SAP’s Dr. Steve Hunt: Every Talent Team Needs to Map Out a Path to Upskilling

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Today’s episode of the show features Steve Hunt, Chief Expert of Technology & Work at SAP.  Steve has been at SAP for over a decade, and in his current role, he supports SAP’s customers with understanding and managing the interaction between work, technology, and business performance.  Before transitioning to SAP, Steve led a team of research scientists at Kronos (now UKG).  He holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is the author of several books on technology in the workplace.  His new book, Talent Tectonics, takes a deep dive into some of the topics we will touch on today.  

Steve shares his winding career path, which takes what we know about people and technology’s capabilities to improve the work experience.  Today, the new talent code dictates that we transform learning in the workplace and differentiate between learning and upskilling.  Two major workplace shifts drive this need for transformation: the change in work due to digitization and the evolution of workplace demographics.  One prominent result of these shifts is that companies hire more for potential than qualification or experience.  The technology used to design jobs and manage talent, Steve says, is crucial for these companies to create a learning organization. 

To see the workplace transform into a learning environment, companies can use role modeling, opportunity marketplaces, self-reflection techniques, and more to help employees develop a sense of what they’d like to learn. And again, technology is a critical piece of the puzzle. As technology is to skills what a GPS is to maps, talent intelligence updates on the fly and offers better insight, thus helping people imagine their growth and career paths better.  Next, Steve explains what employees or candidates should look for to see if a given company will promote their learning and also offers insight on how HR leaders and hiring professionals can create a culture of continuous learning. 

Finally, as the conversation ends, Steve talks about what might have been…had he taken choir class!


You can follow Steve Hunt for more practical insights and learn more about his new book, Talent Tectonics.

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