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The future of work is being shaped by three key forces. As technological advances of cognitive AI, machine learning, and everything-as-a-service become more integrated into the fabric of business the very nature of the workforce, work and workplace are rapidly evolving. It is enabling a new generation of workers who will be largely “gig” and digitally savvy. The best talent may no longer be where companies exist meaning that managing a more broadly dispersed workforce will be a competitive differentiator. When compounded with a significant number of pending retirements and a complex global regulatory environment it is clear that the topic of knowledge management is top of mind to leaders.

Becoming a smart, adaptable business is not a one-dimensional issue. As high-tech becomes an integral part of our daily work, changing manpower or IT on one hand or replacing machinery on the other is not sufficient to keep an organization competitive. On the contrary, many startups and boutique companies with limited experience and resources are outsmarting and disrupting established companies. Understanding the reasons for this phenomenon can shed light on the essential transformations needed to compete in this dynamic market. Namely, better knowledge management and clever implementation of digital workplace tools can make businesses smarter than ever.

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Developing and using new technology has always been a transformational part of human work, starting with the earliest wood and stone hunting tools and, of course, the first wheel. Similarly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another milestone in the evolution of technology. Surprisingly, AI algorithms were introduced back in the 1950s, although they were not widely used. So what’s different now? What makes today’s technologies so disruptive and why AI has suddenly become the last word? The answer lies in the availability of data and how it is used.

In looking into what makes these technologies so exceptional, we find that the larger, more relevant, and diverse the data sets they are based on, the more efficient and accurate they are. Although non-AI technologies can perform tasks over large amounts of data, they are not based on the data itself. Advanced AI technologies, however, can set their own commands, which derive from a learning phase, based on the data given to them. Said another way, non-AI technologies perform tasks in response to commands, while advanced AI technologies can perform tasks according to the data they receive. This type of advanced AI, which learns from data, is called Machine Learning (ML).

Today, unlike in the 1950s, strong computing power exists and the access to information is broader. These developments make it relatively simple to analyze, search, scan, and extract information from incredible amounts of data in a relatively short amount of time. Combining the capability to utilize massive data sources with AI learning algorithms is what really differentiates and makes today’s technologies extraordinary.

Today, unlike in the 1950s, strong computing power exists and the access to information is broader. These developments make it relatively simple to analyze, search, scan, and extract information from incredible amounts of data in a relatively short amount of time. Combining the capability to utilize massive data sources with AI learning algorithms is what really differentiates and makes today’s technologies extraordinary.

Eyal Cahana is a senior manager with Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Knowledge Management practice in Israel, specializing in planning and executing organizational knowledge management strategies and tools.
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Posted by Jeff Schwartz on December 7, 2018.

This is our third of three posts tracking the Trends of the Trends—the topics we have seen emerge as perennial in our issues in our annual Global Human Capital Trends research over the last seven years. At No. 3, employee experience is just behind the leadership and learning. It encompasses a number of ingredients necessary to provide an engaging employee experience throughout the employment life cycle.

Related links

2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey
Participate today.

Follow us @DeloitteTalent
Stay connected.

Great employee experiences are built from a number of elements. In our 2014 Trends research, the focus was on talent acquisition and access, given that a company’s ability to attract and access highly skilled people is critical to its success. We see recruiting transforming into a strategic function focused on marketing, branding, and new tools and technologies.

In 2015 performance management rose in prominence, with 75 percent of respondents deeming it “important” or “very important.” Organizations are replacing traditional performance management with innovative solutions that shift the focus from forcibly ranking employees to coaching employees to succeed. This trend was reinforced in 2017, as companies continue to reevaluate every aspect of their performance management programs and are aligning the changes to business strategy and the ongoing transformation in work.

This helps in increasing productivity and changing culture—a key trend in 2016. Having a purpose that employees can align to, providing the skills and opportunities to learn and grow, and building an inclusive culture are all critical to attracting and retaining the best talent. In turn, these efforts help fuel innovation initiatives that drive the business forward.

In 2018, the focus shifted to rewards, as companies strive to create rewards program that are delivered more continuously and aligned more closely with everyone’s preferences. However, survey results indicated a significant readiness gap: 37 percent of respondents rated rewards as “very important,” but only 9 percent indicated they were “very ready” to deal with this challenge.

What will emerge as a key driver of employee experience in 2019? Add your voice by taking this year’s survey.

Jeff Schwartz, is a principal in the Human Capital practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP and serves as Deloitte’s global leader for Human Capital Marketing, Eminence, and Brand, and the US leader for the Future of Work. He launched Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends research in 2011.
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Posted by Pete DeBellis on December 6, 2018.

Organizations are in an uphill battle for talent. With less than one job-seeker per job opening in the U.S. at present,1 and a scarcity of qualified talent, organizations need to make substantial changes to attract and retain the talent they need to maintain productivity and drive innovation. Rewards, of course, are one of the most important ways that organizations attract talent. But the days of offering talent the same rewards as competitors have passed. The current job market demands differentiated rewards—by employee, by life stage, and by each organization’s culture and values.

