October research roundup

What I am reading, listening to, and thinking about in the world of talent marketplaces and workforce intelligence

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By Jeff Schwartz, VP of Insights and Impact at Gloat

Today, most leaders find themselves at a crossroads. It’s clear that strategies, operating models, and ways of working need to evolve to align with the accelerated pace of change and the looming possibility of an economic recession. Executives understand that these emerging challenges call for next-generation solutions, yet organizations are hesitant to abandon legacy and familiar approaches.

As a result of this ongoing uncertainty, many leaders hesitate to take the steps they should to set their businesses up for success in 2023 and beyond. Whether it’s a fear of change that’s holding them back or uncertainty about what to prioritize, a lack of action is a choice in and of itself—and during today’s turbulent times, it promises to be the most dangerous option.

Yet, before leaders can begin embracing the frameworks and technologies that will become tomorrow’s game-changers, they need to recognize these innovations today, which is no small task. Gloat Live 2022, which kicks off tomorrow, is dedicated to helping executives carve their paths forward. The two-day summit will include both in-person and virtual components and promises to bring together industry leaders, workforce specialists, and talent marketplace experts to examine the opportunities in both the present and future of work.

In addition to catching Gloat Live’s actionable best practices and inspiring stories, this month’s research roundup spotlights the articles, research, and reports that leaders need to keep top of mind to reimagine their operating models for 2023.

Here are the pieces I am reading, listening to, and thinking about to prepare for the year ahead:

READ What’s new in thought leadership about the future of work

Gloat Research on Skills, Workforce Agility, and the Great Resignation 2.0, Gloat.com
Last month I mentioned that the newest findings from the Gloat Research Group were featured in a series of executive summaries, and now I’m excited to announce all three full reports are available. This includes The Great Resignation 2.0, a follow-up to last year’s Great Resignation Research Report, as well as a workforce agility guide and a piece dedicated to exploring how shifting to skills-based strategies will transform the way we work.

Companies Hoarding Workers Could Be Good News for the Economy, The New York Times, by Jeanna Smialek and Sydney Ember
The effects of the Great Resignation will continue to linger long after last year’s turnover tidal wave, as this New York Times piece highlights. The article explores why many companies are resisting laying people off, even as economic tides change. Namely, after businesses struggled to recruit and retain employees, many organizations are hesitant to let their people go, a phenomenon the authors of this piece describe as “labor hoarding”.

It’s About To Happen: The Shift From Jobs To Skills-Based Organizations, Forbes, by Dan Pontefract
The newest numbers on skills further cement what most leaders know: skills need to be the backbone of every transformation initiative in 2023 and beyond. This Forbes article highlights new findings from Deloitte, including the fact that 98% of organizations want to shift to skills-based work and 90% are experimenting with it. The research also explores some of the benefits that skills-based organizations reap, including the fact that these organizations are 79% more likely to have a positive workforce experience. As Pontefract discusses in his piece, businesses must remove bias and prioritize cultural change to fully benefit from shifting to a skills-based approach.

Three dumb questions about skills (and ones you should ask instead), HR Executive, by Dani Johnson
By now, most leaders see the skills revolution on the horizon. Terms like “upskilling”, “reskilling”, and “skills-based organization” have been gaining traction for months. Yet, uncertainty is holding many leaders back from capitalizing on the benefits that skills-based transformations have to offer. In her piece for HR Executive, Dani Johnson breaks down some of the most common questions leaders have about skills-based strategies, and offers advice for what these executives should be thinking about instead.

The Secret Weapon In A Tight Labor Market? Investing In Career Development, Forbes, by Matthew Smith
If you’re searching for proof that internal mobility is the answer for retaining and engaging employees, look no further than this article by Matthew Smith. The piece highlights recent McKinsey research stating that the top reason that workers quit jobs between April 2021 and April 2022 was a lack of career development and advancement, which was cited by 41% of recent job switchers. That means access to growth opportunities ranks above inadequate workplace flexibility, poor compensation, and a lack of meaningful work when it comes to reasons employees quit their jobs.

