Category: Talent

IT Talent – Winning the Short-term Battle and the Long-term War | Blog

With the cost to secure IT talent internally and through third-party providers only continuing to rise, attracting and retaining technology workforce will require immediate and long-term tactics. Participate in our study to identify best-in-class IT workforce development strategies in leading global organizations.

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July Quick Poll | How Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining IT Talent Changed in Q2 2021

The cost of hiring top-tier IT talent is escalating by the day. The persistent skills shortage has been exasperated by increasing post-COVID digital transformation spend and pent-up business demand, creating an intense short-term talent scramble.

Despite enterprises using known offensive (attraction) and defensive (retention) tricks, a demand-supply gap of 15%+ for critical roles in cloud, data, automation, agile, and security is being seen across regions. Offering compensation corrections and counters, bonuses, flexible location options, or job rotations are keeping companies in the race, but more ingenious measures are needed.

July Quick Poll | How Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining IT Talent Changed in Q2 2021

Insights to win the short-term battle

Enterprises are realizing that classical attraction and retention strategies are being relegated to “common differentiators.” Many enterprises are starting to max out on the stretched end of their annual IT workforce budgets – even as attrition levels spike beyond 30 percent for key roles.

We see this scramble persisting over the next 3-6 months. However, as pointed out by our CEO Peter Bendor-Samuel recently, fulfillment of pent-up demand and potentially increased cross-border talent movement is expected to start narrowing the demand-supply gap from the current dizzying levels as we enter 2022.

IT Talent War

 

Here are a few novel approaches enterprises can take to alleviate workforce challenges to a certain extent, especially around access and time-to-hire:

  • Relax shortlisting criteria: Recalibrate technical competency thresholds (e.g., the stringency of HackerRack test ratings and additional technical rounds), within reasonable limits, to broaden the talent funnel in the short term. Consider increased training at the start and onboarding graduates with dedicated training investments
  • Involve business and operations: Follow the lead of best-in-class enterprises by having:
    • IT engineers, product managers, and agile coaches – actively recruit and scout in online communities
    • Senior IT and business leaders – elevate brand value and excite prospective candidates via informal discussions
    • IT teams – screen candidates to cut down shortlisting efforts, especially for critical/complex roles
    • Team members – approach candidates before the on-boarding to build rapport
  • Upskill rapidly: Stagger skilling and training for new employees joining the organization and existing employees switching roles to reduce deployment time (e.g., from 8-9 weeks to 4 weeks)
  • Focus on internal mobility: Re-evaluate internal career progression designs and create better growth opportunities for employees by properly mapping competencies, clearly articulating alternative roles/paths, and incentivizing critical skills development
  • Explore alternative channels: Expand staffing partnerships, leverage hackathons/online competitions, proactively reach out to developer communities (Hacker News, Github, Stack Overflow, and Reddit), and engage with boot camps to improve channel access
  • Hire location-neutral: Hire talent remotely with no requirement of the work location to tap into the broad IT pools and push decisions on Work from Home (WFH) or visas for later. Consider pods, satellites, and Centers of Excellence (CoEs) to access niche skills
  • Increase referral premiums: Jack up referral premiums by 50 to 100 percent, especially for critical positions
  • Award retention bonuses: Offer retention bonuses with a time lag of only a few months to counter immediate attrition

Staying ahead in the long-term talent race

With IT at the front and center of every business, enterprises across industries are inevitably competing for the same target talent pool. With demand expected to outstrip supply, only enterprises that take their tech workforce destinies into their own hands will survive. And the planning and structural interventions required to drive IT talent self-sufficiency need to begin today, if not already.

IT Workforce Strategy and Planning

If you are interested in learning how other organizations are addressing the IT talent shortage, Everest Group is currently conducting an extensive study to identify best-in-class, or Pinnacle, IT workforce development strategies in leading global organizations. Take the survey

We will share a complimentary summary analysis of the survey results highlighting how your organization compares against the peer group with respect to capabilities created and business outcomes achieved.

Please reach out to [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] to discuss this critical topic.

Also watch Peter Bendor-Samuel’s two-part video series about the ongoing talent war.

