Talent Edge Weekly Best of June - Issue #184
Covers 15 of the most popular resources from the June issues of Talent Edge Weekly. Topics address HR effectiveness, tech and AI in the workplace, and talent practices and trends.
Welcome to Talent Edge Weekly!
This special "Best of June" issue brings you the 15 most popular articles and resources from the June issues of Talent Edge Weekly.
Before we get started, I want to give a shoutout to the following subscribers for referring Talent Edge Weekly to others. I appreciate your support of this newsletter and for taking the time to share it with your network!
Ali Raymond, Andrea Maizes, Andy Headworth, Anne Lewis, Carlo-Marcel Dube, Claudio Matrajt, Jodi Gorenstein, Julie Pingel, Kevin Shane, Mark Spivey, Matt Kenney, Moment Bhebhe, Philly Powell,Sara Zepeda, Sharon Windle, Steve Lange, Tom Abogabal, Tracy Dodd
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THIS MONTH’S CONTENT
Since this “Best Of” issue has considerably more content than our regular weekly issue, the 15 resources have been organized into the following three categories to help you navigate the content.
HR Effectiveness. HR operating models, balancing HR cost savings and talent investments, and strengthening the strategic impact of the Chief HR Officer.
Technology and AI. ChatGPT prompts for HR, a toolkit for the procurement of AI solutions in the private sector, and HR tech priorities for 2023.
Talent Trends and Practices. Employee wellbeing, internal mobility, compensation strategies, “hidden workers,” succession planning, women in the workplace, people analytics, and skills.
Additionally, I have included the 2023 Job Cuts and Layoff Tracker and the Chief HR Officer Hire of the Month!
Let’s dive in!
THIS MONTH’S EDGE
Note: If copying and pasting any of this content for your own purposes (e.g., social media, website, etc.), please provide proper attribution to Talent Edge Weekly and link to this issue.
I. HR EFFECTIVENESS
HR operating models, balancing HR cost savings and talent investments, and strengthening the strategic impact of the Chief HR Officer.
This new report provides insights into how companies structure and operationalize their HR functions. Based on feedback from over 200 companies of all sizes, a few findings include: 1) Reporting Relationships: a) CHRO Reporting: 86% of CHROs report directly to the CEO. The remaining CHROs report to the COO or other C-suite officers. b) HR COE Reporting: Among the various COEs, Total Rewards and Talent Management most frequently report to the CHRO, with 89% and 80% reporting directly to the CHRO, respectively. In cases where a COE doesn’t report to the Chief HR Officer, the most common destination for these COEs (e.g., L&D, Talent Acquisition) to report to is Talent Management. c) People Analytics Reporting: The People Analytics COE reports more frequently to Shared Services and other HR Functions than the CHRO. This finding suggests that this COE may be providing more reporting and less true analytics in many organizations. 2) Layers between CHRO and the First Level in HR: Companies with fewer than 25k employees have an average of 4.5 layers, while companies with more than 25k employees have an average of 5.6 layers. The report notes that having five layers is a good “rule of thumb” to ensure fast information flow and still allow for large promotional steps. 3) HR employees ratio to overall employees. The actual and estimated HR: total employee ratios were estimated at 1:99 and 1:95, respectively. It is important to note that the information in this report serves as directional insights, and practitioners should not draw definitive conclusions about what is correct or incorrect based solely on these findings. As a bonus, I am also resharing my playlist of 5 resources on HR operating models. One of these resources is another article by Marc Effron, “The CHRO’s 5 Questions to Optimize Your HR Operating Model.”
This article offers various insights for HR leaders seeking to balance cost optimization and targeted talent investments. It highlights three common approaches that HR leaders use for this process. 1) Reduce. This approach involves decreasing the number of processes, tools, or services, reducing service levels, canceling or postponing projects, and implementing headcount reductions. 2) Replace. For this approach, HR leaders seek less expensive or more efficient alternatives to current spending (e.g., renegotiating terms with external vendors, moving transactional tasks to shared services teams, outsourcing, etc.). 3) Rethink. Rethinking spending is a more complex process that often requires thorough evaluation and upfront investments (e.g., redesigning the HR operating model, standardizing and centralizing processes, and implementing technology solutions). According to a survey of HR leaders, most respondents are employing “rethinking” and “replacing” strategies in 2023 to achieve greater efficiency (see Figure 3). These strategies are primarily executed through technology adoption, operating model revamping, and task delegation to shared services or outsourcing. Regarding HR efficiency benchmarks, the average HR function typically spends $2,524 per employee annually. And among different HR activities, staffing and recruiting receive the most significant allocations, with a median spend of $425 per employee (refer to Figure 4 for a breakdown of HR spend by activity area). While benchmarks have limitations due to factors such as industry and HR function maturity, HR leaders can use these insights to identify opportunities for cost reduction and increased efficiency while preserving critical talent investments.
