B) Talent development and retention

1. Training

At Criteo, significant investment is made in people development. Employee and manager development is pivotal in ensuring sustainable performance and success as a high-growth global tech company.

To do so, Criteo relies on key players working closely with business leaders and the Human Resources team:

  • Criteo’s product training team: they enable ramp-up in sales roles as well as continuous product knowledge upskilling for the sales organization across the globe. They notably facilitate a community of product subject matter experts and casual trainers that propose a wide range of services: knowledge assessments, quarterly training plan, trainings design and delivery. Trainings are delivered at global and local levels in multiple modalities: live through formal classes, team updates, Q&A sessions, practice and role playing sessions, etc.
  • Criteo’s training managers: they support specific fast growing sales organizations (Midmarket) or regions (APAC) and are seated with the business teams. They enable local tailored needs analysis and training plan design and delivery, facilitate trainings and build an upskill crew of local casual trainers and facilitators.
  • Criteo’s global learning & management development team: they shape the overall learning and development strategy and lead global endeavors and flagship programs.

In 2017 Criteo pursued its vision of creating high-impact learning and development capabilities for its people:

  • On-boarding every new joiner with "FlyCriteo", an extensive 2-week onboarding training program using a combination of both on-line and in-person learning.
  • Tackling core and critical skill development needs in a comprehensive manner:

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  • Tapping into the full spectrum of learning and development methods to create a culture of pervasive and continuous learning.

Although this report focuses on the formal training activities (instructor-led or on-line) there is much more that is happening in the field, every day, in each office, within Criteo’s cross-teams and organizations, through peer-to-peer learning and social learning activities. These more informal learning activities are more ad-hoc but are promoted and facilitated locally, represent a large part of the people learning experience and are a key part of Criteo’s learning culture. They haven't been included as part of the formal training hours reported in this document, but some examples are included for reference.

Methodological approach and disclaimer:

The training figures presented in this report encompass face-to-face training sessions and on-line training for the entities represented in the reporting scope.

Face to face training sessions are organized in-house or through attendance to public courses and, for the vast majority, are with third-party facilitators/​training firms.

Only the training sessions that focus on improving employees' skills and capabilities are considered: it covers adaptation to the job (functional or technical skills, digital literacy, technologies or tools, languages) professional development (professional efficiency, communication, management, leadership) and formal individual coaching.

A significant number of sessions are delivered by internal subject matter experts or casual trainers. Most of these Criteo product enablement sessions, on-boarding sessions, or ramp-up sessions are not taken into account in terms of training figures because attendance is not formally tracked so far.

The systematic practice of collecting proof of training delivery has not yet been adopted in all countries (outside of France, due to legal requirements). Thus, the training figures displayed in this report include training activities backed by attendance forms and additional activities claimed by Criteo internal stakeholders (e.g. reported by HR business partners or training managers to the global learning & management development team).

On-line training figures are gathered through logs and records from the digital learning resources in place:

  • Criteo Learning Management System introduced in 2016 and internally called the "Learning Zone" from which data related to all eligible trainings have been exported, as described in the methodological note (see chapter V).
  • Stand-alone on-line training platforms, not technically integrated into the Learning Zone, with comparable administration and logs and records extraction possibilities filtering on full year 2017:
    • Data science (theory and coding) training platform launched mid-2016.
    • On-line language training platform launched in October 2016.
    • Engineering and technology (mainly MOOCs, massive open on-line courses) training platform launched in February 2017.

As stated in last year’s CSR report, 2016 was a year of set-up and bolstering of learning and development efforts to support both the company continuous growth and transformation and people capabilities development. 2017 has been a year of ramp-up and acceleration in the adoption and usage of digital learning, branded through the Learning Zone:

  • Increase in the consumption by employees of content and resources available in the system.
  • Multiplication of modules authored in-house by subject matter experts related to Criteo’s Products, business applications tutorials and on-boarding modules for new joiners (FlyCriteo).
  • Broadening of partnerships with best-in-class providers in specific domains to offer cutting-edge and learner-centered content and experiences: on-line language training, data science, engineering and technologies, digital marketing, etc.

From almost nothing less than 2 years ago, digital learning now represents 20% to 25% of Criteo global training activities, contributing to more inclusive reach and more personalized learning paths.

