Digitisation shifting the approach to talent management and succession planning

SHL country manager for South Africa Ceri Mongie says organisations are increasingly looking within for their skills and leadership needs.

Organisations are currently more interested in developing their people than finding talent externally. This is according to SHL country manager for South Africa Ceri Mongie, who presented research findings at the inaugural HR Indaba, which was held at the Sandton Convention Centre on 4 October 2018. The SHL 2018 Global Assessment Trends report, wherein a total of 3,135 HR professionals participated in a survey about workplace issues, found that talent acquisition is not a key priority in the Middle East and Africa region. Instead, organisations are focusing on leadership development by looking inward throughout their internal structures as a way of advancing their corporate strategy as opposed to acquiring external talent. 

Said Ceri:

"As you know, the world of work has drastically changed, especially over the last few years. Digital disruption has changed the way organisations approach talent because people have become a crucial part of the business agenda. Organisations are starting to have to answer some critical questions in order to align themselves with changes resulting from the advent of artificial intelligence and automation.  Improving diversity and identifying best-fit leaders has become imperative to business success."

With many organisations now beginning to understand the need to achieve a better return on their talent investments in the medium and long-term, Ceri said the survey reflected a change in companies' approach to talent acquisition. Instead of looking for people with the skills believed to be necessary for the future, companies are developing those capabilities from within.

The survey found that, despite less than 40 percent of organisational respondents indicating that their companies had a clear understanding of their current workforces, most respondents (81percent) said they were working with business leaders to understand what roles would be critical in the future. And almost half of the respondents (42 percent) expected that there would be more people than roles in their organisations, while 66 percent were considering the impact that digitisation would have on their current and future roles.

"Sixty-three percent of respondents said that leadership development was one of their most critical areas, while 65 percent said that performance management was critical. Some 59 percent said they were focussed on identifying high potentials and 61 percent were focused on succession planning," said Ceri.