Talent Edge Weekly - Issue # 160

Covers Accenture's report on CHRO growth executives, how current layoffs could've been avoided, the impact of employee tenure on firm performance, the changing role of total rewards, and the validation of AI-based hiring tools.

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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.


  • The CHRO as Growth Executive | Accenture | A 36-paper that shares ideas on the profile of a "CHRO Growth Executive" and the conditions that enable this type of Chief Human Resources Officer to maximize business impact.

  • Were All These Layoffs Inevitable? Perhaps, But Here’s How It Happened | Josh Bersin | Provides a perspective on how many recent layoffs could’ve been avoided by controlling the hiring frenzy several organizations underwent during accelerated growth.

  • Don’t Underestimate the Value of Employee Tenure | Harvard Business Review | Shares research that examined the impact of employee age and employee tenure (time with an organization) on three business performance metrics; discusses implications for a firm's human capital.

  • The Evolving Role of the Head of Total Rewards | HR Policy Association | A 23-page report that covers how shifts in the workforce and employee expectations continue to influence total rewards (TR) programs and the leaders that design them. I expand on how TR, talent management, and workforce planning leaders need to partner to enable skills-based talent practices.

  • Considerations and Recommendations for the Validation and Use of AI-Based Assessments for Employee Selection | Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology | A newly released 36-page paper that provides scientifically based recommendations for the effective use of AI in assessing and hiring talent.

And don't forget to check out the 2023 Job Cuts and Layoffs Tracker, Chief HR Officer Hire of the Week, Most Viewed Resource from last week's issue, and the Tweet of the week!


The Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) role continues to grow in importance in many organizations. We are only five weeks into the new year, and I have already tracked roughly 150 CHRO hires and promotions as part of CHROs on the Goa subscription that provides insights into hires, promotions, and resignations in the CHRO role. As CHROs drive personal, team, and organizational effectiveness, this 36-page paper by Accenture provides ideas. It submits that a new type of CHRO is stepping up to lead their C-suite peers in connecting data, technology and people and cultivating collaboration—referred to as High-Res CHROs. However, only 29% of CHROs have both the profile and the conditions needed to act as a High-Res CHRO. The paper shares ideas on how CHROs can increasingly shift towards this profile and what CEOs and the executive team can do to create conditions that enable this type of CHRO to flourish. To supplement the paper, here is a 10-minute video where Ellyn Shook (CHRO at Accenture) and Sheri Bronstein (CHRO at Bank of America) discuss how these High-Res CHROs are making an impact. As a bonus, I am resharing this one-page PDF containing links to 12 resources that CHROs can leverage for various purposes. The resources are organized into four categories, ranging from accelerating the transition to a new CHRO role to answering various talent and workforce questions from an organization's board of directors.

A few weeks ago, I began to track job cuts and layoffs announced by several organizations since the start of 2023. And last week, I shared a Fortune article that points out how many organizations announcing layoffs offer a similar reason for these cuts: "In the wake of the pandemic, we experienced growth in demand and increased our workforce to fulfill that demand. With a slowing economy and shifting market, we now see that we mistakenly hired too many, and we must correct that by letting some people go." However, this new article by Josh Bersin provides a perspective on how these layoffs could've been avoided by controlling the hiring frenzy many organizations underwent during accelerated growth. While you should read the entire article for full context and messaging, a few themes include how, in a rush to grow, several organizations entered into a hiring spree that created a flywheel effect that was hard to slow down. As this process accelerates, "time to hire" becomes the measure of success, so companies raise salaries to get candidates to make decisions quickly...Revenues slow, and now the CEO and CFO are upset. How did we get our cost structure so high? Who hired all these people?" One way organizations could've minimized overhiring is "rather than simply throwing headcount into the Talent Acquisition order book, these companies try to dynamically move people from low growth to high growth areas (development and mobility). I also shared in a post last week how overhiring is partially due to a lack of workforce and scenario planning that leads to a miscalculation of demand. Regarding internal mobility, I am resharing this one-page PDF that includes six resources on how an organization can unlock its internal workforce's hidden capacity.

