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Talent Management

Via Forbes : Job Functions Vs. Superpowers: Exploring The Future Of Talent Management

Last month I had the privilege of speaking at Worldz — an annual gathering of thousands of the world’s most influential marketing, cultural and business leaders — with a friend and client partner, who is a talent and learning leader with incredible experience and big vision for how leaders must inspire and empower the greatest asset in every business: their people.

The experience was profound because of the nearly 100 talented people who joined us for the session. I’d like to share what we learned with a wider audience.

Our hypothesis is simple yet powerful: Our reliance on traditional job functions, such as HR or finance, to structure companies will reduce dramatically over the next decade, replaced by a greater focus on skills and “superpowers” — those innate, natural behaviors each of us have grown and developed through our lives. We wanted to prove that there is little correlation between function and skills in today’s companies. The results were exciting, providing a glimpse of a new model for managing talent.

What Makes Every One Of Us Super?

If you had to answer the question “What are you truly great at?” it’s doubtful you would answer with your job function. We asked every member of the audience to turn to a stranger next to them and identify each other’s superpowers. The room struck alight with deep conversation and laughter. We learned in a few minutes that we had superheroes among us. Super Listeners and Super Optimists were two examples. Nothing like job functions but everything like valuable skills for projects we are all working on.

There’s something more profound to draw from this exercise, too. In five minutes of dialog with a stranger, each person got to know each other more deeply than many employers know their long-term employees. Because, as leaders, we just don’t ask these kinds of questions.

We Know Nothing About Our Greatest Asset

Traditional employers seek to know only basic information about their people and little or nothing about what motivates them or what unique skills they have that could take the brand, company and culture in new directions.

It’s the opposite in consumer marketing. The best marketers seek to know as much as possible about who their audience is, how they live and what makes them unique so as to find a meaningful place in their world for our brands. We believe passionately that HR and marketing are actually sister disciplines. Each should be centered on the orientation of everything the company does around a valuable audience. The difference is just in who those people are. For HR, it is employees — which, logic demands, means also that the tag “Human Resources” is woefully out of date. Perhaps “Humanity” is a better functional name?

Focusing On Skills Changes Everything

Take a moment to imagine a future where we no longer organize people by function or staff initiatives with balanced cross-functional teams but instead matched skills and superpowers from our glorious pool of talent to project needs. It changes everything we know about how people work inside companies.

In this new dynamic, we’d start to value individual passions more than functional expertise or experience. We’d form fluid project squads instead of rigid discipline structure. Our people would experience multiple project tours instead of planned career moves. After-action reviews would give way to real-time monitoring and course refinements. Annual individual incentives would be replaced by team milestone rewards.

A Live Experiment: What We Learned From Our Worldz Audience

With nearly 100 people and less than 30 minutes, we had to move fast. Here’s what happened:

Step No. 1: Find your function.

We began by asking everybody to move to the traditional business function that best describes their current role:

• HR: Learning, Talent Management, Internal Comms

• Marketing: Advertising, Brand Management, PR, Sales, Customer Service

• Operations: Leadership, Administration, General Management, Project Management

• IT: Data, Technology, Innovation

• Product: Design, R&D, Production

• Finance: Accounting, Risk Management, Business Analytics

Step No. 2: What’s your superpower?

We introduced six broad “superpower” groups and asked each person to self-identify against their closest match:

• Guide: Building culture, networking, collaboration and teamwork, influencing, coaching

• Storyteller: Casting vision, engaging communication, adaptability, passion, provocation

• Driver: Driving growth, leading teams and managing people, solution-selling

• Builder: Organizing, planning, design thinking, detail-focused, managing projects

• Creator: Creativity, idea and concept creation, problem-solving, innovating, architecting new solutions

• Thinker: Agility, quantitative skills, commercial acumen, data analytics, strategic thinking, critical analysis

Step No. 3: Does your superpower match your function?