Infusing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (De&I) Into Talent Management Strategies: Why It Matters | Blog

While improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) has always been a goal for most HR managers, the events that erupted in 2020 called attention to the need for change in the workplace. Following the unending tragedies of racial injustice in America, now, more than ever, it is crucial for organizations to raise awareness and take the right steps toward achieving this. DE&I has become a mission-critical piece of any organization’s culture, HR policies, and efforts into modernizing the workplace. To learn more on how to create successful DE&I strategies, read on.

Defining DE&I

Let’s take a look at the key definitions of each of these terms:

Diversity – The presence of differences within a given setting

In a workplace, these could relate to race, gender, gender identity, age, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, physical ability, experience, or knowledge. It is a relational concept and shows up in the composition of teams and organizations. This does not refer to a person being diverse, but rather the company and its teams – it is about the “differences” between people within an ecosystem. Diversity is a much deeper concept than perceived and requires individuals to recognize that people are not a set of attributes and that everyone is unique in their own ways.

Equity – Promoting justice, impartiality, and fairness within any procedure, process, or distribution of resources by an organization or institution

Equity recognizes the differences within individuals and considers the needs of all while rebalancing structures and policies to account for disadvantages faced by minority groups – with an ultimate goal of creating fair access and advancement for all. A deep and clear understanding of the root causes of the disparity within a closed space is needed to truly remove equity issues.

One of the points of confusion when discussing equity is the term “equality,” which means that each individual or group of people are given the same resources and opportunities and assumed to take advantage of those. Equity recognizes the difference of circumstances, abilities, and opportunities, and helps an individual rise above this, and further allocates resources to help them reach an equal outcome.

Inclusion – An outcome to ensure those that are diverse feel and are welcomed, are given a voice and have a say

To an outsider looking in at the process, it may often seem as though an individual in an environment that respects diversity and follows equity is set up to feel included – but this is a misconception. These outcomes are only met when a team and/or company is truly inviting to all. It is a measure of how well individuals can participate and voice their opinions openly without being suppressed in the decision-making processes within an organization or group. It is essential to understand what can be done to make everyone feel valued and strive to design-related policies, processes, physical spaces, and products to feel included.

While diversity and inclusion are outcomes, equity is a process and is responsible for upholding the beliefs of diversity- and inclusion-related goals and actions.

Efforts and approach

DE&I often comes up in Everest Group’s discussions with clients on both sides. Enterprises are increasingly interested in improving DE&I practices within their firm. Several providers are also talking about how they are lending their expertise in this area through training, coaching, and leveraging technology to ensure they prevent implicit and explicit bias in the workplace.

Among the key reasons for enterprises to focus on DE&I initiatives are:

  • Larger talent pool: Enterprises driven to hire a variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds can access a wider and under-tapped talent pools
  • Higher employee engagement: DE&I plays a significant role in ensuring employee satisfaction, motivation, and productivity. Losing any of these three could hamper the business outcome of the company
  • Stronger company culture: Engaging with people who have different experiences makes everyone at the firm feel positive about their workplace and creates a sense of greater belonging
  • Greater innovation and creativity: Bringing together people from varied backgrounds promotes more product and service innovation delivered by a company, reinforcing the critical nature of DE&I
  • Better customer alignment: Marketing efforts that reflect the diverse backgrounds of the company’s workforce will help the business build deeper connections with customers and better understand their needs
  • Stronger employer branding: With the competitive talent market, it has become essential for enterprises to look at ways to improve DE&I to attract and retain top talent

How organizations are using DE&I tools  

While enterprises have some DE&I policies in place, it is important to take a more comprehensive approach to ensure these practices exist in the whole hire to retire sphere. To achieve this, vendors in the talent sourcing, management, and engagement space are developing use cases with DE&I as an underlying concept within the existing solutions.

