Based on inputs from talent acquisition, development and compensation experts from across the globe, Korn Ferry has identified emerging global talent trends for 2020.
“The workforce is rapidly evolving. This year, we will see an even greater focus on transparency, agility, culture and purpose-driven leadership,” said Byrne Mulrooney, Chief Executive Officer, Korn Ferry RPO, Professional Search and Korn Ferry Digital. “Employers are also becoming more flexible in how they embrace technology, attract and reward employees, and create ongoing transformation at all levels of the organization.”
Goodbye control. Hello trust, purpose and agility
In the not-so-distant past, structures and controls guided how work got done. It was the boss’s job to set the strategy and tightly control the process through to the outcome. Now, instead of trying to energize people around an analytical strategy, leaders are creating an agile and adaptable culture where teams trust each other and understand the purpose of the work: “why” we exist, who we are as an organization, and what we stand for.
Some companies are taking this concept one step further by rewarding workers whose individual contributions help achieve the greater purpose of the organization.
Cautiously controlling hiring and compensation
Although unemployment in most parts of the globe is at historically low levels, companies are beginning to take a more cautious approach to hiring and compensation practices. Hiring for roles that have a direct impact on the bottom line, such as R&D and sales, is being prioritized over traditional service roles like accounting.
Additionally, global digital transformation means that tech skills are in high demand in just about every industry, which is leading to more open positions and enhanced compensation for these roles.
Closer to cracking the code on effective diversity and inclusion
Many companies have come a long way in identifying and addressing unconscious bias toward specific employee demographics, such as women, racial and ethnic populations, the LGBTQ community and others. And while helping people become more aware of their own unconscious bias is important for creating greater inclusion, it’s not enough to bring about lasting transformation.
That’s why more and more organizations are addressing structural inclusion, an approach that looks for ways conscious and unconscious biases have been embedded into the talent systems themselves, contributing to inequities in pay, promotions.
Transparency in pay
“How much do you make?” That question used to be taboo but changing social norms have made pay transparency the way of the future. A recent Korn Ferry survey of professionals found that nearly one-quarter of respondents (24 percent) think it’s appropriate to share their salary information with colleagues, while more than a third (37 percent) believe that it’s more acceptable to talk pay today than it was five years ago.
Revolving door at the top creating continuous succession planning
Given the high pace of CEO turnover during the past three years, both planned and unplanned, boards of directors are taking more proactive, tactical steps to understand the depth and breadth of the executive and enterprise leadership pipeline to enable thoughtful, strategic transitions when needed. Strategic review of top leadership talent has become critically important, and many best-in-class boards have formed Compensation and Talent committees to ensure this review is thoughtfully approached. There is also a parallel desire to address pay equity and pay transparency.
Candidate (and employee) care in the world of Artificial Intelligence
When considering high-volume, fast turnaround hiring efforts, it’s often impossible to keep every candidate in the loop. Enter highly sophisticated artificial intelligence tools, such as chatbots. More companies are now using AI programs to inform candidates quickly and efficiently on where they stand in the process, help them navigate career sites, schedule interviews and give advice. This is significantly transforming the candidate experience, enhancing engagement and elevating overall satisfaction.
Reskilling for the future
As angst about the future of the economy grows, talent professionals are recommending that people, even those who have a job, look to sharpen their skill sets. But that doesn’t have to mean going back to get additional degrees. Instead, professionals across many industries are seeking programs to help them gain certifications, accreditations and niche skills. (Of course, the old standby of continual networking, both in-person and through professional job sites, is still a must.)
Although reskilling workers is important, it’s not enough. Companies today are moving toward continuous transformation, not just one-time change initiatives. More than people development, they are redesigning their jobs and structures for more agility and scalability. Moreover, any time a company makes a strategic change that requires people to do things differently, they need to closely examine how those changes impact company culture and amend as necessary. This is critical because culture drives strategy execution.
Rise of the “career nomad”
Companies across the globe are grappling with the growing phenomenon of “career nomads“—high-performing, talented professionals who switch jobs, organizations and even careers at a faster rate than others. Although a recent Korn Ferry study found that 88 percent of professionals believe frequent job switches have had a positive impact on their careers, most organizations still consider hiring career nomads a risk. But as Korn Ferry research shows, those companies may often ignore the benefits of having nomads in the workforce—gains that arise from their multidisciplinary experiences, intellectual curiosity and high learning agility. That’s why many employers are now taking steps to keep these high-potential, diverse and agile job hoppers in their companies.
Companies are upping their employer brand to attract and retain top candidates
A competitive pay package alone isn’t enough to attract the best and brightest. Companies are increasingly creating comprehensive, multi-channel initiatives, such as apps, events, videos and chatbots, to entice a wide range of candidates with their unique employer brand proposition.
Once they have an applicant interested, many organizations are revamping their hiring process to be more candidate-centric, including reducing the number of interviews and eliminating the need to enter their information more than once.