More than half of the audience was “out of position” based on traditional models matching functions to skills. Highlights included:

• 30% of marketers put themselves in the “guides” group (more than the expected fit with “storytellers”)

• Nearly 50% of IT & Product experts identify as “storytellers” (3x more than “creators” or “builders”)

• 40% of people in both Finance and Operations saw themselves as “creators”

• As expected, 70% of HR practitioners found “guide” as the best fit; 20% saw themselves as “builders”

Key Takeaway

There are a lot of lessons to take from this exploration. The conversations afterward were fascinating, deep and wide-ranging and, most enjoyably, engaged everyone from startup founders to large corporate HR leaders. There’s one thing I want you to take away: the knowledge that you can do this tomorrow. The skills you need to solve your next business problem likely exist in the people sitting next to you right now.

Here’s your challenge. Chances are your current project teams are optimized by function, not skills. Imagine what would happen if you assembled your next project team purely by skills and superpowers. What would that look like? Do you have the courage to try? And if a pilot is not physically possible, ask your people what their superpower is — you may be amazed by where the answers will take you.

Via IT Pro Portal : The importance of having a good talent management strategy

SMEs suffer more the consequences of high staff turnover, how can they prepare for it?

Staff turnover affects small businesses like any other, but reducing turnover with limited resources can be difficult. In this article, we explore how small businesses can put a talent management strategy in place and find the right tools to support it.

How does staff turnover affect small businesses?

Turnover is defined as the percentage of staff leaving your company over a given period, which, according to Monster, is around 15 per cent a year, although this varies between industries. In engineering, for example, it can be as low as 3 per cent, while in pensions and insurance it’s above 18 per cent, according to a 2018 survey by XpertHR.

Reducing turnover rates means understanding what drives employees to look elsewhere. Lack of personal progression is a significant factor here. Docebo surveyed 2,400 people in the US and UK in December 2018 and found that 36 per cent would quit a job because of a lack of learning and development opportunities. For younger workers, this rose to nearly half (48 per cent).

What is talent management?

A proper talent management strategy can help you reduce staff turnover by keeping them engaged from the moment they first see your job ad. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has a useful working definition of talent management on its website:

Talent management is the systematic attraction, identification, development, engagement,
retention and deployment of those individuals who are of particular value to an organisation,
either in view of their ‘high potential’ for the future or because they are fulfilling business/operation-critical roles.

There are several important aspects to note here. Good talent management must focus not only on attracting the right people to your small business, but on retaining and developing them for your mutual benefit, and measuring the return on investment.

HR headaches for small businesses

Talent management and employee engagement are two of the most persistent issues for HR managers in small businesses. With limited time and resources, how do you implement and stick to a talent management strategy that works for you?

The good news is that there is a range of software to help HR professionals and small business owners rise to the challenge. Traditionally, large enterprises have used HR software to help them manage thousands of employees, with functions ranging from simple admin and logging of employee information to more advanced features like absence management, performance management and recruitment.

This technology used to be costly to implement and maintain, but thanks to cloud-based software as a service (SaaS), HR software is now within reach of small businesses, too. In August, we surveyed nearly 300 employees from companies with less than 250 employees and discovered than 43 per cent of them use HR software. However, 45 per cent don’t, with price being the main factor: 40 per cent say they would consider using a free product, and a further 30 per cent say they would be prepared to pay up to £10 a month.

How can talent management software help?

Talent management software makes it easier for you to maintain a high-performing, engaged workforce and reduce staff turnover. It helps your small business streamline, automate and manage many of the aspects of a good talent management strategy, from recruitment to training. Here are three key application areas:


When a new person joins your company, their experience on day one can significantly impact their future levels of engagement and productivity. If their onboarding experience is poor, they’re less likely to stick around, too.

Onboarding features within talent management software help you ensure that the recruit feels informed, welcomed, and valued. One opportunity for this is during the period between signing a contract and starting a job, which can take months in some cases. Talent management software can automate some of the communication to maintain your connection with the new starter and inform them about some of the aspects of their new role – basics like safety procedures, and IT policies –so they’re ready to start on day one.

Performance management

How often have you seen employee objectives written down in documents that get saved onto a hard drive and not opened again until their next performance review a year later? Talent management software can help you streamline processes into one place, with outcomes that are transparent to managers and employees.

Continuous development

If you’re a small business owner, there’s probably more vital company information stored in your head than there is on employee-accessible documents. So how you do you ensure your staff have the proper training to go out and serve customers?

Software with learning features lets you develop libraries of training content, monitor employees’ progress, close skills gaps, and meet your company’s compliance requirements.