The below exhibits showcases some of these use cases:

Talent sourcing Talent management/engagement
  • Assisting enterprises to develop DE&I supporting job descriptions
  • Partnering with diversity groups to build diverse talent pipelines/pools
  • Leveraging third-party tools such as blind recruitment software (integrated with CRM/ATS software) to anonymize applications and résumés to ensure an unbiased selection process, based only on the candidate’s experience and skills
  • Collecting internal data and developing dashboards to show diversity data in each step of recruitment. Accessing external data to show the talent supply-demand for diverse candidates in any region and their skills
  • Offering consulting and advisory to help enterprises reduce bias from their recruitment process by reprocessing. Conducting training for hiring managers and a diversity assessment of the current organization, followed with recommendations on improvements
  • Building dashboards and using salary benchmarking to understand compensation offered, compare pay equity between different groups of employees, and identify any disparity
  • Harnessing the power of chatbots and analytics, several employee engagement surveys and feedback tools help HR personnel understand the employee sentiments through active listening and deliver actionable insights to them to improve structural imbalances
  • Leveraging tools such as AI and ML to highlight and prevent any instances of unconscious bias, along with tracking such instances to further offer microlearning courses to the user. The ML model continues to learn through multiple instances and continuously improves the set of suggestions for the end-user
  • Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistant to present DE&I situations to employees for more proactive learning
  • Tracking key diversity metrics to help enterprises in succession planning, employee development, and performance management

 

Vision for the future  

DE&I in the workplace is an essential business practice that high-performing firms prioritize as crucial to building environments that help their incredible workforce thrive. It is on top of mind these days and will only grow in importance as companies continue to invest in their DE&I programs. Making meaningful efforts can truly benefit a firm’s growth.

To realize the full advantages of a DE&I program, enterprises need to clearly define their vision toward DE&I, develop strategic plans and a formalized framework, measure key metrics tracking the impact of the program developed based on employee feedback, and continue to improve.

How robust is your organization’s DE&I strategy? Share your thoughts with Rachita Mehrishi.

 

How Long Will the Acute Talent Shortage Last? | Blog

Companies now face an acute talent shortage, particularly for digital skills. As I described in my recent blog, this talent shortage means companies must now pay a lot more for new talent and pay more for existing talent to keep them from leaving. Consequently, it will bust corporate budgets for 2021, and it is already causing a boom in offshoring. Company executives now ask me whether I believe this will turn out to be a short-term imbalance between supply and demand or if secular forces at play that will make the talent shortage a much longer-term issue.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

Acute Talent Shortage Set to Break Budgets | Blog

Companies that create annual budgets will find their 2021 budget busted because of the rapidly increasing rise in the price of talent – both for internal employees and for talent provided by third-party service providers. Even the wage situation six months ago is significantly different from now, as are the chances for hiring and retaining the necessary talent to meet business needs. What should your company expect, and how can you manage this situation?

Read more in my blog on Forbes

GBS Talent and Skilling Strategies for 2021 and Beyond: A Pinnacle Model® Study | Blog

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Global Business Services (GBS) organizations have positioned themselves as valuable partners of the enterprise, driving enterprises’ top priorities and aligning with overarching objectives. Currently, GBS organizations are evolving to become global talent hubs that house deep-domain expertise and next-generation skills for enterprises. However, with the pace of technology adoption intensifying, it’s becoming more challenging to find talent that can fill next-generation positions.

GBS organizations need a robust, futuristic skilling strategy and will want to take steps to hire talent and educate, train, upskill, and reskill their current workforce to fill these necessary roles. The below image illustrates talent-related issues that are arising for GBS organizations.

GBS talent-related challenges

Getting on the right path with a future-ready workforce

To deliver maximum value, GBS organizations should begin to strategize how to bring in next-generation talent and deliver development opportunities to advance current employees’ abilities and skills. With future-ready talent, GBS organizations will bring even more value to the table, encouraging enterprises to view them as operating units with increased leadership contributions and less as helpers. Having the right talent could also lead to expanding into additional areas in which GBS can be more involved and entrenched with enterprise strategy and decision-making.

Further, skilled talent will provide a competitive advantage for GBS organizations, with the most success coming from those that have invested heavily in their employees’ skills and competencies. Enhancing skills within the workforce will be key to augmenting strengths and differentiators for the GBS model in 2021 and beyond.

Talent strategy focus areas

There are a few specific areas where GBS organizations can adapt when it comes to acquiring talent and advancing current workforce skills, including:

  • Enhancing brand perception in the talent market
  • Utilizing out-of-the-box talent acquisition methods
  • Offering learning and development (L&D) and talent reskilling and upskilling

GBS organizations that are proactive with their talent strategies, open to adopting new tactics, and not tethered to traditional methods are among those that may see the most success.

