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VIDEO & REPORTS: Best Practices and Processes for Maximizing the Impact of Talent Decisions & New Options for Closing Global Talent Gaps

Finding people with the right skills to fill current job openings is challenging.

But what about finding them three to five years from now?

How to best address skill shortages and close the talent gap through innovative approaches to buying, building, borrowing, or redeploying talent?

As presented in The Conference Board Key Business Issues report series From Not Enough Jobs to Not Enough Workers: What Retiring Baby Boomers and the Coming Labor Shortage Mean for Your Company, buying, building, borrowing, or redeploying, may not be the right solution, even if the company has used it many times in the past.

The right solution may be a combination of these, may be something no one has thought of before, and may even have little to do with talent.

According to Kelly Global Workforce Research – A World of Work, labor markets across the globe continue to rebound from the economic turmoil of recent years with varying degrees of success.

A key driver of the global jobs gap is a significant skills mismatch. Employers continue to struggle to find workers with the right skills, keeping unemployment rates high and job growth muted. Annual job growth in developed countries is expected to average just 0.5% in the coming years—about half the rate seen in the early 2000s.

High unemployment is expected to remain a challenge,  particularly in areas where the skills gap is most acute.
Kelly Global Workforce Index 2014 A World of Work

To compound the challenge, adaptability—the capacity to match talent supply and demand efficiently—varies widely across the world’s labor markets, reflecting cultural and structural factors, as well as the ability of employers and workers to respond to changing circumstances, and opportunities.

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A world at work

To create effective workforce strategies, companies need to understand what attracts, engages, and motivates all types of talent around the world—not just the talent they have, but the talent they hope to have.

This infograph about the mood of the global labor market summarizes the major trends of the latest Kelly Global Workforce Index research.

What does your organization need to know about closing the gap between talent supply and demand?

In today’s competitive market, talent functions can’t afford to sit back and wait for applications to arrive. They must be predators and even seducers to succeed, actively recruiting passive candidates. Hiring game-changing talent in a tight market requires burnishing the employer brand and selling your company to potential hires who don’t even know they want to work for you. It’s tough, but take heart: new tools and techniques can help you identify new potential talent early, tap into new talent pools, and time your approach, saving you time and money—and catapulting your talent function into the 21st century.

A unique recession has yielded an equally unique recovery—one that will bring with it talent shortages that companies may not be able to fill using their tried-and-true methods. Buy, Build, Borrow, or None of the Above? New Options for Closing Global Talent Gaps includes a three-part set of questions HR leaders can use to formulate talent solutions that will be tailored to meet their organization’s particular needs, as well as detailed case studies of three companies that have already begun thinking outside the box to bridge talent gaps.

Best Practices and Processes for Maximizing the Impact of Talent Decisions

Continuing the new role of HR as an integrated part of a company’s business strategy, talent management leaders are not only using talent to fulfill that strategy, but building off it to create their own strategies. This along with the following points are highlights from the The Conference Board 2015 Talent Management Strategies Conference:

  • Talent is also a way to drive culture change and transformation.
  • Nowadays it is a career lattice rather than a career ladder.
  • Create development plans and a development philosophy for the other eight boxes in the nine-box model.
  • Be innovative in thinking of ways to close skill gaps. Talent may not always be the best solution.
  • Develop your people into the talent you need. People learn best from experiences and stretch roles. Rotational assignments, technical training, and international travel are all ways to expand the skill base.
  • Partnerships with a university can be a good tool to develop your workforce.
  • Development programs, open communication, and advancement opportunities all play a role in boosting employee engagement, which can drive productivity.

Although talent management is a constantly changing concept, it has become an integral part of business planning. There is, however, still a lack of clarity about the core skill sets needed to manage human capital effectively. The research conducted for this report focused on determining the critical competencies talent management leaders need to contribute to and enhance business outcomes. These competencies include the mental agility to think strategically and the political sense to successfully communicate whatever changes are needed.


