Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #182

New HR operating model report, compensation strategies during times of inflation, 15 talent questions, addressing skills gaps, and "hidden workers."

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Welcome to Talent Edge Weekly!

Before we get started, a special shout-out to Melissa Huntley, VP Global Head of Talent Management for Visa, for referring new subscribers to Talent Edge Weekly. Thank you, Melissa, 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


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Here is a glance at this week’s content.

  • HR Operating Model Report 2023 | The Talent Strategy Group | A new report that shares insights into how companies structure and operationalize their HR functions.

  • Compensation Strategies for an Era of High Inflation | Gartner | Shares three approaches for keeping up with rising inflation and meeting the heightened salary expectations of employees.

  • 15 Talent Questions Across Five Areas |  Brian Heger | I share a PDF that includes 15 talent questions that organizations can begin to answer to shape aspects of their talent narrative.

  • 5 Ways Companies Are Addressing Skills Gaps in Their Workforce | Harvard Business Review | Shares 5 tactics firms are using for skill development, ranging from digital apprenticeships to the democratization of coaching via online tech.

  • Hidden Workers: Part-Time Potential Report | Harvard Business School and Accenture | A 20-page follow-up report to the “Hidden Workers: Untapped Talent” report. The new report focuses on attracting and retaining a segment of hidden workers: part-time workers.

And don't forget to check out the 2023 Job Cuts and Layoff Tracker, the Chief HR Officer Hire of the Week, and other resources from this issue!


Note: If copying and pasting any of this content for your own purposes (e.g., social media, website, etc.), please provide proper attribution to Talent Edge Weekly and link to this issue.

This new report provides insights into how companies structure and operationalize their HR functions. Based on feedback collected between early and mid-2023 from over 200 companies of all sizes, a few findings include: 1) Reporting Relationships: a) CHRO Reporting: 86% of CHROs report directly to the CEO. The remaining CHROs report to the COO or other C-suite officers. b) HR COE Reporting: Among the various COEs, Total Rewards and Talent Management most frequently report to the CHRO, with 89% and 80% reporting directly to the CHRO, respectively. In cases where a COE doesn’t report to the Chief HR Officer, the most common destination for these COEs (e.g., L&D, Talent Acquisition) to report to is Talent Management. c) People Analytics Reporting: The People Analytics COE reports more frequently to Shared Services and other HR Functions than the CHRO. This finding suggests that this COE may be providing more reporting and less true analytics in many organizations. 2) Layers between CHRO and the First Level in HR: Companies with fewer than 25k employees have an average of 4.5 layers, while companies with more than 25k employees have an average of 5.6 layers. The report notes that having five layers is a good “rule of thumb” to ensure fast information flow and still allow for large promotional steps. 3) HR employees ratio to overall employees. The actual and estimated HR: total employee ratios were estimated and were quite close to the classic ratio of 1:100, at 1:99 and 1:95, respectively. The report provides several other insights. It is important to note that the information serves as directional insights, and practitioners should not draw definitive conclusions about what is correct or incorrect based solely on these findings. As a bonus, I am also resharing my playlist of 5 resources on HR operating models.

% of COEs reporting to CHRO

Despite the implementation of increased merit pay in 2023, employers are facing challenges in keeping up with rising inflation and meeting the heightened salary expectations of their employees. In the quest to attract and retain talent within this environment, total rewards leaders are exploring various strategies. This article presents three ideas and approaches to consider: 1) Utilizing alternate compensation vehicles, 2) Expanding the focus on the entire employee value proposition (EVP), and 3) Embracing pay transparency. When it comes to alternative forms of compensation (# 1), organizations commonly choose to increase pay without matching inflation (45%), or offer one-off bonuses (16%) (see Figure 1 below). Some companies have opted to raise salaries for specific hard-to-fill critical roles, while others have adjusted their strategies for demographics that have been severely impacted, such as millennials. According to several total rewards leaders, this generation is more conscious of cash and tends to respond more positively to immediate rewards like sign-on bonuses and tuition reimbursement, rather than long-term rewards like retirement savings. Regarding pay transparency (#3), organizations are implementing various strategies, such as sharing an organization's compensation philosophy (38%), communicating formulas for how salaries are determined (30%), and sharing salary ranges in all job postings (26%). As organizations evaluate pay transparency and equity strategies, I am resharing this 36-page ADP Research Institute report that examines the factors influencing workers' perceptions of pay equity.

