Talent Edge Weekly - Issue # 167

Workforce wellbeing, re-recruiting former employees, aligning talent management & mobility, workforce ecosystems, and skills.

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. 

A special shout-out to Liz Corey, Chief People Officer at Velosio — for referring new subscribers to Talent Edge Weekly. Thank you, Liz, for your support of this newsletter! 

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


Brian Heger is an internal human resources practitioner with a Fortune 150 organization and has responsibilities for Strategic Talent and Workforce Planning. You can connect with Brian on LinkedinTwitter, and brianheger.com


Below is a glance at the content of this week's issue. My detailed summaries of these resources are in the section after this one.

And don't forget to check out the 2023 Job Cuts and Layoff Tracker.


Employee well-being (EWB) remains a top priority for many organizations, as noted in my one-page summary on 2023 talent priorities. And while many firms are implementing EWB programs to support the well-being of their workers, this new article brings to light other factors—beyond programs—that influence EWB. Based on a survey of 1,274 US workers across a wide range of industries, regions, education, income levels, and demographics, results show that three determinants disproportionately impact EWB: 1) Leadership — how leaders behave, 2) Design of workhow you are organized, and 3) Ways of workinghow you get the work done. The survey explored the specific factors within the three work determinants that may negatively impact a worker’s well-being. For example, within the leadership determinant (which refers to anyone responsible for others, such as supervisors), micro- or undermanagement, a lack of recognition, and a lack of empathy and psychological safety are the most detrimental leadership behaviors to EWB. Tactics for improving EWB through leadership development, include: 1) Consider team wellbeing as a core competency to be embedded in leaders’ performance reviews and 2) Collect and share direct-report wellbeing data (such as how much paid time off [PTO] is taken and how many hours are worked) in a dashboard for leader visibility to identify red flags that may indicate possible burnout. As a bonus, I am resharing the HBR article, The Hidden Toll of Microstress, which addresses 14 microstressors—stressors that seem manageable at the moment, but accrue and create ripple effects—that relate to leadership, design of work, and ways of working.

Much has been written about how employees are leaving their jobs in search of an employee value proposition (e.g., pay, more flexible work arrangements) that better aligns with their values and preferences. However, some of these workers have learned that the "grass isn’t always greener" when moving to another company or organization. As many organizations struggle to find talent to meet their needs, there is a significant opportunity for them to re-recruit former employees—often called boomerang employees. To better understand who is most likely to boomerang, when they’re likely to do it, and the factors motivating these workers to take the leap (back), the authors of this article analyzed three million employee records covering more than 120 firms from 2019 to 2022. A few insights include 1) 28% of “new hires” were boomerang hires who had resigned within the last 36 months, 2) boomerang employees are more likely to be managers than non-managers, and 3) most boomerang employees returned to their former employers within 13 months of their departure, suggesting that right after the one-year mark is a common time for employees to transition back. This finding aligns with a Visier analysis showing that 13 months is the average time for rehiring former employees and that the chances of a return drop sharply after former employees have been away for 16 months. The article includes defensive and offensive strategies to help employers capitalize on the boomerang opportunity while mitigating the risks.

This 13-page paper provides ideas on how to drive greater alignment and linkages between an organization’s talent management and mobility teams. It argues that talent mobility—often associated with relocating talent—needs to be discussed in the broader context of the talent management cycle — including selection and long-term career management. However, the limited purview of many HR and mobility teams tends to result in a “relocation exercise” of individual talent rather than part of a broader integrated talent strategy. The paper is organized into three sections: 1) Linking talent management and mobility, 2) The role of the global mobility team: from relocation manager to talent broker, and 3) Addressing barriers to global talent brokering. Each section provides useful insights and practices for enabling internal talent movement and talent mobility. Page 19 (refer to the page numbers in the middle of the page since there are different page numbers on each page) includes a four-component model (shown below) organizations can use to determine the intent of their talent mobility program. Determining the intent is critical since it will inform the practices associated with the program. Page 20 covers different forms of talent mobility, such as internal (between business units) or external moves (gig workers, talent exchange, peer talent pool) and cross-border moves (traditional long-term expatriate assignments, rotator, and commuter assignments). Other ideas are discussed that can help organizations shape their approach to talent mobility. 

