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Plan for the Next 10 Years: How to Transform Your Workforce for High Performance
With David Mallon, Vice President & Chief Analyst, Deloitte. Britt Thomas, Global Director, Talent Brand and Innovation, Micron

We are in a time of uncertainty and disruption. With accelerating changes impacting every industry, you can’t afford inaction. Talent leaders need to seize control of the moment and create the conditions for their future growth and success, no matter what realities will await them.

Join Micron, Eightfold and Deloitte to learn how high-performing organizations are preparing for the future by partnering with their employees to design positive change. This webinar will share strategic findings for how organizations can prepare for the future:

• Hear highlights from Deloitte’s High-Impact Workforce research
• Learn how leading organizations are reimagining talent management, including with artificial intelligence and other technologies
• Discover how successful practices will take an employee-centered approach of career development, collaboration, inclusion, and compassion.

View Transcript

Steve Feyer (00:03):
Hello, everybody. Good morning to those in the West Coast, good afternoon on the East Coast and good evening in Europe and Asia. Thank you for joining us today. We are just getting started. As we get started a few quick logistics notes. If you miss any part of today’s webinar, an on demand recording will be available afterwards for you to watch at your convenience. We do want to hear from you today. Before the end of the webinar, we have some time to take your questions. So if you do have any questions for our presenters today, anything at all, please enter your questions in the Q&A area at the right side of the webinar screen. And we will select some questions to take at the end. I think that’s about it for the administrative details. So let’s go ahead and get started.
Steve Feyer (00:58):
Well, we have a really great topic today. We’re talking about, Planning for the Next 10 Years, How to Transform Your Workforce for High Performance. Right now I think we’re all feeling a lot of uncertainty, but we all still need to prepare for what’s next. And not just be ready to survive, but be ready to thrive both as professionals and in our organizations. So we need to get our organizations and our workforces ready for whatever the next decade will bring. And we’re really pleased to have today’s speakers who can give us a rounded view, both the perspective on internal talent management and development and the perspective on recruiting.
Steve Feyer (01:40):
We also have a perspective from the research perspective and from a practitioner point of view. I’d like to introduce today’s featured speakers first up, we’ll have David Mallon, who is vice president and chief analyst for the Deloitte Research and Sensing practice. David. Welcome.
David Francis (02:01):
Thank you.
Steve Feyer (02:03):
All right, we’re really happy to have you here today. And we’ll also be hearing from Britt Thomas, who is global director of Talent, Brand and Innovation at Micron. Britt, thank you so much for joining us today.
Britt Thomas (02:19):
Thank you for having me.
Steve Feyer (02:22):
It is entirely our pleasure to have you here today, Britt. I’m Steve Feyer. I’m the director of product marketing at Eightfold.ai. All right, like any good superhero movie, we begin with the commercial. Before I turn it over to David, I just want to share a few words about who we are at Eightfold. Very quick I promise. We are an AI company based in Silicon Valley. Eightfold uses deep learning artificial intelligence to transform how enterprises manage their talent throughout the talent life cycle, from recruiting and hiring all the way through employee mobility, employee retention and skills development. Our unique AI approach is also designed to prevent bias and support diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
Steve Feyer (03:13):
This AI approach is transformative because it helps companies think about talent differently, such as hiring for and cultivating workforce capabilities at scale. And empowering employee directed and self-service career services, such as mentorship, learning and development and internal mobility so that your company can pursue longterm goals of making your workforce more productive, even in a remote first world. And most recently we announced the launch of our project marketplace product, for employees to participate in short term projects that could build their skills. So AI really gives a lot more that you can do as a business. It’s extremely powerful. And I am a duty bound to brag just about one thing.
Steve Feyer (04:02):
One feather in our cap recently, we were recently selected by the US department of labor as the winner of these veterans employment challenge. And that this challenge was created because after leaving the military, many US veterans struggled to find career paths in particular career paths to take advantage of the skills and excellence that they’ve learned in the armed services. So at Eightfold, we’re extremely proud of our US military veterans and we’re really honored and frankly, humble that our technology will soon be helping more than 200,000 veterans each year to find great civilian employment at the conclusion of their military service.
Steve Feyer (04:46):
This is just a quick sense of what our AI platform could do. I could talk about us all day, but that’s not why you tuned in. So with that, I do want to turn it over to David Mallon, to talk to us more about planning for the next 10 years.
