Talent access increasingly difficult in digitalising businesses.

Digital talent gap widens.

Research form Gartner, Inc. has found only 29 per cent of functional leaders believe they have the talent they need to meet current performance requirements. The finding has highlighted the impact of the increasingly digital work environment and the continuing growth in the digital talent gap. 

“As organisations increasingly digitalise every facet of their operations, they are facing incredible difficulty accessing the right talent,” said Leah Johnson, vice president in the Gartner HR practice. “A recent Gartner survey found that only 24 per cent of functional leaders report that they can quickly hire the talent they need with their current resources and processes.”

One reason organisations are finding it hard to get the right talent in the door is the hypercompetitive labour market; demand for talent is converging sharply on critical roles in the UK and US. Gartner TalentNeuron data on millions of job postings shows that 41 per cent of all job postings by FTSE 100 companies in 2018 were for just 20 roles, the remaining 59 per cent were for 641 other roles. Similarly, 90 per cent of S&P 100 companies in 2018 were competing for talent to fill the same 39 roles.

In addition to issues with recruiting talent, organisations are also facing difficulty training their workforce. Only 31 per cent of functional leaders report they can quickly develop the talent they need with their current resources and processes.

In order to close talent gaps, many organisations focus on talent strategies around recruiting and development. However, work design strategies focused on role structure, workflow and systems enablement can have a bigger impact.

“Our research found that while 47 per cent of companies employ work design strategies, implementing them can increase an organisation’s ability to quickly hire and/or develop needed talent,” said Ms. Johnson.

Organizations can better empower their employees to perform by leveraging the following work design strategies:


Mitigate skill imbalances by redeploying staff continuously across teams

Rather than focusing on optimising individuals against every needed skill competency, organisations need to understand the capabilities of individuals in order to build teams, functions, and/or units with the optimal mix of capabilities that address business needs. After evaluating individual capabilities, business and functional leaders can focus on identifying and managing areas of need for specific competencies within the organization.


Focus workflows on value creation areas

Organisations can drive business productivity by reevaluating the priorities of all employees to ensure everyone is focused on the right activities. Leaders should start by identifying the high-impact activities that equal success in each role. Then managers need to be enabled to better support and coach their employees by eliminating low-value tasks, such as reporting and responding to one-off requests.


Leverage technology systems and tools to reduce talent dependencies

Thirty percent of functional leaders surveyed agree that their organisation uses technology systems and tools to reduce their need for staff with specialised competencies as much as possible. To utilise technology more effectively, organisations must determine which tasks are repetitive and can be automated versus those that are cognitive and need to be owned by people. Next, the training and technology costs should be assessed before leaders recommend specific technology changes that can streamline processes.

Gartner research shows that while leveraging effective talent strategies can increase an organisation’s ability to quickly hire and develop talent by 13 per cent, work design strategies have more than double the impact, enabling an organisation’s ability to quickly hire and develop talent by 32 per cent.

“Ultimately, organisations will realise the greatest results by combining talent strategies and work design strategies, which has a 45 per cent impact on the ability to hire and develop talent,” added Ms. Johnson.

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