Posted: 13 Sep. 2019 05 min. read

The Future of Talent

Finding the Tangible within the Intangible

Today, approximately 80% of an organisations’ market value is held in intangible assets, a stark contrast from the mid 70’s when the majority of S&P 500 firms consisted of more than 80% tangible assets. For organisations of today, remaining relevant in the market relies heavily on investing and developing their greatest asset, people. As HR navigates digital transformation, the function continues to face the relentless pressure of winning the war for talent. Organisations now accept that talent is the primary driver of value and must find ever creative ways to differentiate themselves in the race to sourcing, growing and retaining top talent.

Sourcing talent

Top talent are already accessing job opportunities differently. In 2016, 78% of millennials, 73% of generation Xers and 57.2% of Baby Boomers used a mobile search function to access and browse job openings. As a result, there is an opportunity for employers to adapt their recruitment processes to better reflect their target audience and ensure job advertisements and company websites are mobile-optimised. By harnessing Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), employers can increase the probability of reaching their desired target audience. FirstJob are embracing this opportunity through Mya, a recruiting chatbot assistant created to improve the candidate experience by interacting with applicants, to verify their eligibility for roles, answer questions and to keep them informed on their application status. Similarly, organisations that remain in touch with changes in the way top talent present themselves such as non-traditional resumes that leverage infographics and portfolios, video resumes and personalised websites may see a strong competitive advantage.

100-Year Life

Digital transformation is only one aspect organisations need to consider. As told by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott in the “The 100-Year Life”, there has been a significant shift in the longevity of an employee’s life cycle, dismantling the traditional three-stage trajectory of education (5 - 21 years old), career (22 - 65 years old) and retirement (65+ years old) in favour of multi-stages. Considering this, our colleagues currently in their mid-40s are likely to work into their early to mid-70s, while many currently in their 20s are likely to be working into their late 70s to early 80s. HR of the future may be under increased pressure to support their talent through these different life stages.

Accordingly, it is becoming increasingly important for organisations to target, attract and retain not only those entering the workforce but top talent across all life stages. An organisation embracing this change is popular homewares chain, Bunnings. Bunnings are renowned for their open-door policy when it comes to employing mature aged workers. Employing across six generations allows Bunnings to have sound learning and mentoring program across the organisation.

As top talent moves through the 100 Year Life, policies that support their commitments, values and interests outside of work can become highly valued. Policies and cultures such as those implemented by Deloitte that encourage staff members to return to work after taking a career break, whether for family, health or other personal reasons may become the difference between talent remaining with their employer or looking outside their current employer to ensure they are able to fulfil lifelong goals and commitments.

Lifelong Learning

With longer lives and careers, the way workers learn, acquire new skills and gain qualifications is likely to change. In line with this, is the emerging world of micro-credentialing, whereby individuals attain and receive formal recognition in the form of ‘mini credentials’ for specific skills, qualifications and competencies. An organisation embracing this change is Udacity, an organisation which partners with large-scale industry leaders including Google and IBM to offer short ‘nanodegree’ programs designed to provide ‘real-world’ and industry focused skills in areas such as programming, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. The move towards micro-credentialing is also triggering higher education providers such as The University of Melbourne to consider their traditional qualification methods and investigate how they can embrace micro-credentialing as a way to recognise prior learning and create ‘stackable credit’ and recognise ‘soft skills’ or specific competencies.

As the lives and careers of an organisation’s greatest asset changes, HR of the future will need to find ways to adapt their approach to sourcing, retaining and growing top talent. HR will need to remain current and in touch with the ways top talent are engaging with the workforce, build policies and a culture which assist talent in navigating new stages of their lives and finally invest in lifelong learning to support talent in navigating the new and data driven workplace.

Is your organisation taking a proactive approach in connecting with the top talent of the future and catering to the increasing trend towards prioritising personal growth both within the workplace and broader?

1. Sourcing Talent – is your organisation harnessing the technology available to reach and attract top talent?

2. 100 Year Life – is your organisation open to supporting employees through career breaks and the return to work adjustment?

3. Lifelong Learning – is your organisation investing in employee learning through micro-credentials?














Meet our author

Mark Bowden

Mark Bowden

Director, HR Technology and Transformation

 Mark leads the Australian HR Advisory team within HR Transformation and Technology. Mark has been in Australia since the beginning of 2017 having joined from Deloitte UK where he worked in HR Transformation for nine years. He regularly researches and speaks at conferences about the future world of work. Mark is a co-author for Deloitte’s High Impact HR Model which sets out the key principles and framework for the HR organisation. Mark’s experience is across the full remit of HR transformation, he has led programmes that have: defined the HR strategy; developed business cases for transformation; designed future HR functions; built and implemented Shared Services, CoEs and Business Partners. In HR technology, Mark has selected HR core and enabling technologies and implemented cloud based HCM and enabling technology solutions. As part of the Australian team Mark has led the HR Operating Model and HCM System Selection work at Australia Post, Rio Tinto, Western Power, Cabrini, NAB, Imdex and HBF where Mark has been the Lead Client Service Director. Mark was MCA HR Consultant of the Year for his work at RWE n power and HSBC.

Fiona McClure

Fiona McClure

Manager, HR Technology and Transformation

Fiona is a Manager in Deloitte Australia's HR Technology and Transformation practice where she works with senior HR teams to provide strategic advice during a wide range of HR transformations.  Fiona has worked on large-scale SuccessFactors, Workday and Oracle implementations focusing on System Integration Testing, Operating Model and Process Re-design, and Change Management.  Fiona has broad sector experience and has worked internationally in Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America. She has industry experience from her time as a junior HR Business Partner at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).  Fiona is Associate CIPD qualified (equivalent to Professional Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute) with diverse experience across all HR disciplines. With Deloitte, clients included are ANZ, Qantas, Medibank, British American Tobacco and UK Public Sector.