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As the market tightens and rewards offerings become integral to your employer brand, prospective workforces will be demanding that your offerings include a focus on their well-being and productivity. In 2019, organizations will begin to distinguish their rewards offerings in two key ways

Rewards will become crucial to the employment brand
High-performing organizations will firmly ground their rewards strategies in their overarching business goals, and develop clear communications to help current and prospective employees understand how these elements align as part of their employment branding. For example, organizations that need to attract large numbers of highly educated early-career workers might extol their innovative approach to helping employees deal with student debt. An organization with a business model built on agility, meanwhile, might highlight its more frequent compensation review cycles and agile rewards offerings compared to organizations with a more typical year-end process.

In these communications, organizations really have an opportunity to shine a spotlight on what makes them unique: their cultures, their objectives, their work environments, the opportunities for growth and development in those environments—and the ways in which employees will be rewarded for doing so. And it is, in part, through the diversity of those rewards offerings that the authenticity of these organizations will shine through. As evidence of this point, our 2018 High-Impact Total Rewards research found that high-performing organizations are 5.6 times more likely than low-performing organizations to say that their rewards brand reflects their organization’s culture to a great or very great extent.2

Talent acquisition colleagues will be key collaborators in the effort to differentiate the employment brand based on rewards. They can help rewards leaders sense the market and stay aligned with what candidates want and need from an employer, while ensuring that candidates are being presented a rewards brand that accurately represents the internal realities at the organization.

From a tactical perspective, communications across multiple channels—internal communications, social media, job boards and recruiting collateral, and even the chatbots built into applicant tracking and broader HR systems—need to consistently deliver clear messaging to employees and candidates about the entirety of the total rewards offering. Organizations should tailor these communications to provide employees with what they need, when they need it.

These innovations will better position organizations to maximize the return on their rewards investments and to enjoy higher rates of employee retention and engagement across the enterprise.

Analytics will empower companies to personalize their rewards offerings
High-performing rewards functions know that developing a true understanding of employees’ needs and wants is the foundation of an effective and differentiated rewards program. Next year, we’ll see these functions launch their organizations toward higher rates of retention and engagement by personalizing rewards offerings to better “fit” their workforces.

They’ll do so by using advanced analytics to understand utilization of and return on investment for their current offerings, mining their people data to define the various segments that exist within their workforces, and then determining the characteristics and preferences of each segment or “persona” using rewards optimization surveys and other methods to collect employee input. These persona-based insights, in turn, will help organizations develop a deeper understanding of what their workforce values and truly needs—and how to connect with these personas through their rewards offerings. Our 2018 High-Impact Total Rewards research also found that high-performing organizations are 6.2 times more likely than low-performing organizations to use analytics to evaluate the impact of their rewards offerings.3

These high-performing functions also know that the insights these personas provide enable them to be more forward-looking through the creation of employee journey maps. These can illuminate current needs and wants, as well as allow the organization to prepare for the future, based on predictable internal events throughout the employee life cycle as well as those in their lives outside of work. While the days of truly personalized rewards offerings—different packages for each individual employee and tradeoffs across various rewards elements—won’t arrive in 2019 due to a variety of administrative and regulatory impediments, the personalization of rewards by actual employee populations (as opposed to broader market survey data, industry-level insights, or generational stereotypes) will be an important step in that direction.

Looking ahead
As we’ve seen over and over again, most employees just don’t like their rewards programs. Organizations and savvy HR leaders need to recognize that when done well, rewards offerings can play a huge role in attracting talent and keeping it happy—and in-house. We’ll see some organizations take a giant step forward in 2019—away from the pack—toward better hiring metrics and greater retention and engagement rates.

For our part, BersinTM, Deloitte Consulting LLP will continue to focus on this topic broadly in the coming months, as well as keep an eye on specific potentially differentiating rewards offerings such as holistic worker well-being, student debt assistance, experiential rewards, and other unique and memorable offerings.

Every day from November 27 through December 6, Bersin will be sharing perspectives on the most timely, relevant, and interesting developments for HR professionals to watch in 2019. Check back every day, or visit bersin.com on December 18 for a consolidated report with all of the predictions.

Peter DeBellis, is the total rewards research leader for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP.


1 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Highlights, September 2018, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018, https://www.bls.gov/web/jolts/jlt_labstatgraphs.pdf.
2 High-Impact Total Rewards research, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2018.
3 Ibid.

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Posted by Denise Moulton on December 5, 2018.

For several years, talent acquisition (TA) has been emerging from its silo of filling headcount to become part of an overarching talent strategy. In 2019, we expect record-low unemployment rates and a demand for niche skills to hasten that transformation and make the TA function a critical player in ensuring that organizations have the talent they need to be productive. This means more than improving TA strategies, enhancing relationships with hiring teams, or becoming data-driven. A substantial shift in behaviors, capabilities, and business integration will fuel TA in those organizations keen to embrace the possibilities.