The number of contingent workers (CW)—those performing gig, contract, or freelance work—continues to grow in many organizations. However, firms often lack an integrated approach to managing their CW. This article provides considerations for integrating the management of both employees and external contributors.  It draws from a case study on Cisco, which has over 50,000 contingent workers — a substantial part of its workforce ecosystem. One challenge Cisco faced in managing its CW is that its CW strategy sits within the finance organization in the procurement group. Cisco HR is responsible only for matters associated with full- and part-time employees—leading to a fragmented workforce strategy, labor laws and compliance risks, increased costs, inefficient processes, and missed beneficial synergies related to CW. The article describes three initiatives the firm employed to manage its CW more effectively: 1) Governing with a cross-functional steering committee that meets monthly on CW, 2) Changing technology systems, and 3) Emphasizing values, culture, and diversity. Concerning the steering committee—which represents all functional areas, such as finance, HR, IT, and operations—the team provides guidance on such issues as a) which functions can have significant numbers of contingent workers and which should have fewer and b) resolving questions related to CW policies. As a bonus, I am resharing this 43-page report from MIT and Deloitte, which includes additional insights, including how seven talent practices (p.6) must shift to align with this workforce ecosystem approach comprised of internal and external contributors.

Much has been written about how the half-life of skills—meaning that the skill is about half as valuable as before— continues to decline rapidly. For example, an IBM Institute for Business Value report notes that the average half-life of many skills has shortened from five to two years and a half. Another report by World Economic Forum shows that 40% of current workers’ core skills are expected to change by 2025. As organizations continue to develop the skills of their workforce amidst this changing landscape, this recent 49-page report provides useful insights. While the report covers the importance of skills development at all educational stages and how new technologies and approaches can help both students entering the workforce and workers to succeed, it provides useful insights that can inform an organization’s skills strategy. For example, page 15 shows research that has identified 56 foundational skills—across 13 skills groups and four categories — that will help workers thrive in the future of work. The four categories are 1) cognitive, 2) interpersonal, 3) self-leadership, and 4) digital. For example, the cognitive category includes a group of skills called communication—comprised of storytelling, asking the right questions, synthesizing messages, and active listening. Several other ideas are discussed, including a) the critical role that gaining experiences plays in accelerating skills development (p.21) and b) the measures that organizations have taken to address their skills needs by geographic region (image shown below and on p. 43)


Discusses 11 ways HR continues to evolve to create stakeholder value through talent, leadership, organization, and HR. HR leaders can use the various visuals as a diagnostic to determine its “current state” and actions for evolving the four areas and 11 practices. You can also view this post on LinkedIn and share it with your network!


This past week, 18 new Chief Human Resources Officer announcements were posted on CHROs on the Go – a digital platform that provides the easiest way to stay informed about CHRO hires, promotions, and resignations.

This week’s CHRO highlight is:

  •  The Walt Disney Company (BURBANK, CALIFORNIA) [NYSE:DIS] has promoted Sonia Coleman to Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, effective April 8. She will report to Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer and she succeeds Paul Richardson, who is leaving the company after more than 15 years at Disney. Coleman most recently served as SVP, Human Resources for Disney Entertainment and ESPN. Prior to that, she served as SVP, Human Resources for Disney General Entertainment from 2017. Coleman joined Disney in 2008 as Vice President, Human Resources, Disney Consumer Products. READ MORE 

Do you want to join hundreds of others getting the EDGE each week in knowing which CHROs are being hired, promoted, and resigning? If so:

Currently, there are +2000 CHROs announcements on CHROs on the Go, with 20-25 new announcements added each week!

If you are already a member of CHROs on the Goyou 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 Meta Platforms (Facebook's parent company) and Samsung Electronics.  



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

Includes three resources (Deloitte, Gartner, and XPLANE) for generating ideas on integrating scenario planning into strategic workforce planning. The image below is from the XPLANE resource. 

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!


Partial View of Recommendations. Click Image to See All Books

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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.