Talent Edge Weekly - Issue # 172

Organizational talent narrative, workforce planning, employee preferences, pay equity, and employee data.

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 Lori Florack, SVP Human Resources, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield — for referring new subscribers to Talent Edge Weekly. Thank you, Lori, 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 Linkedin, Twitter, 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.


Organizational stakeholders—investors, current and prospective employees, customers, and strategic partners—are increasingly interested in understanding an organization's talent practices and strategies. As such, Chief HR Officers continue to be called upon to help articulate their organizations’ talent narrative—from how workforce risks are managed to how talent initiatives deliver value. Against this backdrop, these three resources provide ideas that can inform multiple aspects of an organization’s talent narrative: 1) The Conference Board’s report Telling the Human Capital Management Story. This 20-page report includes ideas on how organizations can communicate and tailor the messages of their talent narrative to different stakeholder groups while still drawing from a single source of truth. Page 19 (image used for this post) shows a visual of seven stakeholder groups and the parts of the talent narrative in which they are most likely interested. 2) An 85-page MercerMarsh Benefits report that covers five pillars of 25 people-risks that can pose a threat to an organization if not managed. Each section of the report provides a set of actions organizations can take to manage risks most relevant to their business. 3) Dave’ Ulrich’s article, Eleven Evolutions in Human Capability That Accelerate the Business, which covers how HR delivers value to the organization and its stakeholders through four different pathways (talent, leadership, organization, and HR). Each resource can serve as a helpful reference for thinking through aspects of an organization's talent narrative.

Organizations collect and manage various types of employee data for different purposes. And as many firms increasingly seek to use artificial intelligence (AI) for different talent practices (e.g., talent marketplace platforms, internal mobility, employee experience, etc.), they are making decisions about the type of employee data these AI platforms can leverage. As organizations make these employee data decisions (whether for AI use or other purposes), they must take a responsible approach to using employee data—considering the potential risks and taking appropriate measures to mitigate them. This new article by members of the Gartner HR team shares four foundational principles for leaders to consider as they articulate how workers’ data will be collected and used in their organization. They include: 1) The right to purpose— there’s a legitimate business purpose of collecting the data. Employers should ask themselves: Why are we collecting this data? How will we process it? How long will we retain the data in order to accomplish the core purpose? 2) The right to minimization—the employer won’t collect more data than it needs to achieve the purpose outlined in principle #1. 3) The right to fairness—that data will be used to reinforce equity in the workplace (e.g., use data to ensure an inclusive applicant pool, detect where bias could exist, etc.), and 4) The right to awareness—the employer will be clear about what data is being used for what purpose (e.g., employee skills data is used to have AI recommend career opportunities to employees). I have also found that being clear about how the data won’t be used is critical (e.g., data will not be used to measure employee performance). Other ideas are discussed.

Strategic workforce planning (SWP) is a priority for many organizations. Yet SWP practitioners often struggle to implement workforce planning in their firms. According to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study of 32 HR practices, SWP is among the top three practices with the most significant gaps between the importance organizations place on the capability and their ability to deliver it effectively. At the same time, HR Teams are increasingly encouraged to leverage data to inform their talent and workforce strategies, including SWP. This 16-page Gartner reference provides three steps for how HR Leaders and their teams can effectively use data to assess talent risks to business strategy and use the findings to guide SWP: 1) Build a catalog of talent risks most likely to affect the business. 2) Evaluate the talent risk catalog to determine which are currently risks to strategy execution. 3) Share top talent risks with relevant stakeholders in a visually compelling way to drive action. Table 1 on page 5 shows 11 of the most common talent risks to executing business strategy in SWP. For example, Development Risk is when not enough internal talent is developing critical skills to meet the organization’s needs. Pipeline Risk refers to not having enough engaged talent in the recruitment pipeline to meet critical skills needs. Table 2 on page 7 shows the top metrics to use as key risk indicators for each of the 11 most common talent risks. The reference provides examples for communicating talent risks to stakeholders, including the image used for this post.

