Find out how to seamlessly connect talent supply to project demand—while meeting employees on their terms.
In today’s “Great Resignation,” companies find themselves stretched for talent. In response, they need to make themselves attractive as possible. Therefore, the two most pivotal questions facing HR professionals today are:
Addressing these challenges can have a huge potential payoff. A number of progressive companies are leading the way.
HR professionals have the opportunity to re-envision the talent experience—and define it more broadly than the employee experience. Less work is getting done by full-time employees, which poses a challenge to HR practitioners. To face these challenges HR must design their services through the lens of the talent and their needs.
We predict a move toward work without jobs, a system where employees are freed from a single job-based function to become part of an internal or external skills-based talent marketplace. For example, a freelance data scientist could move among projects in marketing, HR and operations as needed. This requires employers to organize themselves along interactions with the respective internal talent group, rather than focusing on hierarchies, departments or functions.
The result will be an organization that has talent coming in and going out in a hub-and-spoke ecosystem where multiple functions, or even multiple companies, can share talent, risk, innovation and costs with an embedded HR function seconding them for success.
Employees have traditionally been assigned to fixed roles
In the emerging way of working, employees have hybrid roles.
In the future way of working, employees will fully flow to projects..
The challenge for organizations will be to figure out the types of work that need to stay on the left side of the continuum and what needs to move to the right. Progressive companies have successfully embraced the flow-to-work model.
Every employee at Unilever answers four questions to develop their individual future-fit plans:
Then, HR helps them upskill and reskill to grow and stay relevant. This system prevents rendering people redundant and, during the pandemic, has allowed Unilever to take on mission-critical projects.
employees were redeployed to address new business needs during the pandemic
Source: Unilever, “Unilever launches new AI-powered talent marketplace” | News | Unilever global company website, 2019
In a single sweep, a global insurer took all digital employees out of their functions and put them into a virtual shared services marketplace.
Then, HR stood up a new center of excellence to train managers on the new process for sourcing talent for their projects. The marketplace’s algorithm looks at who has the skills, availability and interest in doing the work, and flows the talent to the project.
The algorithm also identifies people who are just a few skills away from being qualified for the project, so those people can take courses immediately to get up to speed.
Not only did this system increase productivity, but the organization is now a much more attractive employer.
increase in organizational productivity
Meeting all talent on their terms will require a multidimensional approach to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
Diversity is about getting more people into the game with a broader definition of representation. Equity is about designing work to ensure access to all. Inclusion is about fostering belonging.
One way HR professionals can meet all talent on their terms is by considering their target interaction model (TIM) before their target operating model (TOM). It insures that talent will be met where it‘s needed and put people at the heart of the interaction.
In the emerging hybrid or flow-to-work model, all talent will have a unique set of interactions and experiences with HR. Through a DEI lens, HR practitioners should think about what each individual needs from them, the services HR offers to talent, and the roles and responsibilities needed within HR to provide those services.
The resulting interaction model will look different among the companies, reflecting the dependency of people to the business model and drive both the talent experience and the new HR operating model. New HR roles will arise, others will radically change and the delivery model needs to be completely overhauled.
We’re moving toward a new ecosystem of work where every enterprise is a distributed one and leadership comes from the edges. Just as technology keeps rendering itself obsolete at an accelerated pace, so, too, do organizations—unless they create a mechanism for talent to constantly build in-demand skills, and express those skills by seamlessly flowing to work.
The way to stay agile is to perpetually reinvent ourselves.
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