Best Insight on HR from Talent Management Leaders


Talent Management is at a crossroads. There is push and pull from employers and employees as they navigate this new world that is emerging from the ashes of the COVID-19 pandemic and other previous crises like the Great Recession of 2008. Those, who turn on cable news or turn the pages of a newspaper (or more likely click on a website like this one) may feel anxiety about what the future holds. And Human Resources is shouldering many of the burdens. 

WATCH: Talent Exchange Live

There’s talk of recession, layoffs, and geopolitical strife. Many are pontificating and predicting the worst. Take a deep breath, and turn to HR Exchange Network to view the Talent Exchange Live speaker sessions, which offer optimism, hope, and insight about the year – and maybe even years – ahead in the workplace. Here is a roundup of the best nuggets from each session: 

Getting Together Can Be a Good Thing

VOX Media has adapted to a hybrid workforce. At first people were hesitant to return to the office. 

“People wondered if they’d be the only one there,” said Annie Yu, Head of Operations and Development at VOX Media. “They didn’t want to be the only one going to the cafeteria.” 

The solution was making Wednesday the day that the office would be open to anyone who wanted to be there. It was optional, but the company made it inviting with snacks and the opportunity to see and be seen by leadership. 

Around 30% of employees in the New York City office of VOX Media now go into the office on Wednesdays. Some, among themselves, even opt to go in on other days, said Yu. 

“We’re hearing from employees that returning to the office is good for relationship building, giving feedback, and faster decision-making,” said Yu. 

Pay Attention to Your Digital Footprint

Just as job candidates must keep track of their social media profiles to ensure there are no damaging posts, employers must assess how they are portrayed online. In the session, Interviewing in a Digital Age: A Short Guide to Getting It Right, David Battles, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition – EMEA at G-P (formerly Globalization Partners), the audience learned about the changes technology have brought to the hiring process. 

Battles recommended that employers closely follow their profiles on sites like Glassdoor.

“Candidates are using digital tools and platforms to assess you,” he added. 

In addition, he suggested using mobile device strategies to stand out from the crowd in the talent war. Also, to communicate with candidates, employers must use social media to their advantage by using it as often as possible, he suggested.

Provide Opportunities for Talent Development 

Ben Eubanks, Chief Research Officer at Lighthouse Research & Advisory, pushed Talent Management leaders to consider outside-the-box thinking and new approaches to their duties. He encouraged leaders to provide talent development opportunities to employees as a tool for recruiting and retention. 

In the session, he shared that the number one reason job candidates ghost employers is because they see the position as a no-end job. More than 60% of candidates want to be evaluated for future potential and not just for the qualifications of the present role. And two in three workers quit a job because of lack of growth, he added. 

The main message, however, was that now is the time to assess previous procedures and carve a new path without fear. 

“Sometimes, we’re doing things that we’ve done for a long time, and it’s not having an impact,” said Eubanks. 

Get Agile

Agility is a major buzzword of the post-COVID world. But understanding what it really means can be challenging. Becoming agile is even more of a hurdle. Emma Washington, Human Capital Management Consultant Leader at Risk Strategies, provided an overview of agility as it pertains to Talent Management. 

“When I think of an agile environment, I think of teams that are okay with change,” said Washington. 

One of the ways agility can be built into an organization is through leadership and mentorship programs, she suggested. Indeed, in this session, Talent Management leaders will learn about other ways to become agile, so the buzzword becomes something tangible. 

Create a Culture of Belonging

In these hard times, ensuring people feel included at their workplace is essential. It’s not just a moral obligation. It influences the bottom line. 

“If you can drive a sense of belonging – if people feel included – you can really grow as an organization,” said Sue Schmidlkofer, Global Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UPS. 

Schmidlkofer stressed treating everyone with fairness and respect and then finding ways to connect. 

Focus on the Future of Compensation

Jonathan Best, Enterprise Product Leader at uFlexReward, shared his thoughts on where compensation packages are headed. Driven by technology, Human Resources is moving toward total rewards, he said. With this kind of system, HR leaders would track and assess individual employee packages on a platform that consolidates all rewards, from salary to the free fruit available at the office. Still, the most popular change will be more customization, he said. 

“Hyper personalization is the big opportunity for organizations at the moment,” said Best. “To what extent can we offer flexibility?” 

Having customized benefits and compensation packages for individual employees is the wave of the near future, he suggested. 

Bring Others into Your Group

Belonging took centerstage again in this session with Anna Mouchref, Head of Culture and Diversity at Siemens Digital Industries. She provided an overview of how to make the organization a welcoming one, where everyone feels he or she is a good fit. 

“Belonging is a sense of acceptance that helps us bloom…It has flourished in [diversity, equity, and inclusion], and culture space,” said Mouchref. 

Keep Transformation Alive

In a panel discussion featuring Jan van der Hoop, President of FitFirst Technologies, Danielle Rutigliano, Founder and CEO of Talent Unicorn, and me, Editor of HR Exchange Network. We talked about how the economic downturn and possible recession may impact the workplace transformation that is happening. 

The consensus was that employees will maintain the leverage they have because, despite economic woes, companies are still mostly in need of good workers. There is a labor shortage driven by demographics and years of limited legal immigration. We also had a few laughs about the phenomenon – or lack thereof – of quiet quitting. 

“From my perspective, quiet quitting is the Gen Z term for employee engagement,” said Rutigliano. 

Then, van der Hoop concurred: “This quiet quitting thing is just a friggin’ headline!” 

Watch the on-demand videos of the sessions to learn more and then share your thoughts with us on LinkedIn

Photo by Christina Morillo for Pexels

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