The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many changes in the organizations’ processes. Digital has emerged as a solution for the various socio-economic players, who have had to adapt to health restrictions and rethink their operating methods to continue their activities. For the IT sector, this crisis presents an opportunity to assist the digital transformation of organizations. Hence the need to acquire skills capable of supporting new changes in the world according to Covid-19.
The Spanish-Japanese multinational Everis, installed since 2016 in Tetouanshore, recently organized a webinar around the theme “IT career opportunities, post Covid-19”, in the presence of various players in the sector, in particular Amine Zarouk, president of the Moroccan Federation Information Technology, Telecommunications and Offshoring (APEBI), Alexandra Montant, DGA of Rekrute.com, and Abdellatif Moukrim, Dean of the Faculty of Science at Tétouan.
“This crisis will be positive for the sector in the medium term, since it is the reluctance towards digital and IT that has always blocked the development of certain large projects. We have companies that were reluctant to recruit people who work remotely or away from their premises, but who are more flexible today, “said APINE President Amine Zarouk.
An observation confirmed by Fred Sabbah, Managing Director of Everis, who affirms that the crisis presents opportunities for the sector with the acceleration of digital transformation in several areas: “Digitization will accelerate not only in the private sector, in administration but also in education and even in the recruitment process ”.
“On the recruitment side, there have also been many changes. We went digital, especially for interviews and the signing of contracts, which were done remotely during the Covid-19 period, and it worked well, ”said Alexandra Montant. The DGA of ReKrute.com expects an explosion of recruitments in the IT sector, since there is a real need. “In 2019 alone on ReKrute, there were 315,000 open positions for IT profiles,” she said.
To meet the needs of businesses in skills, the dean of the Faculty of Science of Tetouan, Abdellatif Moukrim, noted the need “to increase the number of students in the fields related to IT and organize continuing education with companies to meet this need, and allow employees to work independently of space and time, and thus support digitalization in Morocco ”.
The manager recalled, in this sense, that retraining training was carried out in 2019 with Everis, in order to train students in mathematics, physics or biology in IT development to meet the shortage of resources. The Faculty, which has nearly 9,000 students and more than 200 teacher-researchers, has also quickly adapted to continue the course thanks to virtual sessions organized in 48 hours and which have encouraged the Faculty to consider developing e -learning in the future.
Will telework settle in a sustainable way?
The subject of telework was naturally raised during the webinar due to the confinement and rapid adaptation of companies in the sector to this new operating model. According to Alexandra Montant, telework did not exist in Morocco, or exceptionally in certain companies. “Only 14% of employees have ever teleworked because they were sick or on leave. After Covid-19, we had companies that went teleworking in 24 hours, and it was a positive shock for both employees and managers and directors, ”she explained. The ReKrute DGA also presented some advantages of telework, in terms of recruitment, such as offering the possibility to distant people to work from any city, and recruiting people who were not previously accessible.
Same story with Everis CEO, Fred Sabbah, who highlighted the benefits of this transformation: “Everis had already implemented an EverFlex flexibility program since 2019 to allow its employees to telecommute for 1 day /week. With this experience, everything indicates that telework will be even more generalized and will remain in the Moroccan panorama ”. According to its estimates, telework will be maintained at least until September, the group also plans to offer even more flexibility to our employees in the future. “From the start, our priority has been to prioritize the health of our teams, and we will continue to do so,” he said.
Interview with Fred Sabbah, CEO of Everis
“This experience has shown us that projects can be carried out without having all the resources in one place”
Management and Career: As an IT player, how did you manage to face this pandemic?
Fred Sabbah : The Everis group, which has more than 27,000 employees in 17 countries, has been able to react effectively to have 100% of its professionals in telework mode in less than 48 hours. In Morocco, the 150 employees continued their activity in telework mode from Monday, March 16, the start date of confinement.
The main objective has always been the health of our employees and their comfort while maintaining the continuity of services for our customers, who in no case could be penalized.
During this period, our activity proceeded in all normality, as well at the level of the realization of our projects which knew percentages of productivity similar to the pre-Covid-19 period, but also the recruitment processes continued to take place efficiently – online – as well as continuing training, category promotions and people on trial have been confirmed.
Many activities were carried out during this period during which internal communication is a key factor in order to reassure our employees in the face of this new situation which could generate uncertainties. In these conditions, local management is important to maintain the motivation of the teams.
Parallel activities have continued, such as technical training, language training, but also new online activities such as Virtual Café, sessions of Emotional Wellness, Yoga, social actions during Ramadan, etc.
Is teleworking on the way to becoming essential for certain trades, in particular in new technologies?
Telework is not essential, but represents a key element in improving the quality of life and work of employees and improving the reconciliation of personal and professional life.
As of 2019, Everis had implemented an EverFlex flexibility program to allow its employees to telecommute 1 day a week. With this experience, everything indicates that telework will be widespread and will remain in the Moroccan panorama.
We asked our employees their preferences regarding a possible return to our Cabo Negro offices and the answer was surprising: only 25% wish to return before September, 33% in September and 43% wish to stay in telework mode.
We will maintain telework at least until September and plan to offer even more flexibility to our employees in the future. Our priority is also to offer a balance between personal and professional life. For this, we think that the% of teleworking could be around 40%.
Telework can be positive for businesses. It can open up other recruitment opportunities, since it offers remote people the possibility of working in cities where they will not have to live, which is a new way of recruiting for us.
It can allow certain collaborators to continue their professional activity during a period of their life where the presence at home is necessary to spend more time with young children or when the couples cannot count on the help of the grandparents. who live far away.
On the other hand, people who work as freelancers have realized that in the event of a crisis, their wages are not guaranteed. Many people have therefore started looking for jobs in companies, which gives companies the opportunity to recruit seniors who were not previously accessible.
As for the brakes of this working mode, it is mainly about:
• The technical aspect including poor connection for 28% of them.
• The comfort of having a home space that meets the conditions in terms of office furniture, chairs, etc.
• The social isolation created by teleworking, which makes the feeling of belonging to the company more difficult to perceive.
What about the opportunities in the sector after this crisis?
This crisis will be positive for the sector in the medium term, given that the reluctance towards digital and IT is what has always blocked the development of certain large projects. In the case of offshoring, the reduction in costs of our clients and the proof that it is possible to deliver projects remotely are assets which should favor the development of offshoring and new digitization projects .
This experience has shown us that projects can be carried out without having all the resources in one place and this reluctance is now lifted, which will open up new growth opportunities.
In this new framework, digitalization will accelerate not only in the private sector, in administration, but also in education, and even in the recruitment processes, which are taking place online today.
Universities are also important players in training future professionals in the sector, knowing the shortage of IT specialists that exists on the market today.
Retraining programs, like Everis launched in 2019 with the Faculty of Sciences of Tétouan, should make it possible to train engineers from scientific subsidiaries in computer science (mathematicians, physicists, biologists, etc.).
Recruiters looking for Smart Workers
For Fred Sabbah, companies will have to adapt and define new models of collaboration. “We have launched a campaign to recruit experienced professionals to join our telework teams: the Smart Workers. We have received numerous requests from professionals who now live in Tangier, Fez, Oujda and even in Marrakech… ”, says the manager. And note that this concept makes it possible to attract professionals who do not have the possibility of moving to the North region, at the level of Tetouanshore, but who wish to work in a multinational in projects with high added value for clients everywhere. in the world. “Smart Workers are people looking for flexibility, autonomy but at the same time results-oriented people with a high level of responsibility and commitment. We hope to be able to attract new collaborators – and collaborators – and thus reach the parity which is today 60% of men and 40% of women. Notice to lovers! ” he said.