A fresh approach to strategic talent management

Solving the workforce challenges of today requires a rich collaboration between business and HR professionals. Both leading HR professionals and the engineers and technical leaders who are responsible for a substantial part of the workforce understand the importance of strategic asset management.

However, too few HR professionals can speak the language of the engineers and technical leaders. Fortunately, there’s a practical way to bring these understandings together. Organisations that successfully do so will be better placed to secure vital talent and anticipate how they can shape their workforce over time. 

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Bridging the HR business partnering divide

HR professionals have long sought to achieve a genuine partnership with business counterparts. Currently, less than 60 percent of HR leaders believe that their function is viewed as a strategic partner. Further, KPMG’s HR Pathfinder research also reveals that only about half of leading HR organisations believe ‘understanding how the shape, size and organisation of the workforce needs to change is their highest priority’, though only 25% had the capability to do so.[1] It’s imperative to improve business acumen and link the work of HR to the business to improve HR business partnering – but how?

1. Asmus Komm, Florian Pollner, Bill Schaninger and Surbhi Sikka, The new possible: How HR can help build the organization of the future, McKinsey & Company, 12 March 2021

Plan like an engineer

HR leaders have a range of tools at their disposal to support strategic talent planning. However, business and engineering leaders are often deterred by HR terminology and 'jargon'. Engineers have their own anatomy of asset management with many parallels to the activities required for strategic talent management.  HR leaders than can 'speak' the language' of their business and engineering counterparts will be able to engage in a much more strategic dialogue.

Strategic talent management process

Subject groupings from the Institute of Asset Management's - An Anatomy of Asset Management.

Strategy and planning

"Aligns an organisation’s asset management activities, and the outputs from its assets with its overall organisational objectives"

Strategy and planning

  • Develop strategic framework for strategic talent management
  • Industrial relations strategy and planning
  • Scenario based forecast analysis
  • Supply, demand, and gap analysis
  • Development of strategies to close the gap

Asset management decision-making

"Considers the challenges faced and the approached to decision-making for the three main stages of an asset’s life: acquisition/creation; operation and maintenance; end of life"

Talent management

  • Training and develop investment strategy
  • Employee Value Proposition (EVP) optimisation
  • Talent and succession planning
  • Resourcing and alliancing partnerships

Life cycle delivery

"Implementing the asset management plan(s) … Good control of the activities, and associated risks, to acquire, operate, maintain and displace of assets"

Employee life cycle management

  • Attraction and retention (leveraging EVP)
  • Organisation and rostering
  • Performance and development
  • Reskilling and redeployment
  • IR and compliance

Asset information

"Asset information is typically an input to asset management processes", "asset data and information [are] key enablers across the breadth of asset management activities"

Human capital information

  • Design, implementation and maintenance of human capital formation systems
  • Human capital data and information management standards
  • Occupational and skills taxation
  • Human capital data analytics and insights delivery

Organisation and people

"Implementing an asset management approach is a change that leads organisations to question traditional ways of thinking and working … including reviews of organisational structures, roles and responsibilities"

Organisation and people

  • Human capital leadership
  • Business partnering
  • Organisational structure
  • Organisational culture

Risk and review

"The identification, understanding and management of risks; the establishment of effective feedback and review mechanisms"

Human capital risk and review

  • Employee engagement
  • Business partnering
  • Workplace wellbeing (incl. WHS, psychosocial, SASH) risk management and governance

How KPMG can help enhance strategic workforce planning

We adopt an asset management-informed approach to the process of strategic workforce planning. We take a tailored approach to strategic talent management, which is aligned to the ways engineering organisations work, including accelerators, analytics and reporting, and strategies to close the talent gap.

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