We have observed better than expected unemployment numbers pointing to things potentially getting better. In the digital world, poaching employees from companies going through layoffs/changes is at its peak. Reuters reported a story this week that The GM company Cruise CTO directly sent an email targeting its competitor Zoox. The email targeted Zoox Engineers and openly requested them to join Cruise. (as Zoox is an acquisition target). The demand for good talent is, therefore, surging at a record pace. Now is the time to act, not with the scarcity mindset but with an abundance mindset. What can we do to grow talent within our organization?
Establishing a command center to plan, deploy, and monitor reskilling plans will create an internal talent market place and optimize learning. While many companies are invested in Reskilling, the operationalization of the plan is not effective. Here are the common best practices we have seen work well
- Develop a two-year road map of skills inventory you may need. Bring in industry and competitor trends
- Assemble an in-house SME team to drive potential career transitions – do not outsource this task completely to consultants (often career movements are very nuanced to an organization)
- Understand and document technical – craftsman skill (keep in mind -technical is not just technology-related)
- Get your HR teams familiar with Digital terms and concepts (What is Digital Marketing, RPA, Full Stack Developer, the difference between UI and UX, Workday Analyst, Agile, Cybersecurity Incident response analyst, Cloud Architect and so on). This need not mean you have to become experts, but the familiarity of skills will help you significantly
- Develop a Resource Level Plan: This is one area where many companies fail to translate great initiatives into actions. At the end of the day, a plan is only effective if turned into a very specific resource level plan. This can be done through big data analysis, your internal team recommendations, and SME inputs. The important thing here is to ensure the career transitions are modeled with practical outcomes.
- Develop a feedback loop. Monitor the progress, refine and adjust.
- Cultivate mechanisms to share success stories (inside and outside org). There are some great stories on how an Organizational psychologist learned to become a UI developer. Stories like that will inspire and lift your learning culture, An enterprise with better learning culture will adapt and survive
These are some of the practices we have seen work, and I am sure other practices may exist, We will continue to research on this front
We continue to make progress around machine tagging job descriptions based on sentimental analysis of tasks and responsibilities. Here is an example of Work from Home Suitability Coefficient based on people, system, and compliance requirements. Our model gives you an initial analysis that you can further adjust based on additional analysis.
Some models show that the global job loss impact of Covid19 is 1/4th the impact of the 2001 dot com failure led crisis. It is too early to say, but some of the extreme doomsday models predicted by VC firms like Sequoia have not come true so far. There is also some chatter online about the job descriptions, and job openings with the companies are not for immediate openings. Some companies seem to have these openings for longer-term needs. This can create a poor branding perception among prospective employees. It may be a good idea to do an audit and archive job openings that are no longer valid
We are hearing several roles being debated in the board rooms. Pandemic Response Analyst, Employee Welfare Specialists, Applied Economists (even though this role has been around there is an uptick on this trend), Business Story Teller, to name a few. Of course, the roles in Tech and Digital continue to dominate. There is also an optimism among HR executives that as we perfect work from home, we would be able to tap into differently-abled talent and mothers on a career break. We will continue to monitor this and report to you
We are introducing a new term called Skills Utility in our models. This is to help educate HR on the applicability of a tool like Python. This can mean different things in different roles. For example, you can use Python pull and organize large amounts of data, use it for machine learning or use it for statistical analysis. Essentially, you use different libraries for different functions. Understand this would be a light bulb moment as you can evaluate a range of skills based on Skills Utility. We plan to automate this component, and we believe in Digital age – it is about skills choice and understanding skills utility will bring that.
Overall, we are quite excited about the role HR can play under the emerging circumstances. If we plan the initiatives correctly, we can accelerate transformation and adaptation and make our enterprises that we genuinely care for, a great place to work.