David Francis (05:06):
Great. Thanks Steve. And thank you everyone out there for giving me and us a bit of your time to talk about this very important topic, which is how do we just make sure that we have the right people to do what we need to do to, to serve our customers, to create value and so on. I’m thrilled to be here, as introduced my name is David Mallon. I’m the chief analyst with the human capital platform research and sensing team. The research and sensing team is the group you formally would have known as Bersin. We are still essentially doing all the same things, which is to provide you with the kinds of research and tools and data. You need to drive more value in the people side of business broadly. In my role as chief analyst, I have been part of the team probably know as Bersin for about 13 years.
David Francis (05:56):
I’m pretty much connected to all of the different research we do, trying to make sure it’s useful for you, compelling actually helps solve problems and ultimately try to impact. Today I’m super excited to begin to highlight, you’re one of the first groups that’s publicly seeing some of this we’re going to share today. The highlight findings from our high-impact workforce study. If you have been following Bersin for the last 10, 15 years, you know that we have been very much at the center of this conversation around what is talent management? What is integrated talent management? And how the organizations connect, all the things they do in the HR function broadly around their workforces, connect these things together in significant and substantive ways to ultimately drive more value for their workforces and their stakeholders.
David Francis (06:50):
That’s what the study is about, but as you’ll begin to see, we and well listening to you have heard pretty loudly that maybe how we’ve done about this in the past, isn’t quite up to what we’re going to need into the future. I’m going to tease a little bit of that. Talk a bit about what we think is beginning to replace talent management, a little bit of the benefits of it, but based on our maturity work, and then I’m going to… that I’m thrilled to hand it over to Britt and Steve to dive into what that might look like more in practice. And by all means join the conversation with us along the way both in the… we’d love to take your questions here today and then obviously it’s social media afterwards.
David Francis (07:38):
Let’s think about this notion planning for the workforce in 10 years. Well, if you think the world we’re in right now, we knew that this was possibility, but perhaps we didn’t necessarily… the global pandemic we’re part of, we knew this was possibility, but we maybe didn’t necessarily think it was going to come as far and as fast and all the things that have come from it. And so, many organizations have been caught off guard, but we are often asked to zoom out. We are often asked to think about how our organization is going to change even over the next one to three years, sometimes five years. But if we’re thinking about how the workforce is going to change every 10 years, that’s a fairly hard proposition even in normal times.
David Francis (08:26):
We think about how we would have done this over the last little while, this particular graphic you see, this comes from research that we’ve published back in 2010. That was just a picture of what integrated talent management would be. And it was about connecting dots. It has been about taking the processes in your organization for figuring out who your talent is and what talent you need and where you’re going to get that in the market or how you’re going to grow it inside the organization, and then how you’re going to manage it and figure out how you’re going to reward and compensate that workforce and that talent. And ultimately in some cases grow some people into leadership roles or to fill other pivotal roles in your organization. It was how we connected all these things together and in the best of circumstances, make sure that these things are connected in alignment with what the business wanted and needed in terms of strategies and goals and objectives.
David Francis (09:21):
The challenge here is, and we’ve talked to our members and we talked to companies, it assumed that we have a pretty decent idea of what we think even our future is from a business strategy point of view, let alone from a workforce point of view. But we’re hearing loud and clearly is that may not be really true anymore. We have some good ideas, we have directional notions of where organization is going to go. But increasingly, we’re looking for, there’s a set of words this company tend to use a lot these days. We’re looking for things like agility and adaptability and resilience. And those aren’t necessarily words that are about a clear notion of a plan in the future that we can just make sure that we have ready all of our ready supplies for including our workforce. These are about being able to thrive regardless of what happens.
David Francis (10:19):
Is about being able to thrive regardless. So the scenarios or the circumstances in which we find ourselves. And so these are the kinds of questions we’re hearing from companies in the market. Why is this so? Well, the work is shifting. So the work increasingly in your organization, you tell us and what we see it’s increasingly non-routine, it’s fluid, it’s not necessarily predetermined, it’s not always processed, as processed based at once was, it’s increasingly done by different groups of people, and putting some folks that may not necessarily be on your bottom line contingency, and so forth. And increasingly involves machines and algorithms and so forth. You add all of this up. And set of data points comes from Deloitte global human capital trends study, it’s a big annual effort we do every year with, in this case was 9000 companies in 120, countries all around the world get a sense of what’s on your mind, from a talented workforce perspective.
David Francis (11:16):
What’s interesting about this data is that you told us that at least half of, if not all of, your workforce is going to need to change their skills significantly in the next three years. So think about that. In terms of, the entire company will turn over in the next at best, three years, in terms of the kinds of skills that we’ll need, everyone is affected. And yet, not even a fifth, only 17% of you actually think you have a pretty good idea of what that’s going to mean, in terms of the skills you need. Again, the overall story here is talent management, as currently constituted, may not be entirely up to fit for purpose for in terms of how we’re going to meet our needs, our workforce needs, in terms of how we’re going to plan to have a high performing workforce in 10 years.
