2022 Talent Management Trends

Successive pandemic waves have transformed a brutal global test of remote work into new and enduring behavioral anchors. As digital platforms make competition for talent more fluid than ever, these talents are in a strong position in many sectors where innovation adds value and differentiates players. Competencies and expertise seem to be crucial and increasingly advanced, and are called upon depending on the needs of a project or situation the organization is facing. The networking of the organizations themselves, and of their ecosystem, is accelerating significantly.

As revealed by the Aneo Holaspirit barometer of the Next Generation Enterprise, in this highly volatile and unpredictable context, managers admit that they need to improve their crisis management capabilities, and more than two-thirds of enterprises want to invest in increasing their resilience.

A sort of symmetry of awareness shocks crystallizes among employees into a deep sense of purpose and a need for flexibility which is now non-negotiable.
According to KPMG, the pandemic has increased the focus on the social component of ESG programs among 81% of executives globally. Mckinsey reports that without flexible working conditions, 25% of employees would consider changing employers.

Attracting and retaining talent is now one of the most important requirements for organizations to survive or grow. In this article, we present the top eight trends for 2022 that will help leaders adapt their talent management policies and turn current fears into new opportunities.

The 8 trends of 2022 in recruitment and talent retention:

1- Developing key competencies and capabilities

The culture of continuous, ongoing learning is being enforced and takes shape in the form of increased internal mobility or agile careers within ecosystems that recognize and evaluate talent.

For Alain d’Iribarne, the concept of competence alone is outdated; we are moving from competencies for all to talents for all. In this sense, the sociologist does not focus on talent, which usually refers to a marginalized group of workers, for example, those who come from prestigious schools. He is interested in talent as a way of mobilizing one’s own skills to connect them with others in the context of cooperation; in other words, this “mutualization of knowledge towards a paradigm of creativity and innovation”. This cooperation within and beyond a given organization is essentially based on a model of empathy and benevolence.

The pivot around talents and competencies rather than business units, functions, or geographic areas is taking place in organizations. The Spotify or OCTO Technology models deploy team networks in the form of tribes and leagues for expertise as well as sector guilds for marketing. The enterprise becomes a network of talent and continuous learning, where emulation and recognition are based on substance – skills, expertise, achievements – and publications that feed the internal ecosystem and market, thereby ensuring new business opportunities.

In this new paradigm, recruitment will increasingly rely on criteria that have nothing to do with a college degree. Internal talent management will be more concerned with re-skilling and developing employees’ skills.

2- Evolving towards shared governance and impact

As we have shown in the conclusions of the book “The Next Generation Enterprise”, there is an increasingly clear relationship between the type of management and the impact of the organization under consideration. In other words, a management that distributes authority and promotes autonomy, responsibility, transparency and trust will not be satisfied for long with a purpose that does not contribute to the social or environmental fractures in our world. Similarly, how can a high-impact mission be sustained over time by an archaic management style?

The two trends collide and cross-fertilize. Under the influence of the industrial internet revolution, business management everywhere is moving toward greater agility at scale, inspired by Scrum, Lean Startup, and self-management methods. Hierarchies remain, but are becoming flatter and structured around team and project networks. Organizations are becoming more agile. Front-line actors in contact with the outside world are gaining responsibility and autonomy. Decision-making processes become increasingly participatory and efficient, involving all those affected by a proposal, which can then be validated or improved, for example, through inclusive consent – which takes objections into account.

As for the impact dimension, according to KPMG, “64% of executives believe that the corporate purpose is the central axis of their strategy. It must permeate all of the enterprise’s actions to create long-term value for customers, employees, investors and society. Only 13% of executives surveyed make shareholders return their primary objective. For the majority of executives today, serving shareholders equates to having a positive impact on the planet and society”.

Another interesting finding is that 52% of Gazelle executives, the high-growth enterprises known for creating massive employment, believe there is a link between their ESG programs and improved financial performance. However, “the figure drops to 37% in the total sample, while 24% of respondents associate ESG programs with a potential reduction in their financial performance”.

Three-quarters of workers now prefer enterprises with a clear mission and impact, across all continents. Although a small majority still favor salary on this criterion, the two components are beginning to reach a balance.