HR leaders and their teams continue to be called upon to communicate aspects of their workforce strategy and talent initiatives. And while there are various aspects of these areas, this PDF includes sample questions that can stimulate thinking and conversations that inform the narrative for a few of those areas, including: 1) Talent Strategy, 2) Recruiting, 3) Internal Mobility, 4) Employee Retention, and 5) Workforce and Talent Risks. Each slide in the PDF includes three starter questions for each of the five areas. A few examples include: Talent Strategy: What are the key components of our talent strategy over the next 2-3 years? Where are we "placing our bets?" Recruiting: What is the strength of our employment brand among prospective employees? Internal Mobility: Which lines of business or managers are the best developers of talent as evidenced by promotions, transfers, etc. out of their departments? Employee Retention: What are the main reasons for employee turnover? How does this vary by business unit or employee segment? The questions in this PDF are simply examples. Use them as a starting point for determining the questions most important for your organization. You can use the text box on each slide to formulate answers to these questions and begin to develop parts of your talent narrative. The last page includes a link to obtain a PDF with additional questions.

In today’s economic landscape, characterized by high recession fears and a tight job market, organizations face the challenge of addressing skills gaps while also dealing with budgetary constraints on training. As organizations consider alternative approaches to traditional workforce learning, this article shares five ideas, a few of which are enabled by technology. The five practices include 1) Digital apprenticeships, 2) Tuition-assistance programs, 3) Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs), 4) Democratization of coaching, and 5) Cohort-based courses. Regarding the democratization of coaching, professional coaching, previously available only to senior executives or high-potential employees, is now becoming more accessible through digital platforms. These platforms use technology to match employees with coaches based on their needs and provide coaching sessions via digital platforms. Large companies are offering coaching services to their employees, leading to positive outcomes such as increased progress toward personal goals and skills development. As organizations explore the practice of digital coaching, I am resharing this 15-page report by Josh Bersin, which shares tactics for making digital coaching more scalable. In addition, here is a recent 20-page report by Gartner that I previously shared regarding HR tech priorities for 2023. The top three HR technology investments for 2023 are skills management, learning experience platforms, and internal talent marketplaces. Each resource provides ideas on how organizations leverage technology to close skills gaps.

In September 2021, I shared a 74-page report by Harvard Business School and Accenture titled “Hidden Workers: Untapped Talent.” This report identified several barriers that hinder organizations from considering “hidden workers” as potential employees or workers. Hidden workers are characterized as individuals who are seeking employment but face obstacles because of hiring practices that primarily focus on what they lack, such as credentials, rather than recognizing the value they can bring in terms of skills and capabilities. These hidden workers encompass diverse groups, including individuals without degrees or traditional qualifications, those with health issues, and individuals with previous incarceration records, among others. As a part of a series of follow-up reports, this recently released 21-page report delves into a specific subset of hidden workers: part-time workers. Many part-time workers report various factors that hinder them from realizing their full potential, such as caregiving responsibilities, health challenges, and partial retirement, among other reasons. The report sheds light on different segments within the part-time worker category and presents strategies for employers aiming to attract them, either for part-time positions or to transition them into full-time roles. While there are many insights in this report, one main takeaway is: by learning about and accommodating the needs of these workers, firms can tap into this underutilized talent pool. In addition to the report, I am resharing this infographic by i4cp that shows how high-performance organizations tap into 11 talent sources to acquire the skills and capabilities they need.


Here is a PDF I created with four ChatGPT for HR prompt examples and illustrations of the generated output for talent management, recruiting and DEI, onboarding, and evaluating AI-based talent platforms. You can also view this post on LinkedIn to join the conversation and/or share it with your LinkedIn network.


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 role20 new CHRO announcements were posted on the platform last week.

This week’s CHRO highlight is:

  • TTEC Holdings, Inc. (DENVER, COLORADO) [NASDAQ:TTEC]—a leading global customer experience (CX) technology and services innovator for AI-enabled CX solutions— announced the appointment of Laura Butler as the company's Chief People Officer. Butler joins TTEC from Entrata, a fast-growing, privately held B2B software company, where she served as Chief People Officer. Prior to that role, she led the people function at Talkdesk. In addition, Ms. Butler currently serves as an independent director on the board of Workforce Software.

Currently, there are +2400 CHROs announcements on CHROs on the Go, with an average of 25 new announcements added each week!

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:

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 above or the table below to see the latest updates from a segment of organizations that have announced job cuts and layoffs since the start of 2023. A few firms that announced job cuts this past week include Grubhub and Sonos.



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

This is a one-page reference that I curated and which integrates four resources for managers to leverage as they identify and address their most critical employee retention risks. A few examples of its content include “prequitting” behaviors and work/life event triggers that prompt employees to reflect and reevaluate their current work situation and career.

If so, you can check out issue #179, which includes 17 of the most popular resources from May. The resources are broken into 3 major themes—AI in the Workplace, Skills, and Talent Trends and Practices.


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Have a great week!



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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