As Chief HR Officers (CHROs) support their organizations in navigating an unpredictable business landscape, this article offers three suggestions for enhancing CHROs' capabilities as strategic business leaders. 1) Develop a comprehensive business understanding, 2) Align HR strategy with the organization’s business priorities, and 3) Evaluate the flexibility and effectiveness of HR’s strategy. Regarding flexible HR strategies (# 3), this point emphasizes the need for CHROs and their HR teams to have HR strategies that can swiftly adapt to changes and disruptions in the business environment. To assess the flexibility and effectiveness of HR's strategy, “CHROs can regularly pressure-test talent strategies against various risk scenarios to gauge the organization's preparedness to pivot quickly when necessary.” Figure 5 illustrates how Nestlé employs a trigger-based strategic planning process, which helps identify various internal and external triggers that prompt a strategic review. As HR leaders and their teams test their HR strategies against different scenarios, I am resharing this 17-page paper by Deloitte, which has a framework (page 5) consisting of four scenarios within the context of inflation. While the paper focuses on inflation-driven scenarios, the framework can be used as a reference for developing various business scenarios (e.g., a 15% reduction of sales in the EMEA region, a new competitor entering the market, etc.) that serve as the basis for scenario-based HR strategies and workforce planning.
II. TECHNOLOGY AND AI
ChatGPT prompts for HR, a toolkit for the procurement of AI solutions in the private sector, and HR tech priorities for 2023.
ChatGPT shows promise for many HR practitioners exploring this AI technology to redefine their work and unlock new capabilities. This PDF includes four examples of ChatGPT prompts you might use for HR. The prompts are related to: 1) Talent Management, 2) Recruiting and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 3) Employee Onboarding, and 4) Evaluating AI-based Talent Vendors. Each slide includes a prompt (what you are asking for) and a sample of the output. For example, a talent management prompt that centers on “creating a draft talent review agenda” might be: “I am conducting a talent review for my organization. Write an agenda for the talent review. It is important that we discuss employees’ potential, retention, and talent development, to name a few. Another prompt regarding employee onboarding might be: “Our company is a luxury retailer that needs to onboard new sales associates. Create a 6-week onboarding plan that includes key people to meet, core brands, store policies, and workplace safety, to name a few topics. Please note that this PDF is intended to spark ideas on how you might leverage ChatGPT in your role. The prompts are just examples and don’t suggest that these are the most important ones. To help you think through prompts most relevant to you and your organization, I have included a section in the PDF where you can write down your ideas. The last page of the PDF shows how you can get additional ChatGPT prompts.
As the use of AI in the workplace grows rapidly, it is increasingly important for HR leaders and their teams to collaborate with their Procurement teams to evaluate and select external AI-based solutions. However, as pointed out in this new 33-page toolkit developed by the World Economic Forum in partnership with GEP, “while AI systems are rapidly evolving, in-house AI expertise often remains limited, and there are no standard benchmarks and assessment criteria to aid the end-to-end procurement process.” To address this gap, the toolkit offers a structured framework to help internal practitioners navigate the AI procurement landscape. Each section of the report provides a series of relevant questions to ask during the evaluation process, such as: How will the AI solution deliver on expected business outcomes? Is there transparency about what the AI solution can and cannot achieve? Can a non-AI solution deliver the same outcomes? How effectively can the solution be updated to accommodate changes in requirements? Do we understand all the costs involved in purchasing and maintaining the AI system? What are the different sources of data to be considered? How do you eliminate or minimize bias and ethical prejudices from the AI solution? This toolkit provides other ideas that equip HR leaders and procurement teams with the necessary knowledge and tools to collaborate effectively with AI solution providers. As a bonus, I am resharing another toolkit by the World Economic Forum that has various tools, such as checklists and questionnaires, specifically designed to facilitate the responsible adoption of AI in HR.
