TalentTalent AcquisitionWar for talent 3.0: function must adapt or fall behind

War for talent 3.0: function must adapt or fall behind

Among COVID-19, increased D&I scrutiny and the acceleration of the digital revolution, 2020 has seen talent leaders pushed to new limits and new challenges that just 12 months ago were perhaps unimaginable

HR departments the world over have seen significant levels of disruption over the past 5 months, the likes of which were perhaps unimaginable this time last year. And no area has perhaps been as impacted as talent, with many organizations forced to stall on recruitment, reduce the size of their workforce (whether through furlough or redundancy – and even among the talent function itself), embrace agile, and achieve greater things with limited resources. 

HRD Connect and HRD Summit, in partnership with pymetrics, sought to understand the changing nature of the talent function by surveying its audience on some of the key issues faced by senior talent professionals – the results of which will soon be published exclusively to HRD Connect subscribers. 

The HRD Talent Report 2020 found that while COVID-19 was not explicitly cited as a priority for talent leaders over the next 12 months, there’s no denying that it has dramatically shifted the goalposts, not least in wiping 50% of permanent postings off the jobs market. In addition, the focus on diversity and inclusion, environmental concerns and the digital revolution all risk leaders in talent falling behind if they don’t adapt.  

It’s no wonder then, that the majority of HR leaders believe their talent function is underperforming, at a time when the war for talent has never been so crucial. And while recruitment may not be top of mind for many organizations right now, talent retention and maximizing employees’ potential have come to the fore. 

However, the need for innovation within the talent ecosystem is central to its survival, with many organizations falling way behind and unable to keep up with the pace of change.  

Commenting on the findings of the survey, George Westerman, author and research scientist at MIT, said: “You can glean from the report that there are opportunities in all the areas, and I think that’s right. In sourcing, there’s already a lot going on. In the other areas, it’s still early days, but there’s a lot of opportunity if we can figure out how to do it.” 

David Fairhurst, former global chief people officer at McDonald’s, is also optimistic about the future, although he puts the challenge in starker terms. 

“Some of the best changes happen in times of crisis. Think of the technological advances we’ve seen in times of war and the pharmaceutical breakthroughs we’ve witnessed in previous pandemics. HR leaders have to embrace this spirit of innovation now. The alternative is standing in the middle of a motorway and waiting to see what happens.” 

The full report will be released in the coming weeks. To receive your copy before anyone else, let us know here.

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