Hidden in Plain Sight: Revealing Career Development Opportunities with AI

In today’s competitive market, employee demand for growth and development is increasing. Simultaneously, we are facing growing organizational demand for talent. To retain top talent and ensure fulfillment of jobs and skills, it’s time to put more emphasis on what we call internal talent mobility. Building a talent mobility strategy can drive improvements across both employee engagement and business outcomes.

The importance of a talent mobility strategy

Career development is typically a top driver of employee engagement and employee experience and is one of the main reasons high-potential employee consider leaving. In fact, three out of four high-potential workers say they would be attracted to a new job in a different organization if it offered better career development opportunities. And 70 percent of millennials (62 percent across all generations) are planning or thinking about making a move. Opportunities for growth and development can be the deciding factor.

We also see talent challenges on the organizational side with 60 percent of executives struggling to keep workforce skills current and relevant in the face of rapid technological advancement. A new IBM Smarter Workforce Institute study finds that more than one-third of organizations have difficultly filling open positions and only 30 percent of HR professionals are satisfied with their organization’s ability to meet its internal talent mobility goals. Managers may hoard talent or believe that external hires are better, and employees are not always informed about – or are not encouraged to look for – internal career opportunities. Yet there is a clear pay-off for employers: 80 percent of HR professionals believe that a better talent mobility strategy would reduce recruitment costs and help them find candidates (and make those candidates productive) faster.

Solving talent struggles with internal mobility

Internal talent mobility benefits employees by providing them with new experiences and career progression. It may also freshen up working lives for people who feel like they’ve “been there, done that.” A strong internal mobility strategy meets skill needs by moving employees up through promotion, or laterally through new jobs at a similar level. The lateral moves can be very important: 9 out of 10 employees say they would make a lateral career move with no financial incentive.

Talent mobility should be front and center throughout the employee lifecycle and across all talent management activities. While talent management is usually organized by functional silos and technological modules (recruitment, onboarding, learning, succession, performance, and recognition), talent mobility cuts through all functions. It starts with employer branding and showing the potential for growth. Onboarding should include orienting new hires on career management programs. And all other talent programs and activities should reinforce the availability of internal career paths.

To help build a culture of talent mobility, consider the following steps:

  • Define competencies, jobs, and career paths. An established foundation will go a long way in providing direction to your employees.
  • Leverage branding, social media, talent communities, and chatbots to excite potential employees about mobility within your organization.
  • Establish career programs. A career center or internal job site can help inform employees.
  • Promote and model a culture of mobility. Managers should coach and mentor employees to stimulate their growth.

Career mobility is also a critical part of employee experience. A positive employee experience should be personalized, authentic, responsive, transparent, and simple. Ask yourself: are we providing the right experience to candidates and employees? Do they have easy access to career development information? Are they comfortable thinking, talking about, and exploring new career opportunities within the organization?

Using AI for increased internal talent mobility

The latest Smarter Workforce Institute research shows that HR professionals see immense potential to use AI to drive increased internal mobility. Ninety-two percent expect AI solutions to deliver a better match between people skills and the right job, and 89 percent say it will provide a better experience for employees looking for new internal opportunities.

An AI solution can deliver a direct channel for employees who want growth or change. All it needs is access to data about skills, jobs, competencies, and career paths. A digital assistant could be a better interface for employees who want to evaluate their options before officially speaking with their manager. AI solutions can also highlight opportunities that employees may not have considered: what if your skills make you a great fit for a career in sales, but you always thought of yourself as a marketing person?

When planning to deploy a digital career coach, you should also think about the change management aspect – who will be impacted and how? What will the experience be for managers, employees, and new hires? Consider methodologies to help plan your new strategy using an employee-centric perspective and re-think the HR service delivery model that supports the mobility experience.

While increased internal mobility is not the solution to all talent gaps – there is a strong business case for balance and bringing people in from the outside to enhance innovation and diversity – it can go a long way in driving talent retention, engaged employees, and successful business outcomes. And an intelligent matchmaking service, infused with an understanding of human behavior, can help employees and employers get the most out of their talent.

Fascinating stories about two presidential campaigns and how they embody modern management

From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_organizations, a modern tale of management :


Contemporary organisational innovation

A prime example of progression from the antiquated hierarchical structures with its layers of middle management staffed by gate keepers congesting the flow of communications can be found in the 2008 Presidential Campaign conducted by Barack Obama. Obama’s team harnessed the potential of social media to create a flat structure. Local activists were communicated with directly from campaign headquarters. Individuals became leaders in their own domain. They were able to access campaign material, and register supporters immediately upon accessing material provided online via the campaign website.
This innovative form of campaign allowed Obama to raise $750 million, primarily from small donors, along with registering one and half million volunteer campaign workers in twenty seven thousand campaign groups. However, following the appointment of Jim Messina as the campaign manager for the 2012 Presidential campaign the 2008 strategy was declared antiquated – indeedSteven Spielberg reportedly advised Messina to blow up the 2008 campaign it was so out of date.
In a future where any task that can be described as predictable or repetitive will invariably be delegated to forms of artificial intelligence, the old hierarchical command and control systems will become largely redundant. Success will be premised on speed and innovation, on the ability of organizations to synthesize real time information and perform strategic pivots that will allow immediate access to new opportunities. The 2012 Presidential election presaged how this may look in practice. Whilst the campaign remained grassroots oriented, continuing to harness social media, the engine behind the effort was a metrics driven campaign. The sheer magnitude of the data organizing effort was staggering, but all within one single comprehensive database.[23][24]
In what was the largest political campaign in US political history, the technical staff utilized consumer data along with demographic information to devise a more accurate model of the electorate – in small slices. By taking cognizance of the ‘Long Tail’ of human preferences,[25] analysts were able to develop micro campaigns that targeted key demographic groupings that many had predicted would not vote due to the impact of the economic downturn and high unemployment that underscored the administration’s failure to deliver a quality of prose in government that had been promised by the poetry of the campaign. By identifying who the voter actually was through data mining and attaching a support score of 1–100 for each individual voter, the campaign team were able to build a macro picture of the election by breaking it down in its component parts.[26]
The campaign itself became an evolutionary process designed to react to ‘just in time information’ that allowed the campaign to pivot in a new strategic direction to meet identified demand.[24] This development from rigid hierarchical structures to an infrastructure deliberately designed to support innovative, but empirical evidenced decision making, represents the future of organizational development. Steve Jobs spoke of the need for future organizations to be run by ideas not hierarchies.[27]