There are a number of talent management software solutions aimed at small businesses that can help you. With the right software by your side, you can overcome any difficulties related to staff turnover.

Via HR Exchange Network : Talent Acquisition: HR’s Guide For Finding the Best Talent

Talent Acquisition (TA) is more than just a strategy. It’s about creating a framework that helps an organization hire smarter. This doesn’t only include hiring talent that best fits a company’s needs, but also considering the needs of the prospective employee and how they align with the needs of the company.

In today’s current talent environment, TA is more important than ever before. Companies are experiencing a labor shortage, one that is forecasted to get worse before it gets better. At last check there are around one million more job openings than there are people to fill those positions. In fact, 50% of recruiters say they are actively looking for employees to fill jobs, but can’t seem to find one qualified candidate. Additionally, companies aren’t just looking to find talent in their own industry but talent in other industries as well. Translation: there is a high chance talent in an organization is actively being recruited by other companies.

In the guide below, the HR Exchange Network explores the topic of TA in more detail. It takes a look at the current state of affairs, strategies, and what talent acquisition leaders should expect in the coming years.

What is Talent Acquisition?

We start with a definition of talent acquisition. It’s important to understand exactly what it is and how it functions as part of the human resources department.

Definition: TA is the process of finding and acquiring skilled human labor for organizational needs and to meet any labor requirement. When used in the context of the recruiting and HR profession, talent acquisition usually refers to the talent acquisition department or team within the Human Resources department.

TA is different from recruitment in that recruitment is about filling vacancies in the short term whereas TA is more of a long-term strategy.

TA According to HR Leaders

To understand more about TA, here are a few quotes from HR professional on the topic and associated issues.

Steve Bonomo with Twitter’s Global Talent Acquisition Department says:

“The biggest challenge is a company’s ability to go out and get the creator. For us, a creator is someone who thinks outside the box, challenges the status quo, brings in new innovations and ideas; whether they work in finance or in research and development. Great brands don’t have trouble attracting candidates, but every company is challenged to hire creators.”

Sebastien Girard is the senior vice president of workforce engagement for Atrium Health. He says, “I feel that TA is becoming a customer service function. I might even go so far to say it’s almost a borderline sales function.”

Going a step further, he spoke about it in terms of the candidate experience.

“Candidates expect that customer service approach and responsiveness. They expect to feel important and they expect transparency. I don’t think that a job seeker is expecting to get every job that he or she applies for but there is a desire to have transparency when things go well -or if things don’t go well and when it doesn’t, why. Candidates expect responsiveness even when it’s bad news. If I don’t get the job I don’t want to wait a week and a half to get the bad news. I want to hear it right away,” Girard said.

TA Strategy

It’s important for today’s TA professionals and HR leaders to keep a grip on the changing landscape. There is plenty happening within the space and those things will continue to shape how employers find talent and grow retention in the future.

Entry-Level Expectations

In 2018, ICIMS reported new college graduates expected an average salary of $45,361 in entry-level pay. Just a year on, in 2019, that number has climbed more than $10,000 to $56,532.

With that expectation, college graduates will be looking to supplement their income and they’re going to turn to the freelance economy, also called the gig economy. The same study finds 64% of college seniors expect to get extra work through the gig economy.

Finally, more than half of companies surveyed as part of the ICIMS report say they’re seeing an increase in the number of applicants with a master’s degree for entry-level position. Furthermore, 72% feel applicants with a master’s degree are actually overqualified for the position.

TA Effectiveness

Goal Alignment

As previously stated, TA is a business imperative given the currently labor environment. A company or organization’s TA strategy must align with the strategic goals of the company across each department. Doing so will allow HR and responsible leaders to source and attract qualified candidates to roles.

Employer Branding

The strategy must also align with the employer brand. Not only is it the company’s identity, it is also a major tool used in acquiring talent. In some organizations, but not all, public relations and/or marketing departments are responsible for the brand and its representation to potential candidates. Regardless of who owns the strategy, TA leaders can and should play a role in its development and upkeep. The point of branding is to help potential candidates understand the company culture, its products and how it is different from its competitors.

Consider the following.

