Averbbook: Talent is the answer, not talent management

Human resources rely on technology to solve their employees’ problems and challenges, but often at the expense of the very employees they are trying to serve.

That was one of the main messages – and warnings – from Jason Averbook on Thursday during the day’s closing speech at the HR Tech Conference. In a high-profile speech titled “After 18 Months of Disruption: Reimagining Organizational Purpose for the Future,” the LeapGen co-founder and CEO and HRE columnist said HR needs to focus on people, not the technology they are looking for.

After coping with the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 20 months, the hybrid workforce and employees quitting their jobs in droves, Averbour asked attendees to text their current feelings for an online poll in which HRGreen meant “happy”, HRYellow meant “so much”, and HRRed was reserved for “feeling bad”. The audience results were approximately 40% HRGreen, 55% HRYellow and 5% HRRed.

“We’re at the high end of ‘eh’,” he said. “These are the most important questions we in HR can ask the workforce: how are you and how are you living your day?”

Averbook said asking employees how they are doing doesn’t have to imply a rating or an engagement score. “Why does this matter? We are humans,” he said. “We have moved from living outside of work to living inside of work and into our lives.”

Averbook added: “We place far too much weight on technology in a world where we need to understand how people feel.”

Technology can’t do much. “We spent $8 billion to make our lives easier in HR. What have we done to make life easier for our employees? »

Averbook cited research that technology projects in 2019 were often far from the finish line and rarely part of the winner’s circle. Of 700 HR technology projects completed in 2019, 15% met goals, 22% were on budget, 19% met deadlines and 11% improved the employee experience, he said.

“We need to stop implementing technology as the answer to everything, and we need to start deploying human capabilities,” he said.

“We have to ask ourselves questions, [like] “What do we want to be better at now? Don’t use the data from 2018 which indicates that we encountered a huge obstacle in the road. We focus on the work now. What do you want to be good at and what [do you want] to agree? he said. “How do I want to improve? Recruitment, retention and diversity.

Averbook fiercely doubts the subject of people quitting their jobs in large numbers for the reasons cited by the experts.

“’The Big Resignation’ is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. People have understood what matters to them and you need to give them an emotional employee experience where they can feel human,” he said. “Otherwise they won’t work for you.”

“It’s not just about recruiting. If we scare people away…as fast as people come, that’s not good,” he said. “Talent is the answer, not talent management.”

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