In my last blog, I talked about how financial services firms’ talent needs are shifting.  There is less emphasis on deep technical expertise and a greater focus on finding individuals who can learn new skills and readily adapt to change.

Firms are employing a variety of strategies to achieve this talent transformation.  For example, organizations are to getting know their individual employees better, in part by capturing and analyzing data on everything from demographics, buying behaviors, social behaviours, communication or email patterns.  This can prove vitally important in a situation in which automation takes over routine or manual tasks; the organization can identify employees who can be reassigned into more creative, interpersonal and non-routine roles.

Greater knowledge of the employee can also enable HR to re-think the employee experience and provide custom solutions for employees.  Benefits packages can be tailored to individual needs and rewards and incentives can be designed to match up with individual preferences.  HR will begin to behave more like marketing, treating employees as customers and analyzing employee data to create customized talent offerings.

Firms are also re-evaluating their approach to training.  Instead of traditional role based curriculums which are learner centric, organizations are focused more on how to close skill gaps to meet the needs of the business. Neuroscience brings a paradigm shift to design and delivery of training and digitization of training – just in time and incorporated into the day to day work activities will become the norm. Learning will be anywhere, anytime and everywhere.  With new technology constantly emerging – and the pace of adoption faster than ever – firms need to actively develop the skills that can provide a company with an important point of competitive differentiation.

Finally, HR may need to expand its idea of the workforce to encompass external talent including both formal contractors and crowd platforms.  More and more work will be done by project-oriented working groups with an emphasis on collaboration, agility, and skill sharing.

Among key questions HR should ask as this transformation gets under way:

  • What is our current view of the employee experience? Do we provide “mass standardization” or a more customized end-to-end experience?
  • What are we doing to provide employees with the skills they need to adapt quickly to new technologies?
  • How do we currently engage with freelancers and contractors?

For HR to take on this transformation, it will have to change its own relationship with technology.  In my next blog I will look at how the relationship between HR and IT must change going forward.

Read more:  Register to download the Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2016

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