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Unification Through Disruption: Evolving the Future of HR

Siloed solutions across the talent lifecycle often leads to HR teams spending more time on process, data, and tech problems than producing meaningful outcomes for the business. Building a coordinated talent strategy can optimize execution, save money, reduce risk, and achieve company-wide objectives. The future of HR involves breaking down silos, looking at talent holistically through the lens of skills and fit, and a new approach to defining the “work to be done”.

With the disruption and uncertainty of recent global events and economies, as well as changing expectations from the workforce, organizations are struggling to find and hold on to the talent they need. People teams need to evolve the way they think about sourcing and managing talent in order to become more agile, efficient and effective. Getting the best-fit talent into the most suitable roles, quickly, not only improves outcomes for HR, but brings huge benefits to the whole organization.

From silos to unification

Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Learning & Development, and DE&I efforts have historically been solved for and managed separately. With even the best, most advanced solutions for each of these HR areas, companies find themselves struggling to make progress towards the overall talent strategy and delivering against top-level business goals, as focus is spent on processes, integrations, and rationalizing data. A modern business needs to bring these specialisms together into what Josh Bersin calls a “total operating system” for HR, so that intelligence from each part of the company and talent lifecycle can inform others.

From roles to skills

Many organizations look to hire the right number of roles to fulfill business demand, but the concept of a “role” doesn’t solve for the capabilities and context that determine effectiveness and performance. Workflows optimized for filling roles may get someone in the job quickly, but quality talent may not even be finding or applying to the opportunity, never mind making it to the consideration stage. By focusing on titles or using that well-trodden job description instead of thinking about the skills you actually need or how they may be changing, your workforce grows as stale as that JD while you miss out on diverse and relevant adjacent candidate communities that could be a great fit.

By looking at the whole talent landscape – candidates, potential candidates, silver medallists, previous applicants, employees, alumni – through the lens of skills, you both unify and deepen the talent pools for each role or opportunity. You are more likely to improve performance while future-proofing your workforce if you expand search criteria by applying ethical, explainable AI to the dataset of skills, contexts and adjacent experiences.

From static to flexible

Workers have changed but work has not.

Workers today expect greater flexibility, trust, and opportunities to flourish and thrive. Whether that means working remotely, the option to progress their career by applying and gaining skills on internal ‘gigs’, or embracing a more agile approach to learning, people expect to be given the ability to co-author their career and professional development.

On the company’s side of resourcing, budgeting an entirely new FTE may be difficult. If, instead, business demand can be defined more flexibly through gigs or rotations, you both get more done with the talent you already have as well as fulfill their desire for continuous, agile development.

A Talent Marketplace can help people in the workforce find opportunities to learn, grow, share and connect. It can take information about people’s skills, interests and work preferences and then use AI matching to offer up suggestions for gigs, projects, mentors, learning paths and more. Employees can visualize career path(s) at your organization and take steps to get there without leaving their full-time position. For this to work, it needs to be clear that there are numerous ways to reach a career goal, and more than one way to learn a new skill.

From hiring to developing

Most businesses emphasize hiring new talent because the methods and measures that surround it are well established. In the same organization, talent development, mentorship, or talent marketplaces may seem like complex, lofty endeavors. Leading talent teams look inwards and focus on upskilling and reskilling the workforce rather than spending over the odds for external hires and recruitment agencies. Aptitude Research found that companies that invest in skills development are twice as likely to improve retention – another element of the efficiency gains involved.

Upskilling, reskilling and internal mobility – rather than external hiring – are now seen by many businesses as the most effective ways to close skill gaps.

A more holistic approach

The future of HR is strategic: the CHRO is a key player in business success and the winner of any competitive market will need to have a successful talent strategy. This means unifying talent pools, making data interoperable, flexibly re-defining business demand into various opportunity types, pursuing fit-based, skill- and adjacency-aware resourcing, and joining up talent-related processes to provide the best possible experience, from pre-application to growth and redeployment, offboarding and alumni re-acquisition. Are you ready?

Read more about Talent Lifecycle Management and the benefits of a holistic approach.