This 20-page paper examines the HR technology considerations prioritized by 138 organizations for 2023. It offers insights into HR technology strategy, user experience, and HR-IT collaboration. A few findings include: 1) The top three HR technologies for 2023 are skills management, learning experience platforms, and internal talent marketplaces. The specific domain areas that HR technology leaders will focus on this year are reporting and analytics, recruiting (talent acquisition), and core HR or HR information systems. 2) Only 15% of survey participants expect to have “on-premises” HR technology, as most organizations will have fully migrated to the cloud. On-premises HR applications will be retained mostly by organizations with unique requirements, such as military or government entities. 3) By 2025, 60% of global midsize and large enterprises are projected to invest in cloud-deployed human capital management (HCM) suites for administrative HR and talent management. However, these organizations will still need additional solutions to address 20 to 30% of their HR needs. Most enterprises will integrate over three additional third-party applications to enhance critical capabilities, particularly in larger, complex, and global organizations. The research paper also identifies barriers to user adoption of new HR technology, such as misjudging employees’ digital maturity, misaligning employee needs and preferences with HR technologies, and insufficient communication about the change and value of the HR technology. Various other ideas are discussed.
III. TALENT TRENDS AND PRACTICES
Employee wellbeing, internal mobility, compensation strategies, “hidden workers,” succession planning, women in the workplace, people analytics, and skills.
The article presents insights from Deloitte's second Wellbeing at Work Survey. The survey involved 3,150 C-suite executives, managers, and employees across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Key findings include: 1) Many employees continue to struggle with low levels of wellbeing, experiencing exhaustion (52%), stress (49%), and feeling overwhelmed (43%). 2) There is a gap between the perceptions of C-suite executives and the actual wellbeing of employees. Over three-quarters of the executives mistakenly believe that their workforce’s wellbeing has improved (refer to Figure 1). 3) Employees prioritize their wellbeing, but face obstacles in achieving it. Eighty-four percent say that improving their well-being is a top priority this year, and 74% say it’s more important than advancing their career. However, 80% are facing obstacles, such as heavy workloads, stressful jobs, and long hours. The article suggests three strategies for enhancing employee wellbeing: empowering managers, holding the C-suite accountable, and adopting a long-term perspective. As leaders strive to improve the well-being of their workforce, I believe there is an untapped opportunity to reduce or eliminate sources of stress related to ways of working. With this as the backdrop, I’m resharing this HBR article titled “The Hidden Toll of Microstress” by Rob Cross and Karen Dillon. They define microstressors as “individual stressors that seem manageable at the moment, but they accrue, and they can create ripple effects of secondary and sometimes tertiary consequences that can last for hours or days — and even trigger microstress in others.” The article offers a diagnostic tool to help identify 14 microstressors, which can apply to aspects of the work environment and ways of working.
As organizations find ways to deploy internal talent more effectively, this one-page PDF includes a playlist of five resources to enable an organization's internal talent marketplace (ITM) and internal mobility. A few of the resources include: Building and Sustaining a Thriving Talent Marketplace | Mercer. This 16-page paper offers suggestions for thinking through various ITM components, such as the business case, examples of ROI, challenges in implementation, and guidance on how to gain momentum. Template for Auditing 6 Non-technological Barriers to Internal Mobility in an Organization | Brian Heger. I share a one-page editable template that provides talent practitioners with a way to identify if six non-technological barriers to internal mobility exist in their organizations. These barriers range from policies that restrict internal movement (e.g., the employee must be in a role for a certain amount of time before moving to another internal role or opportunity) to narrow and irrelevant selection criteria (e.g., managers include criteria that are too specific or not relevant to success in the role and end up limiting the internal talent pool). Let Your Top Performers Move Around the Company: Harvard Business Review. Kevin Oakes, CEO of i4cp, shares four ways in which firms can create a culture that encourages internal mobility, such as: having managers develop a performance goal of consistently rotating internal talent (especially top talent) out of their team and into other internal groups. As a bonus recommendation, you can check out the book, The Inside Gig: How Sharing Untapped Talent Across Boundaries Unleashes Organizational Capacity | Edie Goldberg & Kelley Steven-Waiss.
Despite the implementation of increased merit pay in 2023, employers are facing challenges in keeping up with rising inflation and meeting the heightened salary expectations of their employees. In the quest to attract and retain talent within this environment, total rewards leaders are exploring various strategies. This article presents three ideas and approaches to consider: 1) Utilizing alternate compensation vehicles, 2) Expanding the focus on the entire employee value proposition (EVP), and 3) Embracing pay transparency. When it comes to alternative forms of compensation (# 1), organizations commonly choose to increase pay without matching inflation (45%), or offer one-off bonuses (16%) (see Figure 1 below). Some companies have opted to raise salaries for specific hard-to-fill critical roles, while others have adjusted their strategies for demographics that have been severely impacted, such as millennials. According to several total rewards leaders, this generation is more conscious of cash and tends to respond more positively to immediate rewards like sign-on bonuses and tuition reimbursement, rather than long-term rewards like retirement savings. Regarding pay transparency (#3), organizations are implementing various strategies, such as sharing an organization's compensation philosophy (38%), communicating formulas for how salaries are determined (30%), and sharing salary ranges in all job postings (26%). As organizations evaluate pay transparency and equity strategies, I am resharing this 36-page ADP Research Institute report that examines the factors influencing workers' perceptions of pay equity.
