Embracing Digital

Using HR tech to better develop and grow talent, both in the public and private sector

By John Bersentes

Organizations and agencies alike are moving toward the adoption of more unified talent management solutions. However, such solutions take time to implement. The end game of a cloud-based full candidate lifecycle talent management solution can take as much as a year or two to deploy. The goal of such a solution is to help establish performance-based outcomes with great efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Working in response to the Office of Management & Budget OMD Directive 17-22 (and on the cusp of the passage of the IT Modernization Act) will provide an unprecedented opportunity to respond to recent trends across the commercial sector. Such trends have accompanied an infusion of capital and a multitude of new players. While working to foster a new spirit of innovation, talent management and career development executives must contend with limited resources, talent shortages and a fragmented and competitive marketplace while still developing and growing talent. Changes caused by the disruption of HR tech will undoubtedly move the needle on public sector hiring reform efforts as we are beginning to see the adoption of more data-centric and analytical tools and approaches.

The way enterprises hire, develop and invest in talent have been long overdue for major reform. Done in a sustainable and replicable way, new models of funding, collaborative partnerships and modalities of learning, like those being used to elevate the chief learning officer as a profession in the public and private sector by George Mason University, are gaining traction inside the beltway.

Training officers, human capital executives and staffing managers have had to adapt to the new normal through the use and adoption of more open source blended solutions, platforms and point solutions. As a number of trends influence the mission space, we have seen the enhanced ability and affordability to assist those seeking to provide just-in-time training and resources across disciplines. Such trends include the use of learning content, social media and mobile-friendly tools and hacks.

The intent right now across the industry is the ability to re-skill and grow your talent. Performance, employee engagement, the desire to improve productivity through mobile app development, algorithms, AI and blockchain all create promise regarding talent development. However, in today’s reality, what are some tools that can help us improve soft skills while embracing the emerging field of learning and development?

The following leading trends are evolving in the world of HR tech to support growth and skill diversification efforts.

Trend #1: Toolkits

Each stage of the employee lifecycle is gaining a digital footprint. Many organizations are using digital onboarding toolkits that have welcome messages from senior leaders across your operating divisions. Some of these toolkits are used for podcasts via tools that engage the new hire to learn about the challenges and opportunities in their new roles and provide enhanced connectivity between staff and C-suite leaders.

Trend #2: Communication

The trend toward HR tech that enhances expediting business solutions through face-to-face contact instead of never-ending email trails and text chains is gaining momentum in many facets of the industry. Using tech that provides improved channels for communication and problem solving not only supports the learning and talent functions but the entire organization as well.

Trend #3: New digital modules

The ability to grow and learn through digital modules at your fingertips via mobile solutions continues to grow rapidly as a way to keep the workforce agile and ready for change. Whether at home or on the go, apps provide a depth and breadth of access to skills training for expertise areas from analytics to mobile marketing and beyond.

As HR leaders move to use more first- and third-party data with social media, collaboration tools and matching algorithms to better develop and grow talent, there’s an opportunity to share discoveries and emerging tools that help drive productivity and performance in your workspace. More importantly, engage with your peers in strategic development programs like George Mason’s Chief Learning Officer and Chief Talent Officer programs. They can allow you to participate in high-level, strategic discussions about these future-forward tools and approaches that can positively impact your organization’s bottom line and advance your leadership path in both public and private organizations.

We are fostering a new paradigm of learning that will help in adapting and surviving at a time when disruption in the HR tech and learning management space are rampant and have given rise to many new players. We cannot predict every twist and turn HR tech will take as the industry evolves, but we can embrace the opportunity it provides for innovation and growth in all facets of the employee learning lifecycle.

Learn more about how George Mason is preparing the next generation of HR leaders at clo.gmu.edu.

John Bersentes serves as an advisory council member for George Mason University’s Chief Learning Officer program, which builds the strategic capabilities of participants to prepare them to guide organizations in realizing the full value of their human capital. John is the vice president of client strategy at the MarCom Group and has over 20 years of experience in learning, development and talent management functions. Follow John on Twitter: @JohnBersentes.

George Mason University Executive and Professional Education taps into the talents and expertise of the entirety of Mason’s faculty, as well as experts practicing in the field, to help companies address and solve mission-critical challenges.

The Federal Chief Learning Officer and Chief Talent Officer (commercial) Programs are specifically designed for public and private sector leaders to build their strategic capabilities and guide the organization in realizing the full value of its human capital. Learn more at clo.gmu.edu.