Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #224

Talent acquisition, skill-based hiring, workforce risks, 4-day workweek study, and change fatigue.


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Below is a glance at this week’s content. A deep dive follows. 

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

Let’s dive in. ⬇️



A worksheet designed to identify organizations to recruit from based on their stricter return-to-office mandates and/or recent layoffs.

Many organizations continue to identify opportunities to recruit top talent for their open positions. One often-overlooked talent acquisition strategy involves recruiting from organizations undergoing layoffs, which is one reason I developed my layoff tracker. Another untapped source of attracting talent, particularly for organizations that offer flexible work arrangements, is recruiting talent from organizations that have mandated stricter return-to-office policies, such as 5-day in-office mandates (e.g., Boeing, UPS), 4-day requirements (e.g., Qualcomm), or not allowing Monday and Fridays as work-from-home days (e.g., Deutsche Bank). According to a recent survey by The Conference Board, when workers were asked about the components of compensation most important to them beyond a competitive salary, workplace flexibility ranked at the top of their list, surpassing bonus and incentive pay, paid time off, retirement plans, and health care plans. This, coupled with similar findings from other research, suggests that organizations offering fully remote or flexible hybrid work arrangements have a distinct advantage in attracting a growing talent pool that prioritizes flexible work. To assist recruiting teams in thinking through which organizations to source talent from in the context of layoffs and return-to-office mandates, this worksheet provides a way to organize their ideas.


New research examines the impact of removing academic degree requirements on the increased hiring of candidates without degrees.

Numerous headlines have discussed the shift towards skills-based hiring, where organizations prioritize candidates' skills over traditional credentials, such as academic degrees. However, does eliminating degree requirements lead to increased hiring of candidates without degrees? This new report, based on a study of 11,300 roles at large firms, spanning at least one year before and after the removal of degree requirements, revealed that, on average, firms only saw a 3.5 percentage point increase in the hiring of workers without a BA. In essence, the promised expansion of opportunities through skills-based hiring materialized in less than 1 in 700 hires last year. However, 37% of the analyzed firms, classified as Skills-Based Hiring Leaders, managed a nearly 20% increase in hiring workers without BAs. Some of these leading firms include Koch Industries, Walmart, Apple, General Motors, Target, Cigna, Tyson Foods, ExxonMobil, Yelp, as well as government employers like the State of Minnesota and the City of Denver. The research underscores that merely removing degree requirements isn't sufficient to bridge the gap between the intent and impact of skills-based hiring. Nevertheless, organizations, such as the referenced Skills-Based Hiring Leaders, that successfully navigate this transition stand to unlock the true potential of skills-based hiring. Other ideas are discussed in this 18-page paper.


An editable template to identify and address 10 talent and workforce risks.

An organization's ability to identify and manage talent and workforce risks is a critical component of effective talent management and workforce planning. Yet, many companies struggle to identify and effectively address these risks within their organizations. As HR leaders and their teams take a more expansive view of the different talent and workforce risks that can pose threats to their organizations, this editable template can help teams facilitate a discussion on this topic. For each of the 10 risks listed in column 1, utilize the subsequent columns to choose the corresponding 'risk level' that best represents the degree of risk within your organization. Clicking on the box will automatically apply a color code. The final column is designated for inserting notes related to specific risk areas that require attention. Organizations should also define what high, medium, and low-risk means for their organization. Although this template doesn't encompass all potential talent and workforce risks, it aids in considering and addressing many pertinent ones for an organization.


A new paper that provides a one-year update from a study conducted on the 4-day workweek.

