep pace with evolving technologies and industry trends, championing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and emphasizing employee engagement as integral to long-term organizational success. We also play a pivotal role in cultivating resilience within the workforce, promoting innovation, and ensuring that our culture and community aligns with the dynamic shifts in today's business landscape.