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Josh Bersin: The Future Workforce Will be Driven by Talent Intelligence

 

Today’s episode of the show features Josh Bersin, one of the leading global HR industry analysts and advisors. Josh joins the show to give the low-down on how HR leaders can be more strategic with talent and better utilize the talent right under our noses – especially given the current economy.

Before jumping into the main topic for the episode, listeners have a chance to learn more about Josh himself and why he found success in this career. His non-linear career path has taken him from engineering and academia to tech, product marketing, a season of contract work, and much more. Ultimately, Josh’s winding career has developed in the context of economic shifts and has allowed him to learn what best suits him over time.

Next, Josh shares his thoughts on the current economy, how digital transformation is leading to industry reinvention, and why workforce mental health is now a prominent issue. As a result, organizations need to shift how they look at talent – a change to what Josh and his colleagues call systemic HR. Systemic HR brings together recruiting, re-skilling, retention, and reengineering into an interlocked unit bound by a talent intelligence system. 

Within an organization, Josh says, HR’s talent intelligence function should not be thought of as a new thing but rather as a tool for bringing together functions like workforce planning and people/sourcing analytics into a system that will help facilitate better decision making. The system also fits well with the HR function’s transition toward a more consultative, design-focused role and away from transactional tasks. 

Next, Josh explains how HR’s talent intelligence system will draw staff interest and company leaders’ support and details how the design fits in with other systems. After offering advice for companies exploring interest in a talent intelligence strategy, he finally comments on how to get involved with the GWI Project and, on a very different note, his childhood dream of being an astronaut!

In September, Josh Bersin introduced new research on Talent Intelligence and unveiled findings from their in-depth studies on the Healthcare and Banking industries at HR Tech. 

Links:

Learn more about Josh Bersin and the GWI project on Josh’s website

Learn more about how Eightfold AI powers the GWI project by visiting our website

Talent Intelligence is The Future Workforce

Ligia:

Welcome to the new talent code, a podcast with practical insights, dedicated to empowering change agents in HR to push the envelope in their talent functions. We’re your hosts. I’m Lee Zora

Jason:

And I’m Jason Serato. We’re bringing you the best thought leaders in the talent space to share stories about how they are designing the workforce of the future. Transforming processes, rethinking old constructs and leveraging cutting edge technology to solve. Today’s pressing talent issues. It’s what we call the new talent code.

Ligia:

So if you’re looking for practical, actionable advice to get your workforce future ready, you’ve come to the right place. Hello again, and welcome to the new talent code I’m li and I’m here with my co-host Jason. Hey there, Jason.

Jason:

Hey, another great conversation ahead of us today.

Ligia:

I know I jumped out of bed this morning. Wait till our listeners here, who we have today. We have a special guest that obviously needs no introduction. Josh Beon is one of the leading global HR industry, analyst and advisors. Hello, Josh, and welcome to the show. Thanks for joining us.

Josh Bersin:

Thank you. Lahiya. It’s great to see you.

Ligia:

This is gonna be a five hour podcast. Just kidding. All right. <laugh> all right. So guys, we have Josh, Josh could talk about a ton of topics in HR, obviously, but we have him here with us to give us the low down on how we could actually be more strategic with talent and how to better utilize the talent, right under our noses, especially given the current economy, but fair wording. Everybody knows this. Josh is an optimist. So if you’ve come here to get inspired, get some solid, actionable advice on how to guide your company through this period, you’ve come to the right place. But first off, let’s get this podcast started like we do with all other guests. So Josh, we know you’ve had a non-linear non-traditional career path, walk us through that. And then how’d you make that transition to HR and why?

Josh Bersin:

Okay. Well, my situation was a little bit unique to my age, but I think it’s indicative of what’s been going on in the whole workforce in general. So I went back to school planning on getting a PhD PhD. Oh, in engineering, in engineering. Wow. Yep. I was, I went and I went to Stanford. I was gonna get a PhD in mechanical engineering and become an academic. And after a year of that, I said, there’s no way I’m doing this <laugh> I just didn’t have the patience for academia. So I started doing some work with some startup companies, did some projects on the side. And as I graduated with my masters, I went out and I decided I wanted to get into tech. And then about 10 years into that, I got sick of it. And then this startup company came along and said to me, we’re building an online learning system.

