In this blog we share the top 5 Talent Management priorities organisations need to look out for going into 2022.

2022 is a new year…

So, what does 2022 have in store for us?  What has changed, and what are the key Talent Management priorities to look out for to gain a competitive edge?

 

1. Building Future Capabilities

The skills required of employees are changing rapidly. A study by McKinsey estimates that new technologies could displace 3.3 million existing jobs in South Africa by 2030, but that the same technologies could amount to a gain of 4.5 million potential new jobs.

The preliminary results from the 2021 Xpatweb Annual Critical Skills Survey show that 78% of employers struggle to recruit critically skilled resources. In 2020, the World Economic Forum estimated that 50% of all employees would need reskilling by 2025 and that 40% of current workers’ core skills were expected to change in the next 5 years. Organisations prioritising efforts to upskill their workforce has been common practice for years, but this trend has been supercharged by the covid-19 pandemic as unemployment soars at an all-time high.

 

According to a recent study by Gartner (2021), forty-two per cent of HR leaders selected planning for the future of work as their main priority for 2022. The same sentiment
was confirmed by a similar study completed by Mercer (2021).

The bottom line: Without the right skills, employers and employees alike will struggle to be agile in the future. In 2022, skills development will move from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” for forward-looking organisations.

Priorities actions to consider:

  • Start by teaching employees how to learn and how to learn quickly. Learning agility is consistently rated as one of the most important future skills for all employees.  Start by focusing on the mindset of employees towards learning, reskilling and personal development.  Then focus on skills that will help employees to optimise their brains during their learning experience.
  • Realise that the skills your organisation  needs will not nicely fit into the current roles you have. Therefore, you will need to shift from roles to skills, creating a matrix of skills that can be applied in multiple environments.
  • Consider partnering with others to not only invest in the upskilling of internal staff – but also, in the upskilling of the broader community to ensure an increase in scarce skills such as Cyber
    Security, Data Engineering, Data Analytics, Technology Design etc.
  • Shift your learning & development strategy to incorporate more learning “in the flow of work”, where employees access bite-sized pieces of knowledge to address the skills-related issues they encounter in their work. This fosters an environment where employees can learn at their own pace, while they work.
  • Make learning fun, engaging and social to activate higher levels of knowledge retention.
  • If you haven’t already done so, consider investing in a modern learner management platform or learner experience platform to provide on-the-go learning content to your employees when they need.  Consider systems like TalentLMS, aNewSpring or even Game Agency for the millennial-oriented, as good options.

2.  Embracing the Gig Economy

The gig economy is empowerment. This new business paradigm empowers individuals to better shape their own destiny and leverage their existing assets to their benefit.

John McAfee

The days of traditional employment may be long gone as the gig economy continues to grow. In 2020, the gig economy grew by 33%, expanding 8.25x faster than the US economy as a whole. The Global Gig Economy is expected to grow from $204 billion in 2018 to $455 billion in 2023, a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.4%.

The Covid-19 pandemic increased the number of gig workers as many organisations were required to move away from the more traditional ways of employment towards innovative employment strategies to address the challenges brought on by the pandemic.  To cope with this shift away from traditional, long-term employment, organisations must seek new ways to keep their workforce agile and efficient.

The bottom line: The gig economy — an economy that relies on freelance or contract workers — has moved from the side lines to the mainstream.

Priorities actions to consider:

  • Start by identifying the skills that would be eligible for freelance gigs. These are typically gigs that are i) needed on an ad-hoc basis or linked to seasons of higher volume,
    ii) are highly specialised and expensive or
    iii) support experimentative opportunities to grow your business (allowing prototype exploration through gig workers before going large-scale).
  • Explore the many apps and software available for employee monitoring and onboarding to assist you in your gig-worker employment strategy.
  • Update your recruitment and hiring strategy to incorporate gigs and part-time employment to broaden the ways in which key skills can be acquired in the business.
  • Bring in freelancers at just the right time for the exact duration that it is needed to complete projects requiring specific expertise or capability beyond the existing workforce.
  • Rethink your onboarding protocol to accelerate the onboarding of gig-workers to understand your culture, strategy and systems (or at least the minimum that is required for them to successfully execute their tasks).

3.  Talent Analytics

The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.

John Scully

The 2021 State of HR Analytics report, from the HR Research Institute and Oracle, found that only 44% of organizations are “good or very good at gathering people analytics” data and even fewer (29%) are “good or very good at making positive changes” based on that data. There seems to be a growing demand for people analytics in all industries. A 2021 study of people analytics by Gartner found
that 72% of respondents said the demand for talent metrics in their organizations had grown since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Talent analytics is the key to enabling a higher-performing, more engaged workforce. Those organisations that don’t embrace data-driven talent management in 2022, will continue to have difficulty in sourcing talent, hiring the best, developing a deep succession
bench, and maintaining a highly engaged workforce in an efficient, predictable manner.

The bottom line: Organisations that consistently focus on data collection, data integration, data cleaning, and data visualisation throughout the talent value chain will win the war for talent every time.

