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Trends, Product and Industry Insights to Help Create Your HR Tomorrow, Today.

The Evolution of Talent Management - Why Engagement is Key

Somewhere in the early 2000s, professionals in human resources began referring to a collection of standalone HR practices as a new function called “talent management.” This gave rise to a software category delivering applications such as recruiting, learning, and performance management. These systems were designed primarily to streamline the work of HR administration and redesign talent processes. They were built primarily to benefit the organization and, to some extent, the HR professional. Employees and candidates had to use these systems, but typically did so begrudgingly and as little as possible because they were cumbersome and difficult to use, having not been designed to provide much value to users. If you’ve ever tried to apply for a job through one of these early applicant-tracking systems, you know what I mean.

But the workforce of today has evolved, and so too must our talent management systems.

The Workforce of Today

Let’s start with the evolution of the modern workforce.

  • Employee engagement is at an all-time low, and only half of all employees would recommend their employers to friends, according to job site Glassdoor. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital 2015 report says that organizational leadership rated culture and engagement the most important overall issue.  Leaders care about having meaningful culture and high engagement because without them, performance suffers and top talent will leave.
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  • Talent shortages and retention are big concerns. A recent talent recruitment survey by the McQuaig Institute found that 92% of recruiters say it is getting harder to find talent in 2015 or staying the same, and Bersin by Deloitte found that 83% of companies are seriously worried about their leadership pipelines.
  • For employees, however, it’s never been easier to discover new opportunities. Social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook have made it easy for employees to find amazing new opportunities, while sites such as Glassdoor provide complete transparency for what it’s like to work at any given company.
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  • For the first time in history, there are four generations of employees in the workplace.  This multigenerational workforce means there are varying levels of needs and requirements for each generation of workers, such as how they consume information and what motivates them.
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  • Barriers between work and life are all but gone for most employees. People are in search of work-life balance—but it’s hard to find. They are looking for the blend that will make their life better and more rewarding.
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  • Modern consumer experiences have reshaped employee expectations. Today we can have great experiences as consumers. People don’t forget how they are treated as consumers, and they expect the same kinds of experiences at work—and they should get them.

The combined effect of these trends is forcing organizations to start thinking of their employees as consumers and realize they can always go elsewhere. The workforce of today is made up of independent free agents who, like consumers, can make a choice every day to stay or leave. This is  forcing the evolution of talent management systems. They cannot exist simply to automate and integrate HR processes for the betterment of the company, but rather need to engage and empower each and every employee and provide them value, not just more process. Organizations must have talent management capabilities that meet the needs of today’s workforce. 

What’s at stake here? What can organizations expect to gain from recognizing the evolution of talent management and taking action? And what will likely happen to those that don’t?

Let’s take a look at two key trends:

Talent Shortages and Mobility Will Increase

In less than five years, there is a projected shortage of 30 million to 40 million college-educated workers. With the war for talent already well underway, expect talent shortages to get worse. Plus, the increasing number of millennials (those born in the 1980s and 1990s) in the workplace and the relative ease with which employees can find new opportunities are expected to dramatically increase job mobility. While baby boomers were likely to stay with a company for longer periods of time, millennials have no problem moving from job to job much more frequently.

Talent-Centric Organizations Will Have an Advantage

Candidates are shopping for their next employer like they shop for consumer goods. We are witnessing the consumerization of the hiring experience. With full transparency available through social networks and sites like Glassdoor, candidates can learn about a company’s reputation the same way they do as consumers. And if that reputation is poor, most will not work there. Glassdoor found that 69% of people would not take a job with a company that had a bad employee reputation, even if they were unemployed! Likely in a response to this shift, Deloitte found that 66% of HR teams are updating employee engagement and retention strategies to advance perception and satisfaction.

With a shortage of talent and more people moving jobs more frequently, organizations that invest in a talent-centric culture and systems that emphasize empowerment and engagement will have a significant advantage in attracting and retaining the best talent.

Organizations that do not will be at a disadvantage. They will struggle to innovate and grow their businesses without having top talent in place.

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Comments ( 1 )
  • Abdulaziz Wednesday, February 3, 2016
    I belief the talents always there in each ORG, the challenge now and future will be the development of those talents.
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