Talent is on the move. For CPOs (chief people officers), an environment of predictable recruitment and retention has now evolved into a talent and skills landscape in a constant state of change.
CPOs tasked with not just locating the new talent their enterprises need to innovate must also manage workforces shifting as post-pandemic workers are taking more control of how, when and where they work. It’s a fine balance between business and staff needs.
At a time when mass layoffs are constantly in the headlines, CPOs must still focus their attention on the critical aspects of talent acquisition and, vitally, retaining these skills in their enterprises. But unfortunately, the skills gap continues to widen in many sectors and industries.
Here, internal mobility has become an essential component of skills retention and how wellbeing is supported and protected. A report from LinkedIn concluded that workers that make a lateral move within their company have a 62% chance of staying an additional three years than those that don’t have these opportunities. However, Gartner states that 44% of HR leaders say their organizations need a clear career path.
For many businesses, 2023 will be the year of ‘the Great Reset’ – and the significant reshuffle. This shift in how workforces are organized is also a backdrop of impending recession and the continuing cost of living crisis. An iCIMS report indicates that a third of respondents plan to look for a new job by the end of 2023.
“Hiring requires a multi-pronged approach. It’s important to build an engaging talent attraction plan while also aligning candidate skills to the needs of the role, both now and in the future,” comments Christy Spilka, VP and global head of talent acquisition, iCIMS.
“A critical component of building teams for the future is validating that the candidates we are hiring have the right skill sets to drive our business forward.”
Speaking to UNLEASH, Tom Price-Daniel, VP of strategy at Teamed, says: “The Great Resignation was over-hyped. Data shows 2.5 quits per 100 at its peak, which, historically speaking, is not overly significant. But it made great headlines, as did the Great Regret.
“However, CPOs’ headspace would be much better spent focusing on employee experience fundamentals and how to hire skills, no matter where they are based.”
Also, Hannah Sanford, head of people and wellbeing at Qudo, comments that a clearly defined journey within a company is critical for all CPOs to develop: “Most people looking to move onto a new opportunity will mention their primary motivation to move on is to progress within their career.
“Equally, one of the frequently asked questions is about personal and professional development. It’s essential to be clear on what personal and professional looks like for each role.
“HR should work with each department’s managers to create a career plan tailored to individuals.”
Sanford continued: “Using frameworks such as a skills matrix and success planning to evaluate where each individual is in terms of their skills and understand their interest in developing in a particular area helps them remain agile and creative when it comes to mobility within the business and provides valuable data in terms of resourcing as a whole.”
All businesses and organizations need to be more agile and able to innovate at increasing speed. Enterprises have had to evolve as their markets and customers have changed.
According to Gartner, 53% of HR leaders say their employees are fatigued by the change. For CPOs, this can be a core element of the mobility they see within their companies.
Businesses are also quickly building hybrid workforces that can be difficult to manage with traditional methods and suffer from high attrition rates. Mobility is now a watchword for CPOs who need to understand the drivers behind this behavior.
As a result, workforce planning is being redrawn as businesses react to the changes in their customers’ demands.
As Qudo’s Stanford says, the future of talent management is understanding what motivates workers to move or stay. “There is a culture change, and it requires leadership to think about how they can be creative with the workforce and work together to create opportunities for people to work on different projects that are out of their current remit and responsibilities.
“Organisations should keep up with the latest trends and technologies to adapt and support employees, broadening their horizons. Keeping the communication channels open concerning L&D and allowing people to put forward their ideas and how they want to progress is essential, as the key is to keep the career conversations going!”
Technology can also deliver an advantage to CPOs; as Lee Gudgeon, managing director of Reed Talent Solutions, explains: “There are a wide variety of benefits to implementing AI and technology within talent acquisition. Some of the most frequently touted reasons are its ability to help businesses move faster, be more objective and provide a better candidate experience.
“For example, Johnson & Johnson increased qualified female applicants for STEM roles by 14% using Textio to remove bias from job ads.“
“Rectech (recruitment technology) has evolved to the extent that the end-to-end recruitment process could be automated if an organization chooses to do so,” Gudgeon continued.
“There are areas of the hiring process which are ripe for automation, freeing up precious time for recruitment teams to focus on higher-value work. Areas like screening and compliance, scheduling interviews and engaging with the process on demand are far more efficient using technology.”
Volatile labor markets
A trend also accelerating is using talent marketplaces that leverage digital tools such as Fuel50 and Eightfold. Using AI to connect employees with career opportunities such as internal vacancies, new projects they might want to be involved with and other advancement initiatives.
For CPOs adding tools like this to their armory can pay dividends, as they offer a flexible approach to workforce nurturing.
Indeed, according to the 2023 Global Talent Mobility Study, Lighthouse Research and Advisory and the Cornerstone People Research Lab, 73% of employees indicated an interest in learning about new roles inside their organizations.
Businesses are looking further afield to fill their vacancies as Jonathan Beech, Managing Director, Migrate UK outlines: “Retention is key here. Many businesses need to consider that employee engagement has reached record lows. What action can they take to keep their teams so there is less pressure on hiring?
“Many businesses we work with are recruiting overseas talent to fill the gaps. According to a January FSB report, double the number of SME’s are now looking overseas to fill their vacancies.”
Teamed’s Price-Daniel agrees: “CPOs absolutely need to take a different approach to hire and locating staff. The fundamental skills shortage completely usurps the remote, hybrid, in-office debate. The leading companies already know this. It’s not a secret. It is tremendously simple. You need the right person in the right role.
“In 2023, why would you care if that person is based in New York, London or Madrid? If your local talent pool is failing you and you continue to only fish in this pool, you cannot hope or expect to meet your objectives.
The seismic shifts in how work is organized and the impact this has had on workforces also influence the levels of mobility, new recruitment, and churn that CPOs manage.
Therefore, building trust with workforces that have endured change will need cooperation from all sides to create new working environments.
The International Festival of HR is back! Discover amazing speakers from the world of HR and business at UNLEASH America on 26-27 April 2023.
Sign up to the UNLEASH Newsletter
Get the Editor’s picks of the week delivered straight to your inbox!