Talent Edge Weekly - Issue # 165

Covers the de-emphasis of academic degrees in selection criteria, the impact of regulatory developments on remote work, HR effectiveness, and the state of women in leadership.

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Welcome to this week’s issue of Talent Edge Weeklybringing together 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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For free access to +1000 curated articles and resources, visit brianheger.com

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. To follow on Twitter, click here!


Below is a glance at the content of this week's issue. My detailed summaries of these resources can be found in the section after this one. However, you can click the quick links below if you want to go directly to the source without seeing my summary and bonus resources—but I recommend that you read the summaries!

And don't forget to check out the Chief HR Officer Hire of the Week, the 2023 Job Cuts and Layoffs Tracker, the most viewed resource from last week, and more!


Many organizations continue to face challenges in attracting and hiring talent. However, hiring managers often contribute to this challenge by including irrelevant criteria in their job descriptions. One selection criterion that has come under increased scrutiny is academic degrees. As organizations use academic degrees as a filter for identifying talent—particularly for roles where this criterion is less relevant to effective performance—they inadvertently reduce their talent pool, impede internal mobility, and hire inefficiently. This new article outlines a “skills-first” approach to selection that focuses on job candidates’ skills instead of their degree status. It shares practices from firms, such as IBM, Aon, Cleveland Clinic, Delta Air Lines, Bank of America, and Merck, which have been used to emphasize skills and capabilities, not academic credentials. A few tactics include: 1) creating apprenticeships, internships, and training programs for people without college degrees, and 2) helping hiring managers embrace skills-first thinking. As recruiters identify opportunities for shifting to skill-based hiring, one tactic they can use is to review a handful of open jobs they have had difficulty in hiring and determine if those job descriptions are at risk of degree inflation. Ask managers questions such as: Why is having a B.A. necessary for success in this role? Does having an academic degree really show the person has the skills needed to perform this role effectively? As a bonus article, here is another new HBR article, How Important Is a College Degree Compared to Experience?

Leaders continue to make decisions about their firms’ hybrid and remote work policies and practices. While much of this discussion has focused on topics such as the number of days workers are required to be in the office, this new article raises another factor for leaders to consider: complying with a growing set of regulatory frameworks governing remote work. The article submits that the increased utilization of remote work has prompted a surge in new regulatory developments aimed at making sure remote workers, home workers, and teleworkers are protected under existing environmental, health, and safety legislation and guidelines. These developments have even greater implications for global firms that need to deal with different compliance requirements in various jurisdictions and which have different definitions of remote work. For example, in Spain, remote work is defined as a work activity that is performed either at the worker’s home or at another place of their choice at least 30% of the time over three months. Germany draws distinctions between mobile work, which is any work that uses information technology that is performed outside of the business premises, and telework, which is defined as work that is only and permanently performed at the employee’s home. At the same time, the right to disconnect has become a big issue in the European Union, which is seeking to formalize employees’ rights to disengage from work and refrain from work-related electronic communications during non-work hours. Leaders should ensure they factor these jurisdictional nuances into their organizations’ decisions on remote and hybrid work. Other ideas are discussed. For more MIT Sloan Management Review articles, visit their website.

Human resources leaders and their teams continue to find ways for the HR function to create value for the business and its stakeholders, such as employees, customers, investors, communities, and boards. But with so many choices on how that value can be created, it raises the question: what factors disproportionately impact HR’s effectiveness and ability to deliver value to its stakeholders? In this new article by Dave Ulrich and his colleagues at The RBL Group, they present research and data that provide answers to this question. While there are many insights in this article—one of them is the identification of 10 dimensions of HR functional excellence that make up the HR value logic, as highlighted in figure 5. For each dimension, they highlight a key question and provide input on how these questions should be answered. One observation is that HR design (dimension #4) is necessary but not a sufficient determinant of HR effectiveness and its ability to deliver value. The article includes a diagnostic (Figure 9) that HR leaders can use to assess their HR organizations’ effectiveness in the 10 dimensions. HR Leaders can use this diagnostic to track current state and progress. Other ideas are discussed.

