A skirmish for talent

Digital Perspectives

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May 10, 2018
A skirmish for talent
By: Keith Joughin

The war for talent isn’t one big battle; it’s being fought as myriad skirmishes, across every level of every organisation and involving every employee, employer and government department. This challenge for talent isn’t owned by HR or a Chief People Officer—these skirmishes for talent have permeated into all parts of organisations. Today, every line manager and team lead must understand the importance of trying to source, recruit and retain talent.

Challenge: We need to think about how to define and build the required talent for the future public service organisation

While 41 percent of CEOs say attracting and retaining talent is their greatest risk, there’s a recognition that talent will need to be sourced differently. According to our research, for example, 74 percent of Public Sector executives will view freelance workers as a seamless part of their workforce within three years. What does this mean for your organisation?

Ideas and considerations

  • Define Future Capability: There’s a need to leverage strategic workforce planning solutions to build sophisticated models to help size and determine future talent requirements.

  • Digital Competency Models: There needs to clearly-defined digital competencies and required proficiency levels, which are mapped to job roles, in a coordinated and consistent manner to enable individuals to understand where they need to develop their capabilities.

  • Buy / Borrow / Build / Bot: Each department needs to be clear in its strategy; How it’s going to source, build and keep its critical talent pools. As liquid and adaptive workforce options are leveraged, there’s still a need to build core capabilities within the workforce.

  • Flexible Employment Models: As the gig economy and liquid workforce rises, there’ll be a need to manage talent pools better, leveraging associate networks and monitoring performance and availability of the liquid workforce elements. There’s a link here to another key workforce topic for public service—that of the aging workforce retiring and the knowledge drain this creates. Therefore, a key part of the talent strategy for public service needs to consider flexible and part time models of employment for experienced workers, to retain information and experience.

Circle back next time, where I’ll be looking at how public service organisations can best respond to continuous disruption.

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