Top HR Trends That You Need to Answer in The New Normal

By Przemek Berendt, CEO, Talent Alpha

Covid-19 and rapid digitization has changed the way we work. Even more operations are going online, from every sector and just about any location. Companies have to augment their effectiveness and flexibility despite the fact that their daily influence on employees is increasingly diminished. The vast majority of enterprises (86%) consider Talent shortage to be a key barrier to achieving their desired outcomes, but nearly 40% of HR leaders are not aware of the abilities their employees possess. How do you maximize your specialists’ potential in the post-pandemic world? The Future of Work Report 2020 “From Headcount to Skill Count”, can give an idea, the extract below highlights new trends and advice from market experts.

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 1. Going from Headcount to Skill Count: understanding and managing your people’s hard and soft skills

The new reality we are experiencing now is digital, remote, and diverse. After years of discussion about the need for digital transformation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the future of work, the Covid-19 global pandemic has accelerated all of these trends. Those companies which have recognized that their success predominantly stems from digital Talent and flexibility, have continued to thrive in this ever evolving world. In order to easily adjust to evolving market demands, companies should focus on securing the specific skills that are required to get a given job done rather than focusing on FTEs. We call this transition “from headcount to skill count”. A good starting point is recognizing the hard and soft skills available to an organization. At Talent Alpha, we believe in the power of examining the map of skills and capabilities – the Talent Genome – of an individual or organization, and the implementation of tools that allow for specific project skills to be rapidly identified and engaged. The key to implementing this strategy is the recognition and measurement of specialists’ skillsets which, coupled together with solid data and the use of talent management platforms, can bring about flexibility in both augmentation and the scaling down of required resources.

2. Motivation is key to improved productivity

According to the Everest Group, a partner of our report, over the last 10-15 years company productivity has been declining. In this increasingly virtual reality, specialists will spend less and less time with their managers which may lead to a reduction in motivation. If motivation drops so does productivity, which against the backdrop of the pandemic, is now of even greater significance. Motivating teams is a skill that many managers have yet to develop. As ninety per cent of respondents to the Everest Group’s survey said that employee confidence is responsible for productivity, organizations need to strengthen mutual trust with employees.  To enable employees to become more productive, specialists should focus on optimizing active time, because only 40-60% of salaried time is generally spent constructively. The remainder is wasted on non-core activities, personal time and other distractions.  The next productivity improvement lever is increasing efficiency. Output levels from the top and bottom 20% of the workforce, show variations of as much as 60%, which underlines just how much potential improvement there is for overall workforce output.

Thirdly, better quality tracking is a necessity. This is an ongoing exercise which requires you to “have a steady hand on the tiller” through interventions. To be successful in this, you need to identify breakthrough metrics that capture both velocity and quality of output as well as identifying levers that improve performance and remove roadblocks. Key factors in an employee’s motivation are the team they are working in, and well-tailored projects in which they can prove their worth.

3. Managing dispersed teams

In this new, virtual reality, the office will become increasingly more a centre for management and education than everyday work. Teams will rarely dependent on working in office spaces on everyday basis getting used to hybrid, asynchronous and geographically dispersed models. Furthermore, people will be motivated by specific goals and the prospect of a successful project rather than the culture of the workplace. Companies will increasingly use outside resources to achieve their tasks. With the effective collaboration between different teams of specialists engaged in different assignments becoming ever more significant, there will be a need to implement new HR Tech solutions (the report describes several examples of growing platforms and modern tools). Responsible companies will have to face the dilemma of whether and how to invest in the development of their Talent, as it is now particularly important to educate people on ways to effectively develop, discover and nurture their abilities, as well as instructing them on how to take responsibility for their own development and career.

4. The Human Cloud is helping to bridge talent gaps

Almost 75% of organizations will experience problems with hiring IT Talent. Tech recruitment has never been easy, but now it is proving to be even more challenging. The demand for new types of Talent is inescapable as digital transformation rapidly accelerates. At the same time, the skill half-life is now no more than five years, making lifetime employment based on one skill obsolete. 32% of companies are now eager to expand their utilization of external resources. Companies will increasingly use outside resources to achieve their tasks and for effective collaboration between different teams of specialists who are engaged in different tasks, there will be a need to implement new HR Tech solutions.

A key asset for companies to successfully utilize external resources is the Human Cloud. When it is supported by Talent Analytics and AI/ML, it can help companies to manage their resources by quickly matching the best people with the right opportunities, even in a remote working environment and with teams scattered around the globe. Freelancers and B2B Human Cloud platforms provide on-demand resources, allowing companies to bridge their respective talent gaps in a matter of days and hours rather than months.

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From Headcount to Skill Count – more information in the Report

The Future of Work Report 2020 “From Headcount to Skill Count”, presents the latest HR trends, platforms and tools in today’s world, as well as those tools which are helpful for measuring and developing the skillset of specialists. The report contains the opinions of international experts in the field of HR, Innovation and IT, as well as analytics and industry specialists from companies and institutions such as Everest Group, Harvard Business School, Staffing Industry Analysts, companies such as Novartis, EPAM Systems and GFT, as well as Fortune 100 and BPO/SCC advisors.

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