Companies with stronger employer brands, compared to competitors on average see a 43% decrease in the cost per candidate they hire. That’s according to LinkedIn. Why? Rather than spending all of the company’s money on advertising and marketing campaigns, companies will reap the rewards of the natural talent attraction traits of an attractive employer brand.

Without a functional and successful employer brand, companies could risk paying nearly $5,000 in salary premiums per hired employees. If the company employs 10,000 workers or more, the cost could be as high as $7.6 million in additional wages.

Employee Lifecycle

The TA team also has a key role to play in the lifecycle of an employee. Specifically, TA leaders are part of first few stages of the lifecycle including first contact through the job offer.

Workforce Planning

Workforce planning must be conducted regularly. HR professionals must understand talent supply and demand. Focus should be put on what is happening in the labor market and how it relates to the business goals of the company.

Other areas of focus should include:

  • What products and/or services are the company planning to provide or is already providing?
  • What is the competition doing?

Candidate Experience Improvement

67% of employed American adults say the application, interview or offer process would make or break their decision on whether or not to take an offer.

Having said that, there are a series of changes a company can make in improving their candidate experience.

  1. Write clear job descriptions – This should include simple, clear language that is easily read and understood. Make sure to include must-have requirements and make sure the candidate understands if any of those are management-related.
  2. Streamline the application process – Career pages should be easily accessible. The application should have clear instructions.
  3. Communicate during each step of the process – It is always good to talk to the candidate on the phone before asking the person to do a test or an assignment. Make sure there is information available about each step of the process and explain what they can expect during each step.
  4. Prepare candidates for what to expect during in-person interviews – HR should follow always be prepared for the interview, i.e. getting a room scheduled for the interview and line up meetings for the candidate.
  5. Inform the candidate as soon as possible if they are no longer being considered – Send a clear rejection message, but try to end the process on a positive note. If you wish to keep the candidate in mind for other opportunities, make sure to communicate that.

TA’s Future

The future of TA is agility. Human resources professionals have to be able to manage the talent pool with lightning speed. Why? The job market is competitive and moving at the speed of light. TA leaders have to be able to interact with job seekers in real time. Without this skill, companies run the risk of losing their best talent to the competition whether it be in the same industry or another industry. Understanding this new paradigm will allow TA leaders to drive desired business outcomes.

Somethings to consider:

  • Think about what the employee wants. Items include flexible schedules or the ability to work remotely. Are those opportunities available?
  • Embrace technology especially artificial intelligence. AI is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the talent acquisition space as a sourcing and/or analysis tool.
  • Embrace the new social norms. Employees want to work for companies that align with their values. This has to be a big part of the talent acquisition strategy. Employees who find themselves working for like-minded companies will work harder and stay longer.

In summation

TA done right can help a company grow and reach its long-term goals. Given the current talent environment however, it does seem a difficult take to accomplish. But, a TA leader who understands the type of employees his or her company needs and what types of workers make up the workforce are best prepared for the future of work.

Via HR Technologist : 4 Talent Growth Strategies for Your Remote Workforce

The future of tech work is remote. In my career, I’ve led on-site and remote teams―and I am now working remotely myself. I’ve seen first-hand both the need to recruit team members who work remote – and the impact that being outside the office can have on an individual’s career growth.

The work-at-home workforce has grown by 140 percent since 2005, as reported by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, nearly 10x faster than the rest of the workforce. The trend is increasingly gaining traction in the tech industry as hiring remote workers widens the talent pool. It also allows the employers to put individuals from a variety of backgrounds and diverse experiences together which has been shown to improve the complex problem solving and decision-making skills of a team.

As 3.9 million Americans or 2.9 percent of the total U.S. workforce, work from home at least half the time, according to a FlexJobs report, it is paramount that companies establish priorities that foster growth, learning and career development of these employees across distance. Here we present four actionable strategies that can be adopted to level the career advancement field for remote employees.

