“Towards a new talent management, in the age of the extended enterprise”

By Cécile Decourtray, Partner at KPMG France

bleachers. Health crisis, digital transformation, ESG… today, few companies saw in these upheavals an opportunity to reinvent their Human Resources practices and organizational model.

Today, only 10% of companies have already managed to anticipate the future of work and rethink the management of human capital. However, there is urgency! In fact, in 2020, the World Economic Forum report, “Future of jobs », he stressed that 60% of the skills needed by companies in the next ten years do not yet exist.

Anticipating labor market developments

With the increasing transformation of current professions and the emergence of new functions, the job market is facing a major obstacle: the skills needed are changing rapidly. That is why, in specific areas, such as dates or ESG, increasing the skills of internal teams or attracting specialized profiles becomes complex, even sometimes inappropriate.

Therefore, it must be considered that the relationship with work has changed since Covid, with workers no longer systematically aspiring to salaried employment. And this, in order to enjoy more independence in the selection of clients and projects, greater freedom to set remuneration or even greater flexibility in time and place of work.

In addition, to anticipate the evolution of professions, it is certainly essential to develop the skills of internal teams and recruit future employees, but there is a third complementary way: the recruitment of self-employed workers. Whether freelancers, temporary workers, consultants… knowing how to identify, attract and retain them becomes a major challenge for any organization ready to adapt to the future of work.

External talents, human capital with high added value

In addition to the flexibility provided, the use of self-employed workers, whether for a specific need or for specific or rare skills, offers an opportunity for development for internal teams. The wealth of points of view, cultures and experiences contributes to the advancement of an organization and the projects it carries out. Often called upon for their specific know-how, freelance and consultants are able to develop employees’ skills and make them aware of other methods. This external human capital is, for the company, the opportunity to open up to a different world, in parallel with the redefinition of its recruitment strategy.

A necessity: rethinking sourcing strategy talents

In a context of profound transformation, companies face a major challenge: anticipating changes in their professions, defining – in addition to personnel needs – the key functions for their activities and the essential skills for the future. It is by comparing these projections with the existing situation in terms of resources and skills that they can define the gaps to be addressed and implement the appropriate strategies.

In this sense, internalization is a first possible strategy. It is therefore about recruiting new employees or developing the skills of existing employees. In this second situation, teams are supported in transforming their profession (requalification) or acquire new skills to change jobs (requalification). The other possible strategy, which is increasingly common, is outsourcing via collaboration with a service provider or a specialized freelancer. In the latter case, a need arises: to rethink the relationship with these self-employed workers.

Customize the external talent experience

Organizations started by talking about “customer experience”, then “employee experience”. From now on, we must also take into account the “experience of external talents”. And it all starts with recruitment! A recruitment that would have everything to gain by being structured by a tripartite governance where DRH, business lines and purchases work together to identify the profile sought and recruit it.

So, making external talents aware of the spirit of the company and its culture is essential, as they must delve into the way society works to integrate and act.

Finally, the issue of keeping the freelance or the consultant who has successfully completed a project or given a new impetus to a team is still asking too little or too late. In this regard, the company can, for example, gradually involve the self-employed in the work on strategic and complex projects or offer them a training offer.

Evidently, to avoid any risk of reclassification of the service provision contract, the participation of the self-employed in the life of the company requires vigilance and legal structuring. This strategic imperative remains: the experience of external talent must be personalized to ensure their loyalty and commitment, at a time when this data is crucial to guarantee the company’s competitiveness.

KPMG Global Study, “Future of HR”, 2022

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