Enhancing brand perception in the talent market

With access to high-skill capabilities being a top priority for GBS organizations in 2021, there are expected changes to GBS talent-related performance metrics, including a higher bar for quickly finding and hiring talent. Turning to non-traditional methods to catch attention is becoming more common. One of the most effective approaches is a stronger social media presence to boost brand awareness and to be viewed as a desirable place to work. Hiring strategies now include being active in niche group conversations on social media and using hashtags to get in front of the right crowds.

Out-of-the-box talent acquisition methods

GBS organizations are searching out a variety of ways to find talent. Some have found success by hiring talent with specific skills from alternative and adjacent industries. There is also a different approach when it comes to reaching junior-level talent. Organizations are partnering with educational institutions, not just to offer internships, but to co-develop classes and implement projects like campus ambassador programs and hackathons. This gives the student an opportunity to get to know the organization and develop relationships with employees. One other method of attaining niche talent is through acquihiring, where a company will acquire another company, primarily for the skills of the staff.

L&D and talent reskilling and upskilling

As GBS organizations strive to deliver higher-value and multi-function services, they will not only need to find the talent, but work to keep that talent. This could be carried out by incorporating career paths and L&D opportunities, so talent stays trained and relevant on new skills. Many organizations are developing in-house learning for employees through gamification-based programs, making learning fun and improving employee engagement. Another method taking shape is peer-to-peer learning, where employees can come together to be innovative and learn from each other.

By creating a culture of learning, investing in talent, and helping the workforce to continually develop skills, GBS organizations can create a cycle of upskilling and reskilling, which could ultimately close the talent shortage gap for good.

The 2021 Pinnacle Model study for skilling strategies in GBS organizations

To discover more about talent and skilling strategies within GBS organizations, Everest Group and The Conference Board have developed the 2021 Pinnacle Model study. The research accumulated from the study will narrow down future skilling and talent strategies and provide valuable insights around best-in-class, or Pinnacle, skilling strategies in leading GBS organizations based on our proprietary Pinnacle Model framework.

How will this research help you?

By contributing to this study, you will learn how your peers – and the best of the best – are designing and implementing their skilling strategies. We will share a complimentary summary analysis of the survey results highlighting how your organization compares against peer groups with respect to capabilities created and business outcomes achieved.

Take the Study

Potential War For IT Talent In 2021 | Blog

At Everest Group, we study a lot of forward-looking indicators, and we believe the service market prospects for next year are significant. In a recent blog, I talked about anticipating a robust market in the third-party services space in 2021. However, companies face a surplus of opportunities in the coming year at the same time as they face a scarcity of talent.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

Preparing for the Future – COVID-19 Implications for the HR function | Blog

Over the past couple of years, the HR function has experienced drastic changes, particularly in the way employees work, learn, and communicate. The pace of change has been exponential, with enterprises pushing for digitalization. However, no one would have imagined that a single global event, the COVID-19 outbreak, would accelerate one of the greatest workplace transformations of our times.

Digitalization is crucial, as it will help companies enable their internal functions with collaboration and productivity tools for employees and improve operational efficiency with agile business continuity plans.

The acceleration can be credited to the urgency to support employees working remotely so the business can run as smoothly as possible and provide a superior employee experience amidst the panic and uncertainty. With businesses struggling to survive in the face of, what is likely, one of the harshest recessions to date, it’s vital to understand the changes that will be brought about by this global pandemic. These changes will be facilitated by newer technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and automation, and force companies to rethink their existing structures and guidelines

Here’s a look at how HR needs to change to ensure a great work environment in the next normal:

001

Incorporate policy changes for the next normal: With the strain of the coronavirus confining everyone to their homes, companies across the globe have mandated or are encouraging employees to work from home. And this model is expected to stay. Even after the pandemic ends and employees return to their workplaces, remote work will continue to hold significant relevance as enterprises realize its cost-benefit and commit to finding other methods to support business continuity. To ensure its success, companies will have to develop processes and inculcate policies that enable flexible working – establishing guidelines for working remotely, managing employee productivity in physical and digital workspaces, and formulating guidance for managers handling a distributed workforce. Further, the use of digital workers and bots will increase, which will, in turn, result in an urgent need to develop policies regarding cybersecurity, auditing, and redefining instances of human intervention.

