Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #136

This issue covers 12 resources for CHROs, planning work without the limitations of roles, 51 HR metrics, pay transparency, and a podcast by Josh Bersin on HR tech.

Welcome to this week’s issue of Talent Edge Weeklythe weekly newsletter for human resources practitioners, bringing together insights about work, the workplace, and the workforce from various sources.

If you find value in this issue or any of its resources, please share them with your network by using the social media icons at the top of the newsletter.

Have a great week, and I look forward to sharing more ideas in next week’s Edge!


Brian Heger is a human resources practitioner with a Fortune 150 organization and has responsibilities for Strategic Talent and Workforce Planning. To connect with Brian on Linkedin, click here.


  • 12 Resources for Chief Human Resources Officers | Brian Heger | A one-page PDF that includes links to 12 resources for CHROs to leverage for various purposesranging from transitioning to a new CHRO role to developing an HR strategy.

  • Plan Your Workforce Without the Limitations of Roles | Gartner | Provides four steps to break down roles into a group of tasks and analyze those tasks to determine the best workforce strategies. 

  • 51 HR Metrics Cheat Sheet | AIHR | Includes 51 HR metrics and a brief description for each. I share a bonus resource on 100 talent questions that various metrics can be used to help answer.

  • The Unintended Consequences of Pay Transparency | Harvard Business Review | Points out three unintended consequences of pay transparency and provides suggestions on how to avoid these barriers.

  • Podcast: The HR Tech Market Is Going Crazy: What To Look For In 2023 | Josh Bersin | A 31-minute podcast where Josh summarizes the everchanging HR tech landscape. Many of these points were reinforced in Josh's keynote at last week's HR Technology Conference and Exposition.


The Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) role continues to gain prominence in many organizations. Over the past 90 days alone, I have tracked over 300 CHRO appointments as part of CHROs on the Goa subscription-based resource that provides insights into hires, promotions, and resignations to the CHRO role in organizations of all sizes and industries. These appointments ranged from experienced CHROs transitioning to the same role at another organization to first-time heads of HR, and CHROs appointed to an organization’s Board of Directors. As CHROs continue to drive personal, team, and organizational effectiveness, I have created this one-page PDF that includes 12 resources from which CHROs can draw. I have organized the 12 resources into four broader topics: 1) Transitioning to a New CHRO Role. Provides resources that can help CHROs speed up their transition into a new head of HR role. 2) HR Strategy and Operating Models. Offers ideas for capturing aspects of HR strategy and design. 3) CHROs and the Board of Directors. Shares a few resources on talent and workforce questions Boards are asking about. 4) CHRO Effectiveness and Other. Includes resources on determining if the CHRO has an all-star HR team, attributes of effective HR leaders, and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) best practices from CHROs at various organizations. While I have shared many of these resources individually, I wanted to merge them in a one-page document for your reference. Each resource includes a direct link to the source article or report.


As work becomes increasingly fluid and less predictable, many HR and talent practitioners continue to find practical ways to help their firms organize and plan “work” beyond the limitations of “jobs.” Several thought leaders have provided ideas and guidance on how to make this shift. In his article, From Workforce to Work-task Planning, Dave Ulrich discusses the practice of deconstructing jobs into tasks and activities and then using this information as the basis for workforce planning. In her article, Beyond the JobSusan Cantrell of Deloitte shares ideas for disaggregating jobs into tasks. And John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan—the most prolific writers and speakers on this topic—have shared extensively how unpacking jobs into more discrete tasks can provide firms with more options to deliver work in a more agile manner (see their book Work Without Jobs: How to Reboot Your Organization’s Work Operating System). This additional article by Gartner provides four steps to break down roles into a group of tasks and then analyze those tasks to determine the best workforce strategies. Figure 1 on page 37 shows five criteria that can be used to assess a role’s “composability”—the degree to which it can be broken down into tasks. Figure 2 on page 38 shows a 2x2 matrix (one axis for task complexity and another for the degree of human interaction needed to complete the task) illustrating which tasks might be best delivered through automation. Practitioners can experiment with these ideas as they deconstruct roles into tasks and incorporate them into workforce planning.


