The word talent has been getting tossed around a lot lately. Some of my favorite catchphrases include the war for talent (oldie but goodie), state of talent, talent mobility, talent pooling, talent analytics, and the talent gap. But, wait—there’s more! The absurdity aside, it couldn’t be more true: attracting, managing, retaining, and engaging top performers is critical. An organization is only as good as its best talent.
So it’s no surprise that we explore this incredibly crucial HR function throughout our annual RPO issue. The root of recruitment process outsourcing is to usher organizations with their talent needs—sourcing and placing best-fit candidates with the benefits of cost reduction and scalability to boot. Add onboarding, brand management, social media strategies, analytics, talent pipelining, and you have RPO today. Our columnist and industry veteran Michael Beygelman delivers a brief history lesson—with a slice of humor—in his piece Hope, Hype, and Reality on pg 86.
On our cover appears an HR director who has talent top of mind. Robert Aldrich of Nationwide Building Society in Swindon, England, sought a Competitive Advantage (page 10) to win sought-after contingent workers with high-level and specialized skill sets common to the financial services industry. The diverse dynamics of Aldrich’s workforce—80 percent full-time employees and 20 percent temporary workers—added to the mix. Enter Advantage xPO. The workforce solutions provider leveraged its customer-centric hybrid approach (a blend of on-site, customer-facing services supplemented by offsite support when needed) to increase Aldrich’s quality of internal hires while saving 22 percent in the first year (2009). As we—and many others see it—considering and managing your entire workforce demographic—both permanent and non-permanent employees—as one entity is the wave of the future. In fact, recent Aberdeen research supports this with nearly 50 percent of best-in-class organizations reporting a blended workforce as a top priority for 2013 (see Contingently Changing page 87).
Another talent priority inching to the top of the list is managing members of Gen Y, also known as millennials. Studies crop up daily—PwC’s NextGen Study had some thought-provoking findings—and there’s even a conference, MCON2013, that provides organizations with strategies to engage the Millennial generation. I kid you not.
This younger generation of workers has been oft criticized for bringing their own set of challenges to the workplace. Boy, do they get a bad rap! In fact, I found myself getting my back up when one website reported that I fell into this category. Gasp. No way—I am completely under the cut-off, right? Luckily, most sources argue Gen Y members were born between the early 1980s and 2000s. Phew! Gen X and proud.
But CEO John Wilson is looking to challenge—and change—all this with his piece on Debunking Millennial Myths (page 48). He writes, “Millennials’ willingness to be accessible is especially important in recruitment, with candidates and clients calling at all hours. These tech-savvy, networking gurus, which could be called the ‘mobile generation,’ are always plugged in. Millennials are so flexible, they want employers to give them the same courtesy.” Maybe he’ll change your mind too with his influential prose and strategies to attract and retain this next generation of workers.
You know there’s a catchphrase hiding in there, waiting to be the next buzzword. Dare I say: Gen Y Not?