7 Signs Your Talent Approach May Be Deemed “Traditional”

Organizations worldwide recognize the radical speed at which business is shifting and that this, at large, is driven by digital technology that is increasingly impacting the way we live and work. Therefore, every function of an organization must be equipped with the right speed and agility to support the overall organizational strategy. Yet, an essential factor to this ecosystem of success is often overlooked, talent. With innovative and digital solutions driving business, HR teams are often viewed as still traditional in their approach to talent.

Human resources have always been a core function of corporate success. During that time, the way businesses are run has been radically innovative on several occasions. However, many conventional HR methods, practices, and systems that have been around for decades have not kept up and are now contributing to the divide between HR and employees. This has inadvertently, over the years, caused a misalignment between the talents organizations need and their business strategies. Last year more than half of the CEOs questioned by DDI said their talent pipeline was not growing fast enough. At the same time, other surveys find that organizations are already facing enormous difficulties in finding and keeping the people they need to grow their businesses. Here are 7 signs your approach to talent may still be traditional and impacting business.

  1. Spreadsheets drive your talent practices.

If the first software your HR team opens when they need to find information on talent is Microsoft Excel, you should be concerned. With the HR software market being a $14billion and growing industry, there should be enough options to find a more robust alternative to Excel. While Excel holds its strengths, HR teams driven by spreadsheets are often slow to respond to strategic business questions, more reactive than predictive, and more susceptible to mistakes.

  1. Your talent processes and subjective and prone to bias

While no organizational leader wants to intentionally be biased, especially when it comes to talent decisions, as humans, we can rarely stop the occurrence of unconscious bias as it happens faster than we are aware of. This is why one of the fundamental jobs of HR is to ensure talent processes that are put into place are objective and fair. Yet, many organizations globally solely rely on training to alleviate bias and do not look toward digital solutions available that are much more data-driven to ensure objectivity.

  1. You rely on manual analysis

Often caused by not having an automated way to turn data into insightful information, HR teams that rely heavily on manual analysis are not only deemed traditional but also prone to all kinds of problems. The most common negative impact of this physical administration is the amount of effort and time taken by the people in completing these tasks. This results in missed opportunities, higher costs, and prevents the entire team from working on something more strategic and productive. Also, manual analysis is prone to mistakes and these talent errors can have a huge impact on the organization.

  1. Your approach hinders productivity

Processes, systems, and technology that HR teams deploy should be aimed at increasing productivity up to the level where talent strategies can be as fast as business needs. However, many organizations today are implementing new processes or systems that actually hinder their productivity. For example, on-boarding multiple assessment tools without considering a consolidated report actually hinder productivity as it now requires HR to manually interpret and summarize the multiple reports for interviewing managers. When HR teams introduce technology to help increase productivity, they must also understand that they’re committing to a series of updates, changes, and training that comes with the technology. Unfortunately, many businesses aren’t doing their part to keep up with the evolution of their tools, and as a result, productivity is actually struggling.

  1. Your talent data is siloed

Despite investing more than US$20 billion in HR technology over the last five years to improve the digital management of talents, many larger organizations still struggle to access information needed for faster insights and more informed decision-making. For HR teams, many of these challenges stem from people analysis issues due to data that is poorly integrated and siloed. Unfortunately, even after installing applications such as HRMS, PMS, 360s, Employee Surveys, etc, HR still struggles to easily find the data they need to manage the growing demands of their businesses. For example, finding employees that have the skills, knowledge, interests, and availability to support short-term innovation projects can often require the time-consuming assembly of information from multiple systems or sources, forcing stretched HR staff to waste valuable time and effort.

  1. You have multiple systems & tools, that arent integrated

Do you have several, separate systems that each handles just one aspect of your HR functions? For example, do you have one system for mobility, another system for performance management, and another for succession planning? Certainly, it’s inefficient for your HR team to keep up with multiple systems. Furthermore, these individual systems often require manual HR data entry, which takes up a lot of time and can result in errors and inconsistent or incomplete HR data. And, chances are, some of these systems don’t communicate with each other and therefore don’t transfer data back and forth seamlessly. Data may even be calculated differently between systems and may not sync well.

When information is separated into silos and gathering, manipulating, and interpreting data is a clunky and time-consuming process, this can lead to HR data gaps and inadequate reporting – meaning you’re not getting the full picture of what’s going on with your organization.

  1. Your process is rigid and reactive

In an ever-increasingly agile business environment, HR plays a critical role in being equally agile to be able to support business strategies with talent needs. However, more and more business leaders are feeling the sentiment that HR teams’ processes and practices still remain rigid and therefore are often playing catch up to the business direction. Being rigid and reactive with your HR strategy is not only seen as traditional but also causes serious business impact and prevents HR from having a strong opinion in the boardroom. Research from Deloitte, reports that 41% of the HR team’s time is spent on tactical HR work. This takes valuable time away from focusing on strategic initiatives. But the same research found that focusing less on tactical HR results in more impact from HR. Sadly, it’s easy to get caught up in tactical HR work when dealing with HR problems. If your only strategy is to react to HR problems as they occur, you’re preventing your company from growing and putting your business at unnecessary risk.

Why should HR not be known as traditional in its approach? The strategic management of people covers a wide range of organizational problems related to people, structure, and culture. For example managing change, organizational efficiency of operations, skills, selection of resources depending on the company’s future requirements, and the overall development of employees. Taking this into consideration, it shouldn’t be surprising that the responsibility for innovative leadership should lie in large part with HR.

Traditional Talent Decisions Accendo’s Talent Approach
Driven by spreadsheets Driven by technology
Subjective, bias prone Data-driven, bias averse
Manual analysis Automated insights
Hinders process efficiency Optimized process efficiency
Siloed talent data Consolidated talent data
Rigid and reactive Agile and predictive
Multiple systems and tools Single, unified platform
Differences between Traditional Talent Decisions and Accendo’s Talent Approach

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