Editorial: New tools, new opportunities Deloitte Review Issue 16

The power of emerging technologies can help organizations glean insights at a more rapid pace than ever before. This presents an opportunity for leaders to better design and more quickly adjust the talent strategies they need to compete successfully and invest confidently for the future.

Jim MoffattAs the economy gains momentum and companies try to capture growth, having the right talent is a pressing need as well as an area of intense competition. Companies vie to onboard new leaders faster and keep senior leaders engaged longer. They need to attract and keep Millennials, which requires a new approach to work-life balance,
engagement, and connectivity.

Given these demands, recruiting, developing, motivating, and retaining talent is no longer a service and support function. It has become a central strategic business imperative. Organizations can no longer delay moving to an integrated approach to human capital.

 

Deloitte Review, issue 16
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As with other key functions undergoing a transformation, technology is a big part of the story. Innovations such as analytics allow talent professionals to shift from simply reporting data to informing talent decisions, predicting employee performance, and conducting advanced workforce planning. Online and mobile platforms are rewriting the rules of employee training by allowing for new forms of engagement and more accurate measurement of the value created by such training.  And many of these tools are deployed on cloud-based platforms that can help organizations be more flexible and agile as business needs change.

These tools create special demands on talent leaders. They have to help people in their organizations keep pace through ongoing development and lifelong learning. They also need to work closely with their IT counterparts to ensure HR systems and tools can change to help align talent and skills with evolving business needs. Talent leaders will have to become well versed in technology and play an increasing role in making technology investments.

Embracing these demands is well worth it. These new tools—integrated talent solutions, analytics, cloud, mobile, or social ones—are allowing us to develop our workforce in new and exciting ways.

Of course, we are in the early stages of this transformation, and it may be several years before robust use of some of these tools is commonplace throughout HR. Our own surveys of companies suggest that while leaders recognize the opportunities, many organizations have found it challenging to keep pace with the rapid change. Whether because of concern over costs or an inability to prioritize leadership attention on the issue, some companies are falling behind.

And for those adopting these new tools, the reality is that you still have to combine the technology in a precise way that makes sense for the business and its culture, strategy, and the people who are part of it. In short, success requires an integrated approach.

Ultimately, the value and insights that emanate from these new tools and predictive analytics depend on the unique qualities of each organization. As with any leap, the success of implementation depends on what you need it to do, how well you understand its capabilities, and how quickly you make use of its insights. The exciting opportunity is that now the power of emerging technologies can help organizations glean insights at a more rapid pace than ever. This means leaders can better design and more quickly adjust the talent strategies they need to compete successfully and invest confidently for the future.