TalentTalent 2020: What are the biggest challenges facing HR?

Talent 2020: What are the biggest challenges facing HR?

With a new decade on the horizon, we asked a host of HR experts, thought leaders and researchers what they the biggest talent challenges facing HR leaders, and what we can do to solve them.

With a new decade on the horizon, we asked a host of HR and business experts, thought leaders and researchers what they the biggest talent challenges facing HR leaders, and what we can do to solve them.

Watch: HR’s Impact On Talent Acquisition In A Transparent World

Regine Buettner, EVP HR Global & Europe, DHL Express

Expectations of businesses are changing and it is vital that companies recognise and respond to this. Once upon a time, business was about delivering a service and making a profit but now both customers and employees care more deeply about a business; values and what it stands for.

That’s especially important when it comes to attracting new talent into a business. Competition for talent is fierce and people are looking for more than just a 9-5, they want to work for an organisation where they see values that are truly delivered on and a company culture that aligns with their personal principles.

In order to cut through, HR leaders need to ensure that company culture genuinely reflects their purpose. Your purpose can’t just be a phrase – it needs to be something that people see, feel and are part of delivering. It’s when people genuinely feel that emotional connection to a business and its purpose, that they truly feel part of something much greater than the sum of its parts.

Darren Lancaster, CEO for Hudson RPO, EMEA

Talent defines an organization, and in today’s fast-moving, ultra-competitive market, old thinking, systems, and processes will not win the talent game. HR leaders’ biggest challenge is that they must accept that recruitment will never be the same again.

They must modernize their talent functions to meet today’s candidate expectations and the realities of a candidate-short market. This will not be a one-and-done project, but rather an ongoing evaluation to meet changing technology and candidate expectations.

Jo Taylor, Managing Director, Let’s Talk Talent

The biggest challenge that talent acquisition is facing is that it is a candidate driven market you not expect to just post a job and get hundreds of applicants from your website. Look at how Linkedin as made us all marketeers of our own brand so the usual channels of posting a job and waiting for people to apply are long gone. People have more choice and are using Glassdoor for example to check out your business before even going on your site…also your external website is an excellent way of attracting your customer to your brand which a lot of HRD leaders forget.

The Talent Acquisition professional has moved significantly since I led a function which is great but the gap still exists that it is seen as a sales role but for me it has moved  to involve a more strategic  business partnering role which takes into account the marketing of the business as much as leading the business leaders to articulate clearly to candidates what it means to work in their business rather than focus purely on whether that person has the right skills.

I have 2 top tips, firstly think how you integrate their Talent Acquisition function to the whole employee experience rather than have run by HR operations, so that their is congruous and join up i.e succession planning which enables better workforce planning. Secondly start educating the business to think beyond the Job descriptions which feature the normal skills and competencies and more on how you bring the role, business and experience to life so people understand not only what they are signing up for but the support that is available to them once in post

Expectations of businesses are changing and it is vital that companies recognise and respond to this. Once upon a time, business was about delivering a service and making a profit but now both customers and employees care more deeply about a business; values and what it stands for.

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That’s especially important when it comes to attracting new talent into a business. Competition for talent is fierce and people are looking for more than just a 9-5, they want to work for an organisation where they see values that are truly delivered on and a company culture that aligns with their personal principles.

In order to cut through, HR leaders need to ensure that company culture genuinely reflects their purpose. Your purpose can’t just be a phrase – it needs to be something that people see, feel and are part of delivering. It’s when people genuinely feel that emotional connection to a business and its purpose, that they truly feel part of something much greater than the sum of its parts.

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Dr. Laura Hamill, Chief People Officer and Chief Science Officer, Limeade

The modern workplace demands an intentional shift from one that prioritizes the needs of employers to one that prioritizes the needs of employees,” said Dr Laura Hamill, Limeade Chief People Officer and Chief Science Officer.

In order to do so, companies must take a ‘whole-person’ approach to managing the employee experience – from well-being to diversity and inclusion to employee engagement and other programs that make employees feel cared for both as organizational members and humans.

While things like margarita Mondays and pet insurance are nice-to-have perks, we believe showing employees care through organizational support is the ultimate foundation for the employee experience,” continued Dr Hamill.

“Care is about those day-to-day human interactions. It’s about being flexible and understanding when an employee needs to leave work early to pick up a sick child or fostering positive manager-employee interactions over a cup of coffee.

Sharon Looney, Chief People Officer, CoreHR

Keeping the human touch

One of the biggest challenges we face is keeping the human touch as we bring digital solutions into the talent acquisition processes. The digital transformation of HR embraces many benefits. But we must not lose sight of those points in the talent acquisition process where human interaction cannot be trumped; for example in delivering a positive candidate experience and true peace of mind for hiring managers.   The value of AI and digitisation to HR and its key business stakeholders is unquestionably phenomenal, but expectations need to be balanced.

Challenge of expectation on finding the ‘perfect’ candidate

Demand for skills far exceeds supply. Hiring managers often have a very specific image of their ‘ideal’ candidate for a role and can struggle to compromise, particularly if they haven’t fully considered the nature of a role or its true skill requirements.

Here’s where we must get back to the basics of the job description and filtering out in the good old fashioned way of ‘Necessary’ versus ‘Desired’ skill.

If we don’t have a willingness to look beyond the ‘perfect’, we will lose time, effort and moreover we will undoubtedly overlook candidates who might have proven to be exceptional talent for us in the long run.

Challenge of employer branding

If you’re not working for one of the super brands, then you must really know (and be able to articulate) your Employer Value Proposition. Knowing how you differentiate on employee experience, knowing how you differentiate and win in the marketplace, knowing how your employees impact and deliver both employee and customer experience, knowing how that success impacts your organisational culture is critical to employer branding.  How well hiring managers and HR understands this and can articulate this is critical in attracting in the right calibre of talent.

Challenge of retention

For me, there’s a direct correlation between having smart talent inside your organisation and being able to attract new smart talent.  Top talent expects to work with top talent. They expect top leaders.  Retaining top talent is a challenge which directly impacts talent acquisition and must be seen as an integral part of the talent acquisition strategy.  Involving and exposing top talent to prospective candidates, in both formal and informal talent acquisition efforts serves well as both a retention and attraction strategy. Top talent who are involved in sourcing, attracting and onboarding new talent are more likely to stick around, because they can see that the organisation is investing time and effort in helping them to locate, select and recruit top colleagues.

Watch: HR’s Impact On Talent Acquisition In A Transparent World

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