Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

How you can win the war for talent, both now and in 2020

employee communicationHCM greatness demands that you keep one eye on the future. What does it take to achieve success both now and five years down the road?

There’s reason to believe this question is getting tougher to answer every year. In the 21st century, work evolves quickly, and so too does the competitive marketplace for talent. It’s imperative that your organization both keep up with the present and plan adequately for the future.

The business world is quickly evolving
It’s important to note that today, the market for talent is changing rapidly. According to HRE Online, the landscape in 2020 will look nothing like it does today, even though it’s just a few short years away. Former chief human resources executive Dan Hawkins cautioned that a “talent crisis” may well be on the horizon, as a number of highly skilled baby boomers are retiring and it’s unclear whether Generation Z will have what it takes to fill their shoes.

“While the talent supply will be evolving and even growing over the next several years, the ‘mega-talent’ programs of the past may not have enough substance to attract and retain talent in the future,” Hawkins predicted. “In fact, structured talent development, rotational programs and retention programs may work against organizations intent on becoming coveted ’employers of choice.'”

Hawkins pointed out that boomers today still account for 46 million members of the U.S. workforce, and all of them have spent decades refining their skills and adding value to the economy. Replacing them will be no easy task.

What the workforce will want in 2020
The workforce in 2020 will look a lot different than it does today, and it will have entirely new demands on its employers. Workers in four years will want:

  • More interaction with leadership and involvement in the organizational mission
  • Greater opportunities to climb the ladder
  • The chance to “wear many hats” within the organization
  • Fast-paced, agile work on an ongoing basis
  • More autonomy over their work-life balance

The war for talent will be a competitive one in the years ahead. People are likely to flock to the employers that can deliver all of the above needs.

How you can address people’s future needs
If you’re running an organization and still want to be going strong in 2020, it’s time to adjust to the workforce’s changing desires.

That means developing your talent strategy to account for generational shifts. “One size fits all” isn’t good enough anymore – you need a dynamic approach that accommodates people’s future needs.

It also means baking flexibility into everything you do. Workers in the next generation are going to demand malleable hours, work environments, job descriptions, corporate hierarchies and more. Business in the next decade is going to be fluid, and your job is to keep the changes flowing well beyond 2020.

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