When digital technologies are beginning to entrench into the deepest recesses of work, can established talent strategies keep up? The answer is no. A significant percentage of tasks are now driven by advanced analytics, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Automation (IA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). As enterprises become more integrated and agile, there’s a need for hierarchies, roles and specializations to become nimble too.

Digital has elevated the importance of skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. The focus has moved beyond productivity, and labor and cost arbitrage to an employee’s ability to add value by taking complex decisions and identifying emerging opportunities. This shift is most clearly visible across third-party service providers who now have a skin-in-the-game approach with their outcome-driven models. These kinds of strategic partnerships enable innovation, drive insight-led decisions and boost outcomes with the help of digital technologies such as analytics, RPA and AI.

While looking at the impact of digital on talent management, it’s easy to overlook the fact that these technologies are also creating opportunities for its transformation. Here’s a look at some talent strategies for enterprises starting (or in the middle of) their digital transformation journeys.

Center of Excellence Approach

Digitally integrated operations eliminate redundancies and enable the creation of a resource pool across previously siloed functions. According to an Everest Group report on implementing a digitally integrated operations model, sponsored by WNS, a Center of Excellence (CoE)-led approach helps organizations segregate core operations, prioritize strategic objectives and accelerate progress. While CoEs help consolidate business insights across operations, they also enable the roll-out of newer competencies at scale. Automation, data science and data analytics are prime examples.

Digital Customer Experience

A digitally integrated business model alone is not sufficient to deliver differentiated experience. Organizations should help their talent evolve as knowledge workers who can orchestrate a customer’s digital experience seamlessly across back, middle and front-office. We now have digital consultants — employees, unlike traditional contact center agents, who go beyond regular key performance indicators to deliver empathetic and personalized experiences. To achieve this evolution, organizations require structured learning interventions comprising of game-based and simulation-led training sessions.

Virtual & Intelligent Hiring

COVID-19 may have pushed many organizations into uncharted waters with virtual hiring and onboarding, but initial successes have established the benefits of this practice for the long-term. While faster onboarding and significant reduction in sourcing costs are the most obvious perks, the increased adoption of digital technologies in the process has driven holistic innovation in the way talent is defined, classified and pipelined.

Organizations are now leveraging AI-powered recruitment and onboarding platforms to source talent for crucial requirements. These platforms are enabling companies to identify resources with niche skills quickly. Virtual hiring includes intelligent talent segmentation across skills, experience, availability and compensation.

Collaborative & Connected Performance Ecosystems

Achieving the workplace of the future requires a significant cultural shift, and the failure to do that can result in a disengaged and demotivated workforce. While most companies transitioned to remote working models during the early days of the pandemic, the true success of such a model requires a much broader and deeper approach underpinned by digital tools. Incorporating a growing gig economy into organizational strategies is another increasingly important consideration for talent management.

A digital ecosystem that enables ongoing collaboration, connectedness and coaching, driven by automated, data-driven insights, can deliver the support and engagement required to achieve this shift at scale. From social media analytics in hiring to insight-led conversations and engagement, there’s no doubt that RPA, IA, advanced analytics and AI are transforming traditional performance management.

As organizations become increasingly data-driven and agile, digital-led talent management strategies can help an anxious and change-resistant workforce to evolve and become empowered employees who work towards a shared goal — the long-term success of the company.

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