- It's not enough for companies to outperform the competition; they must be able to sustain it, according to the results of a study published Jan. 9 by the MITSloan Management Review.
- In a 40-year study of 22,000 organizations' performance, researchers found that maintaining a high level of achievement is substantially harder today than previously.
- "Of the companies that significantly outperformed their sector average, our analysis found that just 17% were also able to maintain that performance advantage over the following five years." These companies, which include entities such as Apple and Alphabet, "continually find new sources of competitive advantage by reinventing their businesses and adapting to evolving market conditions," the study concluded.
Organizations face other challenges besides maintaining high performance for the long haul; they also must be highly competitive while contending with such workplace changes as a diverse population of employees, an expanding independent labor force and automation. According to experts, today's employers must be adaptable to change to meet these challenges, especially when it comes to talent management. Some talent trends to watch in 2020 include:
- Moving from reactive to proactive talent management strategy.
- Integrating contingent workers into a traditional workforce.
- Creating "super jobs" requiring a high level of skills.
- Replacing "agility" with "adaptability" to meet change.
- Using data to source talent.
Talent shortages are forcing employers to adapt their recruiting efforts, focusing on people with the skills they need or the potential to learn those skills. As an example, recruiters and hiring managers are rethinking the suitability of job requirements like degrees and other credentials and focusing more on whether candidates have the skills and knowledge to perform the required tasks. Andrea Backman, chief employability officer at Strategic Education Inc., previously told HR Dive that the "rules of employability" are deviating from the norm because future work demands require different types of competencies and skills than those previously taught in higher education. Backman added that employers are now looking for a mix of soft and hard skills in candidates.
A large part of an employer's adaptability will reside in its ability to withstand economic volatility by expanding or scaling back the workforce as needed. For some, a ready and reliable pool of contingent workers has been the answer, but experts suggest employers adopt a hybrid approach, both "building" and "buying" talent.