Josh Bersin:

We think you’d be a good person to run marketing for us. I ended up running product management and product marketing. I met tons of people in the training industry, tons of people in the HR space and learned a lot about online learning. And it was the early days of the internet. I mean, the internet was not very popular yet. And then we had the dot bomb thing, the crash, and I got laid off and I was sitting in San Francisco in this ridiculous office we had where everybody’s crammed in together. The founder of the company lays me off and I was so shocked. I could not drive myself home. I was so upset. I just was completely devastated. And I called my wife. She came over from Oakland and picked me up and I went home. And by the way, you know, this was the beginning of the economic downturn.

Josh Bersin:

Nine 11 hadn’t happened yet, but it was about to happen. And I said, I don’t know if I’m gonna find another job right now. So maybe I better figure out something I can do on my own. So what I did was I called up all of these online learning companies that I knew SBA at the time. And I said, Hey, look, I’m available for contract work. Would you like some help? And SBA said, great. We want you to do some product management for us. And they hired me as a part-time contractor. So then I had this gig life and I thought, you know, this is kind of fun. I get to work from home. I get to do projects. I like, I don’t have to do any of the stuff that I don’t wanna do. I don’t have to be a manager. And a bunch of my other friends from digital think got laid off and they were looking for stuff to do.

Josh Bersin:

And one of them who was a good friend of mine came to me and said, Hey, do you have any work for me? And I said, well, you know, I have this project. I’m supposed to write this research report on online, learning for IDC. I hacked up a website, threw it up on the website. Somebody bought it. I thought, holy smokes. You can actually make money over the internet. And you know, this was the early days. And little by little, I realized that one of my hidden strengths that I had never exploited in my career was that I was a good writer. I was a good thinker and I could communicate well. So that’s what happened. And from there, it went from training to leadership development, to succession management, to recruiting, to HR, to all of that stuff. And the last 20 years of my career have been fantastic.

Josh Bersin:

I think what I learned is that you don’t always know what you’re good at. When you’re young, you tend to go into a job or a career that feels like a good job. It feels like something that’s gonna look good on your resume. And you don’t have the self awareness to say no, or to maybe make better decisions. And then later you realize, you know, I don’t like that kind of work. I like this. And you can do that today. Now that we have talent marketplaces and online job ads and remote work, it’s much, much easier to do this. So, so it was a big lesson to me on my own experience in learning how to do what you’re good at and finding an organization that respects that in entrepreneurship and a lot of other things. And so I’m very sympathetic to people who get laid off, who are confused about their careers, who don’t know what they wanna do next, who hate their jobs. I completely understand where they’re coming from. And I think there’s always a path.

Jason:

Yeah, you’ve lived it all. What a story. Thank you for sharing. That’s a great segue in transition to what we wanted to kind of kick the conversation off with, you mentioned in your story, different stages in the economy and the.com bubble bursts and layoffs. So let’s flash forward to what’s going on today, Josh. So the pendulum swings in both directions. We’ve had this unstable economy as a result of the pandemic, and then we came out of it with mass hiring now followed by cautious approaches to talent. Once again, when there were just more layoffs and hiring freezes announced today, we’ve seen this happen multiple times before, and HR is always in this dance of hurry up and stop, hurry up and stop. But let’s kind of set the stage for our listeners and hear your point of view about what you think’s going on in the world today and how they should be looking at the market.

 

Change in the Economy

Josh Bersin:

Sure. I think there’s three things happening that are really important and they’re not as devastating as you might think. The first is we have had 14 years following the 2008 crisis of almost zero interest rates. So you couldn’t make any money on CDs or bank accounts. So people have been buying things to build up asset prices. So stock prices went up. Housing prices went up. I think the whole reason the crypto currency thing even exists is because there was no way to make money on anything else. So people were basically gambling on that. So that worked out okay. And you know, now that we have all this inflation, the fed is saying, sorry, guys, I’m taking the punch bowl away. You’re gonna have to deal with higher interest rates. And it’s the right thing to do. The economy has been unconstrained and that’s the reason the job market got outta hand is every company was growing.