David Francis (12:13):
And then by the way, everything I’ve just talked about so far was true. And that was before, the moment we are in right now, this moment that we’re in right now, with COVID is just made this all the more poignant, all the more important that we figure out how to address this problem, that predictability is going away. And it’s probably not coming back. So how do we instead, how do we replace talent management with something that actually does create that resilience in our workforce? Actually does provide adaptability and agility, to the business at large. And what we’re suggesting, and this is research, we’re going to start to publish over the next few months. And then we’re going to dive into some of the details of the next year or so, we’re suggesting that we should be moving away from a notion of integrated talent management, which is really a supply chain view on top talent, you often hear that, those words used.
David Francis (13:09):
It’s this idea that we have business targets, which then turn into people targets, and we need to make sure that we can attract and develop and retain and manage to a pipeline. And so we can fill those talent gaps. But the problem with that is that again, as I’ve talked about, so far, we don’t necessarily know what those gaps are yet. So a supply chain view isn’t necessarily going to work. We’re suggesting instead, it’s about an architecture you build, which is still the same component processes, for the most part, it’s still about development, and sourcing and performance and so on. But you’re not necessarily trying to fill gaps. What you’re trying to do is, those of you that know a bit about… especially Steve mentioned that his company is based in Silicon Valley, that a lot of the companies in Silicon Valley are famous for a platform business strategy, which is they’re creating a capability, which it can be used for many kinds of outputs, not just one.
David Francis (14:07):
That’s what we’re talking about here in terms of workforce architectures is you’re creating a platform, which is your people, and that platform is built on the capability of your people to constantly grow and reinvent. And so it’s about connecting these same processes, but connecting them in more of a bottom up lens. So trying to drive productivity, innovation, wellbeing, equity outcomes, which are becoming increasingly important to organizations and ultimately resilience. So how does that work? It’s to some degree, a shift in frame and a shift of how we think it’s about how he connects these different component parts, but it is also asking somewhat different questions and ultimately using data and new technologies like AI and so forth to reach different answers to those questions.
David Francis (14:56):
It’s about thinking about creating a system, which is connecting your talent processes in an architecture, which creates that people platform, which ultimately becomes the sustainable system to drive whatever your business value is. So what might that look like in practice? There’s lots of things that I can suggest, but today I’m going to just going to do three quick ones that we found. One of the findings from this study in terms of the pushing of creating that people platform strategy is that, the companies at the top of our maturity model, and that’s one of the outputs of this research, by the way, is a maturity model of what a high impact workforce architecture looks like. The companies at the top, that maturity model, they’re doing things like the three things you see here, they’re hiring and they’re cultivating human capabilities, not just skills. And I’ll go a little bit more detail, the second is, but these are things that are and eight parts of us as humans. They’re not trained, they’re kind of cultivated.
David Francis (15:57):
For example, empathy. Empathy is there on everyone, sometimes it’s leaned into or cultivate, or stronger in some versus others, but it’s part of us. It’s not a skill that we learn. Second, an internal marketplace for talent. So how do you make it easier for people to move around and to move and to take advantage of the best of what you have and let people drive in directions that they want to go? And lastly, related to this first two, how do we shift everything we do around career from something that we consider a sort of extra, maybe a benefit to something that is essential and is part of our business strategy? Quick word about each of these three.
David Francis (16:38):
On this first one, in terms of hiring and cultivating capabilities. These are things like resilience, empathy, imagination, curiosity, creativity. The things about these are that they are context independent and they’re timeless. That’s the opposite of a skill. A skill is context dependent and time bound. It’s dependent because it’s connected to a particular process or procedure, or maybe, in some cases a piece of equipment or to accomplish a certain task. And so it’s very much connected to the context of that, the time, the place, the resources, et cetera. And so that’s why skills they have a half-life, they will go away when that context shifts, or you’ll need to switch them out or upskill them, or rescale them. These hearing capabilities. These are that’s independent. You use them across those various different contexts.
David Francis (17:27):
You use them with skills. These are not talking to either, or it’s both ends, but you use them with skills to get work done, to create value. And going back to and to our original framing question. I can’t tell you in 10 years what skills your organization will need. I don’t think anybody can, but I can make a pretty good bet that if you cultivate resilience, empathy, imagination, curiosity, they will serve you well and your organization well, regardless of what happens in 10 years. And that is what it means to start to build this kind of people platform. Now you can use, you can tie this then to all of those original pillars that I showed you at the start that we’ve traditionally called talent management. You can have the parts of your organization that are about growing people focused on also growing these capabilities.
