November 8, 2022

The Josh Bersin Company: 3 Ways Talent Intelligence Addresses Skills Shortages

Talent leaders still betting on traditional recruiting methods to dig their organizations out of a skills shortage are fighting a losing battle. It’s time to think about new approaches to solve talent issues. 

The need for new and creative talent strategies couldn’t be more pressing. Nearly 60 percent of CEOs expect labor and skills shortages to disrupt their business strategies within the next year, according to a 2022 Deloitte survey.

One solution that goes beyond the recruiting process to help talent leaders solve business problems is a true talent intelligence platform. These platforms aren’t limited to basic automated job matching and hiring. Advanced talent intelligence platforms provide insights into many talent processes to form systemic HR, including recruiting, reskilling, retaining, and even entirely transforming jobs to fit into new industries.

Talent intelligence also helps leaders answer one of the most pressing questions from executives today: “How do I know which skills I need to build into my workforce — today and tomorrow?”

The Josh Bersin Company: 3 Ways Talent Intelligence Addresses Skills Shortages
Kathi Enderes, Senior Vice President, The Josh Bersin Company

“It’s much harder to stay in your lane — you have to tap all the different talent pools,” said Kathi Enderes, Senior Vice President of The Josh Bersin Company, during an online conversation with Eightfold. “We’ve seen companies bring talent intelligence into the center of all their talent practices, not just recruiting.”

Enderes said talent intelligence is essential to navigating the disruptions ahead. In a recent white paper from The Josh Bersin Company, the group supports the case for merging people analytics, sourcing intelligence, and workforce planning into a single AI platform for all talent.

Below, more from Enderes’ talk about the three ways talent intelligence can help organizations build a systemic approach to solving strategic business challenges.

Related: Global industry analyst Josh Bersin discusses the Global Workforce Intelligence Project, which uses talent intelligence to develop research about evolving skills needs in response to industry convergence.

Talent Intelligence Builds Integrated Strategies to Take on New Industries

Target and Walmart now offer healthcare services. Intel and Google are in the automobile space. And film studios continue to enter the streaming tech arena.

Organizational transformations are no longer limited to new business models or technologies. The Josh Bersin Company, industry convergence is a significant opportunity for growth, and it’s massively disrupting traditional talent models.

So how do HR leaders even begin to shift longstanding talent strategies when the landscape is unfamiliar, or when recruiting is not a viable solution?

“You need different skill sets and roles altogether,” Enderes said. “How do I find out what skills or roles I need to hire? Or build internally? That’s why the concept of talent intelligence came about: it combines recruiting insights, labor market insights, insights on skills and capabilities, and also competitor insights.”

Given this demand for a holistic view of all talent, the HR function can no longer work in silos. 

Enderes said we’ll start to see more T-shaped professionals who break the typical mold of their role by broadening their skill sets within a field. This improves their employability and value to the organization while improving team collaboration.

“For us in HR, we also need to be T-shaped so we can have specialties in coaching, AI, and organizational design,” Enderes said. “We need to know the different perspectives to understand how our work impacts DEI, skills, talent acquisition, learning, and vice versa.”

Talent Intelligence Deconstructs Roles to Fix Staffing Woes

In competitive industries, there aren’t enough people to fill open roles. For example, The Josh Bersin Company recently reported that the U.S. healthcare sector will have an estimated shortage of 2.1 million nurses by 2025. To make matters worse, turnover in the healthcare industry increased by nearly 10 percent during the pandemic.

Enderes said it’s time for HR to take a new approach to close skills gaps. With talent intelligence, HR leaders can combine insights across the organization to fill these industry skills gaps without relying solely on recruiting. 

The Josh Bersin Company: 3 Ways Talent Intelligence Addresses Skills Shortages

“There is no way you can recruit [or retain] your way out of this 2.1 million nursing shortage because the people just do not exist,” Enderes said. “So the bigger opportunities come from reskilling and redesigning.”

Enderes said that deconstructing work to the skill level allows healthcare organizations to understand which elements of a nursing job can be offloaded to automation or redesigned for a person in an administrative role. This opens opportunities to address turnover and staffing shortages while providing better patient care.

Talent Intelligence Makes Strategies More Accessible to Recruiters and Hiring Managers

When recruiting is not the answer — or even an option — talent intelligence surfaces other viable options to make recruiters’ and hiring managers’ everyday lives easier.

“If you can’t recruit your way out of it, work with the employee experience, learning, redesign, or organizational effectiveness team to help you,” Enderes said.

With data-backed talent insights, recruiters can better position themselves to provide strategic counsel, set realistic expectations, and educate hiring managers about different tactics. This includes finding existing talent within the organization or upskilling workers.

“The pressures on recruiting are too much because the talent is just not there, but your hiring manager might not know this unless you tell them,” Enderes said. “Bringing competitive intelligence on talent to the conversation is a game-changer. It’s a completely different conversation.”

Related: Learn how the Eightfold Talent Intelligence Platform helps set realistic expectations with hiring managers at Dexcom, the global leader in continuous glucose monitoring for people with diabetes.

3 Straightforward Ways to Get Started with Talent Intelligence

Start with one business problem. “We see a lot of companies that want to start on a whole skills taxonomy, and they can’t wrap [their] heads around it because they want to do it for all the jobs in the entire organization — like you’re going to boil the ocean,” Enderes said. “So instead, identify something that the business really needs that you can work on together.”

That tangible business issue could be low diversity retention within a particular functional area or a glaring skills gap for a specific role. Then, deconstruct that role or department to understand which combination of skills makes up a role, research similar people in the labor market, and reorganize those skills to create new or different positions.

The Josh Bersin Company: 3 Ways Talent Intelligence Addresses Skills Shortages

Form a talent intelligence task force. “You don’t have to stand up a big Center of Excellence right away,” Enderes said. “Maybe it’s just starting small and asking, ‘What can we solve together rather than in silos?’ ”

Enderes recommended bringing together people from different functions, including learning and development, employee experience, and organizational effectiveness, to collect data to tell a cohesive story. Then, while they solve a real business problem, these team members can learn valuable new business and talent skills as they become “full-stack HR professionals.” 

Take accountability for employee reskilling. Organizations are already seeing the rewards of investing in existing talent. 

Enderes cited the DICK’s Sporting Goods story about reskilling and considering internal talent for open positions. “If you’re trying to recruit your way out of any of these problems, it’s just not going to work,” Enderes said. “If you have 50,000 people, I bet somebody could do that job.”

“It’s all about making sure people have a job where they can thrive,” she continued. “If people’s skills get out of date, it’s not their fault. It’s on the company.”

Want to learn more about using talent intelligence to build a systemic HR function? Read this Talent Intelligence Primer from The Josh Bersin Company.