In September 2021, I shared a 74-page report by Harvard Business School and Accenture titled “Hidden Workers: Untapped Talent.” This report identified several barriers that hinder organizations from considering “hidden workers” as potential employees or workers. Hidden workers are characterized as individuals who are seeking employment but face obstacles because of hiring practices that primarily focus on what they lack, such as credentials, rather than recognizing the value they can bring in terms of skills and capabilities. These hidden workers encompass diverse groups, including individuals without degrees or traditional qualifications, those with health issues, and individuals with previous incarceration records, among others. As a part of a series of follow-up reports, this recently released 21-page report delves into a specific subset of hidden workers: part-time workers. Many part-time workers report various factors that hinder them from realizing their full potential, such as caregiving responsibilities, health challenges, and partial retirement, among other reasons. The report sheds light on different segments within the part-time worker category and presents strategies for employers aiming to attract them, either for part-time positions or to transition them into full-time roles. While there are many insights in this report, one main takeaway is: by learning about and accommodating the needs of these workers, firms can tap into this underutilized talent pool. In addition to the report, I am resharing this infographic by i4cp that shows how high-performance organizations tap into 11 talent sources to acquire the skills and capabilities they need.
This one-page PDF includes a playlist of five resources on succession planning. They include: 1) Succession Metrics Tracking Template | Brian Heger. This one-page editable PDF includes 10 succession planning metrics that organizations can refer to as they track and measure the effectiveness of their succession management practices. While 10 metrics are provided, organizations can select the vital few (or include others) for which they want to track progress. 2) Strategies to Improve Succession in a High-disruption Environment | Gartner. Provides ideas for building robust leadership pipelines amid disruption and continuous change. One case study involves Bridgestone, which uses two strategies for implementing adaptable approaches to succession planning. 3) Set Up to Fail: Poor Design of C-suite Jobs Can Block Executives From Succeeding in Their Roles | MIT Sloan Management Review. In looking at 185 executive-level job descriptions, researchers found that many are poorly designed, contributing to misalignment between jobs and successors. 4) How Leading Organizations Are Evolving Their Succession Management Practices | i4cp. Covers six ways succession practices are shifting, including moving away from using years (e.g., 1, 2, 3 years until ready) as a measure of successor readiness. 5) CEO Succession: Lessons Learned From Global CHROs | Gartner. This 22-page guide highlights common roadblocks and successes a CHRO can anticipate when preparing for and undergoing CEO succession. The PDF has clickable links to the source documents and a brief description of its contents.
This 39-page report presents findings from Deloitte’s third annual survey on women in the workplace. Based on feedback from ~5,000 women in 10 countries, the report highlights a few positive developments reported by many working women: reduced burnout rates, declining non-inclusive behaviors, and improved hybrid work experiences. However, these challenges persist for many, and some factors have worsened. Many respondents feel uncomfortable discussing mental health at work, lack adequate mental health support from their employer, struggle to disconnect from work—especially considering their significant responsibilities in household tasks — and face limited flexibility at work. Regarding lack of flexibility, more women have left jobs in the past year than in 2021 and 2020 combined—citing flexibility as one of the top three reasons for their departure. Even when flexible work arrangements are offered by their employer, many women do not feel comfortable using them; 97% believe that requesting or taking advantage of flexible working options would affect their chances of promotion or career progression. This data point underscores the importance of having leaders that foster a culture where individuals do not feel penalized for utilizing flexible work arrangements. Several other ideas are discussed. As a bonus, I am resharing two reports about women in the workplace: 1) McKinsey’s and Lean In’s 2022 Women in the Workplace Report and 2) IBM Institute for Business Value’s report, Women in Leadership: Why Perception Outpaces the Pipeline—and What to Do About It.