Josh Bersin:

Every company was making money. There was just too much activity in the economy. And now we’re trying to slow it down. My guess is they’re going to do a reasonable, slow down. We’re gonna have a soft landing, but I don’t see any crisis going on in the economy. Most of the companies I talk to are still growing. They’re seeing demand. People are buying things. They’re going on vacation. They’re going on trips. Yes. The supply chains are all messed up, but that’s all getting fixed. So I think we’re gonna be in a period of slowing growth. Some companies who overhire are gonna lay off, but you know, that’s okay. I mean the, the VCs hopefully expected that. So that’s number one. The second thing is transformation starting in around, you know, 2000, maybe five or so, every company wanted to do a digital transformation. Everybody wanted to digitize this digitize, that build websites, build apps, buy cloud systems, et cetera, that all has happened.

Josh Bersin:

We’re kind of past that. Now companies are saying, well, now that we’ve gone digital, we need intermediaries to provide us payment services or delivery services or analytic services or cloud services. And so we went through this disruptive period where many companies suddenly realized they had a competitor that they thought was a supplier. And so we had this disruptive period of people figuring out that, you know, maybe Walmart isn’t really in the retail business. Maybe we’re in the customer delivery business too. Maybe we’re in the healthcare business. Since all our customers who come in are looking for drugs, maybe we should be in the pharmacy business. So all of these industries and we have a whole chart on this are becoming other industries. The traditional industries are becoming new industries and we call that industry reinvention. And that’s what we did in the GWI because in the global workforce intelligence study that we’re doing with you guys or studies, we realized that the reason companies were having such a hard time hiring was that they were becoming something that they didn’t know how to manage.

 

Change in Talent Acquisition and Talent Management 

Josh Bersin:

Their talent model was changing. I had a call yesterday with the head of talent management from Amazon devices. So she’s responsible for HR for all of the devices, groups at Amazon that build various devices. She says, well, we don’t really know all of the new jobs that are recreated. All the new technologies we’re gonna need today. They just bought one medical. So Amazon is gonna be a direct healthcare services company, the job title, the job skills, the job roles in one medical have nothing to do with the people in the Kindle business unit, no relationship whatsoever. So for a head of HR, to understand how to manage the healthcare part of the company and the tech part of the company, it’s hard. So that’s number two. And so companies have to build what I call this talent intelligence, awareness and systems so that they can manage their transformations into these new industries.

 

Workforce Mental Health

Josh Bersin:

The third thing that’s going on in the economy is workforce mental health. And I mean, it’s amazing to me how every company is now dependent on its people. Every company has a service business or service strategy. Most of the employees in most companies are not RO workers. Most of the automated work has happened. So now we’re automating thinking work and communication work and people are burned out 81% of workers. According to Mercer, this month are burned out 81%, 16% of Americans now take drugs for mental health. 28% of people under the age of 30 are taking drugs for mental health. This pandemic has dragged out. It’s created a lot of uncertainty and stress and fear. You know, then we have the inflation, then we have the political instability, then we have the war. So we’ve got this issue where companies are trying to figure out how to take care of their employees. And that’s number three. So regardless of what the economy does, these three things are all happening at once, but that’s, what’s going on. It still feels bad. And that’s sort of a big signal for HR people to take advantage of that information and use it

Jason:

As a result of those factors. And thank you for walking us through that as well. How does that kind of change the way or shift the focus for how organizations need to address and look at talent?

 

A New Phrase for Talent Management

Josh Bersin:

Sure. Well, we’re gonna coin a new phrase when we launched the GWI in September currently, we’re thinking about calling it’s something like systemic HR and the traditional 20 year old idea of talent management was called integrated talent management. And it was what we used to call pre-hire retire. And it was, you have your hiring process, your onboarding early career mid-career leadership or specialization role. And then you retire. And the idea was that there’s a 30 or 35 year job here, where you come outta college at 25 and then you retired 65. So you get 40 years. Well, you know, now you live to a hundred, you have five careers. During that period of time, most of the companies you went to work throughout a college, got bought, or went out of business. So you can’t stay with that company, even if you liked them and the technologies changed and the industry’s changed and you maybe you don’t want to live in the same city anymore.

Josh Bersin:

So that just doesn’t work. And the company you’re working for now might decide like Amazon, oh, we’re gonna move from industry a to industry B. And we need to hire a whole bunch of new people really fast in this new area, but we can’t find them. So let’s retrain ’em oh, no, we can’t retain ’em. We don’t have enough. Oh, let’s retain the people we have. Well, we can’t retain ’em fast enough. Or maybe we should. Re-engineer the jobs because we aren’t gonna find enough people to do this. So what we’re finding out, and you’re gonna read about this, and you’re gonna hear about this in the launch is there’s four interlocked things going on at the same time, recruiting re-skilling retention. And re-engineering all at once. They’re not separate things anymore. They are all interrelated. We’ve looked now industry by industry with the eightfold data.

