Blog Post
April 9, 2018

Evolving your talent management strategy? Here are five trends to think about

Leading organizations are re-evaluating their talent management strategies to remain competitive. They’re putting a greater focus on being proactive , and integrating technology to power the experience. Here are five trends you should consider when developing your talent management strategy.


To remain competitive in today’s changing world of work, now is the time to re-evaluate your talent management strategy. Talent management is becoming an essential part of business strategy, no longer simply a functional aspect of HR. Leading organizations are taking a holistic approach to talent management that powers the entire employee experience. This approach integrates technology to make proactive versus reactive decisions, and takes changing employee expectations and desires into account.

Here are five talent trends you should be thinking about when setting your talent management strategy.

Building and maintaining a strong employer brand

We’re operating in a tightened labor market, and unemployment is at an all-time low (the U.S. currently sits at a 4.1% unemployment rate). There’s also a shortage of skilled labor, which is especially true for the technology and health care industries. Add to this that candidates are placing increasing importance on a company’s reputation and culture. A recent poll found that 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even with a pay increase.

In short, candidates are in the driver’s seat. Candidates today look at all facets of a company when considering making a move, and they want to know more than simply salary and benefits. Sites like Glassdoor make it easy for candidates to learn about organizations, and negative reviews could stop them from applying. LinkedIn, and other professional networking platforms, let job seekers easily connect with people who have worked, or currently work, at your organization.

If there was ever a time to have a strong employer brand, now is that time. A strong brand is critical when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent, and leading organizations use this knowledge to differentiate themselves in a competitive landscape.

Related: Three ways to deliver a stand-out recruiting pitch

The evolving employer-employee relationship

Gone are the days where an individual works for just one or two companies during their careers. Recent LinkedIn data revealed that between 1986 and 2010, the average number of companies professionals worked for in the five years after they graduated has nearly doubled. Professionals who graduated between 1986-1990 averaged 1.6 jobs in their first five years of working, while those who graduated between 2006-2010 averaged 2.85 jobs.

With that said, employers need to think of the employee-employer relationship as a subscription model, similar to a consumer subscribing to Netflix or Spotify. The subscription either gets renewed, or cancelled because there is something new and better available.

In this vein, it is imperative that you provide employees with opportunities to develop themselves through continuous learning so they stay longer. Also, if you can expect to only have an employee for three to four years, you can’t afford to take a year to get them onboarded and productive.

The changing workplace environment

Today’s employees are looking for an experience that stems beyond pay and benefits. They’re looking for a strong culture that allows for work-life balance and an opportunity to be heard and contribute meaningfully to an organization.

In addition, more and more people are working virtually and more are contingent workers, which includes contractors, freelancers and gig workers. Thirty-six percent of today’s U.S. workforce is freelance, according to the Freelancing in America Survey. The survey also found that 50% of the U.S. population will be freelancing over the next decade, if the growth in freelancing continues at this pace. This means that employers must evolve their processes and tools to meet employee needs and stay relevant in the changing work landscape.

From a technology perspective, this means providing your people with modern, engaging solutions that can be accessed remotely and via mobile – that is, tech that empowers your employees on their terms.  Younger workers won’t interact with a human capital management solution that is only available via a desktop and that looks like it was built in the 1990s. But if you offer technology that creates an employee experience that feels like a customer experience – accessible, intuitive and mobile-friendly – they’ll be all over it.

Acceptance of HR’s role as strategic, not tactical

I believe that HR is now finally accepted as a strategic function, and not simply a tactical function responsible for running payroll, processing new hires, and managing benefits enrollment. From my perspective, the argument has always been very simple. For the majority of organizations, their most important asset is their people. Not only do people typically represent the biggest expense to an organization, it is the people that enable organizations to meet their desired business outcomes.

With that said, it is HR’s role to recruit strong talent, develop people, and align and incentivize them to achieve desired business outcomes. However, to do this, HR leaders need access to insightful data and tools that enable them to make informed business decisions.

Growing compliance complexity

Compliance complexity continues to grow. Examples include the following:

  • With GDPR, multinational organizations with people in the EU must support the right for individuals to have control over their personal data. Failure to do so can result in a fine of $20M Euro or 4% of gross revenue, whichever is bigger.
  • The Affordable Care Act in the U.S. has added tremendous administrative complexity for organizations.
  • New minimum wage laws are popping up all over, and often vary drastically by local and state or province.
  • New pay equity laws are starting to require that organizations not only report on gender pay equity, but close the gaps as well.


Leading organizations are making talent management a priority, starting now. Keeping these trends in mind as you develop your talent management strategy, and understanding how they impact your approach to talent management – from recruiting to retention to development – will help to give you an advantage in the changing world of work.

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