Many organizations segment their workforce into various categories to better understand the needs and preferences of workers. One lens through which worker preferences have been viewed is “generation”—the different age groups or cohorts of people currently employed or seeking employment in a particular industry or organization. But as noted in this article, work preferences appear to be more similar than different across age groups. The data show that employees of all ages are looking for many of the same things at work and largely quit their jobs or start somewhere new for similar reasons: 1) inadequate compensation, 2) lack of career development and advancement, and 3) uncaring leadership. As with their reasons for quitting, workers’ top reasons for taking a new job are consistent across age groups: 1) compensation, career development, meaningful work, and workplace flexibility (Exhibit 2). One notable difference is that once employees are in a job, the retention factors that motivate Gen Zers (those 18-24) to stay aren’t the same as those for other age groups. Gen Z ranks flexibility, career development, meaningful work, and a safe, supportive work environment as more important factors than compensation when they decide to stay with their current employers. This resource can be used as ONE of MANY references to inform an organization's understanding of worker preferences. As a bonus, this 150-page ebook report— Are Generational Categories Meaningful Distinctions for Workforce Management?—by the National Academy of Sciences, provides an overview of the scientific research on the topic.

This article summarizes regulatory updates that have implications for how organizations approach various aspects of pay equity. While you can read the details of these regulations (e.g., the European Parliament approved a groundbreaking law, the Pay Transparency Directive, Australia made broad changes to the Fair Work Act, etc.) in the article, one point made is how the Directive requires employers to regularly report the pay gap (including disclosing to employees), and if the gap exceeds 5%, it needs to be addressed with actionable steps. The new directive will require companies to disclose many things – salary ranges, career progression criteria, and pay gaps. This pushes decisions upstream: what are our salary ranges, job families, job levels, career progression criteria, skill requirements, and overall pay philosophies? How do we handle pay for performance? Do we need location-based salary ranges? How do we handle scarce or hard to find skills? How do we structure our jobs? What skills are truly important for us? It is mentioned how some companies, such as Microsoft, Accenture, and Unilever, are being proactive by publicly sharing their pay equity progress in their DEI report. Schneider Electric also includes pay equity as a critical component of its management development program, and companies like Heineken, SAP, Nestle, and Unilever make pay equity a part of its People Sustainability agenda. Other ideas are discussed. As a bonus, I am resharing this recently published 36-page report by ADP Research Institute that looks at factors influencing how workers feel about pay equity.


A one-page reference providing resources to help answer 5 questions related to performance management, such as: how can employee well-being be integrated into PM? The reference includes links to the 5 source documents from Gartner, Deloitte Insights, Harvard Business Review, and The Talent Strategy Group.


As part of CHROs on the Go a digital platform subscription that provides the easiest, fastest, and most convenient way to stay informed about hires, promotions, and resignations in the Chief Human Resources Officer role16 new CHRO announcements were posted on the platform last week.

This week’s CHRO highlight is:

  • Hanna Andersson (PORTLAND, OREGON)—a leading premium children's apparel brand—announced that Davida Lindsay-Bell has joined the company as Head of People & Inclusion. Reporting to CEO Aimée Lapic, Lindsay-Bell will focus on culture development, internal communications, DEI strategy, organizational effectiveness, talent management, and more. Lindsay-Bell was most recently the Chief People & Inclusion Officer for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art—a position she held since January 2020.

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 an average of 25 new announcements added each week!

If you are already a member of CHROs on the Go, you can log in to access all announcements and site functionality.

Click the link or table below to 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 Lyft Inc. and Whole Foods.



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

Here is a one-page snapshot that I created and shared in December 2022 on 2023 talent trends and priorities identified by 7 sources, Gartner, McLean & Co, Insight222, and HR Trend Institute, to name a few. I’ve highlighted where there are common themes across the various reports. Click the company logo to access each report.

If so, you can check out issue #169, which includes 16 of the most popular resources from March. Topics include HR effectiveness, performance management, recruiting, skills, employee wellbeing, contingent workforce, 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.