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ProcureCon HR Report 2021

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The New Normal for HR: Talent, Training and the Post-Pandemic World 5 LEADING CHANGE Sandeep Dhillon, CEO, Talmix Introducing this recent research among Procurement and HR heads, gives us an opportunity to highlight the pivotal role that they are playing in driving change in the business. We have to view the findings of the survey in the context of the events of the last year. It's also important to see everything from the perspective of the change that we have had to manage, and the opportunity for positive change that this now presents. From the perspective of those participating in the survey, there is change evident in the workforce, the workplace and how to do the work that is crucial for building beyond recovery. The workforce ecosystem continues to evolve, and increasingly, extending beyond the permanent workforce is normal for many organisations and a responsibility for most HR procurement teams. With the pressures of the last 12 months leading to staff shortages and skills gaps, companies are now looking to quickly replace them with external talent. All of the respondents use a mix of internal and external talent, and whether the drivers of this are short-term expediency or longer-term planning for skills and operational agility, it seems that the trend of recent years from talking to this audience is continuing, and even accelerating. And it requires careful management to maximise the benefits and potential of internal and external talent to deliver required business outcomes. Creating the new ecosystem is only part of the story. To be successful in the long-term, HR procurement professionals need to consider how to manage the multiple sources effectively. The biggest challenge is how to understand and measure the outcomes delivered by talent from different sources. This requires strong and visible data from all those using the wider ecosystem to enhance decision-making. There are also practical concerns to address, like cost management across multiple sources and suppliers. The use of technology platforms to both source and manage are likely to increase, and it seems the majority of companies aim to have Vendor and Freelancer Management Systems in place within the next 12 months, building on what is becoming an increasingly rich HR technology stack. Extending the workforce doesn't undervalue the importance of the permanent workforce. Both retaining and developing the internal, permanent workforce is a significant agenda item. While skills shortages may be filled externally, longer-term, developing these skills in-house is crucial. Most companies are looking to invest more in their training and L&D efforts, and as with all the other components in their management agenda, there need to be new ways to deliver these programmes, reflecting the change in the workplace as well as the workforce. And just as we have become used to the flexible workforce, we are now having to come to terms with the hybrid workplace. Much as there is a challenge in measuring the performance of the different types of talent, we now have to increase visibility and measurement of talent working in different settings. While the desire for flexibility may be at an individual level, it adds a new dimension to workforce planning, in practical terms, particularly with the additional requirements from COVID-19 safety and planning. Trying to develop skills in different locations, and extending workforce planning and management, creates more complexity and requires increased visibility across multiple dimensions. The last twelve months have accelerated the final push towards digital transformation for many organisations. That transformation starts with the workforce, and the survey participants, representing the HR procurement functions, are ready to lead the change and drive towards this new future of work. Sandeep Dhillon, CEO, Talmix procureconhr.wbresearch.com

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