Ensure undisrupted workflow: With the new and restructured workforce, companies are also looking to digitize the workplace and automating various processes and workflows to increase efficiency. Thus, HR solutions for automated employee onboarding, automated helpdesk, and productivity tools, along with communication and collaboration tools, are gaining traction in the market. For instance, the adoption of Microsoft Teams and Zoom have dramatically increased, and the uptake will continue.

Utilize the power of virtual learning: Businesses that have typically relied on face-to-face/classroom learning will have to develop a proof of concept for learning using the latest online technologies. The remote working model and increased leverage of digital technologies will also increase the need to upskill and reskill the workforce. In light of COVID-19, enterprises have become extremely cautious with their spending and are seeking cost-effective solutions for their workforces, which adds to the appeal of remote learning. To derive maximum benefit, organizations will have to look not only for relevant skills and talent but also for tools to enable smart learning, as well as enter into partnerships with traditional and non-traditional learning organizations.

Focus on health and well-being: COVID-19 has brought the importance of employee well-being, which encompasses physical, mental, and emotional health, to the forefront. The HR wellness agenda for the future will have two facets: One, the employee side, which includes tools and policies that help employees plan their day-to-day activities, particularly when working remotely and have to deal with increased stress and added concerns of changing benefits ranging from health and hazard to leave policies; and, two, the operations side, which includes tools that track employee sentiment and help improve employee support, thereby ensuring better employee engagement.

Develop new talent acquisition and workforce management practices: Every process in the acquisition value chain will be overhauled to make it more efficient – from the use of AI and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to source and screen candidates to the use of video interviewing tools to enable remote presence, and chatbots to ensure a superior candidate experience and engagement. Following the COVID-19 crisis, the job market is also set to undergo massive changes; while the demand for some jobs will increase, the overall job market will slow. Enterprises will need to conduct powerful workforce planning to ensure their access to the right talent, and strategically structure existing talent to ensure maximum engagement and productivity.

Use analytics to track workforce- and engagement-related data: As the workforce becomes increasingly (and literally) spread out, and as new ways of working emerge, HR leaders will have to keep track of their organizations’ pulses. Efficient data collection and mining tools will be key to understanding the nature of changes. Organizations will increasingly adopt tools that track how employees work, perform, collaborate, and feel to derive insights to improve operations and engagement. These tools, along with advanced AI capabilities, will also deliver actionable insights for more informed decision-making in a shorter time.

Keep employees motivated: With increasing instances of pay cuts and the uncertainty of the current situation, enterprises are looking for effective strategies to keep their employees engaged and motivated. Deploying a robust R&R solution that quickly recognizes and rewards valuable employees for their effort and commitment to work can help organizations mitigate some of the impacts of the ongoing pandemic and the slowdown, and as a result, boost employee morale.

Emphasize on financial wellness: With the increasing number of layoffs, instances of pay cuts, and market fluctuations, financial security is a significant concern for many employees. To curb these types of fears within the workforce, companies can provide employees with financial wellness options. Features such as budget management tools, financial coaching, and financial stress management tools, as well as the offer of paid leave, on-demand paychecks, and pre-paid cards, can help during these unprecedented and trying times.

Automate tasks, humanize processes: While HR must redesign processes to make them more efficient, it is far more important to keep the employee at the center of these processes rather than the function. This crisis is an opportunity to redesign around the central stakeholder – the employee.

These strategies will help enterprises survive in the new normal while keeping their employees engaged and satisfied, whether they develop them in-house or partner with service providers to deliver them.

Is your workplace future-ready? How do you see the HR strategies transforming? Share your inputs with Priyanka Mitra.

Will COVID-19 Amplify Acqui-hiring and Help Companies Win the War on Talent? | Blog

COVID-19 is truly turning out to be the black swan event of our lifetimes – it will have profound near- and long-term consequences on talent markets around the world. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently noted that COVID-19 could contract the global GDP by 3 percent in 2020, causing the GDPs of 170 countries to shrink and making it the steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. As discussed in our recent blog, Will COVID-19 Ease the Relentless War for Talent?, talent shortages will become even more acute and the supply-demand gap for emerging skills will further widen as companies undertake rapid digital transformation and adapt to the “next normal.”

