This article was written by Anne Fulton, CEO and Founder of Fuel50, and was originally published by HCM Technology Report.
In a positive change of pace, the talent market is increasingly being driven by employees. Employees are advocating for themselves and demanding better experiences, opportunities, and rewards.
Organizations keen to onboard and retain quality talent are making strides in the right direction by investing in technology to support their people. Nearly 50% of companies are spending more on upskilling their employees this year, and the talent management market is all set to surpass $13.4 Billion by 2028.
In this article, we discuss the role of technology in delivering an exceptional talent experience as underscored by current talent market trends.
Rethinking Skills and Internal Talent Mobility
To overcome the skills gap, companies are rapidly trying to invest in reskilling and upskilling their employees. Moreover, integrating contractual workforce and outsourcing are also popular ways to close the skill gap.
Nevertheless, the reasons behind the skills shortage go beyond rapid technological advancement and the inability to change with time. Experts also identify how employees are underdeveloped and underutilized in their current roles. This means that while some employees might not have the necessary skills, there are many whose skills are overlooked. Even worse, organizations don’t even know what skills their employees possess and who needs upskilling. Such obliviousness leads companies to look outside to overcome the arbitrary skills gap. In a survey, 39% reported not knowing their current employees’ skills gaps.
So, while reskilling is important, organizations will benefit from a closer look at their current workforce. Obtaining detailed insights into your employees’ skill sets through talent marketplace technology unlocks internal talent mobility by delivering visibility to best-fit talent for new or existing roles. Manually conducting the skill gap analysis would take ages. But, with a talent marketplace like Fuel50, you can see what talent and skills you have across your organization and where it is in real-time, and then build your talent pipelines to solve business challenges – succession planning, agile redeployment and workforce restructuring.
Workforce Management: Supporting Hybrid Work Structures
Although remote work emerged as accommodation during the pandemic, remote and hybrid work structures are here to stay. Flexible work opportunities promote diversity and inclusion by adapting the work environment for disabled people, working parents, primary caregivers and those with varying health needs.
For organizations skeptical about remote work, forcing offline work will drive your employees away. When asked by Gallup if they would change jobs if their company stopped offering remote work, 54% of employees working from home said they were likely to look for other jobs, and 38% of hybrid workers agreed as well.
Hybrid workplace technology provides organizations with collaboration tools for individuals and teams in-office and remote to work together. Comprehensive hybrid work tech improves the employee experience, boosting agility and performance and ensuring tailored work-life balance.
Highlighting Learning and Development
Employees are keen on learning and upskilling to excel in their careers. Many people prefer organizations that provide learning and development opportunities when assessing new roles. But keeping track of career growth can be hard.
According to Jessica Miller Merrell, the disconnect is in the execution of the training. She also adds that HR leaders should be internal communications champions – continuously telling people they have access to learning resources. Here, the role of tech is vital to supporting and aligning career growth and integrating goals, action plans, and milestone celebrations. A company culture where wins, achievements and milestones are recognized and celebrated empowers your people and enhances the overall talent experience.
Promoting Employee Wellness and Mental Health
Poor mental health significantly impacts employees and, in turn, businesses. Since the pandemic, burnout has developed into a widespread issue, and companies are trying to support employee well-being and mental health.
Mental health exists on a continuum, and employees are likely to experience some mental health issues during their employment. Addressing mental health in the workplace helps leaders build a healthy and resilient workforce.
Digital mental health solutions can provide employee assistance and therapeutic approaches and enable sustainable behavioral changes for employees. These solutions are accessible from anywhere and at the employee’s convenience and assuage the stigma surrounding mental health conditions.
Decentralizing HR: Empowering Frontline Managers
Jessica Miller Merrell defines frontline managers as the ‘single most important people’ within any organization, impacting retention, development, and growth. Especially with high turnover, managers are under pressure to cope with the workload, with fewer team members often sacrificing their relationships with them. This further leads to dissatisfaction for employees, pushing them towards quitting.
Employees want more support and better relationships with their managers, and many leave their jobs due to bad managers.
But the situation is not as black and white – the question is, are managers actually bad, or do they lack assistance and are juggling unrealistic expectations? To create an environment of growth and positivity, it is necessary to equip your managers with the right tools.
While organizations look to technology to enable frontline managers, Jason Lauritsen believes that new tools without adequate support worsen the situation. Consider the problems you intend to solve when introducing a new tech solution and offer training to use the platform.
Beyond Talent Tech: Zeroing in on People Strategy
With every talent tech vendor displaying the use of AI and machine learning to solve HR problems, it is not the only aspect that needs innovation. Business and talent acquisition leaders believe that the talent space is in for a revolution. And while technology is at the forefront of it, organizations need more than ever to get their basics right.
Jason Averbook remarked, ‘We’re in the midst of the biggest work transformation’ on the People Tech podcast. He continued that Gen-Z is raised differently; they won’t work for companies that don’t treat them well. And ‘unless we fix the organizational structures of how HR thinks about talent, none of the technology will truly realize the potential it has.’
Companies that integrate HR into their business strategy consistently see improved retention, engagement, and business outcomes. Now more than ever, businesses cannot afford to keep HR and business separate. Adding to the conversation, Jess Von Bank highlights the fact that employees are calling the shots, and ‘you cannot support holistic employee journeys in a heavily siloed talent function’. This is not just an HR function, she adds, ‘it is business strategy, HR requires alignment and strategic visioning’.
Adopting new technology without a strategic foundation and sustainable process will burden your new tech with the same old problems. It is crucial to remember that priorities have changed, and the marriage of people and tech is the key to success. Employees want better tech but also holistic work environments, supportive leaders and meaningful workplace relationships.
The talent market is undergoing massive shifts with regard to how people work, their experience of work, and their needs, goals and demands. Today’s employees know what they want and are looking for companies that will support their journeys. Employees are also prioritizing meaningful work, mental health and well-being, and being valued at their organizations.
While none of these conversations are new, they are more driven and at scale – meaning these changes are unlikely to halt. Companies cannot continue their pre-pandemic outlook and expect to succeed and are increasingly turning to technology to support new talent experiences.
The talent technology market is rapidly growing to meet the demand for talent solutions. Using advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data and analytics, these tools help companies monitor, measure and materialize their talent strategies and goals. From sourcing the right candidate to learning opportunities and employee well-being, talent technology tools can empower employees to reach their highest potential.
With the shift in power from employers to employees, companies must center employee experience on business strategy, goals and technology decisions. The conversation surrounding skills and talent mobility is a primary concern for everyone. A balance between the right technology, process and strategy can create inspiring talent experiences.
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