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What are Organisations' Most Pressing Talent Concerns Today?

With the growing workforce becoming increasingly competitive, it is no surprise that Talent Managers find themselves in a conundrum about the routes to pick. Further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic that brought many industries to their knees, the talent pool has also had to grapple with mass unemployment across the globe. Even with people losing their jobs, many companies struggled with finding the right kind of talent. As the industry grew globally, markets became more competitive than ever before, and so did talent. Ample time to hone personal and professional skills gave people the confidence to expand their horizons and demand what they deserve. Workplace requirements changed as mental health made its way to the forefront, and companies were compelled to adapt to these changes quickly.

So, what exactly has changed? What are the most pressing talent concerns for HR professionals today?

To Promote Inclusion & Provide Opportunities

While pay-scale and other practical measures are still at the top of people’s expectations, inclusion and opportunities for growth are becoming increasingly important. By augmenting diversity, organizations can attract new talent and keep their existing workforce happy and satisfied. Anti-discrimination policies and measures can further help the process if companies take a proactive approach, instead of one that is reaction-based. This will also increase employees' sense of belonging, which is a top priority for Singaporeans today. These may include activities and workshops to promote trust within the workforce, regular sensitization seminars, educating managers about diversity in the workplace, celebrating differences, and more.

Organisations also need to ensure that the opportunities for growth are as gender-inclusive as companies claim them to be. Companies often boast of gender diversity in numbers when in reality a large part of this diversity lies in the lower rungs of the hierarchy. To avoid such situations, when filling senior positions or management roles, companies may choose to hire from within or from outside for senior leadership, based on what they see fit to build better representation in the senior leadership team. The unwillingness or the inability to promote people in a diverse manner will communicate the presence of a glass ceiling to people within and outside the organization, hindering your company’s chances of recruiting and retaining the best talent. Using Human Capital Management Softwares for talent analytics may also help companies speed up and streamline time-consuming processes like hiring and onboarding.

To Encourage Empathy

Being a reliable and responsible organization also means emulating and encouraging empathetic practices. Whether it’s visibilised in sensitization or in leadership training (particularly when companies are expecting to draw in talent), an empathetic approach to building a trustworthy culture from the top-down is crucial. Hiring internally by providing the right kind of learning and development opportunities and/or building a multigenerational workforce may substantially improve trust amongst the employees and its leadership. While job shifts internally do ensure trust, companies may choose to hire someone from outside should they feel the need for fresh perspectives or for a new dose of conscious behaviour. There is no one-zone approach to fit each company’s needs.

Organizations can also adopt a more compassionate approach to improve well-being and employee experience. By being cognisant of the lived experiences of people, and by caring for their mental health, companies can encourage thoughtfulness and mindfulness among employees. A company that cares for its employees will not only attract better talent, it will also retain its best employees.

To Provide Benefits

Deciding what benefits to provide is no easy feat! There is no one-size-fits-all. As companies possess their own values and cultures, it is not fair to expect a strategy that works at one place to work for others as well. Contingent on industry, scale, location, culture, traditions, age-group, backgrounds etc., companies have to continually alter their approach towards benefits. As the workforce changes and adapts to its role, the benefits available to them should change dependent on their needs. Hence, it is important to keep revisiting and refurbishing policies and organising pulse checks. Many companies may also choose to onboard a consultancy service or a third party to enlist their help in analysing the responses and together come up with appropriate solutions. Another key factor here is to get the senior leadership’s buy-in by making a business case for engagements, benefits, flexi-hours, parental leaves, etc. Companies may choose to utilize TechHR services to streamline this process for seamless approvals and regulation.

As the global workforce continues to age and the Boomer generation retires, a change of ideas and pace is expected. The entry of new generations into the workforce has brought about a long-needed revolution in corporate culture, by shifting the conversation to focus on the employee experience. With company executives and talent managers deploying a variety of strategies to fill the leadership gaps, it remains to be seen how they will balance overall strategic priorities, operations and vision to better align with evolving employee expectations.