Talent Edge Weekly—Issue #181

Balancing HR costs savings with talent investments, Chat GPT prompts for HR, employee preferences, career equity, and skills-based organization playlist.

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

I would like to give a special shout-out to Matthew Spence, VP Talent & Culture Enablement for Collibra, for referring new subscribers to Talent Edge Weekly. Thank you, Matthew, for your support of this newsletter!

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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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  • How to Balance HR Cost Savings and Talent Investments in 2023 | Gartner | Provides tactics for HR cost reduction and increased efficiency while preserving critical talent investments.

  • Four Chat GPT Prompt Examples for HR | Brian Heger | A PDF with Chat GPT prompt examples and illustrations for talent management, recruiting and DEI, onboarding, and evaluating AI-based talent platforms.

  • Leverage Employee Preferences to Identify Total Rewards Trade-offs | Gartner | Offers ideas for adopting a more systematic approach to understanding workers’ preferences and using these insights to inform employee value proposition investments.

  • Opening Access to the Fast Track for Career Equity | MIT Sloan Management Review | A new article by Haig Nalbantian that shares research on situational factors that contribute to or hinder the career progression of women and people of color.

  • Skills-based Organization Playlist | Deloitte | I share an updated playlist of 6 articles and resources from Deloitte on building a skills-based organization.

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!

This new Gartner article offers various insights for HR leaders seeking to balance cost optimization and targeted talent investments. The article highlights three common approaches that HR leaders use for this process. 1) Reduce. This approach involves decreasing the number of processes, tools, or services, reducing service levels, canceling or postponing projects, and implementing headcount reductions. 2) Replace. For this approach, HR leaders seek less expensive or more efficient alternatives to current spending (e.g., renegotiating terms with external vendors, moving transactional tasks to shared services teams, outsourcing, etc.). 3) Rethink. Rethinking spending is a more complex process that often requires thorough evaluation and upfront investments (e.g., redesigning the HR operating model, standardizing and centralizing processes, and implementing technology solutions). According to a survey of HR leaders, most of them are employing “rethinking” and “replacing” strategies in 2023 to achieve greater efficiency (see Figure 3). These strategies are primarily executed through technology adoption, operating model revamping, and task delegation to shared services or outsourcing. Regarding HR efficiency benchmarks, the average HR function typically spends $2,524 per employee annually. Additionally, the average HR function deploys 1 HR full-time employee (FTE) per 57 FTE employees in the organization. And among different HR activities, staffing and recruiting receive the most significant allocations, with a median spend of $425 per employee (refer to Figure 4 for a breakdown of HR spend by activity area). While benchmarks have limitations due to factors such as industry and HR function maturity, HR leaders can use these insights to identify opportunities for cost reduction and increased efficiency while preserving critical talent investments.

Chat GPT shows promise for many HR practitioners exploring this AI technology to redefine their work and unlock new capabilities. This PDF includes four examples of Chat GPT prompts you might use for HR. The prompts are related to: 1) Talent Management, 2) Recruiting and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 3) Employee Onboarding, and 4) Evaluating AI-based Talent Vendors. Each slide includes a prompt (what you are asking for) and a sample of the output. For example, a talent management prompt that centers on “creating a draft talent review agenda” might have the prompt: “I am conducting a talent review for my organization. Please write me an agenda for the talent review. It is important that we discuss employees’ potential, retention, and talent development, to name a few. Another prompt regarding employee onboarding might be: “Our company is a luxury retailer that needs to onboard new sales associates. Please create a 6-week onboarding plan that includes key people to meet, core brands, store policies, and workplace safety, to name a few topics. Please note that this PDF is intended to spark ideas on how you might leverage Chat GPT in your role. The prompts are just examples and don’t suggest that these are the most important ones. To help you think through prompts most relevant to you and your organization, I have included a section in the PDF where you can write down your ideas. The last page of the PDF shows how you can get additional ChatGPT prompts.