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With smart investments in emerging technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive data, talent acquisition is poised to deliver increased value and improved organizational performance. While these tools have been on the market for some time, few organizations have taken bold steps to implement them.1 In fact, during a recent series of roundtables that Bersin convened on AI in talent acquisition, less than a handful of TA leaders said they had started experimenting with these solutions. This was not surprising: high-performing TA functions, which are four times more likely than low performers to use advanced TA technologies, make up just 26 percent of TA functions overall.2

In 2019, leveraging AI and predictive data will empower radical transformation of the TA function, which will embrace new ways to anticipate needs and identify and hire the talent that fuels the enterprise. As part of this, TA will partner with colleagues across HR to help ensure that TA leaders are sourcing and hiring necessary talent, as well as recognizing areas of potential turnover and critical skills gaps.

AI adoption will accelerate, starting with sourcing.

AI has made some inroads into talent acquisition, with varying degrees of impact at every stage in the TA life cycle. Anecdotally, we have seen greater implementation of AI in TA than in any other area of HR—yet HR still lags behind other areas of the enterprise, particularly IT, in AI adoption. But AI’s potential is no secret: 78 percent of executives believe that AI-based augmentation of workers will fuel new ways of working.3 In 2019 TA will begin to fully realize this potential.

To capitalize on this potential, TA will make implementation of AI technology a business imperative, shifting focus away from the mundane tasks that have historically overburdened the function. TA leaders have a tremendous opportunity to free recruiter capacity by replacing the repetitive or invisible tasks (e.g., manual searches) with AI technologies. In doing so, recruiters can spend more time on meaningful interactions with candidates or hiring teams, and other higher-value human activities.

For most organizations, sourcing tends to be the toe in the water as they experiment with AI. There are a number of fairly mature tools on the market, and this type of AI experimentation presents a low-risk proposition since people can backstop challenges as they learn about the tools. This is likely the area of AI in HR that will see the greatest uptick in usage in 2019. The most mature TA functions will lead the charge—but less mature organizations will need to catch up quickly as they compete for the same talent pool.

Predictive data will help TA plan ahead instead of reacting.

High-performing TA functions are already engaging in data-driven decision-making; most TA teams have a menu of reports that are available on-demand, generated through their TA technology. However, TA leaders are beginning to evaluate data in new ways to increase understanding of critical talent practices and trends across the business. By developing analytics fluency, the TA function will become better equipped to search for talent in the right places, take calculated risks, and plan more effectively. Transitioning from historical reporting to predictive analysis lets TA teams address skills gaps and understand the talent needs of today to spark future business growth. For instance, TA leaders can use predictive data to anticipate which roles are most likely to turn over due to demand in the market, where the organization will need to increase capabilities based on its strategy, or if it needs to build a candidate pipeline in those areas.

Additionally, these insights will help shape an overall TA strategy that looks beyond hiring with a keen eye toward the ways to nurture and grow talent for the years to come. TA functions will need to refine and expand their scope to include more metrics around cycle or stage timing, strength of candidate slate, time to performance, organizational fit, and retention / risk analysis. With a more comprehensive approach to analytics, TA will be able to realize improvements across the end-to-end recruiting process, and hone its understanding about the internal and external talent marketplace.

Looking ahead
In the coming months, Bersin research will continue to explore the critical impact of these technologies on the TA function. Without transformation, talent acquisition will not be able to effectively meet the workforce demands of the future and sustain organizational performance. By shifting its mindset and adopting new tools to enable greater productivity and continuous improvement, TA will make an increasing impact. The barriers to transformation will be steep, requiring a fundamental change in the way organizations view talent acquisition. Once the TA function bolsters its ability to innovate and drive agility in practice, there will be a noticeable impact on speed, efficiency, and the organization’s bottom line—enabling improved voice and influence across the business.

Every day from November 27 through December 6, Bersin will be sharing perspectives on the most timely, relevant, and interesting developments for HR professionals to watch in 2019. Check back every day, or visit bersin.com on December 18 for a consolidated report with all of the predictions.

Denise Moulton is vice president and HR and talent research leader at BersinTM, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

1 Six Key Insights to Put Talent Acquisition at the Center of Business Strategy and Execution, in the High-Impact Talent Acquisition series, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Robin Erickson, PhD, and Denise Moulton, 2018.
2 The Talent Acquisition Maturity Model, in the High-Impact Talent Acquisition series, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Robin Erickson, PhD, and Denise Moulton, 2018.
3 State of AI in the Enterprise, 2nd Edition: Early adopters combine bullish enthusiasm with strategic investments, Deloitte Insights, Deloitte Development LLC / Jeff Loucks, Tom Davenport, and David Schatsky, 2018.

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Posted by Kathi Enderes on December 4, 2018.

Ninety percent of the data in the world has been created within the last two years alone, and the continued emergence of new technologies will likely increase that rate even more. HR leaders have been attempting for years to use people analytics to turn this vast amount of data into actionable insights, but many still struggle with how and where to apply people analytics to maximize the return on investment. In the coming year, more and more organizations will start to apply people analytics in a new way, with a direct focus on the individual, rather than through HR or leaders—a bottom-up approach, as opposed to just top-down.

