Does Your Organization Have a Future Without Talent Mobility?


When you are in the midst of a crisis it is hard to focus on anything other than immediate survival. David Perring, director of research for Fosway Group and Europe’s #1 HR Industry Analyst, joins us for this guest post to explain why talent mobility can be such an important lever to success in an uncertain world.

Let’s begin by being realistic.

It’s great for organizations to have ambitious plans, but in 2020 we have all been trying to navigate through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to how the situation is evolving. Just as we had to suddenly transition to a virtual workforce, many are now dealing with the realities of a socially distanced workplace.

The ripple effects of the economic shock are already being felt. And for many of us, the harsh reality of a post COVID-19 economy is still unfolding. If the projections are true, they paint a grim picture. There is no easy way to say it — there are tough times ahead.

The good news is that despite the pain, we are now entering a phase of recuperation and recovery, and it is now time to ask some much needed questions about the future of our organizations once we have stabilized and reset them.

That’s because even as we survive the current “once in a lifetime” event, more might be on their way. There are a whole host of equally unparalleled challenges before us, and those challenges were stalking us well before COVID-19 hit.

Four possible game-changers

Here are four of them:

  1. Population growth;
  2. Climate change;
  3. Global sustainability; and,
  4. The technological explosion heralded as the 4th Industrial Revolution.

These are some of the biggest challenges of our lifetime, and many have been building momentum for the last 50 years. As a result, we are entering a period of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity like never before. But as Fuel50 points out in its recent Trending Capabilities report:

Organizations that prosper now are those that are clear on the capabilities needed to drive their business strategy whilst acknowledging the authentic needs of their people in the wake of world events.

The future is not a given, but it is in our hands to shape. Human Resources has a duty to rethink how we create organizations that can thrive going forward, and not just for the good of our own people but for everyone we serve directly and in the wider community. That might be significantly different from how our organization looks today, and it might include some of the key areas identified in the same report.

Talent mobility: Key lever for future success

The reality is that much of the innovation organizations achieve come through their people. The opportunity to create higher performing organizations is already at HR’s fingertips — if we choose to harness it. The mantra, at least, is simple:

Have the best people, in the right roles, at the right time, being the best they can be.

Sounds easy, right? But in the absence of the right approach to your people and talent, it’s not possible. There needs to be a deep systemic organizational commitment, investment, and passion for the growth of people and their skills, and within that, a commitment to harness talent mobility as a lever for building skills and growing talent.

Talent mobility is at the root of organizational and personal resilience. People who have a growth mindset — a passion for continuous learning and an expanding skill set — are better able to embrace change with greater confidence.

This relies on having a deeper and wider view of people’s skills and capabilities, and, a more intelligent and detailed view of the talent available to your organization – whether from internal marketplaces, contingent or gig workers, or external partners.

Only by having a full view of talent drivers, like personality, inclusion, and diversity, can you counter inherent societal bias, AND ensure you have the best teams working together in the right roles. This insight also powers personal development and engagement. That’s important because our research indicates a virtuous circle between skills development, internal career progression, learning, and the ability to attract a pool of even richer talent.

In short, having a reputation for developing the best, attracts the best.

Going beyond traditional talent management

Make no mistake — we are now at a tipping point where we are diverging significantly from the traditional notion of talent management, internal recruitment, and succession. There is a growing need for speed and automation that will enable organizations to connect people intelligence with working opportunities and avoid the slow governance of management decision making.

Whilst it is still possible to put in the political checks and balances of management decisions about mobility, there is an opportunity for HR to be a more agile and seamless servant to workers, and, empower them to take advantage of opportunities without restriction. This will ensure that the best people are working on the right things at the best time.

This isn’t a fantasy, either. The truth is that technology exists today that can power the sort of organizational agility and intelligence to make sure that you are optimizing your people, harnessing their potential, and powering your organizational growth. This doesn’t come through labored career paths, but rather, through rapid reskilling, continuous improvement, and dynamic architectures.

Given the scale of the challenges we face, it just might be something we should plan for today, because in all likelihood, whilst your organization might survive COVID-19, it may not be able to respond to the next and perhaps even more formidable challenges of tomorrow without thinking differently about how your people will drive its future success.

Your Work-Fit Plan for the Covid Era

Fuel50 puts people at the heart of all that we do. We designed this handbook to help you and others thrive as we navigate this ever-changing world. We hope you enjoy this content.

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