1. Establish evaluation practices that work across distance

All employees should have clarity on the career tracks available to them, and the performance metrics used to evaluate their progress. However, as direct observation is not an option, additional thought and effort is required to formalize how the performance of the remote employees will be measured. Here are some suggestions:

  • Conduct weekly status meetings, both individual and group, via video conferencing tools for all members of the team, both onsite and remote. This removes any proximity bias. Also, use a good agile project management tool to track individual assignments, task estimation, and progress.
  • Have quarterly company retreats at a site different than the office, and make it mandatory for all employees to travel and attend in person. Ask all employees to document their progress and share their contributions with the management and peer teams, both as brief written reports and lightning talks.
  • Schedule frequent and longer one-on-ones with remote employees to make up for the missed “popping in to ask a quick question or clarification” time. Always ask them if they feel adequately informed and supported, and give them a voice on the process improvement.

2. Enable “virtual” water cooler conversations

As much as the information related to promotions, advancements and stretch assignments needs to be communicated via official company platforms, the existence and importance of the people-to-people flow of information could not be ignored. Remote employees tend to miss on conversations and knowledge exchange that would typically happen around the water cooler. Below are some ways to counter this:

  • Provide alternative “virtual” water coolers utilizing the online team collaboration tools. Create dedicated virtual groups, chat rooms, and group discussions where employees can seek out new information, build peer relationships, share best practices and indulge in personal chitchat.
  • Encourage participation by nudging employees to post inspiration, bloopers, and photos of what’s going on. Create virtual events like post a picture of your pet day, or respond only in movie dialogues event, etc as fun and effective ways of building remote bonding.
  • Allow the team to enjoy a break together such as “remote” lunches, coffee breaks and happy hours where the employees enjoy food, drinks, and informal conversations together, connected via video feeds.

3. Reinforce the importance of remote learning

Career advancement is closely related to an employee’s personal and professional growth. Not only talent growth should be a company’s highest priority but also it should be ensured that remote employees will not be overlooked in this process. Consider the following:

  • Supplement every training offered on-site with a remote viewing and participation option. Same with any invited talks and presentations.
  • Have an always-on digital library of resources such as books, papers, articles, subscriptions etc available to all employees free of charge. Frequently ask for recommendations on what content to add to these resources and update the catalog accordingly.
  • Provide an education allowance and encourage remote employees to take online personal and professional development courses that best meet their needs at their own pace.

4. Create deliberate “lead from afar” opportunities

Give remote workers opportunities and guidance to flex their leadership muscles. Increase their visibility, as well as what they can contribute and weigh in on. Some recommendations are as follows:

  • Encourage remote employees to present at company-wide meetings. Make them team leads for specific assignments and ask them to subdivide the tasks and lead status meetings via video conferencing tools. Ensure the audience, setup and logistics are similar to as if the employee was presenting onsite.
  • Create shadowing programs where remote employees can virtually shadow someone in a position they aspire to be in or aim to understand better. Create schedules so that they can join in on the shadowee’s group meetings, customer and stakeholder interactions.
  • Create mentoring programs where remote employees can mentor other employees. Establish onboarding mentorship for remote workers by remote workers as it is helpful for a new remote employee to reach out to someone in a similar work situation for questions or concerns.

Companies need to be intentional and proactive about building processes to support career advancement and development of their remote workforce with the understanding that equitable processes will, at times, require different strategies for onsite vs remote workers. We have discussed some of these strategies in this article.

Via Yourstory : 7 hacks in workforce analytics that enable businesses to ace talent management

If you don’t know your workers, how will you make that journey to productivity? Industry 4.0 gives you a ready reckoner that analyses employees, giving you the seven tenets that enhance the skillset of your team.

Workforce analytics is a way of employing statistical tools and methodologies that enable company leaders to optimise human resources management by leveraging data-mined intelligence. Enterprises, cognizant of the link between individual performance and organisational profitability, are increasingly adopting workforce analytics to map, analyse, and assess employee behaviour and trends.

These tools are assisting HR managers in better understanding and managing their employees, from the time a professional is recruited to when they exit the organisation, and everything in between. The following are some of the ways companies are harnessing the power of workforce analytics to achieve talent management goals:

1. Conducting efficient hiring

Managers use AI and ML-enabled processes like capability analytics and potential index mapping to gauge the level of skills present internally at a given time and determine how well the succession pipeline is capable of filling vacant leadership positions that arise in the future. To build a talent pipeline plan which is revised annually, there are many metrics that need to be factored in to conduct effective hiring. These include the number of candidates to be screened, the time that will be consumed in the process, selecting recruitment channels that can supply the best talent, and so on.