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Last year, Bersin’s High-Impact People Analytics research revealed that only 2 percent of surveyed organizations are highly mature in people analytics. That tiny percentage has granted us an advance look at how to put people analytics to work. The most mature functions not only integrate it throughout their enterprises but also focus it on addressing business problems, enhancing the quality of day-to-day decision-making, and expanding its accessibility and use through robust insight delivery systems. The purpose of people analytics in these few high-performing companies? Enhanced workforce productivity and performance.

Going forward, we predict people analytics will become a principal supporting factor in the growing autonomy (and productivity) of the individual, empowering each person with the insights to help them do their best work.

People analytics will support individuals in the flow of work.

Today, most organizations that have adopted people analytics still use the insights it delivers for the benefit of the HR function: to help improve people processes, to better plan for needed workforce capacity and capabilities, and to effectively attract, manage, develop, retain, engage, and reward people. Tomorrow, more organizations will embed people analytics in the flow of work to enable people to increase their productivity and improve their performance on their own.

As the key user of people analytics shifts from HR or leaders to the individual, the personalized performance and development indicators, insights, and prescriptive actions it can deliver will come to the fore—raising the benefits exponentially. Organizations will still need to pay careful attention to data security, privacy, and ethical issues. But individuals may feel less concerned about their employers monitoring email and meeting behavior if they reap direct benefits of that activity—for instance, automatically generated suggestions about which meetings to attend or skip, and which people to meet with or avoid. Organizational network analysis and meeting metadata make this possible. These insights alone could result in enormous productivity enhancements, given the time spent in meetings.

Similarly, facial scanning and analysis delivers confidential and proactive behavioral nudges: your phone can tell you that you appear to be stressed and suggest a five-minute break before your upcoming team meeting.

Finally, individuals will benefit from tips on how to be more engaged and happy at work—using the same data organizations have been collecting for decades, with the individual as the beneficiary and owner. They’ll also receive learning suggestions based on real-time performance indicators. All of these are possible and available today.

This is not George Orwell’s “Big Brother.” This is individuals owning their own data—and productivity. People analytics will drive up the productivity of the entire enterprise by helping the workforce help itself become more effective and happier at work.

People analytics will free up leaders to enable the productive workplace.

When people analytics empowers individuals to manage their own work and engagement more effectively, the role of leaders at all levels shifts. Instead of devoting the lion’s share of their time and attention at the individual level, leaders will be able to apply their efforts to driving productivity at the group or team level.

People analytics will help leaders make the workplace a better place to work. It will enable them to determine which technologies and environmental features support productivity and which ones hinder it. In doing so, people analytics will help leaders remove obstacles to collective productivity.

Better yet, people analytics will deliver its benefits in real-time. Aggregated data feeds into people analytics systems will provide leaders with early warnings regarding workforce engagement issues, roadblocks to productivity, retention issues, and even burnout or safety signals. Leaders will get insights and suggested actions proactively, rather than having to dig for them. Today, most organizations require leaders to stop their work and go to a separate place to slice and dice data for actionable insights. Not surprisingly, many never find the time. In the coming year, prescriptive insights will become an expectation—real-time, work-embedded insights accompanied by suggested actions nudging the expected behavior.

The people analytics-enabled workplace will become a reality.

It will fall to HR, and particularly, the people analytics team, to thoroughly integrate people analytics with all people-related systems and embed them all in the flow of work. Rather than running reports and looking for insights, the people analytics team will create the environment in which people are equipped to take action quickly and seamlessly.

To accomplish that, vast amounts of structured and unstructured data—operational, people, financial, and customer, both internal and external—will be collected and correlated to identify what exactly drives business outcomes. Organizations will be able to accomplish this using various next-generation technologies such as AI, machine learning, and cognitive computing. This, in turn, will require the people analytics team to build closer and more intimate connections across and outside the enterprise, and to more rigorously monitor the use of people data to ensure it is ethical and secure.

Looking Ahead

HR leaders have talked about people analytics for years, and now we’re on the cusp of an explosion in its use and application. HR will certainly play a central role in attaining its long-promised and much-needed productivity benefits. Technologies are here to make this happen and are accessible and affordable to much broader populations than ever before. But, to really transform people analytics, the more savvy organizations will treat the workforce—not HR and not leaders—as the customer of people analytics. The opportunity ahead is vast: By understanding that the individual is at the heart of their business, organizations will turn people analytics from a backward-looking HR activity focused on reporting the past into a workforce and business benefit, and in doing so empower each person to do their best work and grow their career—and ultimately be more productive.

Bersin will continue to explore this trend in the coming year, with deeper dives on the findings from our High-Impact People Analytics research. We will look at the ways in which organizations are exploring new listening channels, boosting data literacy across the organization, and embedding data-driven decision making in their cultures.

Every day from November 26 through December 6, Bersin will be sharing perspectives on the most timely, relevant, and interesting developments for HR professionals to watch in 2019. Check back daily or visit http://www.bersin.com on December 18 for a consolidated report with all of the predictions.

