Unfortunately no one can predict the future. Life would be so much easier if we could. But we can take a good hard look at the market and learn from what it has to tell us; about what has happened already and therefore what might be around the corner.

As we launch into a new decade, we’ve done just that. With input from talent acquisition, development and compensation experts from across the globe, we’ve identified the emerging global talent trends for 2020.

Here are the top ten trends (in no particular order) that businesses will be tackling in the next year.

  • Purpose over process

It’s nothing new, but purpose-driven leadership will be more important than ever in 2020. As leaders aim to create agile and adaptable cultures, shared purpose becomes the unifier. Successful leaders must relinquish control of process, instead empowering their people and relying on a shared purpose to guide their decision-making.

  • How much do you make?

Taboo no longer, pay transparency is the future. And it’s not just about individuals sharing information or organisations creating more transparency. At a structural level, there are growing expectations (and legal requirements) to increase transparency around executive remuneration and to promote pay equity.

  • Diversity and inclusion 2.0

Many organisations have done the hard work in helping individuals identify their unconscious biases, but a more holistic approach is needed to effect lasting change. The next step is working towards structural inclusion by identifying how conscious and unconscious biases are embedded in talent systems. De-biasing audits, alongside active diversity and inclusion efforts, will contribute to real and lasting change.

  • Recruitment and reward are targeting performance

Despite many countries experiencing low unemployment, companies are taking a more targeted approach to both recruitment and remuneration increases. Organisations are prioritising recruiting for roles that have a direct impact on the bottom line, like R&D and sales, over service roles like accounting. And the days of automatic CPI increases are over. Instead, businesses are managing fixed costs by using incentives to reward performance.

  • CEO succession becomes CEO progression

Increased turnover at the top – both planned and unplanned – is prompting boards to take a more proactive approach to CEO succession. Overseen by talent and remuneration board committees, C-suite succession is being approached as an ongoing strategic process – more progression than succession – to enable thoughtful, strategic transitions.

  • Ask the bot

AI will continue to change the talent landscape, with the best companies using these tools to create a seamless and engaging candidate experience. Increasingly, chatbots are now being deployed internally as well, offering existing employees an easy, low-stakes way to find out about new roles. Beyond bots, day-in-the-life simulations are becoming more popular giving both employers and candidates the chance to assess potential fit, virtually.

  • Reskilling for the future

The concept of “continuous learning” has never been more relevant. Both employees and job-seekers are being encouraged to sharpen their skills. This doesn’t necessarily mean gaining additional degrees, but looking at what accreditations or additional skills might augment their existing skills. Reskilling, not just once but over and again, should be top priority for both individuals and organisations looking for success that’s future proof.

  • Don’t stand still

As individuals keep reskilling, so too must the broader organisation keep moving to stay competitive. Leading organisations are and will continue to be in a state of continual transformation. Jobs and structures will be continually honed to promote agility and scalability, at every level. And with every strategic change, leaders must reassess and, where necessary, realign culture to drive execution.

  • Keeping up with “career nomads”

High-performing and talented, career nomads bring specific, in-demand skills and high agility. But they’re also happy to switch jobs, organisations and even careers at a faster rate than others. Traditional derisive attitudes towards “job-hoppers” won’t cut it here; career nomads offer too many benefits to be dismissed. Instead, talent management systems need to evolve to entice these individuals to stay, including through using success profiles to holistically select and evaluate talent across disciplines, creating new opportunities within the organisation.

  • Pick me! 

In a tight talent market, employers are looking for new ways to stand out, but savvy candidates can smell inauthenticity a mile away. Many companies are stepping back to understand their culture and what matters to employees. Externally, they’re deploying multi-channel initiatives to offer candidates real insight into the organisation, while streamlining recruitment processes to attract and engage the right people. 

Read more about the trends shaping the 2020 talent landscape here.

Speak to our experts

About Contributor

Harish leads Korn Ferry’s Digital business for the Middle East and Africa regions with a responsibility to address key business challenges of over 2500 organisations across 27+ countries and advising management teams on improving organisation performance through their people. He has helped organisations develop the largest and most sophisticated reward research which is delivered through our compensation & benefits portal, the PayHub.

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