Navigating the Evolving Talent Management Landscape

Connex Staff |

As we approach the end of Q1 2024, it’s become clear that labor will continue to be a hot button issue for the foreseeable future. This puts additional pressure on HR teams to not only further differentiate the employee value proposition at every tier within their businesses, but to double down on the programs and initiatives they’re using to keep current employees engaged, motivated, and retained.


These goals need not be separate, with enterprising employers realizing that both can be achieved by investing in an integrated experience that achieves tonal consistency across onboarding, cultural development, career pathing, succession planning, and total rewards.

As one speaker in our recent recruitment, engagement, and retention panel framed it, “By splitting the concept of talent internally and externally, we risked missing a huge opportunity. We were developing the employee value proposition and talking about it externally, but it wasn't necessarily true internally.  [We’ve put] them together and have the expectations of the market actually informing the way we're developing our talent experience.”

That discussion, “Excelling in a Hyper-Competitive Labor Market”, can be accessed here. In it, readers will find a wealth of information on how to focus employee value proposition improvements; how to widen talent pipelines through regional and international partnerships; how to streamline candidate screening; and how to maximize retention through manager and employee development. Beyond those tips, however, we wanted to provide additional insight into these topics based on our own internal analysis, our monitoring of market trends, and our regular discussions with thought leaders:  

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1. Upskilling & Reskilling: No Longer Luxuries

As discussed in our last blog post, Generative AI continues to make waves across all industries. Many organizations plan to leverage AI to its fullest, making proficiency with AI tools one of the market’s most sought-after traits. Adaptability is equally important, especially as new technologies continue to emerge and workforces become increasingly remote. Staples like communication, leadership fundamentals, and project management aren’t new concerns, but they will take on even greater and expanded importance as expectations of workplace culture and productivity continue to shift. As such, there’s never been a more important time to invest in robust upskilling and reskilling. 

By offering employees opportunities to acquire new skills and adapt alongside their industry, organizations demonstrate a commitment to their professional development, foster loyalty, and safeguard productivity even when teams are forced to do more with less. Upskilling also allows for better internal talent mobility and the opportunity for lateral placements. These career growth opportunities are powerful levers for retaining and engaging top performers, many of whom would otherwise look externally for a chance to do something “different”. 


2. The Power of Boomerang Employees

When discussing the talent lifecycle, there’s a tendency to undervalue offboarding. Understandably, most HR teams try to focus their limited resources on making the best first impression. However, creating a welcoming employee culture that both offboards employees with compassion and keeps contact with alumni can pay dividends.

Boomerang employees – those who return to an employer after an absence – are a cost-effective recruitment target due to their significantly lower onboarding requirements. While their overall compensation package will likely be larger than it was before, they already understand and appreciate the organization’s processes, systems, and culture. Encouraging the return of boomerang employees helps close mission-critical gaps more quickly, while also possibly reintroducing organizational knowledge or skills that may have been lost during their exit. It’s a symbiotic partnership, and one that often leads to significantly better employee retention in the long run

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3. Agility Through Alternative Arrangements

While long-term employees are typically the focus of most recruiting teams, our increasingly dynamic business environment is beginning to challenge that status quo. Rapid market fluctuations have become the norm for some industries, and that increased volatility has made temporary, contracted, and gig arrangements more attractive. The agility they afford allows organizations to better navigate unpredictable waters without the constraints of long-term employee commitments, and they’re quickly becoming a valuable tool for optimizing team performance. 

Beyond its inherent flexibility, the strategy of engaging contingent and short-term workers allows organizations to tap into diverse pools of specialized skills more readily. This can prove invaluable when facing a slew of short-term projects, where specific expertise may not be permanently needed or valuable. As businesses strive for nimbleness in an ever-changing landscape, the ability to alter employee team numbers and capabilities on short notice becomes a truly meaningful competitive advantage.

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4. Streamlining Talent Management Through Technology

Advancements in technology – particularly AI – are helping HR teams dramatically reduce the amount of time they spend on remedial and mundane tasks across the talent lifecycle. Job postings, resume screening, initial candidate communications, interview scheduling, and a host of other functions can be streamlined and improved with these technologies. More importantly than reducing the time these tasks take, however, is the impact these technologies have on candidate job fit, DEI initiatives, and employee retention. Employers can use them to finetune their search; ensure that exclusive language and “requirements” don’t skew the candidate pool; and place new employees in roles that are better suited to their long-term career and lifestyle goals. 

Additionally, these tools help shorten the time it takes to move a candidate from application submission to hire, reducing costs while delivering the quick turnaround times job seekers now expect. According to HR Dive, upwards of one-third of job seekers disengage and stop applying if they do not hear back in a timely fashion. Furthermore, nearly 70% of job seekers will not respond to a job posting if the application process looks like it will take more than 15 minutes to complete. Mobile-first hiring processes, automated candidate screening, and seamless remote interviewing have all become expectations, and failure to embrace those technologies could lead to costly, long-lasting vacancies. 

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Standing Out in a Sea of Options

The competition for not only top talent, but their loyalty, engagement, and satisfaction, is only expected to increase from here. It’s hard enough to stay abreast of all these market changes, let alone to know exactly where to look for answers – so much of the Web’s HR content claims to provide “best practices” that it’s hard to see through all the noise. Thankfully, the Connex Community is there when HR leaders need it most, providing them with a resource to ask questions and get candid answers from actual peers with genuine lived experience. 

For more information on the Connex Community, its library of industry panel discussions, and ongoing calendar of events click here.