Organizations invest significant time, resources, and effort into developing a competitive employee value proposition (EVP) that attracts, engages, and retains top talent. However, as employee preferences evolve, it becomes increasingly challenging for organizations to stay informed and ensure that their EVP aligns with workers’ preferences. This article offers ideas for adopting a more systematic approach to understanding workers’ preferences and using these insights to inform EVP investments. Table 1 provides examples of four data sources, including exit interviews and candidate surveys, that can assist organizations in gathering both quantitative and qualitative data to gain insights about worker preferences. Additionally, the article introduces a four-component decision-making model (Figure 2) that aids total rewards leaders in evaluating options for shifts in EVP. The categories range from “Sunset,” where resources are eliminated or divested to prioritize higher-level priorities within the EVP, to “Invest,” where organizations expand their budget or offerings to enhance the EVP. It is also advisable to establish triggers that prompt a reevaluation of EVP decisions in case of shifts in business or economic conditions. These triggers may include sudden changes in organizational financial performance, market disruptions, turnover of critical talent, or new legislation. As a bonus, I am resharing a one-page summary I created on employee preferences, which combines information from four different resources.

This new and in-depth article by Haig Nalbantian discusses the importance of addressing situational factors, beyond bias and discrimination, that contribute to or hinder the career progression of women and people of color. The article analyzes multiple years of promotion, retention, performance, and pay data from 20 large and midsize companies, employing over 700,000 individuals. The findings reveal that four factors significantly influence career advancement and pay equity for women and people of color: 1) performance ratings, 2) access to accelerator roles, 3) reporting relationships, and 4) flexible working arrangements. Apart from performance ratings, these factors are associated with an employee’s circumstances, rather than their knowledge, skills, or behavior. The article provides suggestions for eliminating and mitigating the negative aspects of these situational factors relative to equitable career advancement and pay equity. One case study describes an organization that leveraged workforce data as a tactic. By analyzing the success profile of its salaried workforce, this company identified 12 factors that determined whether someone would be promoted. Surprisingly, situational factors dominated this success profile, which shocked company leaders who previously believed their culture operated as a meritocracy. While the article may require time to thoroughly read, it presents many valuable insights that are worth the time.

Skills-based talent practices continue to be a topic of interest for organizations looking to use skills—rather than just jobs—as the basis for talent management. And while there have been many great resources shared on this topic, Deloitte is one organization that has provided much thought leadership (e.g., Susan Cantrell, Michael Griffiths, et al.) on this topic. This updated one-page PDF highlights six of Deloitte’s resources on skills-based talent practices. Although I have covered these resources individually in various blog posts, this PDF provides easy access to all of this information. It includes a link to the source document, a description of what the source covers, and a sample “key takeaway” from each resource. A few topics covered across these resources are: a) the talent practices in which organizations are mainly integrating skills, b) suggestions for how firms can organize work beyond the constraints of the traditional job and integrate with more effective workforce planning, and c) ideas on how organizations can move towards skills-based compensation and reward structures, to name a few. This playlist is full of practical and in-depth insights on how you can accelerate your organization’s transition to a skills-based organization.


A PDF that includes 17 people analytics questions organized by six categories. Includes an editable text box that you can use to add questions to each of the six categories.


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 this past week.

This week’s CHRO highlight is:

  • LSB Industries, Inc. (OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA) [NYSE: LXU]—a leading North American producer of industrial and agricultural chemicals—announced that Ashley McKee has joined the company as Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, effective June 5, 2023. Ms. McKee joins LSB from Williams Companies, where she served in progressively responsible Human Resources leadership roles since 2007, most recently as Director of Human Resources Operations.

Already a member of CHROs on the Go? Log in here to access all announcements from this past week and +2400 archived announcements.

If you are not a member and want to join hundreds of others getting the EDGE each week in knowing which CHROs are being hired, promoted, and resigning, click here or the button below to learn how to get immediate access.

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. A few firms that announced job cuts this past week include Reddit and Spotify.  



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

This 116-page report highlights EX trends, best practices, supporting technologies, and EX maturity across industry sectors. Page 32 (image shown below) includes the EX practices that disproportionately impact business, employees, and innovation.

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.