How to digitally transform talent management for the better

Conclusion: CHROs and the HR teams they lead must commit to continuing to learn and adopt digital technologies that help improve how they hire, engage and retain talent if they are to remain competitive.

Driven by the urgency to stay in touch with employees, customers and suppliers, McKinsey’s recent Covid-19 investigation finds that global organizations are now seven years ahead of schedule in digital transformation initiatives. The role of HR is essential to enable the rapid pace of digital adoption today. By providing business continuity planning (BCP), HR contributions to digital transformation separate organizations that thrive despite crises from those that are left behind, according to McLean & Company 2021 HR Trends Report. The chart below from the report shows how effective HR has been in supporting the rapid changes needed to maintain employee communication and engagement.

McLean and Company’s Trends Report also shows that key talent management gaps need to be addressed before they grow. These areas include analyzing employee skills gap (24%), developing employees on new skills (24%) and training new employees in specific new skills (21%). It is critical to improve talent acquisition, retention, diversity and inclusion and employee experiences by digitally transforming them with greater personalization at scale and greater visibility. CHROs and the HR teams they lead need to address these gaps now.

How to start the digital transformation of talent management

Start with the talent management gaps you see in your organization. The biggest gaps are often in the following four areas: recruitment and talent acquisition; retention of top talent and diverse talent; lack of visibility into employee capabilities; and workforce strategies not aligned with business strategies. The main challenges that must drive digital transformation in these four areas are:

  • Legacy recruiting and applicant tracking systems prioritize HR needs to capture thousands of resumes over delivering a great candidate experience. Attracting and recruiting the most qualified candidates in a virtual world is a daunting task. Leading digital transformation organizations quickly realized this and leaned so heavily on automating the candidate experience that it began to resemble the Amazon 1-Click Ordering experience. McKinsey’s recent Covid survey found that 75% of organizations digitally transforming their operations, including HR, were able to fill technology talent gaps during the crisis:
  • Retaining top talent is more of an issue than many organizations realize, with top performers receiving between five and ten calls from recruiters per month or more. The average seniority of employees in companies has been falling for nearly two decades. And one of the biggest drivers isn’t a lack of opportunity, but the fact that employees can’t find a career path internally as easily as they can find an opportunity for growth in another company. It is possible to retain the best talent by guiding employees towards the rest of their career. Among the many approaches to providing employees with a self-service option for personalized coaching advice at scale, Eightfold Talent Intelligence Platform produces results in such remarkable undertakings as Air Asia, Micron, NetApp and others. Eightfold have found that 47% of top talent leave within 2 years, but most would happily stay if given the right opportunity. The following video explains how Eightfold helps clients retain talent:
  • Employees often lack visibility into new internal opportunities and HR and business leaders lack visibility into unique employee capabilities. There is often a lack of 360 degree visibility of new internal career positions on the employee side and a lack of awareness on the employer side of their employee’s innate abilities. Lack of visibility on the employer side limits their ability to benchmark talent, create programmatic, scalable and flexible career development opportunities, and ultimately redeploy talent in an agile manner to serve evolving business strategies at a rapid pace in response to the impacts of the global pandemic.
  • Workforce strategies that don’t align with and support business strategies waste opportunities to improve employee morale, productivity, and professional growth. While organizations have invested heavily in valuable infrastructure, including learning management systems (LMS) and other employee experience and development tools, they often lack a unified platform to help deliver the right growth opportunities to the right person at the right time.

Increase automation, visibility and personalization at scale

Talent management is at the heart of any digital business and the competitive results each can deliver today and in the future. To make a greater contribution, talent management must deliver the following on a unified platform:

  • Talent management platforms must combine continuous business insights based on operational data, technology management data, and business transformation apps and tools to quickly create new digital experiences for employees.
  • One of the main design goals of any talent management platform should be to provide personalized experiences to candidates or prospects. at scale through all communication channels an organization relies on, both digital and human.
  • The best talent management platforms provide the applications, data, and contextual intelligence needed to deeply embed ownership of tasks and assignments in an organization and strengthen accountability. What’s remarkable about Eightfold’s talent intelligence platform is that it has built-in empathy and the ability to make quick and effective decisions that further enhances team inclusion. The many clients Eightfold has won in the area of ​​talent management illustrate how the combination of empathy, inclusion and accountability in the design of a platform pays off.

As McLean & Company’s 2021 HR Trends Report shows, taking a makeshift approach to solving the many challenges of talent management pays off in the short term. However, making talent management a strong contributor to long-term business strategies must start at the platform level. Eightfold’s approach of combining its Talent Management, Talent Insights and Talent Acquisition modules, all supported by its Talent Intelligence platform, enables its clients to define their digital transformation goals and strategies and achieve results.


The talent management goal that many organizations aspire to today is to digitally transform candidate or prospect experiences so that people have an immediate affinity for the company they apply to and the self-service options are so intuitive that they rival Amazon’s one-click ordering experience. In any industry, digital transformation succeeds when customer expectations are exceeded to the point of creating a new category. One example is Uber’s contextual intelligence, rating system, and ability to optimize ride requests. UberEats provides the same real-time visibility into every step of every order, creating greater trust. Domino’s Pizza Tracker app keeps customers informed of every phase of their orders. What’s common to all of these examples is large-scale customization, real-time automation across service providers, and real-time visibility. These same core values ​​must be at the center of any talent management digital transformation effort today.

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