David Francis (18:20):
You can also find, you have your talent acquisition function looking for this in the marketplace to hire for capability, to hire for potential as much as to hire for match to particular role. To hire for the roles that you haven’t even hired them for yet, not just the one that is on the job description, a requisition that you’ve put out at particular time. So that gets the second one, which is this notion of an internal talent marketplace. It’s a topic that actually was first being talked about, about 10 years ago, but it keeps coming back cycling back at different points, but in the last year or so, exploded onto the scene, lots of technology vendors coming into the space, lots of companies experimenting with what this looks like. In some cases it’s developmental, it’s a marketplace for people to lean into projects and to stretch themselves. And some other cases it’s about staffing teams and getting work done. And in some cases it’s actually about true internal mobility and being able to shift roles across the organization.
David Francis (19:25):
Some companies are doing all of the above. Point being these marketplaces, when they’re healthy, they are about the helping the organization, be able to shift and address needs faster. That’s where that kind of agility comes from. They’re also about the organization being able to react to the marketplace or to its surroundings without necessarily having to change the organization structure. When these marketplaces are really healthy, you don’t necessarily always need to do reorganizations or restructuring to try new things or to go in new directions, because you have a built in means of actually moving talent to the best point of need, without making those, having to make kind of break the organization to change it. We see this in our… we’ve done recently maturity research on org design, how organizations designed themselves. And we found this exact same finding in that study. This is where this data comes from.
David Francis (20:31):
The companies that are the highest, the end of our maturity curve and organization design.MThey’re much more likely to prioritize internal hiring. They’re much more likely to be able to say that yes, anyone in our organization can fill any role in the organization. And they’re much more likely to say we are hiring for things like potential and capability, not necessarily just matched skill, which gets to the last one. The last one I wanted to touch on quickly. And then I’m going to hand things back to Steve and Britt, is this shift in how we see career development broadly. But this has a lot going on this slide. Let me just call it a few things quickly. When it comes to career development, we have a framework which is the graphic you see there on the left. There’s four ways that companies traditionally approach career development. The one that’s most common, it’s about 40%, 45% of roles in most, every organization, regardless of industry or maturity or size, is this flexible approach.
David Francis (21:23):
It’s one that you’re probably familiar with. It’s where there are defined levels and defined jobs, but the connections between those levels and jobs are loose. So isn’t a hard and fast pathway to follow. And people can move around if they want to, as long as they meet certain basic requirements, but it’s relatively light in its structure. And it’s light in typically how organizations help people navigate those roles, they might provide summit, libraries of content, or maybe a toolkit here and there to think about development planning and the like, but that describes about 40% of the organizations. It also describes about 40% of roles in organizations, but two that are really interesting here are the bottom left and the top right structured at open.
David Francis (22:09):
In structured is the traditional notion of career. There are defined roles and there, those roles are a range in some kind of defined order. So there might be levels in roles that are very well defined. Like you might have to move up in grades, but with those grades comes also a fairly defined notion of what the requirements are. So people may be able to be promoted on a ton component, or just by checking off certain boxes because there’s that traditional very defined hierarchal career ladder. And they know that they have done within to do in step A, they can get step B, step C and downline, right? That’s structured. Open is what you see. Traditionally, you’ve seen it more in professional services firms, for example, or some new IT companies where it’s maybe project or teams based.
David Francis (23:03):
And so it’s less, we separate roles design from job design. You might wear different hats in different circumstances. For example, in a team based organization, you might be on different teams. And in one team you play one role, in a different team you play a different role. And if you want to grow in your career, it’s about what can I grow? Can I add new hats to my repertoire so I can wear different hats in different situations. But transitory one, by the way, is I won’t talk too much about but, I’d say it’s kind of a niche one for that or career when it’s really in about contingent and contract work. So people who are coming and going in and out of the organization, depending on freelancers, would be a good example of transitory. But the interesting thing here that I want to call out is the numbers you see on this slide.
David Francis (23:51):
First, when it comes to this high impact workforce study, the companies at the top of their attorney model 37 times more likely to help their workers accomplish the longterm career goals. That is by far the longest largest single differentiating stat in this new study, the companies who are highest performing at the top of this model, 37 times more likely to help their workers accomplish longterm career goals. Now, why are they doing it? That’s the 11% you see on this slide, that if they’re moving, and this is the pie chart stats you see there come from our org design research, the companies who are driving more value for more design are shifting pretty dramatically in the direction away from structured and towards open.