Ultimately, senior leadership needs to take ownership of the state of the organization’s talent and understand that the ability of any firm to execute its business strategy is directly tied to the quality and capabilities of its people. These questions are designed to help you open a meaningful conversation about talent and future skill building with key executives. The goal is to enable you to gain insight into the leader’s point of view so you can introduce the changes that will enhance the performance of the organization and its people.

Technological advances, globalization, retiring baby boomers, increasing talent shortages, and dropping productivity are forcing organizations to invest in ongoing reskilling and upskilling programs to become more agile. Future-skilling programs are most successful when talent processes are integrated—not separated into silos of recruitment, training, or compensation—and are aligned to specific business goals. Like a people ecosystem, synergies between people, functions, and the business environment can help organizations increase their agility and flexibility. The ecosystem is divided into three components:

•    Strategic talent planning
•    Results-focused execution
•    Strategic talent development and learning

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Strategic workforce planning (SWP) critical success factors are as relevant in companies as in countries:

  • Focusing on economic or business imperatives
  • Engaging stakeholders
  • Creating a labor market information system that meets diverse user needs, with a consistent taxonomy for describing occupations and skills
  • Implementing a communication strategy to win stakeholder acceptance
  • Providing incentives, measuring performance, and establishing accountability
  • Giving individuals access to workforce data and tools

Corporate Image and Branding

With corporate workforce increasingly global and diverse, HR departments are recognizing the ineffectiveness of dealing with every employee in exactly the same way. Just as companies are using technology and big data to aim products and services at ever more carefully targeted segments of customers, they’re starting to look closely at the different parts of their multi-varied workforces.

Companies that can distill the complexity of their business into a simple and compelling message can win the enthusiasm of employees and the market. To find their voice, companies are spending more time on internal alignment. Simultaneously, they are facing pressures to respond to the innovations of social media, which definitely poses a challenge.Employees often forget the meaning behind their jobs. Employers should create a defined purpose for the organization that will help them realize why they come to work, connect them to something bigger, and increase their understanding of the brand on a personal level. To reinforce their message about what brand-specific behavior looks like, companies should explore the use of storytelling, videos, webinars, lunch-and-learns, social networking communities, and online trivia contests. They should also search for methods to measure brand allegiance.

Get Connected

To remain competitive, companies should embrace social collaboration— employees and business partners contributing and connecting via an enterprise-wide virtual environment. Among the broad benefits that social collaboration provides are increased speed to market, streamlined processes, and improved client engagement. Fostering the right culture that embraces social collaboration, embedding it in everyday business processes, and having the right technology are necessary for success.

While branding has always been about shaping experiences, today, in the age of 24/7 communication and social media, the challenge has shifted from shaping the message to managing an active conversation.

Happiness in the Workplace

In recent years, job satisfaction and employee engagement have become business measures that organizations use to gauge their employees and the overall future success of their business. Happiness is equally important (if not more so) than other measures because it represents a holistic approach to the idea of worker contentment. Although a happy employee and an engaged one may not be exactly the same, their drivers share some very strong correlations.

Succession Management

To successfully address future business challenges, companies need to invest time and resources in their succession management plan. This doesn’t mean merely determining who will take over next. It also includes making sure anyone on the short list has adequate skills to do the job, especially since the skills of the past will be obsolete. Therefore, organizations need to be strategic about how they plan for future leadership—they need to identify high performers early in their careers, use predictive analytics, prepare leaders through experiential learning, and use alternative approaches to their current succession management process.

#title# CoverClick here to download the slide presentation




Kelly specializes in providing  staffing solutions. Backed by an international network of offices in over 36 countries, delivers a wide range of services, including recruiting, human resources management and placement for job-seekers.
Connect with Conference Board experts on this topic. Attend an in-person briefing, presented by the researcher. Register here
Join the conversation on Twitter #TalentGaps

About Dr. Ev D'aMigo; PhD

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