Josh Bersin:

We went into financial services so far in healthcare. And in both industries, there are large populations of workers where companies are blindly assuming that if they just hire twice, as many recruiters they’ll fill the gap. But the research shows that will not work. There aren’t enough people with those skills in the market willing to come work for you. So, okay. Let’s re-skill them. Well, you know, that’s gonna take a, a year or two. That’s hard to do well, who are the people we need to reskill? What are the right people to reskill? And let’s get them over here. Oh, wait, we’re losing a bunch of them. Let’s retain them. Maybe they’re in the wrong jobs. Maybe they wanna work. Part-time well, you know what? At the end of it all, maybe the job we’re hiring for, we don’t even need that job. Maybe we should, should reengineer that job.

Josh Bersin:

So all these four things have to happen together. And what we found when we talked to companies is, yeah, they’re doing those four things. They’ve got an employee experience group trying to work on engagement. They’ve got a recruiting group working on, you know, recruiting. They’ve got a training group and then they’ve got this little org design group. That’s kind of futsing around doing stuff. Those four things have to be stitched together. They have to be interlocked with a talent intelligence strategy and all these other things we do DEI pay compensation have to be part of that. So yeah, I’ve shown this in some slides, but this is an interlocked HR. And the best word we’ve been thinking about for it is systemic. And the reason we came up with that word was because we were doing all the work on healthcare and, and the healthcare industry is the largest employer in the United States. Believe it or not, there’s almost 15% of Americans work in that industry. The human body is not a bag of disassociated organs. The human body is an integrated machine. Your adrenal glands create adrenaline when you’re under attack and your liver, doesn’t wait to find out, you have too much adrenaline. It sends a signal to your liver that says, Hey, you’re gonna get a bunch of adrenaline. You better get ready for this. And meanwhile, I don’t know how the body works, but all these other things sooner are connected too. That’s the way HR has to work.

 

Talent Intelligence at Work

Ligia:

I’m not an expert like you and Jason, but then if you have to have sort of the, the, the strategy centralized with this informed by talent intelligence, then where does talent intelligence sit? Like, who owns that? Is it a separate function? Does it report into finance? Like who owns this? And, and how do we hold talents, intelligence, accountable.

Josh Bersin:

Okay. So let’s take this systemic idea. So you’ve got this HR function. That’s sort of like a human body with all the pieces, talking to each other. How does a given business partner or a recruiter or whoever know that I should be doing something else? You need an intelligence function to help. So today the C H O or the head of talent does this as their job. They make resource allocation decisions and they make investment decisions with pretty good data about where the company’s trying to go. What they don’t know is they don’t know the shape and curve of the labor market. They don’t know where people are willing to leave another company and where they’re not, they don’t have good insights into high turnover versus low Turner groups inside the company. So they go to people analytics. So they’ve got these two groups, they’ve got the people analytics group, and they’ve got the workforce planning group or person.

Josh Bersin:

And the workforce planning person is really smart about the labor market and the business growth. The people analytics person is really smart about retention and engagement. And these groups are not talking to each other. And then you’ve got this sourcing group that’s doing sourcing analytics. So you’ve got these three or four groups that are doing pieces of talent intelligence already. So you don’t have to start all over talent. Intelligence is bringing these groups together and giving them a better data system so that they can make better decisions as a group. So in my early days, as an analyst, we didn’t even knew people, analytics, most companies called it HR analytics, and it was more like, you know, how many people do we have? So this is the, a natural evolution of those functional domains coming together and then giving the organization better data. So the other, the other reason that I think this is a big idea, is that tools and platforms like you guys make this easy. It used to be, if you wanna do talent intelligence, you gotta buy 15 different pieces of software. Get a massive Excel database, hire a data scientist. I mean, it’s just too hard.

Ligia:

Do you think CHROs? Okay, so it’s true. They don’t have maybe the market data to inform their decisions. How well do you think they actually know the DNA of their workforce?