HR leaders and their teams continue to find ways to best measure and show the ROI of talent initiatives and investments. And while there are varying levels of sophistication in showing the impact of HR/ talent initiatives on business outcomes, HR and talent metrics are at the foundation. Yet practitioners can still find it challenging to identify the HR metrics that matter most to their organization. Common limitations in selecting HR metrics range from a) selecting metrics based on what is available (or convenient) rather than what adds the most value to b) having too many metrics that are randomly pulled together and don’t best convey an organization’s “talent narrative.” As HR teams determine which metrics are most important, this document includes 51 HR metrics that can provide some ideas. Rather than rush to identify metrics first, I recommend starting with the talent questions an organization is trying to answer (e.g., To what extent do we move talent internally each year between lines of business or functional areas? How does this compare across demographic segments and lines of business?) Once the right questions are determined, HR teams can identify the underlying metric(s) that can inform the answers.With that in mind, I am resharing this 16-page SAP reference, which includes 100 questions that span eight talent categories—from recruiting to employee experience.

Pay transparency—the degree to which an organization openly and proactively shares information about salaries—continues to be a workplace topic of interest. I have shared several resources on this topic, such as this PayScale paper showing how pay transparency can be viewed on a spectrum spanning five stages—ranging from “Here’s what you get paid” to “Here’s everything you want to know about everyone’s pay” (see pages 10 and 13 of the PaysScale paper). Many organizations are voluntarily moving toward greater pay transparency to foster trust and narrow the gender pay gap. As Compensation leaders and their teams help organizational leaders determine the level of pay transparency for their organizations, this HBR article points out three unintended consequences of pay transparency: 1) Pay transparency compresses pay. 2) Pay transparency prompts employees to negotiate personalized rewards. 3) Supervisors are likely to fulfill personalized requests. The authors provide suggestions on how leaders can avoid these unintended consequences of pay transparency. As a bonus, here is a previously shared article (December 2021), How to Make Pay Transparency Part of HR Strategy: Featuring Starbucks, BBC, Whole Foods, Etc, which looks at how five organizations are approaching pay transparency. 


During last week’s HR Technology Conference and Exposition, many HR practitioners learned about the latest technology changing all facets of HR and talent management (see agenda). In his keynote address entitled, “The Disruption Never Stops: What’s New and What’s Ahead in the HR Tech Market,” Josh Bersin summarized the HR tech landscape and untangled this complex, ever-evolving HR tech market. For those who couldn’t attend/listen to Josh’s keynote, here is a 31-minute podcast Josh published two weeks before the conference. In the podcast, Josh covers some key themes he discussed at last week’s keynote, including 1) The Next Gen HCM market, 2) Growth and disappointments in SkillsTech, 3) The emergence of Talent Intelligence, 4) Incredible growth and consolidation in Recruiting Tech, 5) Category creation of Talent Marketplace, 6) New world of corporate learning and the role of the Metaverse, Capability Academies, 7) Why the Creator Market will disrupt L&D, 8) A new world of People Analytics and Employee Listening, 9) The six things you have to know to manage HR Tech well. While there are too many points to summarize, one thing Josh mentioned is that the most successful tech implementations were not tech projects but business transformation projects aimed at the employee, not HR. He also mentioned how the average number of employee tech applications in large organizations has increased by 20% this past year. As organizations move away from having “many smaller employee tech apps” to wanting bigger platforms that integrate many capabilities, Josh mentions how there will be more consolidation in the HR tech vendor community. 



I share how using both roles and skills can lead to more effective workforce planning. I highlight a seminal article that still has relevance in informing how organizations identify their critical roles.




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Talent Edge Weekly is a free weekly newsletter that brings together the best talent and strategic human resources insights from various sources. It is published every Sunday at 6PM EST.