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Talent management – The future

October 11, 2012

1. What do you foresee as the future of talent management in the context of the changing workforce and the increasing entry of the next generation?

Fundamentals will stay the same

Talent Management will become more important than ever. Supply-demand gaps will mean it will become a competitive differentiator even more so than before, and will be on the CEOs agenda. Evolved companies already have boards focussing on key talent issues.

Talent Acquisition will become a specialist area

Talent Assessment at recruiting and promotion will become more important than ever and companies will realize the importance of getting the right fit

We will also see more multi-cultural workplaces with talent migration moving the other direction. Indian consulates in Germany, France, USA, China have seen a 100% increase in Indian work visas in the last 3 years. The ability to manage expats, will be a key issue. Government policies will need to be modified.

Analytics will play a greater role – Some companies are already using algorithms to identify which employees are likely to quit. The similar technology will find ways into identifying which employees are likely to click.

Clarity and Communication – Social media will play a large role

2. What are the critical areas that future people strategy will demand with respect to its approach and execution?

Blend of FTE, Outsourced, PTE, Consultants, Project teams – Lego blocks approach- Organizations will be run by a mix of red, blue, green, yellow blocks

Build + Buy – Organizations will invest in partnerships or build internal capability to train and develop future employees. Industry-education partnerships will increase.

I have always held that SCM principles can be applied to people strategy and with the world becoming more dynamic, a lot can be learned from there. JIT, Supply-Demand metrics etc.

Employment contracts will get clearer and more direct

Leadership style will need to be flexible – millenials have high need for freedom and direction/structure – Set the direction/structure and then set them free with broad controls.

In continuation of the above point, the concept of Self Managed Teams (highly prevalent in factories) will make it ways to the white collar corporate world. This will provide the empowerment and freedom that Gen Y wants, and enable organizations to reduce supervisory overhead and build leaner, more empowered structures. This will also energize lower levels of the organization to be more independent, responsible and responsive, leading over time, to better developed leaders for the future.

Emerging markets will see an increasing demand for experienced talent in newer industries which will taper off after about a decade when internal and local pipelines are built – Expat hiring at local costs will become a reality. So the unemployed in the West today have some respite. The next gen will not have this benefit.

Returnees will be challenged. Expats returning to the developed world will find it difficult to settle into 0-1% growth rate scenarios. They will miss the “action”. Returness to emerging markets (from the developed world) will face reverse-culture shock and will find it hard to adjust to the pace, lack of structure and resultant chaos

3. How can organizations optimize the new characteristics of the future workforce/ talent?


Love challenges

Are used to moving from project to project

Use them for idea generation

Enjoy working in teams and collaborating – cross-functional teams – breakdown silos

Challenging projects – questioning status quo – driving change

Multi-tasking – Social – Networked – Great Sales professionals – Great Relationship managers

Very driven – if you can find the route to their motivation, you’ve got them hooked and self-driven

Intuitively understand technology, internet, connections, networking

4. What are the top 3 myths about next gen talent entering the workforce today?

That they’re unconcerned and disengaged – They need a different style of leadership and challenge to be engaged

That they are in it only for the money – give them a great role and see them deliver

Want to go up the corporate ladder quickly. A lot of them want to find a space that gives them balance and stay there


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