Against this backdrop, some firms are seeing this time as an opportune time to acqui-hire – or acquire startups primarily for their talent.

We have been here before. Acqui-hiring tends to spike during and after economic crises. The early 2010s saw a flurry of acquisitions by Silicon Valley giants including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, aimed at acquiring hot skills. We believe there will be a similar acqui-hiring surge in 2020, with multiples firms announcing plans to acquire emerging skills and accelerate their efforts to build niche capabilities.

Why do companies acqui-hire?

Mark Zuckerberg once said, “Facebook has not once bought a company for the company itself. We buy companies to get excellent people.” This sentiment highlights the premium companies place on good talent. Companies acqui-hire to leverage multiple advantages such as access to highly-skilled talent, reduced time-to-hire and training efforts, developing niche capabilities, and launching a business model.

Facebook has plans to hire 10,000 additional FTEs in its product and engineering teams to tackle high utilization after the pandemic abates and to combat misinformation in advance of the U.S. presidential election in November. Amazon and Google are aggressively hiring product, design, and engineering talent. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently stated that the company plans to hire aggressively, just as it did after the 2008 financial crisis.

With multiple startups facing reduced valuations due to the economic downturn, it is highly likely that a significant chunk of this demand for talent will be addressed through focused acqui-hiring. Additionally, we expect leading Indian service provider players supporting global services delivery, like Infosys, TCS, and Wipro, to accelerate their acquisition efforts to gain strategic capabilities and grow business inorganically. And Walmart Labs has announced plans to hire over 3,000 FTEs for its India centers, aiming to strengthen its India COE by hiring new talent and acquiring relevant startups.

We are already seeing many acqui-hiring deals in 2020, a few of which we describe below. While not all were triggered by the COVID-19 aftermath, we expect the business and economic repercussions of the pandemic to accelerate this trend.

  • Google recently acqui-hired Superpod, an app that allows users to post questions and quickly receive answers from experts, to boost Google Assistant’s capabilities.
  • Tata Group-owned Titan Company, a traditional watchmaking firm, recently acqui-hired HUG Innovations to strengthen its smartwatches and wearables division, and plans to set up a development center in Hyderabad to cater to hardware, firmware, software, and cloud technology.
  • KPMG India acqui-hired Shivansh Solutions, an SAP consulting and implementation services provider, to augment its technology implementation practice, retaining Shivansh’s directors and the core team of SAP consultants.
  • Leading tech-enabled logistics marketplace, LetsTransport, recently acqui-hired and onboarded the team of a web and mobile app development startup, Pixlcoders, to strengthen its supply chain, technology, and applications divisions.
  • Alphonic Network Solutions, a leading mobile application development company, recently completed the strategic acqui-hire of Roaring Studios, a digital startup to augment its web and mobile app development.

As these deals indicate, acqui-hiring presents a great value proposition for companies to access highly motivated ready talent, augment existing offerings, and develop new capabilities. It also proves lucrative for startups, especially those that might be struggling with funding during an economic downturn. We are already seeing early signs of funding scarcity, with industry analysts reporting that total startup funding in New York City is down 48 percent from year-ago levels since the lockdown started in mid-March.

Acqui-hiring can be a win-win for everyone. However, to ensure acqui-hiring success, companies must address critical factors beyond the usual legal and contractual due diligence.

What makes acqui-hiring work?

To make acqui-hiring work, companies must:

  • Explore cost-benefit trade-offs – While multiple acqui-hire opportunities may exist in the market, assess their strategic near- and long-term priorities, and shortlist startups that align with their firms’ objectives and address crucial talent-supply demand gaps.
  • Assess culture fit –Ensure that the acqui-hired talent, who usually possess an entrepreneurial mindset with a constant need to create, has the capacity to adapt to a systemized, rules-based corporate environment.
  • Evaluate employee attitude –Make sure that the relevant skills are accompanied by the right attitude to avoid potential attitude issues.
  • Ensure smooth integration – Properly manage the integration process to eliminate in-house talent’s apprehensions about, and potential resentment toward, acqui-hired team members.

