Across the globe, talent management faces newer demands, challenges and trends. According to the World Bank, the global economy is estimated to grow by 2.8 percent in 2017 and 3 percent in 2018. Talent scarcity is expected to affect the business landscape, expectations of workers and employers are on the rise, and the proliferation of technology is poised to revolutionise work patterns. Organisations thus need to reconsider how they will constitute their workforce and manage talent, where they will source it from and how they will win the mindsets of highly desired employees.
Workforce strategy, the ‘Total Talent Management’ way
Clearly, the way of working is dramatically changing. And enterprises need to adopt the change into their workforce strategy. The growing role of non-traditional talent – contingent workers, freelancers, automation and robotics – is eliminating traditional boundaries to make way for a total talent management strategy. Technology is breaking down geographic barriers and accelerating talent mobilisation and collaboration.
The time for a ‘wait and watch’ has long past gone. Now is the time to start the total talent management execution. What can organisations do to make the total talent vision a reality? What are the questions they need to ask themselves to assess the present and prepare for the future?
Question 1 – How will we prepare for talent mobilisation?
This requires a cultural shift in the way companies bring in talent. Processes need to accommodate the preferences of workers in this new era. Talent search has to be expanded to wider markets and emerging technologies need to be leveraged to source, engage and manage talent. An integrated and inclusive talent workforce strategy incorporating flexible workers will enable agility and quality in a highly competitive economy.
Brand building will need to use the right communication through the right channels to cater to the expectations of the new-gen workforce. Vision, authenticity, transparency, and consistent communication in defining the employee value proposition (EVP) are critical aspects of employer branding.
Question 2 – How will we unleash the powerful potential of the freelance economy?
Independent workers are transforming existing work models and creating new ones. According to McKinsey, there are currently about 162 million freelancers in the US and Europe. Organisations will inevitably need to incorporate this powerful force of talent into their workforce strategy. Accessing the right skills across the globe, and being flexible to provide options to hire talent or empower them with independence are agile choices that organizations need to be prepared for.
Question 3 – Are we ready to manage millennials in leadership positions?
While millennials have transformed businesses with their digital abilities and high energy levels, their preparedness for leadership has been found wanting. Keeping them engaged, providing them continuous feedback and grooming them for leadership - while maintaining an equitable work-life balance that they look for - these are challenges that organizations need to address.
Question 4 – How can we seamlessly fit into the digital workforce of the future?
Technology is breaking new grounds in the manner companies source, engage and manage talent. With automation and robotics emerging as an important component of the future workforce, talent management will need to drive innovation in performance. Skilling and up-skilling strategies need to be redefined to drive such thinking.
Being future-proofed in technology is a must for HR to support the business shift to digital products and services. A talent analytics platform can drive an insights-led people function and be the holistic link to other business information. This will enable integrated talent management through predictive identification of needs and risk mitigation.
In a rapidly changing talent landscape, total talent management has become an inevitable priority to compete and outperform. The choice and shift to a non-traditional employee population, however challenging it may be, is loaded with advantages. It lends better quality, better-fit talent and a more innovative talent engagement process. Its impact on business outcomes is significant. It removes silos that decelerate organisational agility, optimises resources and provides a consolidated visibility of the entire workforce.
Above all, it places HR in a leading collaborative and strategic role with other functions such as procurement and finance to drive enterprise success – and provides HR a more relevant place at the business table.