Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #141

This issue covers talent questions for CHROs, skills-based organizations, internal mobility and gender equity, performance conversations, and AI in the workplace.

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.


  • 18 Questions Chief Human Resources and Their Teams Might Be Asked About Talent | Brian Heger | A one-page PDF that includes 18 questions that CHROs and their teams might be asked about different aspects of talent, including talent strategy, succession, and DEI.

  • Report: Building Tomorrow’s Skills-based Organization: Jobs Aren’t Working Anymore | Deloitte | An excellent and robust 101-page report on how organizations are thinking about shifting from traditional jobs to skills-based work.

  • Internal Talent Mobility Programs Can Advance Gender Equity. Do Yours? | BCG | Provides an overview of how internal talent marketplaces (ITM) can help address gender inequities by democratizing access to opportunities.

  • 4 Steps to Address Challenges to Continuous Performance Conversations | Gartner | Offers various tactics to overcome barriers to continuous, ongoing performance discussions.

  • Where AI Can — and Can’t — Help Talent Management | Harvard Business Review | Summarizes how AI tools in talent management can provide organizations an advantage and where it presents risks. I share a bonus resource.


This PDF resource includes 18 questions that CHROs and their teams might be asked about different aspects of talent. And while there are hundreds of questions that can be asked about talent and the workforce, the PDF includes a few of those questions, which are organized into three categories: 1) overall strategy, 2) succession planning, and 3) diversity and inclusion. For example, regarding overall strategy, a few questions include: Do we have a workforce plan that forecasts our talent needs now and in the next few years? What are the challenges to executing our people strategy? What are our most critical talent risks, and what are we doing to mitigate these risks? Concerning succession planning, a sample question is: What is our track record on succession planning (i.e., how often did the company ultimately choose the successor identified in the plan, and how often did it choose another candidate)? A question about diversity and inclusion includes: How are we holding executives accountable to support and enable our DEI goals and objectives? HR leaders and their teams can use this one-pager as a reference for asking and answering questions that could inform their organization’s talent narrative. HR teams can build on this resource by adding other questions and talent categories, such as total rewards, learning and development, and workforce planning, to name a few.


This excellent 101-page report explores how organizations are beginning to make the shift from traditional jobs to skills-based work. It is based on both quantitative and qualitative research with workers, executives, and HR leaders across industries and around the world. While there are many insights covered in this report, a few points include: 1) While business and HR leaders are evolving work and workforce practices to focus on skills, only a handful of organizations (fewer than 1 in 5) have adopted skills-based approaches to a significant extent across all talent practices. 2) Skills-based development and skills-based hiring are the most widely cited talent practices where organizations are starting to make this shift. 3) The case for shifting from jobs to skills is further supported by various statistics, such as 71 percent of respondent workers say that they perform work outside their stated job responsibilities. 4) Organizations can begin to shift from jobs to skills-based talent practices either by a) decomposing work into tasks and flowing workers to tasks, assignments, and projects based on their skills and interests and b) organizing work around broad problems to be solved or outcomes to be achieved. Both tactics help organizations overcome the limitations of organizing work by jobs. Several other ideas are discussed, including a section on how to integrate skills across multiple talent practices.


This article summarizes how internal mobility programs—specifically internal talent marketplaces (ITM)—can help address gender inequities by democratizing access to opportunities. While several ideas build on this premise in the article, one point raised is how an ITM can reduce the perceived risk of switching jobs. Specifically, the authors mention a study showing that: “women were less likely than men to ask about internal opportunities, perhaps because they fear repercussions or worry that their manager will pressure them to stay put.” The presence of an ITM can reduce this concern and reemphasize the importance of internal mobility and talent sharing within an organization. While the article focuses on how ITMs can enable gender equity and support the career development of women, ITMs can provide improved transparency, equity, fairness, and inclusion for all employees. As a bonus resource, I am resharing a post I made over the summer titled, Non-technological Barriers to Internal Mobility in Organizations. In the post, I note that: while technology is a critical enabler of internal mobility (IM), organizations often approach IM as a technology initiative and lose sight of the non-technological critical components of an IM strategy. I include six non-tech barriers organizations must consider and overcome to tap the potential of IM in their organizations.


One tenet of modern performance management (PM) is that PM conversations between managers and employees should be ongoing and frequent. And while most subscribe to this philosophy, barriers can prevent and/or reduce the likelihood of these conversations from happening. These obstacles range from lack of time, employees not seeing the value in them, and previous negative experiences. This article shares four key steps to ensure employees get valuable performance feedback from the right sources at the right time. They include: 1) Establish the Value of Performance Conversations by Setting Coaching Expectations. 2) Support Psychological Safety to Mitigate the Risks of Feedback. 3) Connect Employees to Other Sources of Feedback. 4) Give Employees Guidance in Seeking Feedback. Regarding creating psychological safety, page 20 includes one practice SABIC uses with its employees.SABIC equips employees and managers to discuss topics that may be perceived as risky — such as career goals, performance feedback, wellbeing and development — by building those topics into the performance management system.” The system has a dropdown list of topics employees can select from to build the agenda for the conversation (see Figure 2). The dropdown options were employee-sourced, and their inclusion in the platform reinforces to employees that topics such as wellbeing are normal and open for discussion during performance conversations. The information also gives the manager insights into what the employee wants to discuss, enabling the manager to prepare and improve the discussion’s quality. The author provides other tactics to overcome the four barriers to continuous performance discussions.


The influx of AI tools in HR has the potential to transform multiple aspects of talent management—such as hiring, workforce planning, and internal mobility, to name a few. And while I have made several posts about the promise these platforms show, I have also written about the risks they present. This new article summarizes how AI tools in talent management can provide organizations an advantage and where it presents risks and challenges for three TM areas: 1) employee attraction, 2) employee development, and 3) employee retention. The authors provide several risk mitigation strategies to overcome common challenges, such as a) Low Trust in AI-Driven Decisions, b) AI Bias and Ethical Implications, c) Erosion of Employee Privacy, and d) Potential for Legal Risk. To supplement the recommendations in this article, I am resharing this 59-page toolkit developed by the World Economic Forum to promote the responsible use of AI-based tools in HR. It includes two editable checklists and questionnaires to guide the evaluation and implementation of HR-based AI platforms. 1) Tool Assessment Checklist (pages 29-45) focuses on the decision to adopt a specific AI-based HR tool, including questions to ask vendors and organizational stakeholders. 2) Planning Checklist (pages 46-54) addresses how firms can plan for using AI in HR and how HR can develop the capacity to support these efforts. The HBR article and WEF toolkit provide several ideas for tapping the potential of AI-based HR tools while reducing risk.



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A one-page PDF reference that integrates four resources for identifying and addressing employee retention risks. Includes 1) Pre-quitting behaviors, 2) questions to ask about team retention risk,3) work or life event triggers of retention risk, and 4) stay interview questions.




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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.