Reimagining Your Strategic Approach to Talent

05/15/2020

By Scott Stone Sr. Director, Global Solutions, KellyOCG

As businesses around the world attempt to navigate an unprecedented global crisis, how can they ensure that their organizations are robust enough to succeed in a brave new world of work?

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Covid-19 has fundamentally shaken the world we live in. For every size of business, every sector and industry, every individual – the pandemic has changed everything. This has brought to the fore some big questions about how we go to work, how we arrange our workforces, and how we build a strategic approach to talent that can weather the catastrophic and unexpected. It’s likely that the crisis we face today will not only accelerate changes that we have seen trickling into the industry over the last decade but that it will also spark innovation we simply couldn’t have imagined in a pre-Covid-19 world. The first priority for every organization is to ensure the health and wellbeing of its people. The second must be the health and future success of the companies themselves. Rethinking the ways they connect with and access skills is one of the big strategic questions that leaders will have to face in coming months. I take a look at some of the ways that organizations might rethink their talent approach, below.

Outsourcing Non-Core Functions

The move towards outsourcing non-essential functions has been steadily growing over the past decade, but in the face of Covid-19 the benefits look even more attractive. The ability to focus on your core business, reset and renew after a period of complexity and interruption, and tap into easy scalability and cost savings are compelling benefits for business leaders. Outsourcing key functions and roles also allows organizations to quickly plug into specialist expertise. This may be invaluable as they look to overcome a new set of challenges presented by the pandemic.

Engaging a Truly Flexible Workforce

In the past, permanent hires have been seen as the preferred way of engaging staff at almost every level. A culture of permanent work = real work muddied the waters around contingent staffing. Now, as many organizations make painful staffing decisions, we may see a new perspective on the benefits of a highly flexible, agile, and scalable contingent workforce. This combined with the explosion of the gig economy and an ongoing freelance revolution may fundamentally change the ways we think about connecting with, rewarding, and engaging temporary talent. But the move towards flexibility must extend to every type of worker. Permanent staff should also see more flexibility in where, how, and when they connect with work. We have collectively learned, under painful circumstances, that we can find new ways to get the job done and that is a genie we cannot put back in the bottle. 

Actively Adopting Innovation

Those organizations that thrive in the most difficult conditions are often early adopters. Those changemakers who are willing to take calculated risks to move forward. Consider a business with limited remote capability and technology compared to an agile fintech whose team already work from home around the world. A slow-moving organization with aged tech is at a huge disadvantage in current circumstances. The same is true when we look at talent strategy. Today, more than ever before, talent sourcing channels and workforce solutions have to be able to adapt quickly and seamlessly. Sometimes changing approach from day-to-day in order to balance demand, protect worker safety, and overcome new obstacles. Innovation is no longer optional. It’s essential to future success.

What does the future look like? Nobody knows for certain. But it seems likely that businesses will have to transform their plans for the rest of 2020 and beyond. They will have to ensure, in the future, that their businesses and talent strategies can adapt to almost anything the industry and wider world throws at them. Workforce needs are evolving quickly, and we all have big decisions to make to ensure we can keep up.

I’d love to hear more about your experiences of leading talent strategy during these strange times. You can contact me at any time.

 

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