Josh Bersin:

Well, most CHROs do know. I mean, if they’re new, they don’t, but if they’ve been around the company for a while, they’ve traveled around, they’ve met a lot of people. They’ve maybe worked in business areas. They usually know their companies very, very well, but they’re not experts on the outside labor market. They don’t understand the role of AI. So, you know, this talent intelligence team is gonna become essentially the nervous system of the body in the human body. I didn’t study enough biology, but you know, the brain and the nervous system is all connected. And it’s sending signals around all the time. That’s what, to me, the talent intelligence group does is it sends intelligent information to lots of groups that the CHRO just didn’t, doesn’t have time to think about

Jason:

As part of the global workforce intelligence project. I know you’ve also done a specific look at the HR function and which skills are emerging, or which skills provide the biggest impact to the business. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the interesting findings from the, the deeper look at HR?

Josh Bersin:

Yeah. This is another fascinating thing I could talk for an hour about. Well, I’m a tremendous admirer of the HR function, but when we went through and looked at all of the business capabilities and skills, we, we call them capabilities in HR. After interviewing a lot of companies, we found out there are more than 80 or 90 domains of HR, employment, branding and diversity recruiting, and, you know, people analytics. I mean, there’s, there’s more like 80 or 90 of those things. Each of which is a skilled domain in itself with its own learning curve. So we started doing surveys and interviewing companies and doing assessments. And we have about 7,000 companies that have gone through that. And we looked at the eightfold data too. And what we found is that in traditional companies, less transformed companies, the HR function is very good at transactional things, paper record, keeping payroll, administration, employee communications, standardized recruiting, and so forth in the highly advanced companies that transformed companies that we discovered through the GWI with the data from you guys.

Josh Bersin:

They’re good at other things. They’re good at design thinking. They’re good at consulting. They’re good at change management. They’re good at data analytics. They’re good at user interface design. They’re good at employee experience. They understand wellbeing. They understand mental health. They understand different models of leadership. They’re more like consultants and less like transactional service delivery professionals. And that’s the whole direction of the HR profession is the transactional work is becoming automated more and more. There’s still some of it’s by hand, but if you really like being a payroll clerk, you’re gonna have a very limited career in HR. If you like being a consultant and you like org design and leadership and skills development and change management, you’re gonna have a great career. And one of the areas that it’s very hot and very in demand and not necessarily well understood is diversity. What is diversity and what is inclusion and how do we create it in all these HR practices?

Josh Bersin:

That’s one of the areas that scores as a very high in demand capability. And every year I would imagine there will be new ones. So part of the GWI project is looking in the eightfold database at the skills of those employees, through the eightfold engine and determining what the high performing companies look like versus the low performing companies. And we can see very, very clearly the kinds of skills, kinds of job titles, kinds of roles that are in existence in these high performing companies versus these lower performing companies. So it’s a perfect roadmap for organizations on what they need to do next. And one of the reasons we’re doing this is not just to create a bunch of reports, but it’s to teach people how to do it themselves. It’s not that hard. I mean, we’ve working with you guys in your database. We’ve been able to do this in six to nine months with a very small team. So, so these are things we want to teach people how to do on their own too. But anyway, the HR function is definitely becoming a much more consultative design, oriented place to work, which is fun for everybody.

Jason:

How does a ch HRO get their CEO or their CFO on board with something like town intelligence or on board with something like moving towards this shift? I mean, you just described two very different HR organizations and those two different HR organizations also require a different set of tools.

Josh Bersin:

Well, I think the CEO and the CFO are gonna be absolutely on board with this. This is not going to the CEO and saying, we need to buy Workday. Can you gimme 50 million? Cuz I wanna replace the old HR technology that was not an easy sell, but it happened. This is now saying we’re gonna use data and analytics and intelligence, and we’re gonna give you an even better dashboard of where we are and where we need to go. And by the way, talent intelligence gives you competitive intelligence. We can compare JP Morgan chase to bank of America. We can compare Stanford healthcare to Providence, healthcare to HCA. We’re actually doing that. And we’re not that big of a company. If, if this talent intelligence exists in a reasonably good size company, they’re gonna G be going to the CEO and saying, Hey, you know, based on what we’ve just discovered here. So and so competitors doing such and such, we should really consider this because it appears to be an important direction in our industry. These talent intelligence teams can find out things like, geez, did you know, we have eight different job titles of people doing exactly the same work. Maybe we should consolidate those or at least streamline them and get them to share work with each other.

Ligia:

Obviously key to this will be staffing that talent intelligence functions. These people don’t exist out there today. So how, how should they go about them staffing?