David Francis (24:35):
They’re realizing that the days in what you might have lockstep career paths are gone. And so we need to be more focused on being able to move people around to the points of need all of those talent marketplaces. And so just like the consulting companies have often long had staffing functions that would help identify who’s going to be on a certain team to start client need. Mainstream companies are also beginning to develop those muscles to how to do an internal staffing that is not about changing jobs, it’s about leaning into different outcomes and being able to play different roles in different circumstances. And so that only happens if you begin to connect your entire apparatus around career to your entire apparatus around business and workforce strategy.
David Francis (25:23):
They become one and the same, they become how you solve for people needs on a day-to-day, week to week, need by need sort of basis. That’s it, that’s a quick summary of the research so far, just so you know, when we do these studies, we do create a maturity model and that maturity model starts with business results. So we can talk to what’s the outcome, all of this. It’s not just because we might all agree that it’s a nice way to go about things. It’s more than that. The companies, the top to the model that are doing the kinds of things I’m talking about, they’re more likely to meet their financial targets. They’re more efficient. They have happier customers. And interesting in today’s context, they’re also more likely to be generating positive impacts on society. And that speaks to how they think about the workforce beyond their four walls as well.
David Francis (26:16):
That’s it for a quick look at how we think this notion of what looking forward around your workforce might look like, whether that’s next year or 10 years from now. And how you might need to shift from that traditional supply chain version of integrated talent management, to something that really is about creating an architecture that really creates people as potential in your organization. It’s people, as key to your organization’s ability to continuously reinvent. And again, you and I could pull out a crystal balls and we could guess at what 10 years looks like, and we may or may not be right. But if we create the potential in the organization to thrive, regardless, you’ll be in good stead regardless. So that’s it for my part. I’m going to hand things back to Steve and Britt for the next segment.
Steve Feyer (27:07):
Well, thank you so much. And I especially love how you closed with the idea that creating the workforce that we want is in our hands. And it is something that we can truly drive over the next one, two, five, and 10 years. So thank you so much. Please stick around. We have some questions coming in from the audience, but before we get to those, I do want to bring in a member of a truly high performing organization and team, Britt to talk about Micron. Britt, thank you again for joining us. Do you want to start by giving us a little bit of background about Micron?
Britt Thomas (27:47):
Absolutely. Thank you all for joining today. I’m happy to be with the team. I love the research. I’m a huge fan of listening to what respondents are saying about where we’re headed. So thank you, David, for that presentation. I want to speak a little bit about Micron. Um, hopefully you’re familiar with who Micron is. Micron is the fourth largest semiconductor in the world. We have 37,000 global employees. We are always thinking about our high performing teams, especially during circumstances like we’re all experiencing right now. Micron manufacturers, memory storage, and accelerate our hardware and solutions. And it really is, data as a potent new source of insight, intelligence and competitive advantage. We’re seeing tremendous opportunities in the ways data can enrich our lives. And it’s not an overstatement to say that data including better access to and management of data is offering us some of the biggest opportunities in history right now.
Britt Thomas (28:53):
This slide really speaks to some of our big highlights, number one in automotive and supplier to top 10 OEMs, number one in networking memory. But again, if you walk away with anything about Micron today, know that we’re the global leader in memory and storage. And our mission is really, our vision is to transform how the world uses information to enrich life for all. And when I say for all, it really does mean not only for all of our employees, but the communities in which we work, our customers, our suppliers, and this really is our vision statement, and it really does apply to what we’re talking about today with how do we plan for the next 10 years for those that work within Micron, those we’re trying to attract to Micron and those that currently partner with Micron.
Steve Feyer (29:49):
All right, well, Britt, thank you for that introduction to Micron. And I had a couple of questions. So based on our conversation before the webinar today, and I know the audience will have some questions as well. So please do send us your questions as we go here. We’ll get to them in a few minutes. But before we start with that Britt, I did want to talk to you a little bit. Because we were both very interested in some of what the Lloyds research that David shared, had found. And one of the things that they saw, really we’re looking at was global coordination and collaboration. So Micron does operate all over the world of how do you work with your team to coordinate and the collaborate on your work?
Britt Thomas (30:40):
Absolutely, that’s a great question. Again, we’re very, very large, global organization. And we rely heavily on the collaboration of all of our teammates. We have global sites and global time zones and global political environments that we’re also managing in tandem, and parallel to the work we’re doing every day. We have a highly engaged team, we have engagement surveys, we are keeping a pulse on how our employees are doing all the time, especially now given these new challenges that we’re facing as organizations and as an overall industry. But we really do work from wherever we are. And to that extent, I think we’ve learned a great deal about the COVID experience for our employees and our customers and suppliers.