Get Back to Work: Your Guide to “Unretirement”, Katiecouric.com, by Rachel Uda
The wave of Americans returning to work after retirement keeps gaining momentum. As life expectancies lengthen, many employees of traditional retirement age are eager to continue working and tackling new professional milestones. While paychecks may be a partial motivator, leaders can’t overlook the important role that purpose plays in keeping employees engaged. Writer Rachel Uda notes that many Baby Boomers are growing dissatisfied with the idea of retirement because they derive a sense of purpose from the work they do and they’re not looking to give that up as they age.

Rethinking Change: Moving from Management to Agility, Chandler Institute of Governance, by Josh Bersin
Industry analyst Josh Bersin unveils ten lessons from his company’s latest research on change agility that hold true not just for the profound disruptions brought on by the pandemic, but also for any transformational change. These best practices include transparent communications, human-centered leadership, active employee listening, a clear mission that drives all actions, and recognizing and rewarding behavior changes. If you’re looking to learn about what Josh Bersin has to say about the new world of work, don’t miss his keynote at Gloat Live later this week.

Why Are People Really Quitting? Better Pay Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg, INC.com, by Marcel Schwantes
This article is a must-read for anyone looking to understand the lasting effects of the Great Resignation and how they’ll influence talent management in 2023 and beyond. Marcel Schwantes explores the top three factors that are driving turnover today, based on findings from Gloat’s Great Resignation 2.0 research report. One statistic reinforces the underlying challenge that leaders are grappling with—in June of 2022, 72% of employees we surveyed in the US believed better opportunities exist outside of their company.

THINK What research and studies are saying about our path forward

What Outperformers Do Differently to Tap into Internal Talent, MIT Sloan Management Review, by Nithya Vaduganathan, Ben Zweig, Colleen McDonald, and Lisa Simon
Special thanks to Nithya Vaduganathan and the Boston Consulting Group for this great piece on the relevance of internal mobility and its impact on business and talent performance. The analysis of the impact that internal mobility and talent marketplaces have on transforming the way we work makes this one of the most important articles of the year on talent strategies in an uncertain economy. It’s great to see Gloat customers including Mastercard, Unilever, Seagate Technology, HSBC, and Fidelity International highlighted for their best-in-class commitments to activating internal mobility and maximizing employee satisfaction.

Think Expansively and Creatively About Talent, Boston Consulting Group, by Nithya Vaduganathan
Now that we’ve entered a period of economic uncertainty, companies must rethink their approach to recruiting and retaining talent. The possibility of a recession heightens the need for talent innovation to prevent labor shortages, strengthen employee connections to maximize productivity, and increase workforce agility to nimbly react to changing circumstances. Nithya Vaduganathan highlights three innovations that businesses can embrace to help build resilience: internal talent markets, on-demand talent and freelancers, and strengthening employee culture.

Talent hoarding: Is it limiting your talent marketplace’s effectiveness?, Deloitte, by Manu Rawat, Rebecca Greenberg, Randy Markush, Leticia Corona
This piece by Manu Rawat at Deloitte Consulting should be required reading for anyone who’s playing a part in crafting talent management strategies for 2023. The article explores how talent marketplaces work, the benefits this technology unlocks, and the top challenge leaders need to watch out for: talent hoarding. There’s plenty of advice for executives who are looking to stop talent hoarding in its tracks, including shifting mindsets to drive behavior change and empowering managers to effectively overcome disruption.

CONNECT What future-fit organizations and leaders are talking about

Nick Bloom, Linkedin
Did you miss the 2022 Remote Work Conference earlier this month? Fortunately, all 22 papers, slides, and recordings of the presentations are available online, as Stanford economics professor Nicholas Bloom highlights in his Linkedin post. For leaders and readers looking for the latest research on remote and hybrid work, this is an essential resource.

Dror Gurevich, Linkedin
Dror Gurevich, CEO and founder of Velocity Career Labs, is announcing exciting news: the creation of a network that will enable employers to verify a job candidate’s diplomas, certifications, and work experience almost instantaneously. In a ComputerWorld article, he points to the Great Resignation as one reason that a resume-vetting network will be particularly crucial, particularly as turnover rates remain elevated.

Penelope Kypuros, Linkedin
I’d like to give a special shoutout to our partners at First Abu Dhabi Bank on the launch of Talent 2.0 and the implementation of their internal enterprise talent marketplace. Congratulations to the entire team for boldly embracing a new way of working and replacing traditional career ladders with career playgrounds.

Let us know what you would add to our list.