Gartner warns of increased competition for talent

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Increased competition in the external labour market is making it harder for organisations to attract new candidates and retain their best talent, according to research and advisory company Gartner, Inc. This is compounded by today’s historically low unemployment rates, which have put pressure on traditional talent management strategies, and mean that it is taking longer and costing more to hire critical talent.


Gartner’s 2Q18 Global Talent Monitor report found that lack of future career opportunities was the top driver of employee attrition in every major economy, as well as globally. This echoes Gartner data from 2017, when 41 per cent of employees who left their organisation cited lack of future career opportunity as the No. 1 reason, ahead of compensation (36 per cent) and the people management (34 per cent).


Organisations are competing for talent now more than ever before. According to Gartner’s TalentNeuron tool, in 2017, 90 per cent of S&P 100 companies recruited for the same 37 roles. While heads of talent management are recognising that higher levels of internal mobility can alleviate these pressures, they are largely unable to achieve the results they desire.


Gartner analysts are discussing innovative talent management strategies, including the use of digitalisation and analytics, in front of more than 1,450 attendees at the Gartner ReimagineHR conference, which is taking place here through today.


“Most organisations are concentrating their efforts on empowering their employees to take advantage of internal mobility opportunities, but our research shows this isn’t working,” said Thomas Handcock, vice president of Gartner’s HR practice. “Over the past five years, Gartner’s benchmark data shows that internal hire rates have remained largely flat, with a downward trend from 41 per cent in 2015 to 28 per cent in 2017.”


What’s going wrong?

There are three fundamental barriers facing employees who might want to participate in their internal labour markets:


·         Visibility: It is hard for employees to know what opportunities are available to them in their own organisations. Just more than one-quarter of employees believe that their organisations make it easy for them to find job opportunities that match their interests.


·         Cultural norms: The cultural norms that exist in most organisations today fail to support the idea of employees moving across the organisation. Only 37 per cent of managers encourage their direct reports to seek internal opportunities and only 21 per cent of employees believe that it is easy to change positions within their current employer.


·         Skills: When employees do find internal opportunities that match their interests, many lack the skills required to fill those jobs. Just 6 per cent of heads of learning and development, and more than one-third of managers, believe that the employees in their organisations have the skills needed for future roles.


How to make it work

The most progressive talent management leaders recognise that creating an internal labour market requires developing the processes, norms and infrastructure that facilitate the mobility of employees from their current roles to other existing or newly created roles within the organisation. To achieve this, they are focusing on three key initiatives:


1.    Push the right jobs to employees. Leading organisations are using the same technology and tools they use for the external marketplace with their own employees — to actively push a tailored set of jobs that are most in line with their experience and interests.


2.    Ease the path to participation. Organisations are experimenting with different methods to remove the barriers to participation in their internal labour market. For instance, separating performance discussions and career development discussions.


3.    Brokering employee development. Rather than simply offering self-service learning platforms, which often overwhelm employees, the best organisations are providing structured guidance on identifying the right internal career options for them and how to achieve them.


“The best organisations understand that it is insufficient to simply empower employees, you need to actively ‘engineer the market,’” added Mr. Handcock. “Companies often underweight the value of engagement capital they have built in their existing workforce, and the organisational knowledge those people possess. Ensuring you are tapping into this underleveraged talent pool, while still bringing in people from outside with diverse backgrounds and experiences, is a winning formula.”



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