Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #208

2024 HR goals and priorities template, HR trends for 2024, hiring later-career workers, how HR leaders are enabling hybrid work cultures, and the intersection between AI and employee wellbeing,


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Here’s a glance at this week’s content. A deep dive is in the section that follows.

Also, check out the 2023 job cuts tracker & Chief HR Officer hire of the week.

Let’s dive in.


As HR leaders finalize and communicate their 2024 priorities, I wanted to share this editable template as a resource. The template consists of two sections: 1) HR Goals and Objectives, which includes space to document goals, assign focus areas (e.g., culture, flexible work, succession planning), insert metrics or indicators to determine if the goal was achieved (e.g., increase high-potential talent pool by 10%), and select the goal status (e.g., Achieved, In Progress, At Risk) to communicate progress updates throughout the year. 2) What HR Won’t Do. This section assists in identifying and tracking areas of work that will no longer be part of the HR operating model, practices, and service offerings. This section is crucial for measuring progress in moving away from certain areas that are no longer part of the HR value proposition. This resource is less about the mechanics of filling out a template and more about providing a simple tool to stimulate discussions and decisions that assist HR leaders and their teams in achieving desired outcomes. The tool can also be used by non-HR functions and teams.

This 26-page report highlights 11 HR-related trends that will guide HR’s work in 2024. Two trends include: Organizations will increasingly tap into the “hidden workforce” as they continue to face challenges in finding talent to meet their talent needs. This hidden workforce represents 14-17% of U.S. workers and includes retirees who want to work, caregivers, neurodiverse individuals, people with long-term health problems, ex-inmates, and people without degrees. I have shared several resources, including Harvard Business School and Accenture's report, “Hidden Workers: Untapped Talent,on how organizations can recruit from these underleveraged talent pools. From talent acquisition to talent access. This trend emphasizes how many organizations are increasingly utilizing internal talent, or their internal talent marketplace (ITM), to meet their organizations’ talent needs. As organizations continue to focus on internal mobility as a key focus of their talent strategy, I am resharing my playlist of 5 resources on internal mobility and ITM. Topics range from how to encourage talent movement in an organization to removing barriers that discourage workers from applying for internal roles.

According to a recent Bain & Company report, workers aged 55 and older in developed countries will exceed 25% of the workforce by 2031, nearly 10 percentage points higher than in 2011. Japan stands out as an extreme case, with individuals aged 55 and older expected to make up nearly 40% of the workforce by 2031. As organizations strive to leverage this expanding workforce segment to fulfill their talent requirements, this new 17-page paper by the Burning Glass Institute offers insights. It begins with the premise that current recruiting and screening processes often disadvantage older workers, leading to unfair hiring outcomes. For instance, at least 1 million job postings in 2022 alone included age-biased language, such as "digital native" and "recent graduate," despite a 23% decline in such language since the start of the pandemic. This biased language is more prevalent in job postings for firms comprised mostly of younger workers, indicating that biased hiring practices result in disparate workforce representation. Moreover, screening software applications, such as Applicant Tracking Systems, sometimes use age-biased mechanisms like maximum years of experience, excluding many qualified older workers. The playbook presents several recommendations to address these challenges, with Page 11 specifically illustrating five adjustments organizations can make to their screening processes.

Many HR leaders are helping their organizations navigate through the complexities of establishing hybrid work models that balance employee flexibility with the perceived advantages of in-person collaboration in terms of productivity, culture, and engagement. This 11-page paper distills insights from interviews with eight HR leaders, offering strategies to address four key factors impacting the success of hybrid models: 1) organizational structure, 2) impact on culture and engagement, 3) diversity, equity, and inclusion, and 4) employee health and well-being. Since this paper addresses the challenge of maintaining a robust organizational culture and fostering meaningful connections in hybrid work settings, I am also sharing a Microsoft Work Lab paper titled "In the Changing Role of the Office, It’s All About Moments That Matter." The paper presents research identifying three scenarios where in-person connections offer distinct advantages: 1) Strengthening team cohesion in increasingly dispersed organizations. 2) Facilitating effective onboarding for new roles, teams, or companies. 3) Initiating a project, particularly in its early phases, to align team members, stimulate innovation, and share tacit knowledge. Leaders can leverage both resources as they determine ways to tap the benefits of hybrid work while mitigating risks.  

The 10-page paper by The Conference Board explores the intersection of employee well-being and AI in the workplace. The paper begins by referencing surveys highlighting how respondents feel that their well-being has been negatively impacted by factors such as increased work hours, heavy workloads, prolonged meetings, and work-life balance challenges. Despite organizations offering emotional well-being programs, only slightly over a quarter of respondents, including executives, find them effective. The paper explores innovative uses of AI to address well-being, citing examples like Bank of America's investment in virtual reality (VR) headsets for AI-based interventions; a six-month study demonstrated significant improvements in anxiety, emotional distress, and focus levels. Mayo Clinic's case study also showcases a notable reduction in stress and anxiety through AI-driven VR experiences. The report broadens our perspective on supporting employee well-being, even for organizations not yet ready to explore AI technologies for these use cases. As organizational leaders develop well-being strategies incorporating various factors (e.g., ways of working, AI, etc), I am resharing my employee well-being playlist, featuring five articles and reports on the topic.

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Highlights six key trends in talent acquisition for 2024, ranging from AI in recruiting to early career hiring. You can also view my post on LinkedIn related to this resource.


Here is my tracker, which includes announcements 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:

  • Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH). Is reported to be laying off roughly 500 employees in Colorado. Dish lost about 225,000 retail wireless subscribers in Q3 on top of prior quarterly losses, closing the quarter with 7.5 million wireless subscribers.

  • Walgreens (NASDAQ: WBA). The pharmacy company is going to reduce its corporate headcount by 5% at its headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, impacting about 267 employees.

  • Unity Software Inc. (NYSE: U). Layoffs are expected to impact video game developer employees. The company plans to discontinue certain products, shrink its workforce, and reduce its office footprint.

Click here or the image below to access all listed announcements from 2023.

Partial view of the tracker on brianheger.com


​​Chipotle Mexican Grill (NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA) [NYSE: CMG]— an American chain of fast-casual restaurantsannounced the appointment of Ilene Eskenazi as its Chief Human Resources Officer. Serving on the Executive Leadership Team, Eskenazi will begin on November 27. Ms. Eskenazi comes to Chipotle from Petco Health and Wellness Company, where she served as Chief Legal and Human Resources Officer. READ MORE

Ilene Eskenazi

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Reinforces that regardless of how many “boxes” are included in an organization’s talent review tool for assessing performance and potential, the important thing is: 1) making sure that the definition of any one box feels unique and separate from the others, 2) labels and definitions are easy to understand, and 3) that the tool facilitates an accurate conversation about an individual’s performance and potential.


Did you miss the “Best of October” issue of Talent Edge Weekly? If so, check out issue #206, which includes 16 of the most popular resources from October. 


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brianheger.com provides free access to +1,000 curated articles, research reports, podcasts, and more 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 6 PM EST.

Talent Edge Weekly is written by Brian Heger, an internal human resources practitioner with a Fortune 150 organization. Brian holds responsibilities for Strategic Talent and Workforce Planning. You can connect with Brian on Linkedin, Twitter, and brianheger.com