by Joyce Shen

How emerging technologies will power talent management strategies

Apr 03, 2017
Artificial IntelligenceCareersEnterprise Applications

In our technology-enabled world in which every company is a digital and data company, talent management is being redefined by the rapid changes and maturation of emerging technologies.

I am excited to start the dialogue about emerging tech and talent management.

Talent management is a C-suite and board level topic because people and talent are the most fundamental to any organization. Without people and talent, there will be no business and ability to create value.

In our technology-enabled world in which every company is a digital and data company, talent management is being redefined by the rapid changes and maturation of emerging technologies. Thus, it is essential for any organization to understand how emerging technologies are evolving and potentially disrupting talent management and ultimately long-term business strategy.

CIOs and CTOs are on the front line as trusted advisors to rest of the C-suite decision makers on emerging technologies and their impact to talent management. It is no longer a technology or HR conversation. It is a business conversation, and CIOs and CTOs have to lead it.

Talent management is also a multi-faceted topic with generally four major categories:

  1. HR processes (e.g., recruiting, onboard, payroll, performance management, retention)
  2. Skill and leadership training and development
  3. Long-term talent strategy
  4. Organizational design and effectiveness

For each of the talent management categories, there is an enormous opportunity for emerging technologies to enable and transform current practices in HR and to some measure to disrupt how organizations think about talent management in the future.

HR Tech is transforming HR processes with significant impact with an estimated market of about $9 billion by 2022. Here are some examples of HR tech and trends:

  • SaaS based ERP systems providing capabilities in HR administration from onboarding to payroll to workforce management to benefits management, shifting HR tech from the traditional Capex spend to Opex
  • Software products that leverage open data, proprietary data, and machine learning to help recruiters identify candidates
  • Performance management software that allows organizations to set and measure goals in more collaborative and efficient manner

Many of the SaaS-based HR ERP software products are due for significant refresh. The current generation of SaaS software has replaced many of the legacy and on-premise software. Organizations and users now are looking for better products which will further deliver the ROI in cost saving and improve HR administrative operations and provide better employee experience.

As an organization breaks down data silos that hold raw data about employees, performance, and compensation across functions and geographies (to the extent allowed by data privacy law in that country), there is significant opportunity now to apply advanced data analytics and machine learning to enable the organization to better understand itself and its talent.

By marrying proprietary data and open data, an organization and HR team can better understand how employees and teams work together, what type of employees performs better and in what organizational environment, and how the organization’s reputation and culture compare to its competitors.

With these insights, HR can create data-driven programs to elevate conversations about talent management in the organization from largely reporting on metrics and measurement (e.g., traditional people analytics) to behavioral insights that are critical to understanding organizational design, talent retention, and ultimately long term strategic planning of the business.

Emerging technologies powering end-to-end talent management strategy

Once an organization understands the enabling and empowering role of emerging technologies, it can develop tactical solutions for HR function and long-term strategic plan on organizational design. Done correctly, the organizational design will in turn inform long-term talent strategy and plan.

The long-term talent strategy and plan inform what training and development that an organization needs. Along with this virtual cycle that is both top-down and bottom-up, emerging technologies play critical roles — shaping business models, employee behavioral and aspirations, as well as technology-enabled programs and tools that an organization can and should adopt to ensure that it is prepared for adapting its talent management to the rapidly-changing market and becomes more competitive everyday.