Britt Thomas (31:33):
But we’re also learning that performance doesn’t need to change, regardless of where you’re working at the moment. And really, we are still doing a tremendous job as an organization and as a team, championing our employees every day in many, many different ways and scenarios and keeping everybody at the ready. And we’re seeing a very, very strong engagement from our team members and teammates right now.
Steve Feyer (32:04):
That’s so wonderful to hear, especially now that people stay engaged and motivated. I wanted to ask you about something that Deloitte found, which I think struck both of us. And that is related to the conversation around, skills and capabilities and in particular, the need for reskilling in the next several years. Deloitte found that most organizations see a large need for reskilling, but only about one in six organizations, reported that they understand the skills that they need or that they even expect to fund this kind of a transformation of their workforce skills. How is Micron approaching this challenge? Did you have any comments to share on that?
Britt Thomas (32:52):
Yeah, that’s another great question. I think addressing the skills, skills gap, upskilling, reskilling topic it’s front and center for many. We have implemented Eightfold from a talent perspective, from an incoming talent perspective. We use an AI platform to help us evaluate skills and qualifications on the very front end to, not only help us match and align where the skills match, but also identify where we may have gaps so that we know very, very early on in the employee experience. And even before they become an employee at the candidate experience level, where those gaps may be. So when they join our organization, we’re already aware of maybe there’s areas of opportunity to enhance some skillsets or to learn something new, or maybe they were just a part of a different industry, but we’re welcoming them into our organization and planning ahead with our workforce planning and strategy.
Britt Thomas (33:51):
And I believe David called it our workforce architecture, which is extremely important. The other piece of it is addressing it for your existing employee population. And I think many organizations are using their internal resources, at Micron we have a digital skills Academy, which is very exciting. We are also shifting to that real time learning opportunity platform for our employees as well. What we know and what we see in the market is that people are learning all the time. And they are constantly upscaling, and they’re doing it on their own. They’re not waiting for their employer to ask them to go and obtain these new skill sets. They really are doing it on their own. And they’re capturing that. You’ll see that being added to their resumes and added to their profiles. So there’s learning happening both inside of work to upskill and outside of work to upscale and rescale for talent.
Steve Feyer (34:49):
I think you just said two things that are really extraordinary because, they strike me as so different from the way companies have often operated in the past. One is that your workers are motivated to upskill themselves rather than be pushed to learn new skills or take training by the organization. And second, I want to ask you about this. You mentioned that you’re thinking about upskilling. You’re thinking about a future development of new employee, even from the point of hire. So I just wanted to ask you more about that, is this this change in thinking about the skills that people at the point of hire, was this a change in mindset for the organization? Was there a need to get others in the organization on board for this type of change and approach? And if so, how did you do that?
Britt Thomas (35:47):
I think it’s a transformation and a shift to the traditional model of hiring, where you have a job description, you have requirements, they must check every box. And what we’re looking at now, and again, technology helps us do this, is seeing what do they have today? And where are those gaps? And where can we as an organization fill some of those? Whether it’s with our learning opportunities, our development opportunities, maybe on the job experience as well. That’s one that’s not as often discussed, but certainly we know there’s a ton of learning that happens from rotations and internal assignments that really can help buffer if there are a gap, or if there is a gap with a skill set very early on that’s indicated. And oftentimes what we’re finding is how we’ll share with you where they think they may have a gap and where they’d like to learn. And that really does make it an easier process for both sides.
Steve Feyer (36:48):
You just mentioned a rotation programs, which are really interesting, and some organizations, some of you listening may or may not have a formal rotation program internally. But the research we just heard from David emphasized the value of something, a little similar, which our internal talent marketplaces, places for employees to take on new challenges, that may not require a full commitment in terms of their job title, their manager, it’s a project. Britt, do you have any advice for HR leaders who are trying to make the case for deploying internal talent marketplaces or other strategies for rotations or internal mobility?
Britt Thomas (37:38):
Absolutely. I think right now we are all and I speak, not just on behalf of Micron, but as a TA industry leader, that we are all looking for opportunities to engage our existing talent in a way that is different. Jobs have changed due to COVID, experiences have changed, circumstances have changed, and there’s a lot of individuals raising their hand that now would be a great time to try something new. The goal for any large organization is to retain their talent, especially their high-performing top talent and offer opportunities to try something different. I think many organizations are already doing it, whether they have a formal rotation program or not, there’s usually an effort around raising their hand that they would be interested in working on a project or a cross-functional collaboration with a different team. I think at Micron, we do a really good job of it. I think our size and our scalability also helps with internal opportunities. And it’s one of the things that we really capture in our people promise as one of the key draws from a value proposition for talent, joining Micron as well.
