The Human Capital Task Force recently surveyed CEO’s around the world and learned that Human Capital is their number one concern. Within this overall concern the Task Force determined that the challenge exists in ten key areas, identified as Critical Issues Facing the Human Capital Function, as follows:

  1. Generational Differences: Today’s workforce is comprised of 5 different generations with varying outlooks, communication styles and motivators.
  2. Style of Work: There is a new style of work and worker expecting less “command and control” leadership and more “collaboration and connection.”
  3. Recruiting Talent: Diverse and innovative approaches are required to win the war for talent. Development and implementation of new recruitment strategies are critical this new challenge.
  4. Employment Branding: An organization’s reputation and brand are tied to effective talent attraction and employee engagement. Successful organizations both clarify and communicate their brand externally and internally.
  5. Talent Audit: Identifying and building talent needed for organizational growth is a key component of future success. Attention is needed to fostered talent communities and ensure a robust, targeted talent pipeline.
  6. Learning Process: The content of learning and how learning occurs have not kept pace with the changes in the workplace and workforce. In support of the targeted talent pipeline, learning/training needs to morph from “break and fix” to proactively building organizational capabilities with a focus on leadership development for today.
  7. Performance Management: The current performance management process is failing to meet the needs of the employee and employer. The process must be re-imagined to support employee development aligned with organizational needs.
  8. Use of Data: The Human Capital Data explosion has become the “oil of the 21st Century”. The use of data can maximize productivity, unlock the power of the workforce and promote effective decision-making.
  9. Technology: Whether you view yourself as a digital immigrant or native, we have all become digital citizens. Technology can be harnessed to advance individual and organizational goal attainment.
  10. Human Resource Professionals: To gain a reputation for adding value to their organization, HR professionals must shift from a reactionary inclination of “sense and respond” to a strategic capability of “predict and act.” While redoubling every effort to manage human capital efficiently, HR needs to work to anticipate business needs in support of business imperatives.

In a 2014 Deloitte report on Global Human Capital Trends 2014, leadership, retention, HR skills and talent acquisition were the top global concerns of CEO’s. 38% of respondents rated the need for more leadership as urgent. That same article noted that CEO’s need HR to move away from people administration toward a focus on people performance (see #10 above).

For human resources professionals, these findings are a call to action. This is our time! Never before has CEO focus on human capital and the human resources function been as high. How will we respond? Will we step up and seize the seat at the table? Our CEO’s hope so. The stakes are high and the pace of change is increasing.

What should our first move be? We recommend developing and implementing a Human Capital Plan (Talent Plan) that is built to support and execute an overall strategic plan. Why?

  1. Preparing a talent plan requires understanding the strategic plan and puts HR squarely in the strategic discussion.
  2. A well written talent plan provides a road map taking an organization from their current roles and competencies to the roles and competencies required to reach strategic goals.
  3. A well-executed talent plan must be supported by great practices in talent acquisition, talent management and talent retention. If those great practices are not already in place, the talent plan will help you get there.

CEO’s are clearly stressed about human capital issues. HR has on opportunity to address these issues through talent planning.

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