Talent mapping in 2018

by Contributor06 Jun 2018

How can HR ensure employees have suitable career paths when hierarchies are a thing of the past? Siddharth Mehta, career business leader – Singapore and Indonesia at Mercer, provides his tips

Q: The demise of the concept of ‘lifetime employment’ has been fast approaching in recent years, especially as millennial workers take over the workplace. What strategy can HR use for effective talent mapping?

Lifetime employment as a concept is in decline, not only because of the younger workforce but because of advances in technology that require a completely new set of skills and new ways of getting work done. According to the recently released Global Talent Trends Study 2018, three key trends stand out in the context of talent mapping for this new generation.

  • Working with purpose: Three quarters (75%) of thriving employees – those who feel fulfilled personally and professionally – say their company has a strong sense of purpose. To find purpose, employees crave movement, learning and experimentation. If not received, they will look for it elsewhere – 39% of employees satisfied in their current job still plan to leave due to a perceived lack of career opportunity.
  • Permanent flexibility: Individuals are vocal in their expectations of work arrangements that put them in control. Employees want more flexible work options, and organisations are listening – 80% of executives view flexible working as a core part of their value proposition (up from 49% last year).
  • Platform for talent: Two in five companies plan to ‘borrow’ more talent in 2018, and 78% of employees would consider working on a freelance basis. Companies also need to deploy talent faster and with precision to unlock the potential of their workforce.

Q: What traits should HR look out for in high-potential employees who may be groomed for future leadership roles?

Today the most critical skill is a ‘learning mindset’. To be competitive in the uncertain future of work, high-potential employees will need to be curious. Another coveted trait will be seeking out new information and experiences, parsing through streams of data for relevant insights that require human judgment. Other in-demand skills will be a growth mindset and critical thinking. Nowadays, talent means having the potential to develop continually rather than possessing innate ability from the onset.

Q: What opportunities can employers offer to workers who have no desire to be in management roles? How can these workers be offered suitable progression?

We recommend that employers develop robust career paths or frameworks. Career frameworks are an aspect of crafting a future-focused people strategy where employees understand that they have an impact on their career path, whether they are technical experts or people managers.

It used to be that competencies enabled a robust career framework and that they were specifically defined to technical job requirements. Now the focus is on competencies as building blocks for emerging jobs of the future. Given this, leaders must focus on how they can help employees build agile competencies to climb the corporate ladder.


Siddharth Mehta
Career business leader – Singapore and Indonesia
MERCER