Human Resources departments are being challenged by new models and requirements for the future of work. Rather than acquiring more tools or solutions, this change is about a shift in mindset and knowing how to leverage information.

Captivating the world’s attention every four years, the World Cup tends to serve as a reflection of our era. Beyond soccer, the tournament reflects the changes society has experienced since the previous competition. Qatar is no exception. With 5 billion spectators—or 63% of humanity—we were shown that not much can be kept in the shadows in a world that has become increasingly “datified.” Facts regarding violation in human rights, diversity and equality are the most dramatic proof of this, while the large number of disallowed goals during the first games serve as technical proof. Qatar has taught us that data is now a tool that teaches us to understand, project and improve what we do and how we get it done. The headline by Spanish newspaper “El País” is a clear example of this. After their victory against Costa Rica, their article’s title read: “How 7-0 looks in data.”

20 years from now, we’ll be able to understand why 2022 was the year in which data divided the world of organizations. Specifically, we’ll be able to value the quantum leap that present day is demanding from its talent management departments. 

Many organizations have decided to leverage work with data to reinforce management of their teams and the people that make them up. However, Olivia’s experience with different organizations throughout the world have shown that the concept of data and how to work with it is still considered unfamiliar to Talent Management. 

What’s surprising is that data is precisely the necessary tool for this area to fulfill the strategic role required by a volatile and uncertain world that’s influenced by recurring crises—and not only after the pandemic. 

Let’s recall how digitalization began to change our lives with the appearance of www, connectivity, virtual cloud networks, processes, automation and on-demand service. Throughout these changes, data accelerated the productive process while also reminding us that people should never be considered a “Human Resource.” 

However, it wasn't until the 2020 pandemic that the difference and the challenge that arose from it became stronger—changing not only the way we carry out our actions, but also the reason behind them and who we carry them out with. This combination challenges us today, more than ever, when it comes to managing our teams. We need to know how to manage:

  • The flexibility required by future work
  • The regeneration of the employing brand, since salaries are no longer top priority
  • The need for an organization’s purpose and its fulfillment

An objective foundation for generating human value

Today, data allows Talent Management to transform itself by no longer viewing themselves as a lead role in order to objectively project the input that collaborators can offer. I’m not referring to viewing collaborators as a database. Instead, by gathering and analyzing the data offered by the tasks we generate as an organization, we can measure how to contribute the most value to empower our collaborators’ skills from a realistic point of view that considers each of their needs. It’s important to understand that data isn’t just another tool, a solution or a management model. Correctly used data from a human perspective can serve as the foundation for strategic decision-making that’s being demanded by the golden management of the future: talent and team creativity. 

If anything, 2022 has taught us that talent is the most sustainable foundation for planning our future as an organization. It’s no longer a matter of size, history or liquidity. Stepping into tomorrow’s world is entirely about knowing how to attract and retain the best talent. However, in reality, we’re failing to achieve this.

This year, over 4 million people per month have quit their jobs in the United States. Over 47 million people resigned throughout 2021. More recent news involves the massive layoff waves at companies such as Amazon, Facebook or Google. In some cases, businesses let off over 10,000 people as a consequence of not having used a model of business that looked beyond their baseline. The fact that this occurs in an area seen as innovative and avant-garde is a third factor. 

At Olivia, we believe this change can be achieved by putting people at the center and creating the necessary options to obtain business results from there. It’s crucial to consider our teams’ needs as a starting point to take on the path that will lead us to achieve our objectives. Today, the tools and data at hand to interpret them offer us an objective foundation to transform these needs into tangible information. The transformation of the area once known as Human Resources is about a change in mentality that will allow it to genuinely carry out talent management, generating the answers that talent needs to project our organization into the future. 

By Alejandro Goldstein, partner at Olivia Global

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