Several factors, including a tight labour market and a massive influx of data are impacting the way HR professionals and talent management leaders are performing their jobs, writes Stephanie Edwards
Issues around talent management are becoming more and more complex, from the role that artificial intelligence and talent analytics plays, to the shift in how people are looking to get compensated. To succeed in attracting, developing and retaining top talent, it’s critical to be agile and forward thinking.
Talent management trend #1. (Don’t) mind the gap!
Recruiters are no longer looking at employment gaps with raised eyebrows as the stigma of taking time off between jobs to raise children, travel, or learn new skills wears off.
Tactics to reach professionals who have been out of the workforce include targeted proactive sourcing, talent communities, workshops, alumni networks for those who have left the company and may consider returning, and ‘buddy’ systems for effective onboarding.
Talent management trend #2. Making artificial intelligence more ‘intelligent’
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been touted as a new holy grail in recruiting – particularly in helping to source qualified candidates. However, left unchecked, its ‘intelligence’ could undermine recent efforts to boost diversity. For example, even when resumes are anonymised, AI can still often embed gender biases.
When it comes to reviewing resumes, some countries are mandating that certain personal information be withheld during the early stages of the recruiting process. Practices such as ‘blind screening,’ whereby personal information isn’t revealed until later in the hiring process, are becoming more prevalent.
Feeding AI with non-partial data such as assessment results, can also help mitigate the risks associated with biases that these technologies can unknowingly perpetuate.
Talent management trend #3. Personalised pay
With four generations in the workforce, and a range of expectations around pay and benefits, companies are increasingly looking to tailor compensation and reward packages to the individual.
In order to understand the differences in what might incentivise one group, such as millennials, from another group (e.g. baby boomers), organisations are beginning to listen to what matters to employees. They are doing this through social listening, focus groups and surveys.
“Even when resumes are anonymised, AI can still often embed gender biases”
This turns the pay and rewards discussion from a company communicating with the entire workforce to a 1:1 discussion with employees.
Talent management trend #4. Rethinking the annual performance review
Ongoing feedback is the name of the professional development game as annual reviews fall short of meeting employee expectations.
In a recent Korn Ferry survey of professionals, 30 per cent said their annual performance review had no impact or was ineffective at improving their professional performance, and 43 per cent said it had no impact or was unhelpful at making them understand what to do more of or differently to improve future performance.
In that same survey, 96 per cent of respondents said real-time feedback and ongoing performance discussions with their bosses are more effective than an annual review.
Talent management trend #5. The diversity and inclusion pipeline
Across the globe, there have been mandates that boards of directors have female representation. While this is a positive move to increase diversity and inclusion at the top, organisations are seeing an increased focus across all levels of an organisation to create an ongoing pipeline of diverse talent.
To measure their progress, many organisations have begun using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to find out what percentage of minority applicants were hired. While it is against the law in most parts of the world to favour those in minority groups, organisations are working to increase their diverse candidate pool and using unbiased assessments to ensure the most qualified are hired.
Talent management trend #6. How are we doing?
Talk about an employee’s market. Serious investment in collecting feedback throughout the recruitment process highlights the importance of candidate experience to attracting and engaging top talent.
“Ongoing feedback is the name of the professional development game as annual reviews fall short of meeting employee expectations”
Survey tools seek feedback at all points within the process, which gives recruiters and hiring managers data-driven insights and intelligence. With the data, they can amend recruiting practices, including specific job requirements and interactions with candidates, to successfully hire the best people.
Talent management trend #7. That’s really a title?
New roles and titles are emerging across many industries to meet the changing strategies of organisations. From an executive perspective, many industries are creating chief experience officer roles. These industries understand that technology has forever changed the way they do business, and there is a stronger need than ever for customers to have positive experiences at every touchpoint.
Organisations are also placing greater emphasis on the well-being of their employees, with titles such as ‘Chief Happiness Officer’ and ‘Chief People Officer’ becoming more prevalent.
To attract younger employees drawn to titles more interesting than ‘associate’ or ‘assistant’, titles such as ‘data wrangler’ (responsible for organising and interpreting mounds of data), ‘legal ninja’ (legal aide), and ‘customer relations advocate’ are popping up at many organisations.
Talent management trend #8. Talent analytics and business analytics
Traditionally, business leaders set their strategy by using business analytics to determine cost and operational effectiveness. For example, they may determine where to open an office based on cost and proximity to raw materials. However, they may fail because they don’t have access to the right type of employees – especially as digital disruption puts a premium on people who can learn new skills and thrive in changing markets.
Today, talent analytics is becoming just as important as business analytics. Analytics that look at the talent landscape in specific markets, including competition for and availability of qualified talent in one city or state, as well as compensation norms, are coming into play in tandem with business analytics to create the most effective, sustainable approach.
“New roles and titles are emerging across many industries to meet the changing strategies of organisations”
Talent management trend #9. Talking talent holistically, from hire to retire
With the massive influx of data, one would assume organisations would have one integrated way to analyse all elements of talent decisions, including recruiting, compensation and development. Unfortunately, in many organisations, each of these functions is operating under a different ‘language’ often unable to talk with one another.
There is a trend toward a more foundational, data-centric approach that creates actionable insights from an organisational, team and individual perspective. This foundation is informed by data from talent acquisition, assessment, development, organisational structure and compensation functions. This allows for a calibrated approach to talent that is tightly linked to business outcomes, whole also helping create a customised development program once the candidate is hired.
Talent management trend #10. Long-term versus short-term goals
The tension between hiring for the now while keeping a focus on future plans is pulling talent acquisition teams in different directions. In a recent Korn Ferry survey of talent acquisition professionals, 77 per cent say they are hiring for roles today that didn’t even exist a year ago.
Industry leaders are taking a holistic approach to talent acquisition. In the short-term, they can increase speed to hire by understanding the right mix of short-term contractors, gig workers and full-time employees, who bring the right skills and experiences to meet current and future needs. At the same time, they are taking a longer-term approach by taking a deep dive into business imperatives to create a total strategic plan with clearly defined goals, but can be amended as needs change.
To fulfill both needs, many organisations are outsourcing their hiring efforts to providers that often have two teams working on their behalf: a day-to-day operations team and an account management team that analyses ongoing business and technology trends to plan for the future.