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Talent Management in the Digital Age

Dominic Goodacre

Contemporary talent management is impacted by a multitude of external factors, including technological advances, socio-economic issues, as well as internal factors such as organizational strategy, culture and models.

Here, we take a closer look at just some of the key areas having an impact today.

Artificial Intelligence

Is there a hotter topic around at the moment? Within every walk of life, new forms of Artificial Intelligence are appearing on an increasingly regular basis; whether you’re unlocking your phone with facial recognition or being recommended new shows on online streaming services, AI is everywhere. The world of talent management is no different and senior leaders are realizing they need to adapt, and fast. LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslanky suggested recently that a focus on skills-based learning will be crucial going forward as the world of work reacts to the impact of AI.

“Bring skills to the center of talent management; jobs are changing on us even if we’re not changing jobs. The average LinkedIn member has seen the skills needed for their job change by 25% over the past eight years and that number is expected to reach at least 65% by 2030 due to AI.” – Ryan Roslanky, LinkedIn CEO

Big Data

With big data, comes big responsibility! With more data than ever before available to talent management specialists, making sense of it all, and indeed utilizing it all dutifully and effectively, is crucial both in the present and the years ahead. Mike Rugg-Gunn is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and author of a recently-released book which focuses on the topic. Guesting on a recent episode of The Deep Dive podcast, he proposed that organizations can start to do this by creating a ‘data strategy’:

“So that’s about collecting, identifying, collating, warehousing and democratizing data so the people that need it have easy access to it when they need to make the right choices going forward, and that’s a particular challenge for people at the moment.”

You can watch the full episode of our podcast with Mike here:


So-called ‘traditional’ forms of recruitment have been on the way out for a little while now as the pivot to a far more advanced data-driven approach has gained momentum. Saville Assessment are at the forefront of this, harnessing incredible assessment power to simplify talent acquisition and enable organizations to place the right people in the right roles.

Robust, highly-valid assessments identifying those with the current skills to succeed now and the potential to develop in an ever-changing workplace should be the primary focus of a recruiter’s toolkit across the talent cycle.

Saville Assessment’s Client Solutions Director Hannah Mullaney traded her usual role as host of The Deep Dive to become the expert guest on a recent episode of Lee Nallalingham’s podcast. She spoke around the importance of utilizing assessment data for selection decisions and ignoring the temptation of going with gut feel, which is of course wrought with bias.

“It’s like a slight fault in the design of humans where we believe that we are the best judge of another human being, but we’re really not; we’re the most terrible judges! We have all these unconscious and conscious biases that come into play. I can think of so many examples where I’ve spoken to folk in the organization six months later and they go ‘yep… the data was right...’”

Implications of Digital Transformation/Disruption for HR & Talent Management

The pace of digital transformation comes with an increased need for employees with a digital skillset and, with those being at a premium, a focus on internal development and upskilling in the area will no doubt prove to be a separating factor between those companies that merely survive the digital revolution and those that thrive in the coming years.

An example of this being done to great success was when Saville Assessment partnered with Ricoh on their ‘Scala’ digital talent program, aimed at upskilling talented and motivated individuals from their traditional ‘office print’ part of the business and transitioning them into new exciting digital roles.

Saville Assessment’s Talent Development solutions were utilized to provide a clear lens on those in the cohort with the required characteristics to cope with the intense nine-month program and thrive in their new roles.

Successful individuals acquired industry-recognized digital skills accreditations and had the chance to spend three months in a temporary placement in their chosen area, gaining hands-on experience. 

You can see the full case study here.

I’m very happy with my decision to apply. Congratulations to all the team who put this course together. It is clear to me that you don’t just present dry lessons about Digital Transformation, but you build a person with the right mindset, and good skills for the future.

Ricoh Scala, Cohort 1 Participant

There are, of course, multiple aspects of digital change that are having an impact on talent management, and another is the boom of the gig economy.

 “Some people predict that, by 2040, 40-50% of employees will have worked on their own or be working on their own.” – Mike-Rugg Gunn on The Deep Dive Podcast. 

As Mike Rugg-Gunn mentions in his book, HR departments are now, for the first time, really having to juggle the combination of full-time employees and gig workers, and this is an area where those who can best utilize the data available to them will profit the most.

You can hear his thoughts on the matter in the clip below: