Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #243

Internal mobility guidelines, skill-based talent practices playbook, unlocking workforce capacity through ways of working, performance management, and organization network analysis (ONA).


Welcome to this week’s issue of Talent Edge Weekly!

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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! ⬇️



My new template to help organizations evaluate the impact of their internal mobility (IM) guidelines on internal talent movement.

Many organizations have internal mobility (IM) policies and guidelines to support career development. These guidelines are intended to facilitate better decision-making, streamline internal processes, ensure compliance with laws and regulations, and minimize business disruption. IM guidelines often include things such as 1) Tenure: conditions on how long an employee should be in a role or with the company before applying to other internal opportunities; 2) Manager Approval: requiring employees to request and receive permission from their managers before they can apply for an internal role; and 3) Levels: restricting employees from applying for roles beyond a certain level from their current role. While guidelines can be helpful, certain types can impede internal movement by overly regulating the rules and conditions under which these moves occur. As you consider your organization’s IM guidelines and policies, which do you believe are necessary and enable internal mobility? Which detracts from IM and should be eliminated or modified? Critically evaluating these questions can help organizations create guidelines that fuel internal movement. To support your effort, here is my template to facilitate a discussion on the topic.


A 56-page playbook covering various aspects of skills-based talent practices, from the initial planning steps to opportunities and challenges related to technology.

As more organizations shift towards skill-based talent practices, this 56-page playbook offers valuable insights. Based on input from VP and C-suite HR leaders, it articulates the benefits of a skills-based approach to talent management. Chapter 2, starting on page 16, covers the process and considerations for skills validation—assessing and confirming workers’ existing skills. The playbook notes that skills acquired through training and education are easier to measure, while skills earned through experience require additional effort to validate. Various skill measurement approaches are discussed, including self-assessments, peer assessments, third-party assessments, and AI-based inferences from performance records, certifications, and other credentials. Regarding self-assessment for skills validation, Scott and Pearlman (2010), in the Handbook of Workplace Assessment, caution that self-assessment can lead to workers overestimating their competence or failing to recognize development areas. While adding a manager validation step increases complexity, Scott and Pearlman note that many organizations find the added step to provide incremental value. Organizations must consider which combination of skills-validation strategies to employ to reduce implicit bias and generate more accurate estimations of worker skills. The playbook provides examples of how various organizations approach different aspects of skills-based talent practices.


My worksheet to help teams identify opportunities to enable workforce capacity by eliminating unnecessary work, improving processes, etc.

Leaders continuously seek ways to boost organizational capacity to execute business priorities more efficiently and effectively. While acquiring more people (e.g., employees, contractors, etc.) is one way to increase workforce capacity, another way is to unlock capacity through improved ways of working. According to Mercer’s 2024 Global Talent Trends report, many workers report barriers to productivity at work, including being bogged down with lower-value work, frequent interruptions, insufficient thinking time, and too many meetings. Although these productivity barriers may seem insignificant by themselves, they collectively stifle an organization’s efficiency and undermine a high-performing culture. For instance, AT&T's Project Raindrop Initiative identified numerous opportunities to streamline work processes. A "raindrop" is described as an outdated policy, a redundant process, or an unhelpful tool—anything that impedes progress. While one or two of these issues might be manageable, their cumulative effect can overwhelm employees and waste time, energy, and money. Addressing these issues has saved AT&T 3.6 million hours and avoided over $230 million in costs over the past three and a half years. Here is my simple worksheet that can help jumpstart conversations for identifying opportunities for improving ways of working and unlocking workforce capacity. Could this be a discussion topic for your next team meeting?


Outlines 5 indicators of ineffective one-on-ones between managers and direct reports. Offers suggestions for improvement.

One enabler of effective performance management (PM) is ongoing and frequent one-on-one conversations between managers and their direct reports. While this philosophy is widely endorsed, the value of these discussions can vary greatly and depend on multiple factors. With many organizations conducting mid-year performance check-ins this time of the year, this new HBR article shares some ideas that could enable more effective one-on-one discussions. It outlines five warning signs that your one-on-ones might not be working effectively and offers suggestions for improvement. For instance, if your meeting always goes over time, it might be due to excessive detail, rehashing old topics, or getting off track. Concerning rehashing old topics, the author recommends asking: Why do we keep coming back to this topic? What’s stopping us from moving forward? Are we avoiding being direct about a difficult subject? As a bonus, I am resharing the MIT Sloan Management Review article, Five Ways to Make Your One-On-One Meetings More Effective. This article offers five crucial questions for managers to pose during one-on-one meetings to ensure appropriate time allocation to topics of interest to both managers and direct reports.


Shares how ONA can be used to understand aspects of organizational performance and productivity.

This new article shares ideas on how Organization Network Analysis (ONA) can help leaders understand aspects of organizational performance and productivity and use the resulting insights to inform workplace strategies. ONA uses network science to visualize and analyze organizational communication flows, uncovering hidden patterns of collaboration, decision-making, and influence that traditional organizational charts don’t depict. While quantifiable key performance indicators are useful for understanding workforce performance, they don’t capture the complete picture; ONA helps fill in the gaps. The table (illustrated in this post) shows how ONA can help leaders understand aspects of performance and productivity, ranging from the percentage of workers in long meetings weekly to the percentage of time spent on administrative tasks. Additionally, although not directly referenced in the article, ONA can potentially help organizations identify "hidden" high-potentials—informal leaders with significant influence who are often undetected through other high-potential assessment methods. As a bonus, I am resharing this MIT Sloan Management Review article that shows how ONA is being used to inform return-to-office strategies.


The need for a skills-based approach has never been more crucial. However, many business and HR leaders are unsure where to begin with the overwhelming amount of information available. With Insights from TechWolf, The Josh Bersin Company explores this in their latest guide.




Allan Church, James Scrivani, and Markus Graf share three main reasons why standard "out of the box" leadership assessment approaches often fall short.

Despite significant investments in leadership assessments and development programs, doubts about their return on investment persist. In this article, Allan Church, James Scrivani, and Markus Graf share three main reasons why standard "out of the box" leadership assessment approaches often fall short. I am resharing my 2016 article, Identifying Leadership Capabilities that Drive Business Performance, to help organizations think through the specific leadership capabilities most relevant to their success and distinct strategy and culture.


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 were announced this past week:

  • Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). Is reportedly cutting around 1,000 employees, including departments working on HoloLens 2 and Azure ‘moonshots’. This round of layoffs comes more than a year after Microsoft laid off more than 10,000 people.

  • Pagaya (NASDAQ: PGY). The technology company revealed plans to cut costs this year, resulting in layoffs affecting roughly 100 employees. While Pagaya is headquartered in the U.S., most job cuts will impact workers in Israel.

  • Yext (NYSE: YEXT). The tech company specializing in AI-driven Search solutions announced plans to lay off 12% of its workforce in an effort to lower operating expenses. It plans to complete these layoffs by the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2025.

Click here to access all listed announcements.


Energy Recovery, Inc. (SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA) [NASDAQ: ERII]—a trusted global leader in energy efficiency technology— has announced the appointment of Matt Hostetler as Chief Human Resources Officer. Mr. Hostetler, the company's first CHRO, will join Energy Recovery on June 19. He joins Energy Recovery from Sientra, where he served as Chief People Officer.

Matt Hostetler

If you want access to +3700 (and growing) detailed announcements of CHROs hired, promoted, and resigning, join my CHROs on the Go subscription—a one-stop-shop for knowing who is moving in and out of the Chief HR Officer role.

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A report addressing areas impacting recruiting priorities.

This report delves into predictions shaping recruiting and talent acquisition in 2024 and beyond. Informed by insights from thousands of recruiting professionals, talent leaders, and vast LinkedIn data, these predictions span various themes, including AI in recruitment, skill-based hiring, and the growing focus on quality of hire (QoH)—currently ranking as the top priority objective for recruiting professionals in 2024.


Did you miss the “Best of May ” issue of Talent Edge Weekly? If so, check out issue #241, which includes 16 of the most popular resources from the month.


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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