Criteo also accelerated the creation of global curriculums aiming at a consistent development of core targeted audience:

  • Global Management and Leadership Development curriculum, structured into three distinctive journeys, to help transition and grow from individual contributors to first-line managers, to seasoned first-line managers, to middle-managers. More than 150 managers benefited of one or more of these journeys across the globe in the ramp-up stage in 2017.
  • Core skills and advanced skills training catalog for sales and operations roles within the Midmarket organization.

In-class training highlights – claimed hours:
(hours claimed by HR business partners or training managers)

In-class training (claimed) # training hours # Employees (average headcount 2017) Average # training hours per employee # Trained employees Average # training hours per trained employee % of trained employees
APAC 2,232 237 9.4 129 17.3 54%
Criteo Ad. (Beijing) Co. 169 29 5.8 11 15.3 38%
Criteo Singapore PTE LTD 1,221 83 14.7 68 18.0 82%
CRITEO K.K 842 124 6.8 50 16.8 40%
Americas 3,160 833 3.8 259 12.2 31%
Criteo Corp. 2,623 753 3.5 224 11.7 30%
Criteo do Brazil 537 80 6.7 35 15.3 44%
EMEA 11,520 1,386 8.3 586 19.7 42%
Criteo Europa MM 4,952 265 18.7 275 18.0 100%
Criteo LTD 425 125 3.4 17 25.0 14%
Criteo SA 5,473 827 6.6 254 21.5 31%
Criteo GmbH 214 89 2.4 10 21.4 11%
Criteo France SAS 456 80 5.7 30 15.2 37%
Total 16,912 2,456 6.9 974 17.4 40%
In-class training (claimed) # training hours # Employees (average headcount 2017)
APAC 2,232 237
Criteo Ad. (Beijing) Co. 169 29
Criteo Singapore PTE LTD 1,221 83
CRITEO K.K 842 124
Americas 3,160 833
Criteo Corp. 2,623 753
Criteo do Brazil 537 80
EMEA 11,520 1,386
Criteo Europa MM 4,952 265
Criteo LTD 425 125
Criteo SA 5,473 827
Criteo GmbH 214 89
Criteo France SAS 456 80
Total 16,912 2,456
In-class training (claimed) Average # training hours per employee # Trained employees
APAC 9.4 129
Criteo Ad. (Beijing) Co. 5.8 11
Criteo Singapore PTE LTD 14.7 68
CRITEO K.K 6.8 50
Americas 3.8 259
Criteo Corp. 3.5 224
Criteo do Brazil 6.7 35
EMEA 8.3 586
Criteo Europa MM 18.7 275
Criteo LTD 3.4 17
Criteo SA 6.6 254
Criteo GmbH 2.4 10
Criteo France SAS 5.7 30
Total 6.9 974
In-class training (claimed) Average # training hours per trained employee % of trained employees
APAC 17.3 54%
Criteo Ad. (Beijing) Co. 15.3 38%
Criteo Singapore PTE LTD 18.0 82%
CRITEO K.K 16.8 40%
Americas 12.2 31%
Criteo Corp. 11.7 30%
Criteo do Brazil 15.3 44%
EMEA 19.7 42%
Criteo Europa MM 18.0 100%
Criteo LTD 25.0 14%
Criteo SA 21.5 31%
Criteo GmbH 21.4 11%
Criteo France SAS 15.2 37%
Total 17.4 40%

  • Average number of in-class training hours per employee is 6.9 hours.
  • 40% of employees benefited of in-class training and those trained had an average of 17.4 hours of training.

Criteo Europa MM and Criteo Singapore PTE LTD have significantly improved thanks to the support of a dedicated team of training managers in 2017.