Kathi Enderes, PhD, is vice president and talent & workforce research leader at BersinTM, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
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The future of work is being shaped by three key forces. As technological advances of cognitive AI, machine learning, and everything-as-a-service become more integrated into the fabric of business the very nature of the workforce, work and workplace are rapidly evolving. It is enabling a new generation of workers who will be largely “gig” and digitally savvy. The best talent may no longer be where companies exist meaning that managing a more broadly dispersed workforce will be a competitive differentiator. When compounded with a significant number of pending retirements and a complex global regulatory environment it is clear that the topic of knowledge management is top of mind to leaders.

Becoming a smart, adaptable business is not a one-dimensional issue. As high-tech becomes an integral part of our daily work, changing manpower or IT on one hand or replacing machinery on the other is not sufficient to keep an organization competitive. On the contrary, many startups and boutique companies with limited experience and resources are outsmarting and disrupting established companies. Understanding the reasons for this phenomenon can shed light on the essential transformations needed to compete in this dynamic market. Namely, better knowledge management and clever implementation of digital workplace tools can make businesses smarter than ever.

Related links

2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey
Participate today.

Follow us @DeloitteTalent
Stay connected.

Developing and using new technology has always been a transformational part of human work, starting with the earliest wood and stone hunting tools and, of course, the first wheel. Similarly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another milestone in the evolution of technology. Surprisingly, AI algorithms were introduced back in the 1950s, although they were not widely used. So what’s different now? What makes today’s technologies so disruptive and why AI has suddenly become the last word? The answer lies in the availability of data and how it is used.

In looking into what makes these technologies so exceptional, we find that the larger, more relevant, and diverse the data sets they are based on, the more efficient and accurate they are. Although non-AI technologies can perform tasks over large amounts of data, they are not based on the data itself. Advanced AI technologies, however, can set their own commands, which derive from a learning phase, based on the data given to them. Said another way, non-AI technologies perform tasks in response to commands, while advanced AI technologies can perform tasks according to the data they receive. This type of advanced AI, which learns from data, is called Machine Learning (ML).

Today, unlike in the 1950s, strong computing power exists and the access to information is broader. These developments make it relatively simple to analyze, search, scan, and extract information from incredible amounts of data in a relatively short amount of time. Combining the capability to utilize massive data sources with AI learning algorithms is what really differentiates and makes today’s technologies extraordinary.

Today, unlike in the 1950s, strong computing power exists and the access to information is broader. These developments make it relatively simple to analyze, search, scan, and extract information from incredible amounts of data in a relatively short amount of time. Combining the capability to utilize massive data sources with AI learning algorithms is what really differentiates and makes today’s technologies extraordinary.

Eyal Cahana is a senior manager with Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Knowledge Management practice in Israel, specializing in planning and executing organizational knowledge management strategies and tools.
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Posted by Jeff Schwartz on December 7, 2018.

This is our third of three posts tracking the Trends of the Trends—the topics we have seen emerge as perennial in our issues in our annual Global Human Capital Trends research over the last seven years. At No. 3, employee experience is just behind the leadership and learning. It encompasses a number of ingredients necessary to provide an engaging employee experience throughout the employment life cycle.

Related links

2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey
Participate today.

Follow us @DeloitteTalent
Stay connected.

Great employee experiences are built from a number of elements. In our 2014 Trends research, the focus was on talent acquisition and access, given that a company’s ability to attract and access highly skilled people is critical to its success. We see recruiting transforming into a strategic function focused on marketing, branding, and new tools and technologies.

In 2015 performance management rose in prominence, with 75 percent of respondents deeming it “important” or “very important.” Organizations are replacing traditional performance management with innovative solutions that shift the focus from forcibly ranking employees to coaching employees to succeed. This trend was reinforced in 2017, as companies continue to reevaluate every aspect of their performance management programs and are aligning the changes to business strategy and the ongoing transformation in work.

This helps in increasing productivity and changing culture—a key trend in 2016. Having a purpose that employees can align to, providing the skills and opportunities to learn and grow, and building an inclusive culture are all critical to attracting and retaining the best talent. In turn, these efforts help fuel innovation initiatives that drive the business forward.

In 2018, the focus shifted to rewards, as companies strive to create rewards program that are delivered more continuously and aligned more closely with everyone’s preferences. However, survey results indicated a significant readiness gap: 37 percent of respondents rated rewards as “very important,” but only 9 percent indicated they were “very ready” to deal with this challenge.

What will emerge as a key driver of employee experience in 2019? Add your voice by taking this year’s survey.

Jeff Schwartz, is a principal in the Human Capital practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP and serves as Deloitte’s global leader for Human Capital Marketing, Eminence, and Brand, and the US leader for the Future of Work. He launched Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends research in 2011.
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Posted by Pete DeBellis on December 6, 2018.

Organizations are in an uphill battle for talent. With less than one job-seeker per job opening in the U.S. at present,1 and a scarcity of qualified talent, organizations need to make substantial changes to attract and retain the talent they need to maintain productivity and drive innovation. Rewards, of course, are one of the most important ways that organizations attract talent. But the days of offering talent the same rewards as competitors have passed. The current job market demands differentiated rewards—by employee, by life stage, and by each organization’s culture and values.

