Talent Sustainability

During the White House Upskill Summit, the HR Policy Foundation released its “Talent Sustainability Report: The CHRO View From the Front Lines of the War on Talent.”

The summit is an event aimed at highlighting strategies companies are using to develop the skills of their employees. The event brings together business leaders, think tanks and worker representatives interested in discussing how American companies can support employees to develop the skills vital for career progression.

Key findings from the Talent Sustainability Report include:
● 69% of chief human resource officers (CHROs) reported in the survey that innovation and transformation are happening faster than normal, with 28% of those CHROs saying the pace is the fastest they have ever experienced.
● IT Professionals and engineers are the most competitive positions for which companies recruit.
● 82% of companies have a core recruiting strategy to actively recruit passive mid-career talent away from other companies.
● More than two-thirds of employers report their Millennial workforce as being above average (59%) or exceptional (8%).
● Challenges Millennials present in the workplace include: their desire to change employers more frequently and, at least from a traditional perspective, often unrealistic expectations about career progression.
● 85% of companies report they have made changes to company policies and programs to be more appealing to Millennials.
● Employers report Millennials are all too often lacking some foundational or soft skills including; communications (40%); professionalism/work ethic (33%); leadership (29%); self-direction (22%); critical thinking/problem solving (20%).
● Nearly one in four employers report between 26% and 50% of their workforce will be eligible to retire in the next five years. Another 48% of employers report between 11% and 25% of their workers will be eligible. Three percent of employers report more than 50% will be eligible for retirement within five years.
● Companies report the Baby Boomer employees are making tremendous contributions in the workplace and cite their deep knowledge, expertise and work ethic as key attributes that are critical to the success of their companies.
● Companies are trying a number of innovative practices to help transfer knowledge from Baby Boomers to younger workers including: creating generation meetings for information exchanges, hosting more company events between younger and older employees, using older workers as faculty in leadership development programs, establishing more mentoring relationships, and apprenticeship programs.
● Although Baby Boomers are making great contributions to the workplace, they are presenting some challenges as well as they near retirement. Those challenges include: effectively managing younger workers, keeping up with technological change and embracing change in general, lack of social media skills, and becoming “blockers” to those beneath them in the organization.

The Report is the culmination of a one-year project conducted by the HR Policy Foundation, under the leadership of Mara Swan, executive vice president, global strategy and talent at ManpowerGroup. The Foundation met with and listened to CHROs of large companies and then surveyed them in September and October of 2014.

“While skill life cycles are shortening, and competitive advantage is increasingly transient, it has never been more critical for companies to align their talent strategy with their business strategy,” said Jaime S. Fall, vice president of workforce and talent sustainability for the HR Policy Foundation.