Peter Cappelli did the opening keynote today at the Kenexa World Conference. His presentation focused on many of themes in his book "Talent On Demand". Here are a couple of important takeaways/things to think about:
- Mobility in the external labor market has made it difficult for employers to invest in training and development. By the time the investment is ready to pay off, workers can leave for other, often higher paying, opportunities. These new employers do not have to make that training investment and do not have to recoup those costs so they can pay more.
- Uncertainty about the demand for resources is not going to go away. What is key is how you handle the uncertainty. Doing workforce planning where you can understand the range of likely possibilities and craft sourcing strategies appropriately is key. It is also important to know the cost/benefit tradeoffs of both overshooting and undershooting planned demand. If you are going to err, make sure you error on the right side (and again craft sourcing strategies appropriately).
For more check out my recent post (including a link to information on Peter's book).
I had a chance to go to a number of breakout sessions at the conference as well. Kelley Baker and Troy Heflin from Volvo Group (the rest of the conglomerate after Volvo sold the car business to Ford) did a great presentation on workforce planning and analytics as it relates to issues of the multi-generational workforce. They showed a lot of great macro-environmental data that they used to engage senior leaders in the conversation about multi-generational workforce issues. Once engaged, they were able to look at critical workforce segments (as defined by the business through survey techniques, not HR). They found that 41% of employees in critical workforce segments were eligible to retire in the next five years (either would have 30 years of employment or be 62 years old or higher). In addition, 21% of employees in critical workforce segments were eligible to retire immediately. Based on these findings, they crafted a number of talent strategies to deal with these emerging talent gaps.
I also attended a session by Carolyn Nimmy from Capgemini on Corporate Social Responsibility. What I found most interesting was the efforts to ingrain this in the culture. Related to talent management specifically, they talked about the linkage in one of their programs, the Naandi Foundation (which helps Girl/Child education in India), to higher employee engagement. In addition, they have used the Naandi Foundation for leadership development. Specifically, employees from Finland have worked in India on assignments for Naandi Foundation. This has built bonds with local employees (building on their "One Team" approach to client engagement) as well as giving them inter-cultural knowledge (IBM has similar types of program). They know this work has improved their employment brand in Norway and Finland, not to mention India. Capgemini is still working to understand the impact on issues such as retention.
I was very impressed by the work done at Scotiabank (presented by Cory Garlough). They have really thought through how to put together a whole employee research metholodolgy using surveys and other data collection techniques. These use this data to answer specific research questions that help them make better decisions about their talent.
I also heard from Providence Health & Services, an early customer for Kenexa's new 2X platform and the upcoming (Q408) Kenexa Recruiter 2X solution. So far, they have been impressed with the improvements (over the original Kenexa Recruiter solution) especially in terms of usability.
I would be remiss if I did not mention Kenexa's big news at the conference. They have acquired the code to a global, J2EE-based Learning Management System (contractually they are not allowed to say who they bought it from but my description should provide some clues) which forms the foundation for Kenexa Learning Management (KLM). The solution is available now and Kenexa plans to move it to the 2X platform by the end of 2009.
Plateau has asked me to update this post and indicate that its executives unequivocally deny that it is the vendor that sold the rights to the code that Kenexa is using in KLM.