Total Talent – Utopia or Fantasy?

August 7, 2019

Adopting a truly holistic approach to talent management takes time and effort to implement, but forward-thinking organizations looking to succeed in today’s changing world of work recognize that traditional approaches will no longer suffice. Organizations with a holistic approach to workforce management will be able to attract the right talent, optimize utilization and effectively engage with their talent pool.
Why are traditional approaches no longer cutting it? ManpowerGroup’s global talent shortage survey revealed that 45% of employers can’t find the skills they need—the highest report of this in 12 years. Nearly one-third of employers say the main reason they can’t fill roles is a lack of applicants, 20% say candidates lack necessary experience and 27% feel that the talent shortages are due to candidates’ lack of either hard or soft skills.
Some organizations have taken action to combat these challenges, slowly evolving their workforce strategies toward a total talent model for greatest impact. For instance, more than half of employers are investing in learning platforms and development tools to build their talent pipeline.
Sixty-four percent are upskilling their people in hard skills like technical certifications, apprenticeships and programming courses, and 56% of employers are enhancing employees’ soft skills, including customer service, sales and communications. Companies are also trying to reach new talent pools by considering less-common types of employees, such as retirees, returning parents and part-timers, and more than a third are becoming more flexible about education and experience requirements.
While these examples indicate steps in the right direction, to truly begin the total talent journey, there must be buy-in and support from numerous business stakeholders, who will need to accept, adopt and implement new processes. At a minimum, HR and Procurement need to be more closely aligned. As HR and Procurement collaborate more closely together, they can increase an organization’s capacity for growth, recognize cost savings and introduce greater efficiencies. By reconsidering and realigning traditional workforce models, organizations can focus more on the skills needed and the value a worker can bring to an organization, thus leveraging a fully blended workforce to create competitive advantages.
To be clear, Total Talent Management is not simply total talent acquisition which puts full-time and contract hiring under one umbrella. True Total Talent Management involves a more integrated approach to workforce planning, acquisition and management. The goal is to provide a wider view of what is possible. It’s a journey that moves organizations beyond their traditional, fixed views and enables the best approach to workforce planning. Total Talent Management enables a single, coordinated approach to a variety of talent sources and removes limitations of siloed business operations, typical perceptions of how work needs to be accomplished and standard talent sources.
The world of work is ever-evolving, so it is more important than ever that organizations understand the talent they have in their business today and the talent they will need in the future to remain competitive. Companies will also be increasingly challenged to attract and manage people who do not want to work as “traditional” employees. Talent engagement strategies must account for the total workforce landscape, including permanent, contingent and further contingent workforce subsets, as well as for variations in market conditions, demand for skills and seasonal needs.
With all that said, where do you start? How can you begin the path towards a more holistic, informed approach to Total Talent Management?
Workforce planning tools and analytics are available to help companies get started. For example, ManpowerGroup’s customizable Total Workforce Index™ enables organizations to comprehensively analyze data and develop winning strategies to lead them into the next decade with confidence. It is the only index that examines the total workforce using a proprietary formula to determine the rankings of total, contingent and permanent workforce insights across 75 global markets.
By measuring the relative ease of sourcing, hiring and retaining a workforce in competing labor markets around the world, organizations can better understand workforce potential and to ensure their workforce strategy is aligned with their business goals.
As expectations for improved talent engagement planning increase, forward-looking companies are driving toward more evolved strategies that allow them to predict and create future success rather than rely on past performance to guide decision making. Total Talent Management is not a fantasy, but it is a journey. Choose the right tools and the right partner and you’re on your way.
Beeline welcomes this guest post from our partner, TAPFIN. This post represents TAPFIN’s opinions and not necessarily those of Beeline.