How will you navigate talent decisions in turbulent times?

Founder & Chief Executive Officer
How will you navigate talent decisions in turbulent times?

Talent teams are facing a perfect storm of competing priorities. Still, the talent decisions we make now will play a significant part in determining the scope and speed of our eventual recovery.

Building long-term thinking into near-term decisions doesn’t have to feel like an extra add-on. Simply layering good questions into your transformed business operations can help your organization avoid the pitfalls of expeditive actions.

What kinds of questions should your talent team be asking now?

  • Where do we want to focus as the organization transforms? I’ve always believed we learn the most on our toughest days. Understanding how your business is transforming because of this pandemic is a good way to determine what future talent needs you’ll be dealing with in the recovery phase. If your business is going to look different post COVID-19, your recruiting and retention approach should, too. That’s true whether you’re downsizing, rightsizing or upsizing.
  • Where should we drive faster decision making? New realities and an ambiguous future will require the adoption of different business processes. Protecting our talent in their workplace, and equipping and properly engaging a much larger remote workforce will become vital going forward.
  • Which processes can we automate to drive longer-term change? New MIT research tells us almost 90% of organizations surveyed had begun deploying artificial intelligence (AI) by 2019. From quality control to customer care, promising examples of the many ways we can employ AI are emerging. That includes recruitment. Using this tumultuous time to open yourself up to the ways trusted AI may be able to help going forward is critical.

No one knows for sure when we’ll start to transition from crisis to recovery. The Conference Board of Canada acknowledges even the best predictions are vulnerable to change in this context. But that doesn’t mean we can’t uncover new opportunities along the way.

Protecting our workforce and putting people’s safety first is paramount in a global event of this magnitude. Equipping a team that’s shifted to remote work-from-home arrangements seemingly overnight comes next. The numbers tell us that in 2017, more than 50% of workers were already working outside the main office 2.5 or more days a week. But the shut-down of corporate offices across Canada means even the most flexible employers have had to develop or expand policies and protocols in remarkably short order. Reshaping the workforce to either downsize quickly, or hire intensely, poses another paradox. On the one hand, more than 1 million Canadians have applied for employment insurance since late March. On the other, industries like healthcare, delivery, manufacturing and more are ramping up to recruit and retain talent right away. Each of those focus areas equals a chance to set your sights on the horizon while navigating front-line complexity.

The moves we make now within talent management can safeguard our present while simultaneously enabling our future. So, are you asking the big questions that will lead to better solutions down the road? Will you make the most of new technologies to shift resources and fill gaps as you maintain business continuity?

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