Many organizations are building their people analytics capability to facilitate data-driven decision-making regarding talent and the workforce. To gain deeper insights into the potential of people analytics in organizations and the challenges they encounter along the way, SHRM Research conducted a survey of 2,149 HR professionals and 182 HR executives from organizations using people analytics. One theme from the findings is that, while people analytics hold significant potential to transform HR, many organizations still need to fully realize its benefits. According to the survey, only 58% of respondents agreed data are used throughout their organization to make informed decisions. Most employers (77%) are using basic analytic techniques for limited purposes, primarily focused on analyzing historical data. Page 5 illustrates specific areas where organizations employ people analytics, such as: 1) Employee retention and turnover (82%): Determining which employees are most likely to resign by job function, age, tenure with the organization, or other factors. 2) Recruitment, interviewing, and hiring (71%): Conducting computerized screening interviews in which candidates provide answers to a predetermined set of questions so that they can be scored and compared, and 3) Compensation, benefits, and total rewards (59%): Comparing the organization’s compensation and benefits packages with those of its competitors. Page 11 introduces seven best practices for people analytics. To supplement this report, I am resharing my PDF of 17 people analytics questions. The PDF contains the 17 questions organized into six categories and includes an editable text box where users can add questions to each category.
Organizations continue to face the challenge of addressing skills gaps while also dealing with budgetary constraints on training. As organizations consider alternative approaches to traditional workforce learning, this article shares five ideas, a few of which are enabled by technology. The five practices include 1) Digital apprenticeships, 2) Tuition-assistance programs, 3) Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs), 4) Democratization of coaching, and 5) Cohort-based courses. Regarding the democratization of coaching, professional coaching, previously available only to senior executives or high-potential employees, is now becoming more accessible through digital platforms. These platforms use technology to match employees with coaches based on their needs and provide coaching sessions via digital platforms. Large companies are offering coaching services to their employees, leading to positive outcomes such as increased progress toward personal goals and skills development. As organizations explore the practice of digital coaching, I am resharing this 15-page report by Josh Bersin, which shares tactics for making digital coaching more scalable. In addition, here is a recent 20-page report by Gartner (mentioned earlier in this issue) on HR tech priorities for 2023. The top three HR technology investments for 2023 are skills management, learning experience platforms, and internal talent marketplaces. Each resource provides ideas on how organizations leverage technology to close skills gaps.
Skills-based talent practices continue to be a topic of interest for organizations looking to use skills—rather than just jobs—as the basis for talent management. And while there have been many great resources shared on this topic, Deloitte is one organization that has provided much thought leadership (e.g., Susan Cantrell, Michael Griffiths, et al.) on this topic. This updated one-page PDF highlights six of Deloitte’s resources on skills-based talent practices. Although I have covered these resources individually in various blog posts, this PDF provides easy access to all of this information. It includes a link to the source document, a description of what the source covers, and a sample “key takeaway” from each resource. A few topics covered across these resources are: a) the talent practices in which organizations are mainly integrating skills, b) suggestions for how firms can organize work beyond the constraints of the traditional job and integrate with more effective workforce planning, and c) ideas on how organizations can move towards skills-based compensation and reward structures, to name a few. This playlist is full of practical and in-depth insights on how you can accelerate your organization’s transition to a skills-based organization.
JOB CUTS AND LAYOFFS TRACKER
Here you can see the latest updates from a segment of organizations that have announced job cuts and layoffs since the start of 2023. A few firms that announced job cuts in June include Reddit, Sonos, Spotify, and Zapier. Click the table below to see all organizations.
CHIEF HR OFFICER HIRE OF JUNE
As part of CHROs on the Go — a digital platform subscription that provides the easiest, fastest, and most convenient way to stay informed about hires, promotions, and resignations in the Chief Human Resources Officer role— 72 new CHRO announcements have been posted on the platform in June.
The CHRO promotion of June is:
Omnicell, Inc. (FORT WORTH, TEXAS) (NASDAQ: OMCL)—a leader in transforming the pharmacy care delivery model—announced changes to its leadership structure. As part of these changes, Maximo Rocha has been promoted to SVP, Chief People Officer. Mr. Rocha was most recently Vice President, Talent Acquisition & Corporate HR for Omnicell. READ MORE
172 CHROs Hired and Promoted the Last 90 Days
Over the past 90 days, 172 Chief HR Officers have been hired and promoted in organizations such as Burberry, PepsiCo, and Kohl’s, to name a few.
This complimentary PDF provides information on 12 CHROs who were hired or promoted from April through June 2023. It includes a summary of each announcement, links to the source announcements, and links to the LinkedIn profiles of each CHRO. Learn how to get this now!
If you want to join others getting the EDGE each week in knowing which CHROs are being hired, promoted, and resigning, you can learn more about CHROs on the Go by clicking the button below.
Currently, there are +2500 CHROs announcements on CHROs on the Go, with an average of 20-25 new announcements added each week!
If you are already a member of CHROs on the Go, you can log in to access all announcements and site functionality.
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Brian Heger is an internal human resources practitioner with a Fortune 150 organization and has responsibilities for Strategic Talent and Workforce Planning. You can connect with Brian on Linkedin, Twitter, and brianheger.com