Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #157

Covers company layoffs in 2023, how recruiters can engage during slowdowns, translating jobs into projects/tasks, reprioritizing talent initiatives, and DEI.

Welcome to this week’s issue of Talent Edge Weekly  bringing together the best insights about work, the workplace, and the workforce. Read by human resources practitioners, business leaders, and others interested in the world of work.

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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.


  • 2023 Layoff Tracker of Organizations Announcing Job Cuts | Brian Heger | I summarize organizations that have announced layoffs since the start of 2023. This resource can be used by recruiters to identify talent pools for open positions they are staffing in their organizations.

  • How Recruiters Can Make the Most Out of a Hiring Slowdown | Harvard Business Review | Provides seven strategies that recruiting teams can employ to stay engaged and add value to the business while experiencing a slowdown in hiring.

  • Can Deconstructing Jobs into Tasks Help Redeploy an Organization's Workers Impacted by Layoffs? | Brian Heger | I share a one-page editable worksheet for thinking through which open jobs can be broken down into tasks and projects and used to redeploy internal talent (impacted by layoffs) to those work opportunities.

  • Ways HR Leaders Can Prioritize and Reprioritize Talent Initiatives | Gartner | Provides a framework for reprioritizing talent initiatives as business needs and circumstances shift.

  • Report: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lighthouses 2023 | World Economic Forum | A new 61-page report that shares five success factors common across the DEI initiatives that yield the most significant, scalable, quantifiable, and sustained impact.

And don't forget to check out the Chief HR Officer Hire of the Week, Tweet of the Week, and the most viewed resource from last week’s issue.


The last few weeks have ushered in several announcements about layoffs and job cuts in many organizations. And while the technology industry remains among the hardest hit, organizations across various industries have announced layoffs. Companies that have received headlines include Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, and Stitch Fix, to name a few. As organizations increasingly communicate layoffs within their workforce, I have created this tracker to help HR leaders and recruiting teams to stay informed about organizations that have announced job cuts and layoffs since the start of the year. The tracker includes a brief description of sample organizations' announcements and a link to the source announcement, which provides more details. While layoffs are taking place in several organizations, other organizations continue to add jobs and recruit talent. To that end, recruiters that are hiring can use this resource to identify talent within organizations affected by layoffs. I will periodically update this tracker as new information about company layoffs and job cuts becomes available, so check back occasionally for updates.

As several organizations experience hiring slowdowns, this article provides seven strategies that recruiting teams can employ to stay engaged and add value to the business. The authors mention, “now, when you’re not recruiting, is the time to level up your skills and optimize your processes. If you do this well, when hiring inevitably picks back up again, you’ll be in a position to win.” A few strategies include: Build and nurture your talent pipeline (e.g., recruiters to build real, genuine relationships without the pressure either side experiences when trying to fill a role or job hunt). Clean up your tech stack (e.g., audit and evaluate each tool—such as the applicant tracking system, customer relationship management system, video interviewing platforms, etc.—on efficiency and adoption to determine opportunities for enhancements, etc.). Check-in with recent hires. Given that 86% of new hires decide whether they’ll stay at a company within the first six months, recruiters can influence the retention of these new hires by reaching out to see how they are doing in their new role (e.g., find out how their day-to-day is going, what projects they’re working on, and what has surprised them about their role and the company). Other ideas are discussed.

Many organizations desire to shift to skills-based talent practices—where talent practices (e.g., workforce planning, hiring, learning, etc.) are based on skills rather than just jobs. However, research by Deloitte shows that fewer than one in five organizations have successfully adopted skills-based talent practices to a significant extent. To make meaningful progress toward skills-based talent management, organizations must experiment with practical approaches and different use cases. One practical use case is redeploying internal workers affected by layoffs to other business areas where there is work demand. And while an obvious choice for redeployment is to consider these impacted employees for open jobs, another option is for organizations to a) review the open jobs they are currently recruiting for, b) determine if those jobs can be deconstructed into projects and tasks, c) identify the skills needed to perform those tasks and projects, d) identify workers with the skills and desire to perform that work, and e) redeploy qualified talent to those areas. This one-page editable worksheet can be used to help jumpstart an organization's thinking on this topic. Bonus articles related to this topic are included from thought leaders: Dave Ulrich; John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan; Susan Cantrell and Michael Griffiths.

HR teams are well underway in executing their organizations’ 2023 talent priorities. However, priorities can change quickly as business needs and circumstances shift. As HR leaders and their teams face the decision to reprioritize talent initiatives throughout the year, this article provides a framework for making these choices. Page 8 shows a Talent Initiative Prioritization Matrix, which helps HR teams prioritize talent initiatives based on two dimensions: 1) The potential business impact of the talent initiative on creating organizational value. 2) Complexity and investment — the level of coordination and support required (complexity) and the degree to which the initiative requires resources or adjustments to team responsibilities (investment). Using these dimensions, initiatives can be separated into four categories: 1) Actionable Initiatives prioritized for execution and given preference for resource allocation.2) Priority Initiativesprioritized based on the availability of resources (people, money, time).3) Initiatives for Careful Considerationrequire careful consideration for timing and sequencing based on capacity to complete the work. 4) Parking Lot Initiativesshould be deprioritized or put in the parking lot for future consideration. In case you missed it from December, here is my one-page summary of 2023 Workforce and HR priorities according to seven sources.

This newly published 61-page report provides best practices to help organizations deliver diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices that yield the most significant, scalable, quantifiable, and sustained impact. The report identifies five success factors common across DEI efforts. While there are too many insights to cover here, the five success factors—illustrated on page 11 — are (1) a nuanced understanding of the root causes of why DEI isn’t advancing; (2) a meaningful definition of success; (3) accountable and invested business leaders; (4) a solution designed for its specific context; and (5) rigorous tracking and course correction. Given there is no one size fits all solution for advancing DEI, the report provides many examples of how different organizations are advancing DEI. To supplement this report, here are two previously shared reports on DEI 1) a 50-page report by the Center for Employment Equity that provides DEI research-based strategies and 2) a 62-page report by the Wharton School of Business that examines the relationship between seven categories of DEI practices and twelve workplace outcomes (e.g., burnout).


An 85-page report that helps leaders take an expanded view of the people-risks in their organizations. Offers tactics for mitigating risks. You can also view this post here on LinkedIn.


This past week, 23 new Chief Human Resources Officer announcements were posted on CHROs on the Go a subscription that provides the easiest way to stay informed about CHRO hires, promotions, and resignations.

This week’s CHRO highlight is:

  • LyondellBasell (HOUSTON, TEXAS) [NYSE: LYB]—one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world—announced it has selected Trisha Conley as its EVP, People and Culture. Trisha will be a member of the company's Executive Committee and will assume the role on Feb. 1. She comes to LyondellBasell from Chevron Renewable Energy Group, where she was SVP, People Development. Prior to that, she was the VP of Human Resources at BP.

To learn how to gain access to all 23 detailed Chief Human Resources Officer announcements from this past week and +2000 archived announcements, visit CHROs on the Go .

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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brianheger.com provides free access to +1,000 curated articles, research reports, podcasts, etc. that help practitioners drive better business results through strategic human resources and talent management.

CHROS on the Go is a subscription that provides the easiest and most convenient way to stay informed about Chief Human Resources Officer hires, promotions, and resignations in organizations of all sizes and industries.

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.