Related links

Follow us @Bersin
Stay connected.

Bersin
Learn more.

As the market tightens and rewards offerings become integral to your employer brand, prospective workforces will be demanding that your offerings include a focus on their well-being and productivity. In 2019, organizations will begin to distinguish their rewards offerings in two key ways

Rewards will become crucial to the employment brand
High-performing organizations will firmly ground their rewards strategies in their overarching business goals, and develop clear communications to help current and prospective employees understand how these elements align as part of their employment branding. For example, organizations that need to attract large numbers of highly educated early-career workers might extol their innovative approach to helping employees deal with student debt. An organization with a business model built on agility, meanwhile, might highlight its more frequent compensation review cycles and agile rewards offerings compared to organizations with a more typical year-end process.

In these communications, organizations really have an opportunity to shine a spotlight on what makes them unique: their cultures, their objectives, their work environments, the opportunities for growth and development in those environments—and the ways in which employees will be rewarded for doing so. And it is, in part, through the diversity of those rewards offerings that the authenticity of these organizations will shine through. As evidence of this point, our 2018 High-Impact Total Rewards research found that high-performing organizations are 5.6 times more likely than low-performing organizations to say that their rewards brand reflects their organization’s culture to a great or very great extent.2

Talent acquisition colleagues will be key collaborators in the effort to differentiate the employment brand based on rewards. They can help rewards leaders sense the market and stay aligned with what candidates want and need from an employer, while ensuring that candidates are being presented a rewards brand that accurately represents the internal realities at the organization.

From a tactical perspective, communications across multiple channels—internal communications, social media, job boards and recruiting collateral, and even the chatbots built into applicant tracking and broader HR systems—need to consistently deliver clear messaging to employees and candidates about the entirety of the total rewards offering. Organizations should tailor these communications to provide employees with what they need, when they need it.

These innovations will better position organizations to maximize the return on their rewards investments and to enjoy higher rates of employee retention and engagement across the enterprise.

Analytics will empower companies to personalize their rewards offerings
High-performing rewards functions know that developing a true understanding of employees’ needs and wants is the foundation of an effective and differentiated rewards program. Next year, we’ll see these functions launch their organizations toward higher rates of retention and engagement by personalizing rewards offerings to better “fit” their workforces.

They’ll do so by using advanced analytics to understand utilization of and return on investment for their current offerings, mining their people data to define the various segments that exist within their workforces, and then determining the characteristics and preferences of each segment or “persona” using rewards optimization surveys and other methods to collect employee input. These persona-based insights, in turn, will help organizations develop a deeper understanding of what their workforce values and truly needs—and how to connect with these personas through their rewards offerings. Our 2018 High-Impact Total Rewards research also found that high-performing organizations are 6.2 times more likely than low-performing organizations to use analytics to evaluate the impact of their rewards offerings.3

These high-performing functions also know that the insights these personas provide enable them to be more forward-looking through the creation of employee journey maps. These can illuminate current needs and wants, as well as allow the organization to prepare for the future, based on predictable internal events throughout the employee life cycle as well as those in their lives outside of work. While the days of truly personalized rewards offerings—different packages for each individual employee and tradeoffs across various rewards elements—won’t arrive in 2019 due to a variety of administrative and regulatory impediments, the personalization of rewards by actual employee populations (as opposed to broader market survey data, industry-level insights, or generational stereotypes) will be an important step in that direction.

Looking ahead
As we’ve seen over and over again, most employees just don’t like their rewards programs. Organizations and savvy HR leaders need to recognize that when done well, rewards offerings can play a huge role in attracting talent and keeping it happy—and in-house. We’ll see some organizations take a giant step forward in 2019—away from the pack—toward better hiring metrics and greater retention and engagement rates.

For our part, BersinTM, Deloitte Consulting LLP will continue to focus on this topic broadly in the coming months, as well as keep an eye on specific potentially differentiating rewards offerings such as holistic worker well-being, student debt assistance, experiential rewards, and other unique and memorable offerings.

Every day from November 27 through December 6, Bersin will be sharing perspectives on the most timely, relevant, and interesting developments for HR professionals to watch in 2019. Check back every day, or visit bersin.com on December 18 for a consolidated report with all of the predictions.

Peter DeBellis, is the total rewards research leader for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP.


1 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Highlights, September 2018, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018, https://www.bls.gov/web/jolts/jlt_labstatgraphs.pdf.
2 High-Impact Total Rewards research, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2018.
3 Ibid.

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Posted by Denise Moulton on December 5, 2018.

For several years, talent acquisition (TA) has been emerging from its silo of filling headcount to become part of an overarching talent strategy. In 2019, we expect record-low unemployment rates and a demand for niche skills to hasten that transformation and make the TA function a critical player in ensuring that organizations have the talent they need to be productive. This means more than improving TA strategies, enhancing relationships with hiring teams, or becoming data-driven. A substantial shift in behaviors, capabilities, and business integration will fuel TA in those organizations keen to embrace the possibilities.

