Boundless: 3 companies creating a new HR paradigm

How MetLife, Schneider Electric, and Novartis created more agile talent strategies

Avatar photo
By Austen Gregerson, Future of Work Specialist at Gloat

For most companies—and generally, most people—2022 was a year of recalibration. As the initial stun and aftershocks of the pandemic subsided, a reopening world came with sharper adjustments, changed expectations, and fewer roadmaps to guide what was to become of “business as usual” going forward.

Though turbulence became the norm, businesses were able to use the disruptions as a de facto stress test on new organizing principles—mainly, just how valuable and resilient agile work principles had become.

Workforce agility is no longer a concept. Today, companies across the world are seeing the HR transformation pay off with more flexible organizations capable of responding and pivoting to new demands. As our report showed that 58% of surveyed talent leaders say that their current HR systems either do not work well together, are not fast enough, or are planning to upgrade them to allow for greater organizational speed, it may seem that more economic headwinds are poised to blow companies even further off track.

However, as more companies look to continue that change into 2023, three businesses are already demonstrating what’s possible through more agile work structures—and setting a course for other enterprises to learn from.

Creating successful HR transformations for 2023 and beyond

Though every organization’s priorities will be unique in some respects, one commonality is that the need for change is undeniable. Roughly 3 in 4 HR leaders are studying, planning, or piloting new systems that prioritize increasing the availability of internal projects and gig work, a stark departure from previous work models of rigid vertical alignments.

The increased focus on new work models is continuing to grow. A Gartner survey shows that 53% of HR leaders are prioritizing improving organizational design and change management, with an additional 42% focusing on preparing their organizations for the future of work—both in the top five of priorities for HR leaders in 2023.

When looking to make a change, however, every business leader needs to understand what truly matters to their organization. Many companies are struggling to embrace agile ways of working because they are approaching talent systems as a one-size-fits-all strategy, rather than tactically addressing the needs of their people, business, and industry.

#1. What does our talent expect from our organization in 2023?

One of the most resoundingly universal truths from the current decade is that workers want better balance, more autonomy over their careers, and for their employer’s values to fall closer in line with their own. 54% of workers say that their company does not take their future interests into consideration enough, and as quit rates remain high after the Great Resignation, their willingness to find a company that will invest in their careers has been proven.

Internal surveys and exit interviews are important tools to gather data on employee sentiment. However, solutions such as a talent marketplace allow for this information to be assessed—and acted upon—in real time. And if understanding and benchmarking your talent is a real priority, Gloat’s Workforce Intelligence takes this analysis several steps further. Leveraging harmonized data from your marketplace, HR systems, and Gloat’s workforce ontology, you gain unprecedented visibility into what’s happening within your own organization and how you stand up against the competition.

#2. What does our business need to become more resilient?

As unforeseen challenges await all companies in 2023, adaptability is critical in any talent strategy. Economic outlooks for the current year range from a mild recession to turbulence not seen in decades, and regardless of where reality lands, companies need to mend their structures to be ready for whatever comes next.

Pixelated workforces allow for more responsiveness as new needs arise. By breaking down work into specific tasks—and with an understanding of the skills contained within that workforce—the appropriate combination of skills and expertise can be found by borrowing the right talent from another department, building the necessary skills internally through targeted L&D programs, or looking externally to hire new workers for specific needs

#3. What tools do we currently have to understand our workforce?

Without full insights into the talents and capabilities that currently reside within your company, leaders risk losing out on value hidden behind antiquated systems. As winning on the margins becomes more important to overall financial health, letting business priorities falter due to a lack of insights can have cascading negative impacts.

Workforce intelligence solutions are scalable, centralized platforms that put talent leaders in full sight of their company’s skills. With better insights into what your people are capable of, business decisions on external hiring, contract work, and more can be done without spending needlessly on skills that are already found internally—but potentially in a department you had not thought to consider.

#4. How do organizational silos currently impact our business functions?

Speed? Resiliency? Agility? Rethink the purpose of every organizational structure to understand its intent, and most importantly, how it can be improved to create a more dynamic organization. Though vertical hierarchies have been the norm for most industries since the Industrial Revolution, they may not be adept at responding to challenges arising in the Digital Revolution.

3 companies that embraced HR transformation

MetLife: Embracing change to better engage employees

Looking for ways to streamline talent processes, the insurance giant wanted to be sure that the risks were worth the reward—would the company’s employees engage with a talent marketplace? According to Chief Learning Officer Chris Smart, the reception was enough to convince leaders that they had made the right choice.

<script src=”//” async></script>
<script src=”//” async></script>
<div class=”wistia_embed wistia_async_0vaqlk2aap style=”height: 390px; width: 100%;”></div>


MetLife has currently scaled its talent marketplace to more than 35,000 employees in six different languages, unlocking the skills and capabilities of employees in nearly 40 markets over just 12 months.

Schneider Electric: Increasing retention by driving agility 


As the needs of HR changed, Schneider Electric shifted its departmental practices to better accommodate agile transformations. Instead of relying on HR alone to navigate talent decisions, today the company empowers employees to find the opportunities best suited for them.

One of the company’s biggest concerns before implementing a talent marketplace was the number of employees that cited a lack of career growth opportunities as the primary reason for leaving—nearly 50% of those surveyed during exit interviews. But with talent now able to find opportunities that are right for them, the company has saved $15 million in enhanced productivity and reduced recruiting expenses alone.

Novartis: Making opportunities more available to its talent


With the needs of the pharmaceutical leader shifting, understanding the skills of its employees helped Novartis better leverage its capabilities. Instead of focusing on vertical, traditional job roles, each associate was able to find the opportunities that more closely fed into their interests while driving value for the organization.

Equipping their talent with the knowledge of what’s needed to keep up with the rapid pace of change across the industry was only possible by understanding each person’s skills. Knowledge in the medical industry has evolved with every scientific breakthrough, and Novartis understands that it needs systems in place to stay ahead of the pace of innovation. Redefining talent strategies to optimize potential.

No matter what economic possibilities come to be in 2023, the reality is that action is needed by companies today to prepare themselves for what’s next.


Gloat live On-Demand: 2 Days, 13 Sessions, 20 World Renowned Business Leaders

Watch now →