Josh Bersin:

I think there’s more of these people than you realize. You know, there’s quite a few people like me that are basically data geeks floating around HR. <laugh> there’s we find ’em all the time because they, we have 16,000 people in our database that are analytics screws. For example, they might be in recruiting analytics, doing sourcing intelligent. They might be in workforce planning. They might be in people, analytics. They might just be business partners. But if you’re an IO psychologist, you have a lot of background in statistics. If you worked in it, you know, a lot about data and technology, you know, if you studied psychology, I’m sure you took courses on methodologies and data design and, and experimental design. So there’s a lot of people that will flock to this. Once it becomes clear what it is. And we’re trying to clarify what it is for everybody. So I don’t, I don’t think it’s gonna be as hard. It’s kind of like people analytics, once people analytics was established as a domain, a lot of people came out of the woodwork and raised their hand and said, Hey, I wanna do that.

Ligia:

Yeah, I guess the point is they don’t have to be data scientists.

Josh Bersin:

No, no, no data. Science is a, is a very technical geeky software focused job. Data scientists might be needed to support this, but in the case of eightfold, you guys do the data science. So the customer doesn’t have to do that much of that.

Jason:

Josh. One of the biggest questions we get is where does the town intelligence layer kind of fit into the tech stack? And what are the relationships between the other systems? Like, is it a system of insight? Is it a reporting system? Is it quickly becoming a system of record for skills kind of how does it fit and kind of what’s the role that it plays?

Josh Bersin:

Okay. Well, first of all, everybody who sells software to HR now claims to have a skills based system. So, you know, forget about getting any clarity from the vendors themselves. Everybody has decided they’re gonna do this, but you have to, as a client, as a buyer, as an HR person, you have to think about the fact that this thing, wherever it sits, whether it’s in the ERP in another system is actually a data system, not a skill system. It collects data from many sources. It’s gonna have skills, data, and workforce data about your company. It’s gonna have data from candidates or people on the outside job market. You know, if you buy a new company, you’re gonna have to put that data in there. You’re probably gonna want to get data from the labor force labor market. You’re gonna want to get data from pay on what people are making and pay.

Josh Bersin:

It has to be an open system and the company who sells it to you should know something about the data itself. If the company who sells it to you is selling you a tool. That’s empty. What I call an empty vessel. You’re gonna have a lot of work, getting it to fill it up and do it, what you want it to do. So I think this is a new system of record that sits on top of, or complimentary with the ERP. But I think as most companies evolve, they’re gonna realize that it’s a little more complicated than having a skills engine. The skills engine, frankly, is a commodity. I mean, if all you want is a piece of software to store your skills in, you could buy Microsoft access and probably do it there, but you need AI. You need a system. That’s looking at the data and making sense of it.

Josh Bersin:

And a lot of the things you guys do are very complex and a little bit hard to explain, but you are identifying skills and patterns in the data that an off the shelf empty system wouldn’t do. I mean, the analogy is Google. What is the database of Google? I have no idea. I mean, there’s like a hundred databases in there, but there’s a massive amount of intelligence going on. When you type a search, that’s looking at you and your location and what you searched last and what’s going on in the market and so forth. That intelligence is what Atel intelligence system is. So you need a vendor. That’s doing that. And that’s why I think you guys, and a couple other vendors are going to be sort of the primary providers of this system. The ERP vendors will exist to, we need payroll.

 

Intelligence System for Recruiting, Retention, Reskilling, and Reengineering

Josh Bersin:

We need systems of record. We need workforce management. We need workflow security. I mean all that stuff too. So I think the talent intelligence platform is unique. And I think as companies start issuing RFPs and investigating this capability with a little more sophistication, the market will shake out because right now it’s a market of marketing. Everybody says they have everything and the buyers are not quite educated enough to differentiate. So if you read the list of features in all of the quote, unquote intelligence, software, and HR, all sorts of vendors seem to have the same stuff. But I think as the talent intelligence space picks up speed, we’re gonna get much more sophisticated implementations and more sophisticated RFPs. And then the market will shake out and nothing against the ERP vendors. The EERP vendors are gonna be around forever. They’re gonna, they’re gonna do fine. I think it’s a new market. I think you guys have inadvertently created it. I’m not sure you guys knew you were doing this when you got started. It

Ligia:

Was all intentional. It was all intentional <laugh>.