The way forward

The economic aftereffects of COVID-19 will surely create some paradoxes. While on one hand startups may be challenged and job markets ravaged, on the other hand this time could present an opportunity to re-strategize priorities, revitalize operating models, build capabilities, and acquire the right talent. We believe companies that proactively realign their workforce strategies and tactically utilize acqui-hiring will emerge stronger and more resilient.

Companies looking to acqui-hire as way to address emerging talent challenges must undertake the following steps to ensure effective outcomes:

  • Review the global workforce strategy and identify relevant talent supply-demand gaps
  • Identify and evaluate potential acqui-hire options
  • Undertake comprehensive legal and contractual due diligence
  • Develop a comprehensive roadmap for integration with the existing operating model.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on acqui-hiring as an effective talent acquisition strategy. Please share with us at: [email protected] or [email protected].

Will COVID-19 Ease the Relentless War for Talent? | Blog

While some people in the global services industry think that large scale unemployment and the slowdown in growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic may reduce the talent demand-supply gap, we wholeheartedly disagree. Indeed, we believe that strategic workforce planning has become even more critical for the global services industry.

Here are four reasons why organizations need to accelerate their workforce initiatives right now.

Talent shortages will become acute

A survey we conducted in early 2020 found that, even before the COVID-19 crisis, 86 percent of enterprises considered the talent shortage a key barrier to achieving business outcomes. This situation will further exacerbate. It’s true that the impending economic downturn could lead to even more unemployment and oversupply in the talent market. However, the available skills profiles may not necessarily match organizations’ current and future requirements, especially because highly skilled talent is expected to be retained even during downsizing. Increasing focus on automation and digital transformation will further widen the demand-supply gap for skills, making it difficult for organizations to source suitable skills internally or in the open market. The prevailing circumstances (e.g., the lockdown, financial distress, and health issues) may impact overall talent employability in the open market, further compounding the talent availability issue.

Rapid digital transformation is inevitable, and it will intensify the demand-supply gap

COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation across organizations. It has not only reinforced the utility of tech-enabled platforms and advanced automation for seamless service delivery during mandatory Work-From-Home (WFH) protocols, but also enabled organizations to react to the evolving business environment and customer needs faster. The impending budget cliff and business model changes will further push organizations to prioritize digital transformation, which will have implications on the talent needed both to drive this change and to deliver services after transformation. Demand for emerging skills will spike even faster, again creating the need for reskilling, alternative talent models, and productivity enhancement. We are already seeing a spike in hiring by companies like Amazon and Google. Some firms are seeing this as an opportune time to acqui-hire – or acquire startups primarily for their talent. Leading global banks, healthcare firms, and manufacturing firms are rethinking their talent strategies.

Supposedly foolproof location and BCP strategies did not work in the face of this pandemic

COVID-19 has exposed key issues with enterprises’ and service providers’ existing locations strategy and Business Continuity Planning (BCP) approaches. Nearly three-quarters of enterprises that have offshore/nearshore GBS centers operate in only one location. Even enterprises with multiple GBS centers have a high concentration of talent in their largest center. Others have developed centers of excellence with large portions of their workforce for a specific function consolidated in a few locations. Less than 10 percent of GBS centers were truly prepared for a seamless WFH model. Companies will need to re-evaluate their redundancy matrices and location/portfolio mixes to achieve a more robust BCP. Some seemingly obvious responses to locations portfolio questions may not apply anymore.

WFH is here-to-stay

A 2017-18 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that nearly 30 percent of the American workforce could work remotely. The extended lockdown in the near term and a high utilization, once the COVID-19 crisis has abated, will likely make WFH an integral component of the overall service delivery model. This change will have significant talent implications – motivation, employee engagement, performance metrics, reporting metrics, communication protocols, and collaboration – which organizations will need to proactively address to optimize productivity and enhance output.

COVID-19 has precipitated a fundamental shift in the way we work. There are underlying opportunities for enterprises and service providers that proactively adapt to the new normal. We believe there are four immediate steps that enterprises must take:

  • Review your enterprise global workforce strategy
  • Develop a roadmap for skills development initiatives
  • Review your locations portfolios and BCP strategy
  • Build a playbook for integrating WFH and crowdsourcing into your services delivery models

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting talent strategies. Please share with us at: [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected].

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