This research examined the impact of employee age and employee tenure (time with an organization) on business performance. The researchers measured business performance for 23 organizations—across various industries— in three ways” 1) financial (e.g., revenue growth, profit), 2) operational (e.g., error rates, speed), and 3) customer reactions (e.g., referrals, retention rates). The findings show that Employee age has no impact on business performance, whether performance is measured by financial, operational, or customer outcomes. Tenure, however, has a significant positive and sometimes very sizeable impact on financial performance and operational excellence.” One implication of this research is that well-managed employee tenure (retention) can create economic value for an organization and provide a competitive edge. The rationale for this implication is that firm-specific human capitalknowledge, social networks, mastery, and know-how generated through the experience of working in one organization with its suppliers, customers, technology, proprietary processes and intellectual capital, and one’s co-workers—is built over time through tenure (years of service) with the employer. Given this research, it will be interesting to see the extent to which human capital disclosures of public companies — governed by the SEC — report trends in employee tenure (and the implications of those trends) as part of their disclosures. As a supplement to the HBR article, here is the academic research version on which the HBR article is based.

This 23-page report examines how shifts in the workforce and employee expectations related to work continue to influence total rewards programs and the leaders responsible for designing them. While not highlighted in the report, one area for a greater partnership between total rewards, workforce planning, and talent management leaders is skills-based talent practices. Although there is much talk about moving towards skills-based talent practices, there are several challenges organizations must overcome first—not the least of which is that many organizations don’t even have a common language or a way of understanding their workers’ skills (see i4cp). Total rewards leaders and their talent counterparts in other COEs can work together to answer questions such as:1) What is our common language for discussing skills? 2) How do we determine which employees have these skills? 3) Which skills are in high demand and short supply? 4)To what extent should we differentiate pay and rewards based on our employees' skills and the value the organization and the external market places on those skills? Regarding #4, I am resharing this Deloitte article (image below) that provides ideas on a skills-based rewards model, in which a worker’s base pay comprises both a 1) core salary, which all workers of the same level earn, and a 2) skills salary defined by a worker’s demonstrated proficiency in each skill. This model allows the skills salary portion of employees’ compensation to change as they gain and demonstrate new skills relative to the value the organization places on those skills. While skills-based pay and rewards are at the advanced and more complex end of the skills-based maturity curve, firms must factor this component into their skills-based talent strategy.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in employment decisions continues to garner interest from organizations that want to use these tools fairly, ethically, and legally for hiring decisions. And while industrial and organizational (IO) psychologists have been at the forefront in helping organizations ensure that their selection tools meet these criteria, I/O psychologists’ involvement in evaluating AI for these purposes has been limited (see “Where’s the I-O?” Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Talent Management Systems"). For this reason, I was pleased that the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) has released this 36-page document, presenting considerations and recommendations for the validation and use of AI-based assessments for employee selection. The paper provides guidance, backed by scientific research, on how AI-based assessments can be used effectively and legally in employee selection contexts. The recommendations are presented in five sections that address the unique challenges and considerations that arise in the development, evaluation, use, and interpretation of AI-based assessments. As federal and state governments continue to enact laws to address concerns about using AI for hiring, this document provides various insights for firms to consider. To supplement this paper, I am resharing an excellent 59-page toolkit developed by the World Economic Forum that promotes the responsible use of AI-based tools in HR.


Josh Bersin's new report covers 15 trends and disruptions in the world of work. Includes a bonus webinar where Josh discusses the report. You can also view this post here on LinkedIn.


This past week, 24 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:

  • Amplitude, Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO) [NASDAQ: AMPL] — a leading digital analytics platform—announced the appointment of Kristina “KJ” Johnson as Chief Human Resources Officer. Ms. Johnson joins Amplitude from Okta, where she was Chief People Officer for the icloud identity provider. Before Okta, Johnson led international human resources for EnerNOC, a leading energy management software provider. READ MORE

To learn how to gain access to all 24 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.

Here you can see the latest updates from a segment of organizations that have announced job cuts and layoffs since the start of 2023. Recruiters, search firms, and hiring managers that are trying to attract and recruit candidates for their own open jobs can use this resource to identify opportunities for recruiting talent from organizations affected by layoffs.



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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.

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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.

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