Understanding and preparing for the new talent landscape

Written by Ted Kinney, Ph.D., VP of Research and Development
Previously published by PSI Talent Management or Cubiks, prior to becoming Talogy.

This article on the new talent landscape was originally published in January 2021. All relevant copy and statistics have been updated as of June 2021. 

The last year presented several challenges that will be catalysts for change in talent markets and how organisations shift their focus when it comes to their workforces. Human capital leaders need to re-imagine the talent life cycle for their organisations and evolve their talent ecosystems to adapt and thrive.

But first, we must consider and understand the current talent trends. To continue attracting and retaining top talent in your local market, you will need to quickly adapt your job designs and talent processes to be more responsive to the changes facing your industry. To do so effectively, understanding the sudden and dramatic shifts in the world of work we have experienced worldwide is crucial.

The Effects of the Pandemic On Unemployment

Many countries, such as the United States, continue to experience record unemployment. There are now over ten times more candidates for many of the same open positions that were previously difficult to fill. Because of this, selection systems need to be quickly reconfigured to handle higher applicant volumes efficiently. And while employers can be selective and hire the best talent available, the need to be agile is still critical to hiring top talent before your competitors do.

Around the world, many jobs were furloughed or subsidised rather than eliminated, thereby driving organisations to focus on re-engaging employees, enabling productivity, supporting well-being, and dealing with “survivor guilt” for employees still at work.

For regions where government programmes are coming to an end, tough decisions on the shape of the workforce have to be made – this can be a time to re-think role or team needs.

Rethinking Organisational Structure

Many organisations across the globe are taking the opportunity to examine their organisational structure and right-size operations. This often means developing systems to identify high-potential employees (Hi-Pos) to move into managerial and leadership roles and implementing programs for leadership development, executive coaching, and succession planning.

While understanding the pandemic’s impact on local talent trends is vital, it’s equally important to recognise that many of the forces driving change in organisations worldwide today are not new. The pandemic hit the fast-forward button on these trends, accelerating the necessity for organisations to either adapt quickly or perish. Every organisation should keep these five critical areas of impact in the front of their mind as job designs, talent processes, assessment tools and supporting technology infrastructure are re-imagined:

  • The rise of the remote workforce
  • The need for agile leadership in times of crisis
  • Emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Prioritising workplace safety
  • Programs to support mental health and employee well-being

Looking Towards The Future

The future of work is here. The organisations that evolve their talent ecosystems now to combat key challenges proactively will be the ones to harness the unique opportunities presented by the new talent landscape and emerge stronger than before.

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