In-class training highlights – backed by evidence:
(signed-off attendance list or equivalent)

In-class training (backed by evidence) # training hours # Employees (average headcount 2017) Average # training hours per employee # Trained employees Average # training hours per trained employee % of trained employees
APAC 867 237 3.7 52 16.7 22%
Criteo Ad. (Beijing) Co. 84 29 2.9 10 8.4 34%
Criteo Singapore PTE LTD 253 83 3.0 20 12.7 24%
CRITEO K.K 530 124 4.3 22 24.1 18%
Americas 992 833 1.2 60 16.5 7%
Criteo Corp. 686 753 0.9 36 19.1 5%
Criteo do Brazil 306 80 3.8 24 12.8 30%
EMEA 3,994 1,386 2.9 162 24.7 12%
Criteo Europa MM 760 265 2.9 27 28.1 10%
Criteo LTD 285 125 2.3 10 28.5 8%
Criteo SA 2,483 827 3.0 99 25.1 12%
Criteo GmbH 134 89 1.5 5 26.8 6%
Criteo France SAS 332 80 4.1 21 15.8 26%
Total 5,853 2,456 2.4 274 21.4 11%
In-class training (backed by evidence) # training hours # Employees (average headcount 2017)
APAC 867 237
Criteo Ad. (Beijing) Co. 84 29
Criteo Singapore PTE LTD 253 83
CRITEO K.K 530 124
Americas 992 833
Criteo Corp. 686 753
Criteo do Brazil 306 80
EMEA 3,994 1,386
Criteo Europa MM 760 265
Criteo LTD 285 125
Criteo SA 2,483 827
Criteo GmbH 134 89
Criteo France SAS 332 80
Total 5,853 2,456
In-class training (backed by evidence) Average # training hours per employee # Trained employees
APAC 3.7 52
Criteo Ad. (Beijing) Co. 2.9 10
Criteo Singapore PTE LTD 3.0 20
CRITEO K.K 4.3 22
Americas 1.2 60
Criteo Corp. 0.9 36
Criteo do Brazil 3.8 24
EMEA 2.9 162
Criteo Europa MM 2.9 27
Criteo LTD 2.3 10
Criteo SA 3.0 99
Criteo GmbH 1.5 5
Criteo France SAS 4.1 21
Total 2.4 274
In-class training (backed by evidence) Average # training hours per trained employee % of trained employees
APAC 16.7 22%
Criteo Ad. (Beijing) Co. 8.4 34%
Criteo Singapore PTE LTD 12.7 24%
CRITEO K.K 24.1 18%
Americas 16.5 7%
Criteo Corp. 19.1 5%
Criteo do Brazil 12.8 30%
EMEA 24.7 12%
Criteo Europa MM 28.1 10%
Criteo LTD 28.5 8%
Criteo SA 25.1 12%
Criteo GmbH 26.8 6%
Criteo France SAS 15.8 26%
Total 21.4 11%

  • 35% of the total training hours claimed are backed by evidence.
  • Several entities reached 50% and more claimed hours backed by evidence, a significant improvement compared to 2016.

Core on-line training highlights:

Core on-line training # training hours # Employees (average headcount 2017) Average # training hours per employee
APAC 1,024 237 4.3
Criteo Ad. (Beijing) Co. 49 29 1.7
Criteo Singapore PTE LTD 456 83 5.5
CRITEO K.K 519 124 4.2
Americas 1,632 833 2.0
Criteo Corp. 1,437 753 1.9
Criteo do Brazil 195 80 2.4
EMEA 4,765 1,386 3.4
Criteo Europa MM 810 265 3.1
Criteo LTD 143 125 1.1
Criteo SA 3,198 827 3.9
Criteo GmbH 267 89 3.0
Criteo France SAS 347 80 4.3
Total 7,420 2,456 3.0

Compared to the 2016 figures outlined in last year’s report (average 1.1 hour on-line training), 3.0 hours per employee is a significant improvement of almost 300%, focusing only on “core on-line training”.

These core on-line training figures include significant progress in:

  • Engineering, technologies, data science (Coursera and Datacamp platforms).
  • Criteo Products training (in-house authored).
  • Language training and general professional development.

On top of the core on-line training hours reported above, employees have completed other on-line training. It represents 4,094 hours (taking into account modules that have been 100% completed) and covers Compliance modules (59% of the time), FlyCriteo modules (31%), CRM and SRM tutorials (5.8%) and digital literacy with Criteo applications (4%). They represent an average of 1.8 hour of additional on-line training per employee.

2. Peer-to-peer and social learning practices

As stated previously, peer-to-peer and social learning is part of Criteo’s learning culture and DNA. They represent a large part of the employee learning experience and whilst they are not being translated here in formal training hours and they sometimes blur the boundaries between informal learning and in-house instructor lead training.