Steve Feyer (38:50):
I wanted to ask you Britt, just one more question, and then we’ll take some from the audience. So if there’s anything you’re interested in, please send us your questions. We will take some. But I want to ask you just about recruitment in light of COVID and the changes that it’s having right now. You spent a lot of time leading recruiting and TA teams and strategy. What trends do you see changing in recruitment now in going forward in light of this pandemic that we’re all living through?
Britt Thomas (39:28):
I see a lot of great, fantastic positive changes. One, I would say that we’re seeing is there’s a lot more engagement. There’s a whole new level of transparency and communication. We are seeing marketing organizations get out in front of how their companies and how their employees are managing in a time like this, where there is so much uncertainty. We’re seeing CEOs and executives speak to their employees, knowing they’re going through challenging times, but being as transparent as possible and leading with a lot of empathy. From a hiring perspective, we have which to, virtual onboarding of new hires, we’re switching to virtual interview. So there’s no more racing around trying to interview with a company while you’re still trying to do your existing role with your existing employer. We’ve seen a huge shift to what we’re using to attract our talent.
Britt Thomas (40:28):
We have talent coming to us saying, “We’ve seen what you’re doing. We hear about it in the news. We see how involved you are in your communities.” And they’re reaching out to us. And I think we are experiencing a very, very different talent landscape now. We’re also seeing a lot of transparency among talent acquisition, or in general, they’re helping each other. They’re knowledge sharing. They’re sharing ideas about what they’re doing to reinforce that their teams stay engaged through all of these cyclical moments that we’re all experiencing. And really the industry as a whole is coming together from a talent perspective.
David Francis (41:51):
Britt, this is David. I think we might have lost Steve. The two of us can start picking questions.
Steve Feyer (41:57):
My goodness. You did. My-
Britt Thomas (41:59):
Absolutely. Absolutely.
Steve Feyer (42:03):
The challenges of remote work, rear their heads. My call dropped right as we were getting the audience questions. Thank you, David and Britt for stepping in. I apologize that everybody, back online we do have some questions from the audience. So we welcome more. Please do jump in with your questions. We did get a couple of great questions here. I wanted to address this one first to David and Britt as well. And I don’t want to read the question word for word, but I’ll paraphrase. The question is around attention among resilience and adaptability and efficiency. If you build your organization to be more adaptable than it may be less efficient, if you build your organization to be very efficient, it may be less resilient. Given this tension, how does talent management play a role maybe in managing this tension or even expanding the envelope as you will, so that you can do more of all of these things?
David Francis (43:14):
That’s obviously a super huge broad philosophical question. Let me just say this in terms of a practical way to navigate the intersection there. Yes, at some level, if you focused entirely on efficiency, that’s why we have the organizations in cases we have today. That’s why we have hierarchies. That’s why companies first started to, as companies get bigger, they naturally scale by creating self similarity, by creating levels and roles and positions, and they get more and more specialized, and they get more and more prescribed process driven and the like. And that’s also they can operate at scale efficiency.
David Francis (44:04):
But of course the more that you build those structures, the more it’s hard to change the structures. So of course that’s true, but I think this is also where we see examples of companies doing new and different things on this topic of creating, for example, team-based organizations or bringing in these talent marketplaces, for example, as ways to still have some consistency, still have some efficiency and ultimately how certain things are done, but allowing for greater flexibility in how you go about it. There is an intersection to be seen there and we see great examples, at least our research and coming to talk to.
David Francis (44:42):
There’s also an and I think, apropos to what you all do at Eightfold. Steve is I think this is also where in many cases not to oversell things, but I think new technologies are coming into play like AI. And we see a continuum, there’s companies that see these new technologies in the ways that we’ve always seen technology, which is a replacement strategy. How do we replace costs? How do we replace people? And then there’s some that are starting to think about, well, this is about augmentation. How do we extend people? Let them do more faster, better. But when you think that part of the answer to this question is to beginning to see technology, not as either replacement or augmentation, but as collaborator. So technology as teammate. And so the technology is bringing the best of what it can do to the problem.
David Francis (45:30):
And the humans are bringing the best of what they can do, the problem to do things you haven’t even imagined yet. But of course, that also requires that you take, you can stop every once in a while and really rethink the work itself. And I think that’s ultimately, the answer to that question.
Steve Feyer (45:49):
Britt, did you want to add any additional thoughts?
Britt Thomas (45:52):
Absolutely. I was combining this question and the one regarding scenario planning in talent management. I think both of these areas are extremely important right now. I think we are looking at scenario planning from a talent management perspective. Certainly no one predicted we would be where we are today. I think we are absolutely looking at agility, ability, resilience, tenacity, the things that really are keeping us going through times, which are so uncertain, but I also believe that those skills have a duration. And then we will get to a place where there is a little bit more certainty and there is a little bit more balanced and we’ll be looking at measuring different skills for our talent. I think there’s always a place for both. I think resiliency isn’t only for companies that have been around for 10, 15, 30, 40 years. I think there’s a lot of resiliency even within startup organizations that is being measured right now as well.
