why talent innovation experts need better technology insight

May 23, 2017 Cas Turbak

What did you learn yesterday? It might have seemed like an ordinary day, but I bet in the course of those eight or more hours in the office or on the road, you picked up a new skill or piece of knowledge to be used again. As a talent leader in your organization, you’re probably being asked to pick up a lot of new skills these days.

Why? In the past, human capital leaders primarily focused on core processes, such as payroll, benefits, training and mobility. Today, as a strategic advisor to the C-suite, you’re also expected to bring to the table deep insights on technology and its impact on the workforce. As deployment of automation and robotics accelerates, you will likely play a critical role in ensuring its success.

No doubt this will be demanding. You must help ensure your business is investing enough in innovation to stay ahead of competitors without overtaxing existing resources. In the latest Randstad Sourceright Talent Trends survey, which gauges the views of more than 700 C-suite and human capital leaders in 15 markets around the world, employers say they are doing just that. The majority (85%) report they are making appropriate levels of investment in talent innovation, despite seeing competitors outspending them. So even though these companies are staying ahead, they are still constantly looking over their shoulder.

If this sounds familiar, you may be increasing budgets for technology to improve candidate and talent experience and to bring on digital specialists. Increasing spending to acquire digital skills was cited by more human capital leaders than any other area of investment, including priorities such as employer branding, analytics, robotics and leadership development.

Digital transformation is top-of-mind for many companies. It delivers exceptional ROI by enhancing productivity and efficiency and improves the talent experience throughout the enterprise. But despite the importance of digital transformation to the organization, most (53%) report that they are struggling to keep up with the changes. So what should you do to stay ahead of the curve?

maintain clear focus

In my work with leading global companies, I encounter widely varying levels of organizational maturity when it comes to talent innovation. Some of our clients have deep insight into the marketplace and their own technological needs. Others look to us for guidance to leverage the next “big thing” to transform their organization. For every one of these companies, we help to assess what’s out there and determine what’s investment worthy.

It’s easy to get distracted by new technologies, but companies should never lose sight of their goals. The purpose of any tool — an applicant tracking system, a recruitment marketing platform, a social media communication solution, a chatbot — is facilitating those goals. If you hope to increase candidate engagement, maybe a recruitment marketing platform is the way to go. If you find you desperately need a better understanding of why hiring takes too long, consider talent analytics. Achieving clarity about and prioritizing your goals will get you halfway there.

proliferation fatigue

Achieving the other half is a little tricky. As I said before, you’re expected to be an expert in technology in spite of all of its moving parts, but, it’s an uphill battle. Staying current to the proliferation of talent innovation, and knowing how they work together (or not), is a tall order.

In my role to assess technology, I may sit through half a dozen product demos a week. Some may be true game-changers and others fall short. Our team then chooses promising solutions for pilot programs. We consider the needs of clients, the potential of different solutions for success and the related implementation requirements. We also collaborate with and are supported by the Randstad Innovation Fund, our parent company’s global technology fund. You can imagine how much work and expertise are required to assess the ever-expanding world of talent technology.

How can you do this on your own? Ensuring you have the internal resources and expertise is the first step, but you’re also going to need market knowledge and insights. Understanding how peers are addressing their technology needs will help develop an informed strategy. You can start by downloading the latest Randstad Sourceright Talent Trends talent innovation and technology report. There you can find comprehensive insights into how human capital and C-suite leaders around the world view talent innovation and their approach to optimizing their investments.

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The research captures the views of over 160,000 respondents (general public, aged 18-65) on 5,495 companies...