A large majority of executives believe that decarbonizing the economy should be done through public-private collaborations that distribute efforts and contributions. Nearly 80% “believe government action is needed to accelerate corporate investment and meet their carbon neutrality commitments”.

For 81% of executives globally, the social component of ESG programs is increasing sharply as a result of the pandemic, and employee expectations have also surged. 71% of executives “are aware that they will be held personally accountable for progress in this area”.

3- Stemming the tide of resignations

The search is for a clear sense of purpose at the end of the day, for social and environmental impact, for a management style that enables collaboration and expression, for cutting-edge digital tools: there are many fundamental employee expectations which are exacerbated by a health crisis that acts as a catalyst to uncover the artificial impossibilities of the past. Younger generations are also striving to drop all masks. Why not telework more than two days a week, or even up to 95% if it is possible, and drastically revise where they live and work? Why put on a uniform, business suit or tie? Why continue to work for clients who are greenwashing?

A recent Korn Ferry survey points out that 55% of professionals believe employee attrition will increase in 2022, and 31% of them say they would leave their job even if they didn’t have another one in sight.

These unprecedented results, echoed by others, invite organizations to urgently develop a culture of attentiveness and employee involvement in the decision-making process.

4- Supporting employees

The generalization of telework has led to a better understanding and awareness of individuals in relation to their well-being. Korn Ferry reminds us that the economic weight of unwell workers accounts for 10 to 15% of global economic output. The vast majority of employees expect enterprises to behave more humanely, to break down the adult-child relationship between managers or leaders and their teams, and to generalize the adult-adult relationship.
Work is a personal activity for most people. It requires a high level of respect and support.

How can you lead or shape a corporate culture without embracing these fundamental principles?

This evolution requires, to quote BCG, “moving from mass standardization to mass uniformity”. The explosion of management complexity therefore requires special leadership skills from now on and more than ever before. 

Commitment occupies a central position in organizations and is nourished by trust, a trust that is a priori. So why do 78% of enterprises* use software to measure employee productivity?

Most notably, we recall a comprehensive pushback from Microsoft on its productivity score, which was originally integrated into its 365 suite.

*Korn Ferry study

5- Sincerely committing to ESG criteria

Discontent over the lack of corporate environmental action plans is at an all-time high. The pressure is coming from workers on one side and governments and major customers on the other. The social and environmental struggles must now be taken to the real world. The example of the carbon footprint and related action plan shows a growing divide between the enterprises that will capture markets in the future that include this dimension by default and those that will lose these key markets for their growth. According to PwC, “talent is attracted to ‘green’ brands, their values and culture”. “65% of people worldwide want to work for an organization with a strong social conscience”.

6- Working with the best digital tools

After thirty years of entropy, the industrial revolution of the Internet now continues its productive march. The Internet of Things, coupled with robots and artificial intelligence algorithms, now makes it possible to automate entire sections of industrial or logistical processes, for example. The ability of workers to master the latest digital tools is not only a key factor in employability, but also a motivator and source of commitment. Talent assessment is now shifting from individual productivity – or contribution to collective productivity – to that of the hybrid orchestration of human and technological competencies.

7- Reducing job insecurity

This rise in automation of connected machines raises concerns about the disappearance of many existing jobs. According to PwC, 48% of today’s workers believe that the types of employment we know will no longer exist in the future and that we will sell our skills to those who need them in the short term. The rest of respondents believe that stable, long-term forms of employment will be the preserve of only a small minority. 61% believe their government should help them keep jobs, and that percentage is even higher among 18-34 year olds (66%). Finally, 39% believe their job will be inessential within five years, according to PwC.

8- Facilitating activities via platforms and marketplaces

Finally, 2022 should mark the development of platforms and marketplaces that enable optimal fluidity in the combination of supply and demand.

Next generation marketplaces such as Catalant, Toptal, InnoCentive, Kaggle, and Upwork offer top talent. HBR reveals that “their numbers have grown significantly since 2009, from about 80 to more than 330. Today, nearly every Fortune 500 enterprise employs one or more of them”.

And “90% of the executives we surveyed, at both the management and frontline levels, believe these platforms will be critical to their competitiveness in the future”. A growing number of freelancers are looking at this type of work as a long-term career choice.

Source: Forbes (french edition) – Luc Bretones