Workforce analytics enables business leaders to also manage post-recruitment factors such as the retention rate and turnover rate with the end-goal of ensuring robust RoI in mind. Comparative analytics and benchmarking further assist recruiters to ensure that compensation and benefits to fresh hires are aligned with the latest market standards and individual experience.

2. Augmenting the effectiveness of training programmes

Availability of robust career growth prospects is a key component of quality EX, and a major factor which motivates an employee to forge a long-term relationship with their organisation. Professionals today need to continuously reskill and upskill to stay relevant in a rapidly-evolving business ecosystem. The onus falls on organisations to keep their talent agile with the necessary L&D tools and resources.

HR managers leverage pretraining assessment to identify the degree of skill gap among the employees and drive L&D initiatives accordingly. Further, post-training assessments allow managers to gauge the effectiveness of the training along with tracking corollaries including value-added benefits, training ROI, etc.

3. Bolstering communication across all verticals

Just like managers expect employees to possess up-to-date skills and add value to the organisation, employees also expect continuous feedback and growth opportunities from their seniors. Establishing a transparent communication channel with its employees becomes business imperative for an organisation. It should not only be able to clearly convey what it expects from the employees in terms of KPIs and KRAs but also offer them comprehensive as well as regular feedback and performance review. All of which becomes possible with on boarding workforce analytics which helps employees in better understanding their performance evaluation and employers in presenting key evaluation metrics of productivity, business impact, and RoI generated from their work.

4. Optimising employee experience

Employee experience (EX) is an extremely vast term considering that it encompasses all the aspects of an individual’s professional journey within an organisation. Therefore, to raise the overall quality of EX, it is necessary for managers to map various touchpoints of an employee’s engagement with the organisation and vice versa. HR managers leverage various employee-feedback mechanisms such as engagement surveys to collect relevant data to achieve the said objectives. However, as befits the dynamism of the modern business landscape, pulse surveys are quickly gaining traction among new-age employers. Some companies are even empowering bots working on the model of AI-based analytics capability for such pulse surveys to continuously offer feedback to individuals as well as analyse mood, behaviour, and stress levels of employees. Such bots, then, forward reports to managers about any stress or bad mood of employees so that they can have one-to-one conversation with the latter to alleviate the challenges.

As opposed to engagement surveys which typically take place annually or bi-annually, pulse surveys are quicker, shorter, and more frequent. Regular interaction with employees offers managers more data to work upon, enabling them to derive more accurate and effective actionable insights. This gives enterprises a fairer idea about the areas of improvement including leadership performance, organizational ergonomics, workplace culture, etc.

5. Establishing and achieving new business milestones

The leadership is tested especially during the times of mergers and acquisitions or a major overhaul of existing technological infrastructure, when the workforce may associate the event with the loss of business vision. In such cases, it becomes essential for the senior management to instil trust and optimism among the employees by conveying – and motivating the workforce to work towards realising – the evolved business vision and milestones. It is here that workforce analytics again steps into the picture to help managers drive workforce modelling and devise effective business strategies around the requirement of leadership and skilled individuals in the wake of major management or workflow changes.

6. Establishing the corelation between employee performance and business growth

Workforce analytics can reveal the disparity between real-time productivity and performance metrics. Managers can leverage the data generated to identify time-consuming pockets of work, and accordingly streamline the workflow to save time for professionals in high-paying positions. This can have a direct positive impact on the business bottom line. As mundane, monotonous and routine work goes out of the way of talented individuals, they are better able to contribute in their role and fell more aligned and committed to the organisation.

7. Curbing employee turnover

Using the power of predictive analytics, managers can map employee behavioural patterns to track the probability of employee resignations. With relevant data on hand, organisations can proactively work towards improving retention by establishing skill-building and L&D mechanisms internally. They can even prepare for the employee exit aftermath by building a secondary talent pipeline by scaling-up competencies of other high-potential (HiPos) employees and getting them ready for bigger responsibilities.

In this manner, by actively integrating tech-enabled apparatuses with management best practices, companies can transform data from being an input fodder to being a key business-driving currency. This gives them an advantageous edge in the rapidly-transforming business landscape, enabling them to boost their operational productivity and organisational profitability at the same time.