In February 2023, a team of social scientists from the University of Cambridge, working with academics from Boston College, published a paper on the results of a 6-month trial study on the 4-day workweek. The study, which is the largest of its kind, involved 61 UK organizations. The results showed that the 4-day workweek resulted in a 1) 20% reduction in working time with no loss of pay, 2) significant drops in workforce stress and sick days, 3) an increase in worker retention, 4) a much better work-life balance for most employees, 5) while ‘key business metrics’ were met. As a one-year follow-up to that paper, the research team has just published a new 50-page report providing updates from the study. A few include: 1) at least 54 out of the original 61 pilot participants have continued with the 4-day week (89%), 2) At least 31 have confirmed that the policy has been made permanent, 3) 100% of managers and CEOs said that the four-day week had a ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ impact on their organization. Specifically, 82% of surveyed companies reported positive impacts on staff well-being, 50% saw positive effects on reducing staff turnover, and 32% said the policy had noticeably improved their recruitment. While recognizing that the 4-day workweek may not be feasible for all organizations, these empirical insights can offer valuable considerations for those contemplating this flexible work arrangement.


Covers how organizations can consider “change fatigue” when determining the timing and pace of technology changes and implementations.

As many organizations navigate numerous changes in the workplace, I continue to receive requests for resources on change management. Behind these inquiries lies a growing concern that the volume and pace of changes workers undergo contribute to employee burnout and change fatigue. Among the various factors contributing to this sentiment, the overwhelming number of technology changes employees face in an organization stands out. Against this backdrop, I am re-sharing this paper that highlights how organizations can consider "change fatigue" when deciding the timing and pace of technology changes and implementations. The paper includes a case study from Sky Cable, illustrating how they plan and implement technology changes based on employee capacity, not just business urgency. Employee capacity is gauged through qualitative discussions with business leaders, using questions such as: "Of the changes discussed, which one do you expect to cause the most stress and fatigue in your team?" Based on these assessments, leaders decide whether to rescope, release, delay, or eliminate changes. As Chief HR Officers and their teams collaborate closely with CIOs and the IT function in managing tech implementations, the two functions can partner to integrate fatigue as a crucial component of the organization's decision-making process concerning the timing and nature of technology releases.


Do you want to stay in the know about who is moving in and out of the Chief HR Officer role? Access +3500 announcements. Subscribe to CHROs on the Go now!



As more organizations announce return-to-office (RTO) mandates, here is my one-page cheat sheet featuring seven organizations that recently updated their RTO guidance.


Check out my tracker of announcements from a segment of organizations that have conducted job cuts and layoffs since the start of 2023.

Partial view of tracker on brianheger.com

A few job cuts announced this past week:

  • BuzzFeed (NASDAQ: BZFD). The digital media group, which also owns HuffPost, said it plans to lay off 16% of its employees after selling Complex Networks at a significant discount.

  • Rivian Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN). Is laying off 10% of its salaried workforce in a bid to cut costs in an increasingly tough market for electric vehicles. This is the third round of layoffs for the EV company since July 2022, when Rivian cut 6% of its workforce. The company cut another 6% of jobs in February 2023.

  • Toast Inc. (NYSE: TOST). The restaurant-focused software company that went public in September 2021 will reduce its workforce by 550 employees. The job cuts are designed to promote “operating expense efficiency.”

Click here to access all listed announcements.


​​​Boeing (ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA) [NYSE: BA]—a leading global aerospace company—announced Uma Amuluru as the company's new Chief Human Resources Officer, effective April 1. Amuluru succeeds Michael D'Ambrose, who announced his plans to retire this July. She will report to Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun and serve on the company's Executive Council. Amuluru currently serves as VP and General Counsel to Boeing Defense, Space & Security, a position she has held since early 2023. Prior to that, Amuluru served as Boeing's first chief compliance officer.

Uma Amuluru

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As organizations find ways to deploy internal talent more effectively, here are 13 articles and resources on internal mobility and the internal talent marketplace (ITM). Topics covered range from building an ITM, an ITM case study, and questions to ask when planning and executing an ITM.


Did you miss the “Best of January” issue of Talent Edge Weekly? If so, check out issue #220, which includes 18 of the most popular resources from the month. You can also access this issue on LinkedIn and share it with others.


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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. You can connect with Brian on Linkedin, X, and brianheger.com