Speaking on Total Talent at the Emerging Workforce Summit

Adepto’s CEO Chris Milligan recently spoke to senior leaders at CXC Global’s Emerging Workforce Summit on why HR and procurement should care about Total Talent. As well as Chris, who delivered the keynote for the event, speakers from Deloitte, the RCSA, Beeline and CXC discussed contingent workforce trends, industry disruption and automation.

Attendees’ views on Total Talent

To kick things off, Chris asked attendees what they believed the term “Total Talent” meant. The majority of the audience (60%) chose “Visibility of all the skills available to my organisation.” The second most popular answer, with 38% of respondents choosing it, was “Combining both permanent and contingent recruitment activities.” Knowledge of Total Talent is becoming more mainstream for HR and procurement leaders, with attendees showing some understanding of the term and its application to their organisation. This has been likely helped by the rise of thought pieces discussing Total Talent and Total Talent Management. Gartner, SIA and Raconteur have recently touched on the topic. For those looking for a definitive guide to Total Talent, we’ve created a report that defines Total Talent and its many applications.

How work is changing

Chris highlighted how work is changing and factors that organisations must prepare for. The average career, he explained, is 60 to 70 years long, with the average job tenure around 4.5 years. Therefore, people will work with many different employers during their lives.

He explained how, as a society, we are used to accessing things within a few seconds. Netflix has revolutionised movie and TV viewing, Etsy increases accessibility to homemade goods, Tinder has fundamentally altered matchmaking. But the way organisations find their workers hasn’t really changed. Newspaper adverts have merely jumped onto LinkedIn and Indeed.

A better solution is needed

For employers to find workers with the perfect skills for a job, there has to be a better solution. Digital marketplaces, for example, are instantly connecting workers to customers who want their services. This approach, he explained, creates more agile workforces that can better resource projects and respond to market pressures.

Chris drew attention to the need for organisational agility – with 95% of ‘admired’ companies stating that agility was a critical focus area for them. To achieve this, organisations need a complete view of all skills and experience available to them.

Organisations still behind

However, a significant number of organisations are still lagging behind. 97% of attendees reported having no total view of their workforce. This could be, in part, because of the many disparate HR systems being used by large organisation, plus siloed operations between procurement, recruitment and HR. That said, the need for complete visibility is realised by the vast majority of business leaders. 74% of respondents were working on improving their Total Talent view.

For good reason. Having a Total Talent overview offers many benefits across HR and procurement. It gives a greater understanding of all available, on-demand workers and any skills gaps, allowing for real-time engagement of the workforce and optimising the matching of people to work. It also improves internal mobility, flexible working arrangements and diversity.

Risk of falling behind

Finally, Chris forewarned attendees that they risked being left behind in the future of work. The future is happening now, and tomorrow may prove too late to address the many changes occurring within the workforce. There will be more on-demand talent to manage, increased need for competitiveness, worsening skills gaps, a move towards holocracy and a shift in the way we value and track skills.

To help organisations prepare for this, Chris offered insights into Adepto’s own framework to prepare its clients:

  1. Reposition HR as strategic, not operational
  2. Break down the barriers/siloes
  3. Consider your technology
  4. Engage with the entire workforce
  5. Find your hidden talent

Start preparing now

Chris’ talk highlighted how organisations need to prepare for the future of work. Managing your workforce and attracting the right talent will be impossible without first addressing your HR’s strategic position, technology and infrastructure. By leveraging your Total Talent, your organisation will be better prepared for the many changes, challenges and developments coming your way.

By: Jade Emmons, PR & Content Manager

Ready to start the discussion about how you can use Adepto to embrace the future of work?