Talent where it matters: Businesses with workforce clarity can move with the times

Talent where it matters: Businesses with workforce clarity can move with the times

Faced with the three Rs – reskilling, redeployment and restructure – business leaders need total visibility of all their available talent. But for many, the view is either inconsistent, incomplete or both.

As organisations contend with new working patterns, market instability and often rapid changes in strategy, that lack of clarity can be crippling. They can’t redeploy resources effectively if they don’t know what they have, or where those resources are in the first place.

In 2020 McKinsey research into workforce needs, less than half of the 1,200 respondents said they had a clear sense of their organisation’s current skills.

This comes as no surprise to us. We regularly see how a lack of data and poor recruitment processes leave a yawning gap in workforce knowledge.

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We also see the flipside: how companies with a comprehensive view of their talent – both permanent and contingent – are able to match supply and demand and move swiftly, especially at times of crisis.

The NHS knows more than most about the benefits of clarity. As the pandemic took hold across the UK, it created a new Clinical and Healthcare Staffing Framework in order to support trusts in their recruitment of temporary healthcare staffing services.

This kind of programme doesn’t just help organisations to redeploy and recruit talent with greater confidence and speed. It can also help to foster a common understanding of HR terms and processes, which improves communication and can therefore streamline the process further.

We understand the need for simple, smart processes, especially when managing contingent labour. They underpin your ability to find and engage new candidates. They are the foundation for any talent management programme.

The three Rs rear their heads

Covid-19 has forced many companies to shift their talent to where there is critical need or increased demand. According to research from Gartner, close to 60% of organisations moved talent to other parts of the business during the early stages of the pandemic last year.

From lawyers retraining to work on corporate restructuring, to Apple asking store workers to temporarily take on tech-support duties, each sector had a story to tell. Many of these moves were temporary, but other structural changes caused by the pandemic, such as remote working, have become permanent. Such flexibility in HR policy has opened the eyes of leaders to other possibilities, such as remote training, and the promise of a more dynamic, strategic approach to managing the workforce.

For many companies, however, the pandemic has meant significant restructuring. Some have seen their teams shrink – at a time when certain sectors are already under pressure from automation.

In this climate of flux, contingent labour is likely to play a significant role, as leaders re-build and re-shape their teams. It is one of the reasons why we work with businesses of all shapes and sizes – to give them control when the world changes rapidly around them.

Businesses are having to think hard about reskilling and new opportunities for their employees. According to the World Economic Forum’s latest Future of Jobs report, companies hope to internally redeploy nearly 50% of workers displaced by technological automation and augmentation.

So employees and employers will have to be increasingly flexible. And that need for adaptability is underlined by a report from the CBI and McKinsey, which suggests that nine in 10 workers in the UK will need some form of reskilling by 2030.

How to act with foresight – not hindsight

Whether they are reskilling, redeploying, restructuring or some combination of the three, organisations will struggle if they have no access to the full picture. What they need is a foundation of simple and efficient processes – here are three ways to get started.

1. Access new talent supply chains

Organisations need to be able to tap into the widest-possible range of talent and diverse pools of candidates. With this, they can make an accurate assessment of which specialists to bring in and where new expertise can be found. Smart use of technology can help you to shortcut the process and find creative ways to build new teams and transform the governance of your talent supply chain.

2. Exploit real-time data

Lack of reliable and accurate data is a huge drag on effective workforce and budget planning. Many organisations are still grappling with manual processes or new workforce technology that doesn’t easily integrate with existing systems. Better access to real-time insights will give you visibility of available skills and help you to identify gaps and scale up and down as necessary.  

3. Close the gap between HR and procurement

A better grip on available talent and regular real-time reporting will go a long way to solving a perennial issue: the lack of alignment between talent acquisition and procurement teams. Improve communication between the two, and you will create better understanding of both shared business goals and which skill categories are needed where.

We know that the three Rs call for difficult decisions. But businesses that have better visibility of their contingent workforce can at least be confident that those decisions are made with foresight and not in hindsight.  

We understand how every aspect of your business is impacted by workforce visibility – managing the number of contingent resources, spend, compliance, and risk management. During times of change and uncertainty organisations need access to talent fast and need to have the technology available to them to provide reliable and accurate data. The right MSP can give organisations, regardless of size or spend a powerful, data driven solution providing full visibility of their contingent workforce. Talk to us today to receive a free demo about how KellyOCG GO MSP can help your business.


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Keeping up with the new world of work means adopting creative business strategies, and connecting with the talent who will make a real difference in your field. Lucky for you, it’s what we specialize in.

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