As the various components of the HR function—from Centers of Excellence to Services Delivery Centers—become increasingly interconnected, this new article from Josh Bersin provides several ideas for HR leaders to consider. He argues we need to rethink HR as an integrated operating system that focuses on “problems to be solved” rather than a set of “services” or “offerings” or “programs.” Further, to solve these problems, each of the individual areas of HR (e.g., recruiting, talent management, learning, and development, etc.) needs to interconnect in a solution-oriented, real-time way. One illustration shows how the various aspects of HR are interconnected. Another chart shows ten examples of how organizations can shift from a traditional HR operating model to this new HR operating system. For example, one shift is FROM: “HR programs that take quarters or years to design and implement, and roll out as large change management programs" TO“HR programs run by “product managers’ with regular roadmap updates, driven by ‘change agility, not big bang rollouts." Josh also notes how this HR operating system needs to be enabled by “full stack” HR professionals (like full-stack engineers) who are deep in one domain but also have wide expertise in the other domains of HR. This approach has implications for how HR leaders select and develop their HR talent. Other ideas are discussed. Also, if you haven't done so already, I recommend that you pick up a copy of Josh's book, Irresistible: The Seven Secrets of the World's Most Enduring, Employee-Focused Organizations (released October, 25, 2022).

This new 38-page report provides insights into the current state of women in leadership. It notes that many organizations are implementing programs to help women advance their careers, such as providing career development planning specific to women’s needs, requiring job succession plans to include women candidates, and holding senior management accountable for gender equity with performance metrics. However, based on a global survey of over 2,500 organizations, the report shows that while gender parity “feels” close, it’s getting farther away. For example, in examining the pipeline of current and future women leaders, we see some growth at both ends. 1) Although the percentage of women serving in C-Suite and board positions has increased (from 10% and 8%, respectively, in 2021 to 12% for both in 2023), as has the percentage of women in junior professional/specialist roles, which grew from 35% in 2021 to 40% in 2023….2) the remaining percentage of women in the rest of the pipeline has hollowed out, worsening since the pandemic. The report notes that women have massively exited the workforce from mid-level leadership tiers that feed the C-Suites and boards of tomorrow. Stated differently, the percentage of women in middle management dropped from 28% in 2019 to 23% in 2023, while the percentage of women in senior management dropped from 25% to 19%. Page 23 begins a section on specific actions organizations can take to increase their pipeline of current and future women leaders. As a supplement to this report, I am resharing the 2022 Women in the Workplace Report by Lean In and McKinsey, which includes additional practices that support the advancement and retention of women in leadership.


A newly released article that discusses various types of workforce risks and the tactics HR leaders and their organizations use to identify and manage them. You can also view this post here on LinkedIn and share it with your network!


This past week, 26 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:

Peloton (NEW YORK) [NASDAQ: PTON]—the leading connected fitness platform— announced the appointment of Dalana Brand as Peloton's Chief People Officer effective March 13, 2023. Brand will report to CEO Barry McCarthy. Ms. Brand previously served as Chief People and Diversity Officer at Twitter. She joined the team in 2018, serving as Vice President of People Experience and Head of Inclusion & Diversity. Before joining Twitter, Brand was Vice President of Total Rewards for Electronic Arts and previously held senior leadership positions at the Whirlpool Corporation. READ MORE

To learn how to gain access to all 26 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 can use this resource to identify opportunities for recruiting talent from organizations affected by layoffs. A few firms that announced job cuts this past week include Citigroup and General Motors, to name a few.



Highlights a previously shared Talent Edge Weekly resource that received many views and engagement!

This article offers 5 questions Chief Human Resources Officers can ask to determine what barriers prevent HRBPs from reaching their full strategic potential.

If so, you can check out 12 of the most popular resources from February. Topics include CHRO as growth executive, workforce risks, learning & development, skills, employee wellbeing, and more!


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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.

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