Priorities actions to consider:

  • For people analytics to deliver both immediate and ongoing value, translation is required. Growing the talent team’s ability to not just analyse data, but also to tell the story from the data when engaging with business is crucial. Consider using data visualisation technologies to support the talent team.
  • Get granular with skills data. Track all things skills and learning if you want to upskill a future-oriented organisation.
  • People analytics are especially important for talent acquisition leaders. Consider using real-time analytics and insights, such as pipeline growth, offer acceptance rates, cost of new hires, candidate feedback scores, and more to help you automate and optimise your recruitment process.
  • Consider incorporating modern employee listening platforms: Software that allows to easily collect and analyse employee feedback on a regular basis.
  • Review your HR, Learning, and Talent Systems. Have a critical look at the system’s ability to collect, analyse and integrate data in a seamless manner.
  • Many organisations are opting to bring in specialised HR analytics partners to support the automation and integration of a more sophisticated talent analytic solution.
  • Train ALL your HR staff on data analytics and visualisation. This is a crucial skill for all HR business partners in 2022.

4. Empathic Leadership

Leadership has always been important, but the pandemic has refocused our attention on leaders. Gartner’s research found that 45% of HR leaders will place the development of current and future leaders as their top priority for 2022.

The nature of a leader’s role will be very different in 2022 compared to a few years ago, however. In 2022 leaders will be asked to:

  • Support employees on the brink of burnout to lead with resilience and empathy, whilst fostering a more intentional focus on employee wellbeing.
  • Ensure that the workplace is as fair and equitable as possible. This will require heightened awareness of their own biases and inclusion barriers.
  • Embrace an experimentation or design thinking mindset. Encouraging employees to experiment, think innovatively, and yes… be okay with failure for the purpose of learning.
  • Connect employees to a bigger purpose. Something that will inspire, motivate and energise their people.
  • Foster collaboration and trust in teams.
    Teams will be the main vehicle of innovation and performance in 2022 (and beyond).

The bottom line: Leaders need to be agile, emotionally attuned and open to experimentation if they want to lead high-performing individuals, teams and units.

Priorities actions to consider:

  • Consider using innovative ways to measure the leadership potential that may lie dormant in employees using psychometric assessments or 360 feedback assessments.  Assessments such as HR Avatar, Talegent and/or AssessFirst are modern assessments that tap into leadership ability using the latest assessment technology and leadership research.
  • When developing leaders, prioritise the
    development of emotional skills, resilience, design-thinking, entrepreneurship and team leadership in 2022.
  • Consider creating more informal leadership opportunities at multiple levels of the organisation. Think about introducing non-traditional leadership opportunities such as short-term gigs or projects, reverse mentoring, peer coaching, knowledge sharing events, action-learning assignments, etc.
  • Implement a company-wide mentoring and coaching process that allows many employees to coach and mentor others without necessarily being in a senior leadership role. This enhances cross-functional knowledge sharing, while also enhancing the leadership capabilities of a vast number of employees.
  • Classroom-only leadership development is not optimal. Infuse your leadership development programmes with various action learning components, coaching and mentoring, online learning, peer discussions, and more to optimise the retention and application of knowledge.

5.  Prioritising Internal Mobility

The full potential of labor can be utilised only if there is mobility in labor.

Paul Hoffman

In LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2020 report, talent professionals had this to say about hiring internally:

  • 81% agree that it improves retention.
  • 69% agree that it accelerates new hire productivity.
  • And 63% agree that it accelerates the hiring process.

Since the pandemic began, internal hires make up a greater share of all hires, rising by 19% from 16.5% in April-August 2019 to 19.6% in the same period of 2020.  According to the same 2021 report, employees at high internal mobility companies stay for twice as long as their low mobility counterparts.

More companies are promoting from within in reaction to the (pandemic-induced) high unemployment rates and as a strategy to retain more employees. In 2022, many HR teams will create dedicated internal mobility programmes that motivate employees to build a long-lasting and rewarding career within the business long-term, while also identifying employees who show high potential for more advanced positions in the company.

The bottom line: Organisations that can retain and strategically develop their employees through targeted internal
mobility programmes will outperform their competitors in the long term.

Priorities actions to consider:

  • Find ways to test employees’ potential to succeed in various roles and responsibilities to build a robust internal pipeline of potential candidates. Consider implementing a talent system, like Fuel50, to incorporate rich AI capabilities to help
    you assess and visualise your talent pipeline and the various internal career
    movements that are possible for any
    given employee.
  • Identify multiple growth opportunities
    that could be offered to employees wanting to grow in their careers. From
    mentoring opportunities to stretch assignments to lateral moves, make sure you have an array of opportunities to choose from to keep staff engaged in their career growth.
  • Measure, analyse, and visualise. For internal mobility to truly be successful, you need data: data on performance, succession, career aspirations, potential, interests, skills, mobility, and more. Integrating various data points will allow you to match employees with the right opportunities, whilst also addressing the skills demand within the business.
  • Visualise and communicate clear paths
    for your employees to entice them to not just stick around but broaden their skills and drive their personal development.

Let's Grow Talent Management Together

How The Talent Management Team at Yellow Seed Can Help

 

  • Talent management strategy design
  • Talent management audit (maturity assessment & needs analysis)
  • Talent data analytics
  • Talent management toolkit – Development and capacity building
  • Performance management – Implementation and optimisation
  • Succession management
  • Talent potential identification & assessment
  • Talent management system implementation
  • Talent development planning
  • Talent simulation (virtual or in-person)

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