Ligia:

But Josh, we like to give practical advice on this podcast. And some of our listeners may or may not be learning about talent intelligence for the first time. They’re not learning about you. We know that. So what’s your advice like where do they get started? This is frankly a tad overwhelming. And let’s be honest. They’ve already invested, like you said, millions in great systems, right? In Oracle Teleo in SAP success factors, my older arm mater in Workday. So it’s not easy to go back and be like, yeah, I’m gonna need some more money. Cuz guess what? What we invested in doesn’t do it all. So how do I peel back the onions? So I fully understand what I’m getting into to figure out if I need it.

Josh Bersin:

Right. Okay. Well, there’s, let’s make this as simple as I can. I know it sounds a little complicated. It’s not that complicated. I mean, I, I think there’s two decision paths that most companies have to go through. The first is what are the biggest problems we need to solve around here? Where’s the pain point. Where’s the highest ROI talent problem we wanna solve and let’s focus there. So then if you go in and you look at the talent intelligence, the four RS for that domain, you’ll be able to start a project to do a skills assessment. Look at the labor market, look at what the workforce looks like and all that stuff in that area. So that’s the way I would recommend people get started as opposed to saying, Hey, we’d like to do talent intelligence for every job in the company. The second answer is from a technology standpoint, every company’s HR technology is different, but look at what you have and figure out in your own mind using your architecture team or hi, hire us.

Josh Bersin:

We’ll help you. Where is this intelligence system today? If you wanted to do what I just said and look at recruiting, retention, reskilling and reengineering in an integrated way. If you wanted to come up with a new job architecture, would you be able to do it in your current infrastructure or not? And the chances are you’re gonna come to the conclusion that it’s kind of hard to do using the systems we have. We do need another system in the middle. I’m not gonna tell you, you have to do this, but I know from the problems they’re running into that the current systems are not designed to operate this way. And so that helps your architectural team say, Hey, we need a new system of record here. This is a really important thing that we now need. So let’s go buy one. I’m sorry. That’s the way tech works. Sometimes you gotta keep buying new stuff. <laugh> one more thing. You know, if you look at CRM, when I was working at Cybase, there was no CRM. They were called Salesforce automation systems and they didn’t do much. Well, now you buy CRM and you don’t need any of that Salesforce automation stuff. So the talent intelligence technology will end up replacing other things.

Jason:

Well, Josh, thank you for walking us through those observations and sharing some of your insights with us today. I appreciate you also mentioning the global workforce intelligence project. We do have a link to it off of our eightfold website, but how else can our listeners get involved? And maybe just a quick mention of what else is coming down the road with the global workforce intelligence project.

Josh Bersin:

Okay. So in September, we’re gonna launch the project at the HR tech conference in Vegas. We’re gonna have a big event there. We will be unleashing the original, the first study in the healthcare industry. And then the banking one will come out in October and then we’re gonna do subsequent industries. You can join these projects. You can join our membership program, come to our website, send us a message. We’ll get hold of you and show it to you. We have CHRO councils in each industry. So we’ll love to talk to you. Anybody who’s sort of a, an executive in HR would like to talk about what’s going on in your industry. And we’ll, we’ll do a lot of education and communication around this and go to conferences and stuff as much as we possibly can. So I would say, you know, just go to our website register and we’ll give you a call and tell you more about how to

Ligia:

Get you’re so well known. I don’t even think we need to print a URL. <laugh> they know how to find you, Josh. Excellent. Well, that’s the time we have today, but you know, I’m not gonna let you go unless we close out with our other popular question on potential. If you had not gone into HR technology, what other passions would you have pursued?

Josh Bersin:

Well, when I was a kid, because my dad was a scientist and he was a, you know, really, really interesting scientist, my dream job was to be an astronaut <laugh>. I tried to join the air force once, and then I realized I didn’t wanna be in the military, but that would’ve been my other dream job, but there are very few of those jobs available. So I doubt you

Ligia:

Never know. You never know. We would be having a very different conversation. Josh. Excellent. Well, that’s a wrap for today again. Thanks for joining us. Thank you Josh. Thanks, Jason. This was an amazing conversation and who knows? We may be having another one. Thanks everybody. Thanks for listening to the new talent code. This is a podcast produced by eightfold AI. If you’d like to learn more about us, please visit us at eightfold.ai and you can find us on all your favorite social media sites. We’d love to connect and continue the conversation.

 

 

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