New Challenges for Optimizing Organizational Talent: How HR Needs to Manage Emerging, Disruptive Technologies

November 6, 2015 5:04 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

circle-sliceIn the past, more intangible factors related to talent have often been neglected in favor of more visible targets for information technology and although the use of technology to maximize human assets is still in early stages, this is changing quickly.

The shift from a primary focus on operational excellence to leveraging human assets is rapidly altering the way organizations – and their human resource departments – manage people. This set of changes represents a major transformation that will impact how people live and work together. HR should be a key leader in leveraging technologies to support these workforce changes.

For organizations and their HR departments to start the process of building new capabilities around talent management, they need to understand and address three key questions:

  • How are global human resource trends responses to and drivers of technologies impacting talent management?
  • Which technologies present the most promise for improving the performance of organizational talent? and
  • What capabilities, roles, competencies, and practical steps should organizations and HR apply to define, design and execute technology strategies related to talent

Critical global human resource trends are transforming the landscape of the workplace, including changes in the following areas:

  • Business and economics (such as increased outsourcing and partnerships);
  • Customers and markets (such as shifting regional growth of markets and customer groups);
  • Geopolitical forces (such as increasing security threats to infrastructure, businesses and individuals);
  • The workforce (such as intergenerational conflicts around work and social values; or aging workforce and redefinition of “retirement”); and
  • Technology and distributed information (such as virtualization of work activities related to new collaborative technologies; or new roles and decision-making processes stemming from “big data”).

Changes in technologies are both a response to and to some extent drivers of the above trends. Maturing talent management systems are becoming more capable of supporting decisions across the whole employee life cycle and technologies such as cloud computing, social media, and immediate, universal access to critical information are rapidly altering where and how work gets done.

These changes are both a challenge to and an opportunity for HR in improving its contribution to organizations. But, that means mastering new roles such as:

  • Business Strategist, focusing on defining and integration talent-related business requirements;
  • Talent Re-Engineering Architect, focusing on applying technologies in organization and workforce design
  • Talent Technology Specialist, applying in-depth knowledge about how technologies impact talent management process design and optimization; and
  • Talent Management Advisor & Coach, focusing in providing end user advice, education and support to optimize utilization of technologies impacting talent.

Exploration of changing HR trends, technologies impacting talent management, and new HR capability requirements will help HR on its journey toward a shift in talent management activities from specialized, backroom operations to core HR and business processes; from centralized control over talent decisions to more distributed, virtual, self-directed forms of work; from the tactical to the strategic use of data and expert knowledge; and from methods for eliminating work and jobs to methods for enhancing individual and collective human performance in organizations.

To find out more about technologies impacting talent management and HR’s role in implementation click on the following link. The New Challenges for Optimizing Talent



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This post was written by Dr. Stephen C. Schoonover