Is your talent brand fit for the future?

Author: Agnès Hussherr, Global Human Capital Leader Agnes Hussherr

These days, news headlines about the workplace of the future are dominated by advancements in technology, automation and robotics.  There’s no doubt that it’s an exciting time of transformation, opportunity and change for all of us in Human Resources.  Interestingly, at the same time, an organisation’s brand has become more accountable to its people than ever before. 

And with 77% of CEOs seeing the availability of key skills as the biggest threat to their business, it’s easy to see why.  The skills they need most are uniquely human ones; problem solving, creativity, innovation, adaptability and leadership.  These skills are crucial to achieving the balance between technology and talent in the workforce of the future – a balance that will soon be a necessity across all industries.  That’s why 60% of CEOs are rethinking their HR function and a substantial 78% say they have already changed their people strategy to meet this need.

CEO Survey_HC cutIn light of these results, and with so much focus on automation and technology, there are some important questions that organisations need to ask themselves: do your people know and trust that they are your priority?  Are you telling the right story to ensure you’re attracting and keeping the talent you need and building a leadership pipeline?

An organisation’s talent brand has to reflect every aspect of its personality; culture and values – and what it stands for; its purpose.  And in doing so, it must also represent your people; your current workforce, the talent you want to attract and your alumni.  The results of our recent research: Winning the fight for female talent showed that from the outset, female talent want to see themselves reflected in a brand.  Women want to work for a brand that values diversity and has visible female role models that they can relate to.  In fact, the report finds that an inclusive employer brand with a transparent and proactive diversity programme, is now critical to attracting female talent.   

This demonstrates the importance of an authentic, ‘lived’ talent brand.  People must not only trust a brand before they will even consider working for them, they want to see themselves reflected in it.  The age old recruitment phrase ‘a good fit’ now carries much more weight and goes both ways, with top talent asking themselves if an organisation reflects their personality and what they stand for. 

Business leaders in this year’s CEO survey placed human capital second only to innovation as a priority, with digital and technology capabilities coming in third.  Indeed, balancing people and technology in the future workforce is going to be one of the biggest challenges facing businesses across all industries.  CEOs realise that to do this successfully, they’ll need skills that technology alone cannot provide.

So every organisation needs to ask itself: does my talent brand tell a story that will attract and retain people with the right skills to succeed – now and in the future?  Because technology is still only part of the story – a story which stars people.

As Global Human Capital Leader, Agnès drives the people strategy for the PwC Network including the workforce of the future, development, performance and talent initiatives. Based in Paris, Agnès also sits on the PwC France leadership team, as Human Capital & Culture Managing Partner.  As an Assurance partner in Banking & Capital Markets, she retains responsibility for several key clients. Read more


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This is a very nice article. Great Priority should be placed on people. For an Organization to run effectively, it requires Innovation, Systems, Processes and technology. However all the aforementioned elements are 100% dependent on the people.

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