This can be illustrated by few examples here:

  • Practices at a local level:
    • “9:30” or “learn and lunch” initiatives with informal knowledge sharing session from volunteering subject matter experts.
    • Criteo “Confident Communicator Club”, an internally-led initiative to help improve people’s presentation skills.
  • Practices at department level:
    • Train the trainer in-house certification for casual facilitators from Midmarket EMEA (mainly at the Barcelona office), led by local training manager.
    • “Key Account Management” summit (1.5 day workshop in-house facilitated) and monthly KAM community calls and meet-ups piloted in EMEA.
    • “Machine learning boot camp”: an in-house facilitated, intensive, program, open to developers. Offered twice a year, in two locations (Paris or Palo Alto), it is made up of two to three weeks instructor-led sessions from a panel of internal experts and several weeks learning transfer practice through capstone projects or “Voyager” programs, rallying another R&D team for stretch assignments.
  • Practices at global level:
    • During Criteo’s Global Summit attended by all employees, Criteo University sessions were held during a half day activity with more than 40 subject matter experts volunteering from the business to deliver three 45 minute sessions to their peers on a wide range of topics ranging from technology, products, business to personal development.

3. “myidea” flagship initiative

At Criteo, people believe that innovation is part of everyone’s job and is critical for the whole Criteo’s sphere to stay ahead of its competition. In July 2017, Criteo has introduced a new program called “myidea” to help implement employee’s ideas at Criteo “like in a start-up”.

The myidea program ties together existing initiatives (“10%”, annual “Hackathon”) to provide all the support and flexibility needed to turn employees’ ideas into reality. Employees are invited to submit their ideas related to product innovation, revenue generation, profit optimization, or business efficiency. At the end of 2017, four projects have been launched thanks to the myidea program out of the six that had been submitted.

Through this new myidea program, initiatives are gaining traction thanks to a higher frequency of events (quarterly), scale (worldwide facilitation across the Americas, EMEA and APAC) and visibility (fairs to incept new ideas, team up sessions, “angel committees” for early stage projects to mature them, “venture committee” for the most mature ideas to be implemented at scale).

a. 10% project

All Criteo employees can commit to a project of their own through the “10%” project initiative. They can propose, pitch, team up and work on projects and topics of their own choosing for 10% of their working time. In many cases, these projects provide on-the-job development opportunities, and may be pursued or scaled up during an internal “Hackathon”. Several major in-house projects have resulted from the 10% project initiative, including “CriteoExchange”, launched in 2017 which aimed at sharing language knowledge and swapping of accommodation free of charge with other Criteos through an on-line application.

b. Global “Hackathon”

The global “Hackathon” has had two successful years with nearly 400 employees taking part in the 2017 event. This event aims to encourage employees around the world to team up, create ideas, and develop projects, build demos or create business plans. Ideas can be either tech projects that are in line with Criteo’s product roadmap or ones that could completely revolutionize Criteo’s product offerings. Alternatively, ideas can also be around business efficiency that helps economic efficiency, protects the environment or improves the way that Criteo operates. There were three separate hubs to cover the three regions where Criteo operates with the following successes:

  1. Tokyo’s business efficiency winners were a team called “Lily” who came up with a platform which allows Sales to create banners for a sales pitch. Tokyo’s tech winners were “App Acumen” whose idea was a suite of testing and verification tools for an in-app environment: get retargeted on select campaigns, verify real displays on publisher apps, and create artificial campaign for testing.
  2. Paris’s business efficiency winners were “Yet! Another Slack Bot” who’s idea was to improve the operational team efficiency by providing an awesome assistant for Slack. The tech winners were “Christina” whose pitch was: “So much more than a banner. It’s a service to users that makes on-line shopping interactive, easy and fun - just swipe right to like a product, or swipe left to pass.”
  3. Palo Alto’s business efficiency winners were Criteo “Product Explorer” who wanted to create an explorer to show Criteo products with full or selected details, support exact lookup and search functions to fetch the relevant Criteo products and show them. The tech winners were “BRO: Shake that BOT for me” who created a BRO (Bot Recommendation Optimizer) that allows Criteo’s advertisers to leverage their product recommendation and search through an “Applications Programming Interface” (API) that improves their conversions in-thread and on-line.
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