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With smart investments in emerging technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive data, talent acquisition is poised to deliver increased value and improved organizational performance. While these tools have been on the market for some time, few organizations have taken bold steps to implement them. In fact, during a recent series of roundtables that Bersin convened on AI in talent acquisition, less than a handful of TA leaders said they had started experimenting with these solutions. This was not surprising: high-performing TA functions, which are four times more likely than low performers to use advanced TA technologies, make up just 26 percent of TA functions overall.

In 2019, leveraging AI and predictive data will empower radical transformation of the TA function, which will embrace new ways to anticipate needs and identify and hire the talent that fuels the enterprise. As part of this, TA will partner with colleagues across HR to help ensure that TA leaders are sourcing and hiring necessary talent, as well as recognizing areas of potential turnover and critical skills gaps.

AI adoption will accelerate, starting with sourcing.

AI has made some inroads into talent acquisition, with varying degrees of impact at every stage in the TA life cycle. Anecdotally, we have seen greater implementation of AI in TA than in any other area of HR—yet HR still lags behind other areas of the enterprise, particularly IT, in AI adoption. But AI’s potential is no secret: 78 percent of executives believe that AI-based augmentation of workers will fuel new ways of working. In 2019 TA will begin to fully realize this potential.

To capitalize on this potential, TA will make implementation of AI technology a business imperative, shifting focus away from the mundane tasks that have historically overburdened the function. TA leaders have a tremendous opportunity to free recruiter capacity by replacing the repetitive or invisible tasks (e.g., manual searches) with AI technologies. In doing so, recruiters can spend more time on meaningful interactions with candidates or hiring teams, and other higher-value human activities.

For most organizations, sourcing tends to be the toe in the water as they experiment with AI. There are a number of fairly mature tools on the market, and this type of AI experimentation presents a low-risk proposition since people can backstop challenges as they learn about the tools. This is likely the area of AI in HR that will see the greatest uptick in usage in 2019. The most mature TA functions will lead the charge—but less mature organizations will need to catch up quickly as they compete for the same talent pool.

Predictive data will help TA plan ahead instead of reacting.

High-performing TA functions are already engaging in data-driven decision-making; most TA teams have a menu of reports that are available on-demand, generated through their TA technology. However, TA leaders are beginning to evaluate data in new ways to increase understanding of critical talent practices and trends across the business. By developing analytics fluency, the TA function will become better equipped to search for talent in the right places, take calculated risks, and plan more effectively. Transitioning from historical reporting to predictive analysis lets TA teams address skills gaps and understand the talent needs of today to spark future business growth. For instance, TA leaders can use predictive data to anticipate which roles are most likely to turn over due to demand in the market, where the organization will need to increase capabilities based on its strategy, or if it needs to build a candidate pipeline in those areas.

Additionally, these insights will help shape an overall TA strategy that looks beyond hiring with a keen eye toward the ways to nurture and grow talent for the years to come. TA functions will need to refine and expand their scope to include more metrics around cycle or stage timing, strength of candidate slate, time to performance, organizational fit, and retention / risk analysis. With a more comprehensive approach to analytics, TA will be able to realize improvements across the end-to-end recruiting process, and hone its understanding about the internal and external talent marketplace.

Looking ahead
In the coming months, Bersin research will continue to explore the critical impact of these technologies on the TA function. Without transformation, talent acquisition will not be able to effectively meet the workforce demands of the future and sustain organizational performance. By shifting its mindset and adopting new tools to enable greater productivity and continuous improvement, TA will make an increasing impact. The barriers to transformation will be steep, requiring a fundamental change in the way organizations view talent acquisition. Once the TA function bolsters its ability to innovate and drive agility in practice, there will be a noticeable impact on speed, efficiency, and the organization’s bottom line—enabling improved voice and influence across the business.

Every day from November 27 through December 6, Bersin will be sharing perspectives on the most timely, relevant, and interesting developments for HR professionals to watch in 2019. Check back every day, or visit bersin.com on December 18 for a consolidated report with all of the predictions.

Denise Moulton, PhD, is vice president and talent & workforce research leader at BersinTM, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Six Key Insights to Put Talent Acquisition at the Center of Business Strategy and Execution, in the High-Impact Talent Acquisition series, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Robin Erickson, PhD, and Denise Moulton, 2018.
The Talent Acquisition Maturity Model, in the High-Impact Talent Acquisition series, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Robin Erickson, PhD, and Denise Moulton, 2018.
State of AI in the Enterprise, 2nd Edition: Early adopters combine bullish enthusiasm with strategic investments, Deloitte Insights, Deloitte Development LLC / Jeff Loucks, Tom Davenport, and David Schatsky, 2018.
Ibid.

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Posted by Kathi Enderes on December 4, 2018.

Ninety percent of the data in the world has been created within the last two years alone, and the continued emergence of new technologies will likely increase that rate even more. HR leaders have been attempting for years to use people analytics to turn this vast amount of data into actionable insights, but many still struggle with how and where to apply people analytics to maximize the return on investment. In the coming year, more and more organizations will start to apply people analytics in a new way, with a direct focus on the individual, rather than through HR or leaders—a bottom-up approach, as opposed to just top-down.

