Talent Intelligence Clouds Will Democratize HR & Prove HR’s Status as a Core Driver of Business Success

Regardless of industry, all businesspeople tell the same story: the pandemic slammed change into fast forward. What was going to happen eventually happened immediately. Forget the soothing reassurance of “transformation without disruption.” The disruption that began in March 2020 and continues today demanded transformation, or else.

In a global talent shortage crisis, Human Resources – the industry of optimizing work for people and people for work – had to meet the challenge by dramatically shifting beyond being an employee benefit to becoming a business strategy imperative. 

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As scrambling organizations accelerated such digital technologies as remote work, Cloud, AI, big data, robotics, and e-commerce, an existential business challenge became clear: While the opportunity for digitally adept knowledge workers is growing faster than anyone expected pre-2020, so is the skills gap confronting these workers and their employers.

The World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs Report,” a global survey of business leaders, included these findings:

  • By 2025, 97 million digitally oriented new roles will emerge “more adopted to the new division of labor among humans, machines and algorithms.”
  • In-demand skills aren’t just technical but include critical thinking and analysis and self-management capabilities (active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility). What were once under-appreciated as “soft skills” are now power skills.
  • Skills gaps in knowledge work will remain high for at least the next five years as 40 percent of core skills change. Ninety-four percent of business leaders expect employees to engage in reskilling, whether company- or self-supplied.

Digital Transformation Will Prioritize HR’s Relevance and Stature 

Digital transformation – which has changed the shape of business across every industry – is poised to upgrade HR from a frequently adversarial relationship with employees to a mutually beneficial partnership between employers and the people who determine their success. HR is evolving from transactional management of people to nurturing an organization’s critical asset. 

HR and business leaders are wondering: Why must people always leave a company to get a better job? Why do millions scrupulously update their skills on LinkedIn when they don’t bother doing it in their company’s HR systems?

If HR can illuminate a fulfilling career path within an organization, “re-recruiting” a company’s own people to identify, reskill, and upskill great candidates for new opportunities – lateral moves as well as promotions – workers won’t need to leave to upgrade their careers. 

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Giving Companies and Their Employees What They Really Want & Need

Gone are the days when compensation increases alone kept people on the job. What employees truly value is room for career growth, success on the job, a sense of purpose, mentoring, trust in company leadership, having a real voice on work, cultural, and social issues, and – above all – the chance to reskill and upskill through their work. And while HR professionals are incredibly adept at guiding employees, they are greatly benefiting from the increased use of digital HR solutions. 

Pre-pandemic, HR was adopting digital tools at a measured pace. Depending on their perceived needs, companies selected from a menu of siloed solutions for talent acquisition, talent management, skills benchmarking, employee rewards, achievement assessment, diversity & inclusion, strategy alignment, cultural alignment, and so on. 

The previously unacknowledged problem: all these siloed digital HR solutions were – and remain – isolated islands of potentially high-value information that don’t cross-pollinate and enrich one another. The pandemic’s fast-forward to change amid the realization that HR is a core driver of differentiation zoomed the “measured pace” of digital to a stampede – with the prime goal of tearing down the silos. Today’s push is to integrate point-solution silos of digital HR tech into talent intelligence Clouds powered by AI, trained on billions of data points and analytics drawn from years of historical workplace insights. 

These talent intelligence Clouds are governed by big data’s Immutable Rule: garbage in, garbage out (GIGO). The Cloud with the richest, deepest, best analyzed and most inclusive data will yield higher-grade GIGO – gold in, gold out. 

Powerful employee/employer partnerships will define winners in the post-pandemic business environment. Digital talent intelligence Clouds will enable, empower, and democratize those partnerships, elevating HR from something companies do to their employees to something they do with their employees.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]