As Talent Management gets leaner, more robust and efficient, evolving from a support function to a vital HR role, unique and never-before-witnessed challenges, along with opportunities have risen. In the face of uncertain economic and political environments, it becomes critical to maintain a sense of stability and make an attempt to understand where we are heading as a community. The SumTotal-HR Grapevine survey, conducted with 175 HR professionals, from 150 organizations in the UK, brought to fore some interesting and unique talent management trends. Some of the highlights of the survey are as follows:
1) The rise in job hopping
Nearly 56% of the respondents view job hopping as a positive thing, and over the last few years, as employees shift their jobs more frequently than ever before. This trend can be attributed to the proactive roles that people play “in taking the initiative to move roles, rather than waiting out the uncertainty of a restructuring or redundancy program.” Today, a candidate with multiple previous jobs is likely to be viewed positively, for he/she comes with a broad range of experience to draw on, and indicating that an achiever moves on towards growth and learning. Better remuneration is also a motivator for employees taking on new roles.
HR needs to be vigilant and agile in order to make the most of this trend. A support for the transient workforce, helping employees becoming competent and self-sufficient, training and supporting managers to help candidates with different experiences inculcate company ethics and culture, and ensuring that the employees feel connected to the bigger picture by giving them a sense of purpose, learning, and meaning for their roles.
2) Bi-annual reviews are passé
Employees no longer value the old-fashioned annual/ bi-annual review, but instead are more inclined towards ‘real-time feedback from a wider, holistic range of sources and colleagues’. In this context, it mustn’t come as a surprise that almost 71% of the respondents believe that bi-annual reviews in the current format are no longer relevant, for they fail to serve their purpose. Embracing this new-age trend of feedback and reviews is non-negotiable to attract and retain talent, especially when job hopping is more prevalent than ever. Building a realistic picture of one’s performance, evoking recognition and critique at the right junctions, and working continuously to improve, rather than looking at feedback once or twice a year are critical to the workforce. Thankfully, technology can be a great tool to enable more efficient feedback mechanisms, allowing for instantaneous recognition, identification of weaknesses and skill gaps before they become business-critical issues, and engaging and developing the workforce in general.
3) Need to make onboarding efficient
When more people are leaving their jobs for new ones more frequently, inducting new workers in an organization becomes a challenge. Contrary to the popular belief, simply including digital and technology-based tools will not increase the proficiency of the process. Factors like the length of the programme, its start date, strong senior buy-in, early commencement date, frequent monitoring and consistency of delivery impact the quality of the same. Barely 10% of the respondents rated their current onboarding process as ‘very effective’, followed by ‘moderately effective’ (73%), and 17% calling it downright ‘ineffective’.
The changing rules mean that the onboarding process begins the moment the offer is accepted, and a continuous engagement to ensure a seamless transition to learning and performance management once a new employee joins. The aim now is to integrate the employee in a better an efficient manner, in lesser time, and helping them reach their productive best by working with them.
4) Need to align global mobility programs
Despite a rise in global mobility assignments, companies are yet to align their career mobility and global mobility strategies. Just about 11% have aligned, and others consider it ‘In Transition’ (50%) and ‘Not Aligned’ (39%), says the Brookfield Global Relocation Services’ 2016 Global Mobility Trends report. HR leaders need to urgently consider designing and implementing a global mobility strategy, which takes into account factors like immigration laws, worker’s family, relocating practicalities, and employee integration and engagement.
Building a global mobility programme that allows for employees to grow with the organization, and accommodate their need to learn and progress in their careers, makes more sense economically and allow for employees to develop a sense of value, purpose, and passion for their work. This can serve as a multi-faceted solution to several pressing challenges in the talent management ecosystem presently, without exerting much pressure on existing resources.
Are you ready for it?
All these developments indicate that the role of HR is getting a major upgrade from its traditionally-mandated administrative and managerial function. 86% of those who participated in the survey believe that in the future, HR will be facilitating business productivity and organization performance, and only 7% think that they will be taking care of appraisals, hiring and payroll.
HR will have a considerable say in the overall business choices and will have to deliver a demonstrable involvement in the bottom line. Talent management poses a number of crucial challenges today, and conventional wisdom and management practices fall massively short of providing viable, sustainable, long-term and scalable solutions. HR must rise up to the occasion, and deftly assume the new role that has been entrusted to it, thus, maximizing the human capital of their business in its broadest form.