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Last year, Bersin’s High-Impact People Analytics research revealed that only 2 percent of surveyed organizations are highly mature in people analytics. That tiny percentage has granted us an advance look at how to put people analytics to work. The most mature functions not only integrate it throughout their enterprises but also focus it on addressing business problems, enhancing the quality of day-to-day decision-making, and expanding its accessibility and use through robust insight delivery systems. The purpose of people analytics in these few high-performing companies? Enhanced workforce productivity and performance.

Going forward, we predict people analytics will become a principal supporting factor in the growing autonomy (and productivity) of the individual, empowering each person with the insights to help them do their best work.

People analytics will support individuals in the flow of work.

Today, most organizations that have adopted people analytics still use the insights it delivers for the benefit of the HR function: to help improve people processes, to better plan for needed workforce capacity and capabilities, and to effectively attract, manage, develop, retain, engage, and reward people. Tomorrow, more organizations will embed people analytics in the flow of work to enable people to increase their productivity and improve their performance on their own.

As the key user of people analytics shifts from HR or leaders to the individual, the personalized performance and development indicators, insights, and prescriptive actions it can deliver will come to the fore—raising the benefits exponentially. Organizations will still need to pay careful attention to data security, privacy, and ethical issues. But individuals may feel less concerned about their employers monitoring email and meeting behavior if they reap direct benefits of that activity—for instance, automatically generated suggestions about which meetings to attend or skip, and which people to meet with or avoid. Organizational network analysis and meeting metadata make this possible. These insights alone could result in enormous productivity enhancements, given the time spent in meetings.

Similarly, facial scanning and analysis delivers confidential and proactive behavioral nudges: your phone can tell you that you appear to be stressed and suggest a five-minute break before your upcoming team meeting.

Finally, individuals will benefit from tips on how to be more engaged and happy at work—using the same data organizations have been collecting for decades, with the individual as the beneficiary and owner. They’ll also receive learning suggestions based on real-time performance indicators. All of these are possible and available today.

This is not George Orwell’s “Big Brother.” This is individuals owning their own data—and productivity. People analytics will drive up the productivity of the entire enterprise by helping the workforce help itself become more effective and happier at work.

People analytics will free up leaders to enable the productive workplace.

When people analytics empowers individuals to manage their own work and engagement more effectively, the role of leaders at all levels shifts. Instead of devoting the lion’s share of their time and attention at the individual level, leaders will be able to apply their efforts to driving productivity at the group or team level.

People analytics will help leaders make the workplace a better place to work. It will enable them to determine which technologies and environmental features support productivity and which ones hinder it. In doing so, people analytics will help leaders remove obstacles to collective productivity.

Better yet, people analytics will deliver its benefits in real-time. Aggregated data feeds into people analytics systems will provide leaders with early warnings regarding workforce engagement issues, roadblocks to productivity, retention issues, and even burnout or safety signals. Leaders will get insights and suggested actions proactively, rather than having to dig for them. Today, most organizations require leaders to stop their work and go to a separate place to slice and dice data for actionable insights. Not surprisingly, many never find the time. In the coming year, prescriptive insights will become an expectation—real-time, work-embedded insights accompanied by suggested actions nudging the expected behavior.

The people analytics-enabled workplace will become a reality.

It will fall to HR, and particularly, the people analytics team, to thoroughly integrate people analytics with all people-related systems and embed them all in the flow of work. Rather than running reports and looking for insights, the people analytics team will create the environment in which people are equipped to take action quickly and seamlessly.

To accomplish that, vast amounts of structured and unstructured data—operational, people, financial, and customer, both internal and external—will be collected and correlated to identify what exactly drives business outcomes. Organizations will be able to accomplish this using various next-generation technologies such as AI, machine learning, and cognitive computing. This, in turn, will require the people analytics team to build closer and more intimate connections across and outside the enterprise, and to more rigorously monitor the use of people data to ensure it is ethical and secure.

Looking Ahead

HR leaders have talked about people analytics for years, and now we’re on the cusp of an explosion in its use and application. HR will certainly play a central role in attaining its long-promised and much-needed productivity benefits. Technologies are here to make this happen and are accessible and affordable to much broader populations than ever before. But, to really transform people analytics, the more savvy organizations will treat the workforce—not HR and not leaders—as the customer of people analytics. The opportunity ahead is vast: By understanding that the individual is at the heart of their business, organizations will turn people analytics from a backward-looking HR activity focused on reporting the past into a workforce and business benefit, and in doing so empower each person to do their best work and grow their career—and ultimately be more productive.

Bersin will continue to explore this trend in the coming year, with deeper dives on the findings from our High-Impact People Analytics research. We will look at the ways in which organizations are exploring new listening channels, boosting data literacy across the organization, and embedding data-driven decision making in their cultures.

Every day from November 26 through December 6, Bersin will be sharing perspectives on the most timely, relevant, and interesting developments for HR professionals to watch in 2019. Check back daily or visit http://www.bersin.com on December 18 for a consolidated report with all of the predictions.

Kathi Enderes, PhD, is vice president and talent & workforce research leader at BersinTM, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
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