3-minute read

As a Talent Leader, how do you fix it? The challenge of filling vacancies with the best fit talent by harnessing ALL of the available channels to talent? Some say Total Talent Management is the solution. But if that’s the case, why are many organizations still not adopting it?

Sourcing talent (or should I say ‘jobs’?) on-demand

Few larger organizations have less than 10% of their workforce vacancies open at any one time. In areas like scientific, technology and analytical roles, in 2020 that figure was much higher.

That’s why so many organizations are prepared to take meetings to learn about Total Talent Management (TTM). TTM is about unifying decision making and execution of talent demands through a holistic approach that binds full-time contract and contingent hiring processes into one. It’s also about formalizing the governance framework so that accountability and responsibility for sourcing talent falls under one decision making body within the enterprise.

Here’s how industry analyst firm SIA defines TTM.

The link between TTM and talent on-demand

One of the greatest challenges talent leaders face today is the fact that many resourcing roles are automatically handed to outsourcers, or IT, or to HR (to hire full-time contracted employees), without first going through an appropriate triage and decisioning process that answers the question: “What’s the best way to get this ‘job’ done?”

Hiring managers in many firms just ‘assume’ if they have work to be done, their go-to solution is to speak to HR about hiring another person in a full-time role. The hiring manager is afforded more decision making dexterity than they should perhaps be allowed. After all, how is a hiring manager meant to fully appreciate the possibilities open to them for work resourcing that comes from technology automation, third-party knowledge platforms, gig-working portals, Statement-of-Work contractors, or contingent workers?

When a Total Talent Management approach is installed, every resourcing need passes through a triage where ‘the organization’ decides what is the best way to get a job done. The reward for the hiring manager is that jobs get done faster, because the ‘people, process, technology and data’ ecosystem that underpins any Total Talent Management implementation means firms can hire out jobs on-demand.

Channels include direct sourcing of talent through online job boards and portals (allowing brands to reach out to their online socially connected audience), micro-task outsourcing services, crowd-sourcing knowledge portals, and procurement platforms along with their associated procurement instruments like competitions, auctions, sealed bids, statement-of-work contracts, etc.

Challenges to TTM that lay ahead – Does your HR function have the sponsorship and DNA for a TTM approach?

SIA research supports the argument that many firms aren’t yet interested in taking a “Total Talent Management” approach forward. And even if they are interested, overwhelmingly they are not willing to do so.

Standards of governance for the management of a workforce across industry remains, disappointedly poor. Remarkably, (according to the same SIA report mentioned above) it’s still the case today that 20% to 30% of organizations don’t know how many workers they have, the number of open positions, tenure, or total labor costs.

Appetite for change is low. While slightly more than half of organizations (54%) want to see a ‘combined view’ of talent (employees and non-employed workers) in nearly half of organizations (46%), the perception is that HR and Executive leadership are indifferent or not interested.

The chief adoption hurdle comes from issue of sponsorship. The siloism of organizations, and the ‘comfy status quo’ this results in, has a habit of distinguishing any spark of innovation. Leaders of IT, procurement and HR, each of which are remunerated for departmental performance, and having their own long list of operational matters to attend to—well, they don’t see a great personal reward for overcoming the organizational design and institutional hurdles that must be resolved before any TTM agenda can be put in place.