Why the talent war will be won by the champions of ‘talent experience’

Why the talent war will be won by the champions of ‘talent experience’

Within organisations worldwide, influential leaders are recognising the need to shift the historic emphasis on profits to a dynamic emphasis on people.

In the US, such a shift was made visible when almost 22 large corporations signed the Statement of Purpose. Essentially, this statement clarified that instead of putting shareholder value first, they are now placing the primary emphasis on purpose. Critically, this purpose encompasses investing in employees and enhancing their workplace experience. (Such a move rejects the theory of the iconic late economist Milton Friedman, who asserted that seeking profits for shareholders alone allows a company to prosper, keep people employed and drive economic growth).

In line with this prioritising of employees, we are seeing that the concept of employee experience is becoming part of the mainstream corporate lexicon. Indeed, according to the LinkedIn 2020 Talent trends report, the number of EX jobs has grown by a whopping 300%! This reflects the push for a better experience for employees, and work which speaks to purpose and an alignment of values.

But what does this trend mean for business leaders in the SA context?

Importantly, it means moving away from driving talent management from an employer perspective to rather looking at it from an employee perspective. So, instead of only focusing on building great succession plans, for example, it means building succession plans that focus on developing employees in line with their career aspirations. Also, it means the development experience must not only focus on what the employer requires, but also what the employee expects!

Essentially, it means exploring a wholesale move away from talent management to talent experience…

When looking at established tools and processes, key changes therefore have to be made. For example, traditional talent management is focused on using state of the art talent tools and processes to achieve best practice talent management that delivers tangible business results. On the other hand, talent experience is focused on enhancing employee experience through managing the employee journey, creating moments that matter, and positively shaping interactions and engagements. Such an approach is designed to help employees be productive and achieve their aspirations.

In the next several years, the winners of the critical war for talent will arguably be organisations and leaders that have swiftly transitioned to enhancing the talent experience…and letting talent management take care of itself.

Gugu Khazi is a leading human resources practitioner, career coach, author and international speaker. She has joined Tuesday Consulting where she won’t just be a director and shareholder, but will also launch a new division within the executive search and advisory firm.