Taylor Made Solutions


Emerging Trends in Human Capital

Kristen KentonThis guest post is written by Kristen Kenton, President of Kenton Talent Management.

As a Talent Strategist and Executive Recruiter, I get pretty “geeked out” about human behavior and its impact on business. The way organizations leverage and organize people is constantly evolving in today’s change-obsessed business climate. Advancements in organizational psychology and behavioral science, coupled with an increased focus on purpose-based cultures and emotional intelligence has created some fascinating changes within human capital (or what I call “talent strategy”).

Therefore, I decided to embrace the downtime thrust upon my industry by the recent pandemic by interviewing several business leaders and industry experts about this topic. I’ve summarized the top trends and observations below:

The virtual workforce movement has accelerated.

Admittedly, the recent and unfortunate pandemic has accelerated the demand for a virtual workforce. However, organizations were already beginning to recognize the positive impacts that remote employees could have on their bottom line.  The virtual movement has opened doors to “hidden” talent pools, optimized processes and efficiencies, and eliminated commutes. However, some companies will struggle to fully leverage the benefits if they don’t start by implementing the necessary infrastructure (processes, systems, and people).

Employees continue to expect more from their employers.

My grandpa worked for Dupont for fifty years. He told me “they gave me a paycheck, and I gave them my loyalty”. Well, those times are over. People today are seeking an “employee experience” along with balance, purpose, passion, fulfillment, and the ability to make a meaningful impact. A paycheck just isn’t enough anymore. Companies are being challenged to create a “two-way value proposition” in order to keep their best people.

Development and engagement rule.

Tactical, skill-based training courses are being replaced by more holistic development programs and professional coaching engagements. There is increased desire and appreciation for self-discovery, purpose creation, passion, and work alignment, etc. We are realizing that healthy, emotionally fulfilled, and engaged human beings create healthy and profitable companies.

virtual meeting

Change is the new constant.

The words “change management” have become as popular as the word “strategic”. What do they really mean? It is more important than ever to both anticipate and initiate change, disruption, and transformation. We have more access to information, which creates an expectation for action, innovation, and reimagination. Organizations must find ways to develop people and foster cultures with this new trend.

Despite other industry advancements, the hiring process is still really darn broken.

This topic deserves its own article. Unfortunately, most companies are still leveraging a reactive and archaic recruiting and selection process to find talent. Generally, organizations are still “dusting off” old position descriptions (without investing time to analyze or question whether the job requirements and responsibilities are actually tied to business outcomes and goals). Then, those documents are posted and the small percentage of qualified applicants that see it are typically screened by people that are not entrenched in the business. Ultimately, final candidates experience a fragmented and extremely long interview process (which is typically led by busy people without advanced interview training). The bottom line is this mediocre recruiting and hiring process is generally breading mediocre hires.

Here is the good news.  There seems to be an increased appreciation for “talent scouting” (a method leveraged to proactively attract and engage talent pipelines). However, the processes and systems used to accomplish this are still fairly new. Additionally, companies acknowledge the importance of hiring for “soft skills” and values. As a result, more organizations than ever are embracing various assessment tools in hopes of screening for those attributes. However, it is difficult to understand which of these tools is most appropriate (some of the most popular assessments being leveraged today are not even intended for hiring purposes). Also, many of these tools are not scientifically valid. It goes without saying, we still have quite a bit of room for improvement in this area.

Human capital is a living and breathing industry. The product is people. Therefore, it is unpredictable, beautiful, inspiring, and yes, a little broken. I love what I do.

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As the President & CEO of Kenton Talent Management, Kristen provides executive recruiting and custom human capital consulting services to middle-market and large companies, as well as private equity firms across the country. After several years of working within various recruiting organizations, Kristen has gained valuable insights into the processes and practices associated with traditional search firms. She has re-launched her company with a renewed and fierce commitment to quality and client engagement. She serves as a thought partner to C-level leaders and Business Owners that leverage her as a “trusted people advisor”. To learn more about Kristen, visit www.kentontalent.com.