Steve Feyer (47:03):
You mentioned scenario planning, we did get a question about this from the audience. Britt do you see scenario planning playing a larger role in strategy for talent management or even for recruitment?
Britt Thomas (47:18):
Absolutely. I think, again, I assume we may be in a similar situation again in the future. And I think organizations that have now experienced what we have recently are doing some of that scenario planning. The if, so what happens if. Again, like I said, I don’t think anybody was prepared for where we are today, but I think now those conversations are different. We are having different conversations as organizations, as industry thought leaders, we are all thinking through what if scenarios going forward for our talent, for the longevity of our talent, the skill sets of our talent, the expectations of our talent, being able to quickly pivot as a talent organization when needed, all of those are entering the discussions now.
Steve Feyer (48:12):
David, from a research perspective, any thoughts on scenario planning and the role it will play in talent management strategy?
David Francis (48:24):
Well, I think it definitely, I think the notion of thinking about how the future might unfold and that being part of the conversation around what kind of workforce you have and what kind of workforce you need. Absolutely. There should be more and more of that, but I guess, connecting it back to the research I was sharing, I would say it’s bigger than just simply traditional notions of scenario modeling. It is thinking about the… I’ll use now as an example, I think lots of companies have had, reasonably sophisticated business continuity plans, they thought about certain scenarios and what those might be for disaster or in this case pandemic, but they weren’t necessarily imagining how much that would change the work itself.
David Francis (49:18):
And so, because they were thinking about it from the point of view of disaster and reacting. They left themselves in challenged to take full advantage of what it means to thrive. So not just respond and recover, not just to get back to some kind of notion of nominal or workload, or normal, but to actually take advantage of a moment and reinvent what they do and drive new value and prepare for, I think Britt’s exactly right. You have to assume it’s going to happen again. So I guess a long winded way of saying, yes, that kind of forward looking conversation needs to be part of workforce planning and talent strategies broadly, but we would say you need to go further to actually think about how does your organization create value? Do you understand that? Do you understand what those value chains are? Do you understand where they’re vulnerable? Do you understand how they might evolve over time, even in the best of circumstances? And in that context, how is the work itself changing and what does that mean for the workforce that you need?
Steve Feyer (50:26):
I think we have time for about one more question and we want to be inclusive and give everyone a few minutes to go to their next meeting. Just want to end with the next steps question and David, we could address this for you first. What is your suggestion as a first step to get started toward some of the recommendations and findings that you see? What’s the first step on the path?
David Francis (50:57):
Yeah, I can go lots of different directions but I’ll just stick with one, which is, thinking about simplifying the ways in which we even describe what we mean by talent and workforce. I think a lot of companies are realizing that the traditional approaches to what we might have called a job architecture, things like competency frameworks, position descriptions, even just these words, skills and capabilities and competencies and so forth. In many cases in most organizations there they’re overly complex, they’re old, they’re tired, they’re hard to change. And in many cases they get in the way of actually, of where we want to go. So lots of companies have looked at how do we simplify those? How do we use new technologies to maybe help with that? That’s a great start and it sets you up for a lot of these other conversations.
Steve Feyer (51:47):
Oh, thank you very much, David. Britt, did you want to close with any thoughts on how to get started?
Britt Thomas (51:55):
Sure. And I love that response David, that may have been my favorite one. One of the things I also appreciated about the research you were doing, I think it was your final slide. You’ve talked about the traditional structured career versus the new open career model. And I think really when we think about some of those things that really created so much structure, it created a negative impact as well. I think that structured career actually created a decrease in the tenure at companies where talent would leave so that they could create their new open career. They could explore new things without going through the structured model.
Britt Thomas (52:33):
I’m hoping that as we transform as an industry, as a talent industry and a people industry, that we start to really think about the employee owning that experience, the employee owning their career and that we empower and work with them to create the career that they envisioned for themselves and for the company as a whole.
Steve Feyer (52:59):
All right. Britt and David, thank you so much for joining and thank you everyone for spending time with us today. We hope that you found it interesting and illuminating. I know I certainly did, and we really appreciate your time and attention. Once again, if you’d like to watch this recording again, share it, come back to any piece of it. A recording will be available after the live presentation ends today. So thank you all. Be safe, be healthy and be successful. And we look forward to seeing you on our next webcast.

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