Talent management is already one of the established top priorities of CEOs worldwide who are more than aware of its importance. Even so, no matter how familiar certain issues are, one should not let down one’s guard. Instead these issues should be watched and tracked. From among these, we have identified 5 key trends that are raising the bar for talent management.
The market has increasingly become more global for both products and services. This evolution is also mirrored in the labour market which too is becoming more global than ever before.
The implications of this trend are that the skills and the intellect available can have access to a much larger pool of potential employers who operate in global markets. Skilled employees will have greater power to choose employers with the added benefit of mobility which lets them move around the world more ease than ever in today’s globalized market.
Previously managers were mostly concerned with managing tangible resources, land, capital itself, capital equipment, other physical assets, or perhaps an intangible asset such as brand image. In contrast, today it is estimated that around 50% of GDP is actually generated from knowledge-based skills. In other words, this GDP comes from our people, from their intellectual assets and skills.
This is a trend that is quite obviously going to continue to increase and dominate the market in the years to come. Organizations that are able to best manage their people assets will be the ones to thrive and prosper in such a market in the future.
We are all more than aware of the key role technology plays in both our working and private lives. What about the implications in the HR field? A closer look at the impact of technology as an evolving enabler reveals that it cannot be underestimated when it comes to understanding some of the shifts in talent management.
Jobs and job design are the first areas where technology visibly becomes a game changer. There are new types of jobs emerging that did not exist 10 years ago, or even as recently as 5 years ago. The evolving technology advances taking place at breakneck speed permeate by osmosis to all other areas and fields that can benefit from it—whatever can be automated will be automated. Knowledge workers become the key differentiator in this kind of space and environment as instigators of technological progress and by harnessing technology for other purposes. They alone are the ones who provide the innovation and creativity to achieve competitive advantage.
However, job design is not the only area that technology is transforming. The speed and transparency with which information can be passed using technology advances is revolutionizing talent management. Individuals as employees can now quickly personalize their information needs. The ability to customize according to “what do I want to receive, how often and how quickly” is a reality that empowers individuals today. Moreover, this data can be captured and tracked for later analysis. Data transparency is on the rise leading to new kinds of valuable applications. For example, tools like Glassdoor and LinkedIn are now enabling prospective employees to gain insights into the working culture of potential employers. Similarly social media tools provide prospective employees with applicant information that was not readily available before. Such transparency will quickly reveal whether an organization is a good place to work or not. As more and more information becomes available in the public domain, this visibility and transparency will increase.
Technology is also impacting data and analytics in the HR field. Given that there is more data than ever before that is readily available and accessible, analytics takes on a new role. Statistics is readily available providing HR professionals with powerful potential for analysis and decision making. For example, recruiters can now be more specific about which channel is best for hiring candidates for their organizations. They can also use predictive analytics, not just to reveal patterns in the past, but also to interpret these for later use in the context of big data and what might be the best strategy for the organization to achieve future business goals.
Technology is clearly one of the biggest factors changing and enriching the way talent management is handled in organizations.
Currently we are witnessing significant alterations in workforce composition. Worldwide, most certainly in many Western countries, people are enjoying greater health and living longer. In such circumstances, people are able to contribute for far longer in the workplace. This means that in a single workforce there are many more generations represented as well as narrower generational bands. So in this new multi-generational environment, a manager may be juggling a team composed of four or five discrete generations working side by side.
Extensive research shows that multi-generational diversity at the workplace also involves coping with the generational differences among the employees—what they expect of work, the rewards they seek, what motivates them and what they find meaningful. HR, managers and executives today must have a deeper grasp and understanding of the multi-generational diversity aspect of talent management. HR managers now have to be able to address questions like: What generations do I have in my organization? How do these generations respond differently to different compensation schemes? How do they work differently? What is the best way to retain someone who is generation X, Y or the upcoming generation Z? Demographic changes are spurring new generational diversity considerations that must be taken into account in talent management, issues that were not seriously addressed before.
Career and work patterns
There is a radical alteration in the way we think about careers and in how career paths are determined.
Much of the research work in this area has been lead by Bersin, who say we live in an open talent economy that is much more flexible and fluid. Organizations are no longer governed by the static structures of before and what we were used to. Instead today organizations are always evolving; teams form and reform depending on the projects to undertake and on the challenges to overcome. Their workforces are not limited to permanent full-time employees; these now include contingent workers who have the skills to work anywhere, anytime, and choose their own assignments and commitments to suit their lives. In a recent study on HR officers, Bersin found that as much as 83% of organizations are increasing their part-time and contingent contracted workforce.
Massive changes are visible in workforces which affect career and work patterns. These are here to stay. Already for a while now, we have become used to the idea that jobs for life are gone. Similarly, employees have already been encouraged to manage their own careers and to move from one organization to another. Nowadays the most talented, entrepreneurial and skilled employees have shown that they can do this easily and well in the web-enabled and fast-paced world in real time.
Many of these factors lead to very different patterns of careers and of jobs in organizations which impact how HR must handle talent and best manage it.
It should be clear now how all 5 macro trends will have a dramatic impact on organizations and how they manage their talent. The bottom line is that an organization’s individuals are the people who will increasingly become the biggest differentiator to an organization’s success. It is likely that there will be more potential employers chasing after the best talent to attract them to their organizations. These talented people will have more power to determine where, when and how they will work. This shift in the power dynamic in the employment relationship will continue to increase in the future.
If you want to learn more, check this webinar