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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Top 10 talent trends for 2013


From the continued impact of the difficult global economic situation on HR departments to a growing focus on workforce diversity, 2013 looks set to be a dynamic and exciting year.

Recruitment consultancy Futurestep, a Korn/Ferry company, outlines the top 10 trends that it expects to see in the talent management arena:
1. To outsource or not to outsource?
As budgets continue to be scrutinised during 2013, organisations will increasingly start exploring whether or not outsourcing makes sense for them in their specific situation. They will start developing business cases and thinking more broadly about the bigger picture rather than concentrating on the detail of individual tactics.
2. Balancing short- and long-term talent strategies
A trend that will become more acute in the year ahead is the need to balance shorter-term financial challenges with longer-term strategic needs – such as the imperative to build a brand that can attract talent over the longer term.
Because of the economic climate, many companies are finding it hard to dedicate the necessary time, resources and budget to develop and execute a talent strategy that will continue to attract colleagues in the short and long term.
But over the next 12 months, organisations will start to put strategies in place to try and overcome this situation as their focus shifts towards recovery and growth.
3. Workforce planning goes global
The globalisation of workforce planning is a trend we will see more of in 2013 as organisations start – both through desire and necessity – to think about their talent on a more global basis.
As companies expand internationally, and different markets present more attractive business opportunities, they will have to think about their workforce and talent in this way too.
4. Employer branding gains recognition
Businesses will start to treat job candidates like true consumers to attract and engage talent globally. Smart employers are starting to recognise that many of the strategies and tactics used by consumer brands to attract and maintain relationships with customers can be applied to job candidates.
5. New talent battlefields emerge
The war for talent, which was once ferocious and dominant, will become more subtle and focused in 2013. Employers will recruit fewer people than they once did but, against the current economic backdrop and drive for growth, will instead focus on critical hires.
Therefore, in the on-going war for talent, some new, fiercely-fought battlefields will emerge in 2013, for example, in tier two and three cities within emerging markets.
6. The rise of talent communities
Consumerist-based ideas will lead to the development and use of higher numbers of ‘talent communities’, resulting in the continued maturation of talent pool management techniques. The challenge – and also the opportunity – over the year ahead will be to find ways of building a sustainable strategy for engaging internal and external talent.
The issue is that, although organisations know that they will need talent at some point in the future, in today’s economic climate, they don’t have the luxury of hiring people when they first encounter them.
7. Engagement and employee-driven development
An engaged workforce is essential to foster growth and innovation, but the ongoing economic uncertainty has left workforces exhausted – employees feel insecure in their jobs and many feel that there is little to no commitment to them from their employer.
During the coming year, employers will need to become more egalitarian in their engagement approach –engaging all employees if they want to keep hold of talent.
In addition, over the next 12 months, employee-driven development is expected to become the new normal. The majority of employees across the world today do not have an actionable development plan, however – they may know where they are going career-wise, but they are unclear on the steps required to get there.
8. HR starts to adopt new technology
HR technology options are becoming more engaging – there has been a growing shift away from monolithic systems that do little to engage employees and software providers are innovating at a rapid rate.
But the level of adoption within HR departments has so far been patchy and is not increasing at the same level. The gap between innovation and adoption will start to close over the coming year, however – because it has to.
More and more over the next 12 months, businesses will look to innovative new products to give them the edge.
9. Increased push for diversity
Organisations will increasingly start demanding greater diversity in the workplace during 2013, particularly in sectors such as engineering where there is a growing focus on gender equality, particularly in the boardroom. As a result, many business leaders are now looking to HR to ensure that their company is representative of society.
10. Focus on internal promotion
Pressure facing recruitment and talent managers in 2013 will almost inevitably lead to a greater focus on up-skilling employees for internal promotion.
Tighter budgets, the requirement for specific skills and increased complexity in terms of global workforce planning will mean that many businesses look internally rather than externally to solve their staffing issues.
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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