The 4 fundamental pillars to PSOs’ talent deployment for improving performance
Improving operational, financial or economic performance is often the Holy Grail for companies. We look for it, we capitalize on our efforts to increase it tenfold, sometimes in spite of the human factor. And yet, aligning the aspirations of our talents with our business objectives is essential to our performance. The market is talking more and more about talent deployment and referring to it as the business driver. If service organizations don’t tap into this potential, they will miss out on opportunities. Ultimately, they would lose the opportunity to maximize revenue and margin.
Becoming a faster-growing, more profitable company is no longer a matter of chance. We’ve already talked about integrating a vertical solution as the best leverage, but you still need to understand your company’s reality before you can understand the right processes. In this talent deployment approach, let’s focus on the 4 key steps to a more efficient organization.
The reality of Professional Services
Before getting to the heart of the matter, it seems relevant to go back to the reality of these organizations with unique challenges. As a service company, the primary mission is to provide the necessary skills to carry out value-added projects. Projects that are carried out with clients from tense environments. Indeed, between the scarcity of skills, the shortage of talents and the fierce competition, it is not easy to move forward serenely.
Being a growing and profitable company is no longer tied to intuition. Today, achieving this ambition goes hand in hand with the ability to deploy the right talents with the right skills on the right projects at the right time. A winning equation for improving performance.
Services companies are part of this reality and are having a hard time getting out of it. A small portion of them have nevertheless initiated the transformation of the industry, and this by leveraging digital to drive growth and profitability. A recent study by Accenture demonstrates this phenomenon perfectly: activating the power of data, technology and talent impacts performance. To make the magic happen, there are four steps that we believe are fundamental today.
1. A single tech solution to digitize PSOs’ core business
Data, or rather its use, is a resolutely current subject. As we know, companies are evolving with a massification of data that is increasingly complex to track, use and optimize. Adopting a vertical technology solution is the key to digitizing the core business of service companies. But the question arises: how to objectify the situation, identify the key levers, and thus improve the process?
Whoz is not intended to replace existing systems such as CRM, ERP, or HRIS, but rather to centralize all operational data related to skills and talents: competencies, availability, opportunities, aspirations, and project portfolios. This centralization provides several benefits to professional service organizations:
- Understanding the situation: clearly assess the capacity (talents, skills) to meet the demand (opportunities, projects).
- Orchestrate the talent deployment process in a dynamic, fluid and collaborative manner.
- Continuously identify key levers to optimize the overall process and improving performance.
2. An extensive skilled and trusted talent ecosystem
The second step to improving performance is to build the capacity to build a strong and trusted ecosystem. The challenge here is how to continuously build this ecosystem so that the right talent is always at hand.
More concretely, this ecosystem must be based on three major pillars:
- An extensive ecosystem: it includes internal, external and current talent, as well as partners, current students and interns. In short, all the people closely or remotely associated with the organization.
- An ecosystem based on trust: being able to rely on an ecosystem naturally implies its reliability. Managers must have access to profiles with whom the company is used to collaborating. They must be recognized for their expertise, potential, commitment and loyalty. It is this talent that helps create a virtuous loop. After each mission, the newly acquired skills are updated dynamically. Talents can then apply for opportunities that match the skills they wish to apply, develop, or strengthen.
- An ecosystem based on qualified profiles: A talent ecosystem is inevitably a collection of skills. By mapping them and developing them over time, including training and practice, talents demonstrate and embody their know-how ever better.
If built over time, such an ecosystem becomes fundamental to meeting demand. It also helps to organize and prioritize the deployment of talent in environments where service companies are particularly faced with a scarcity of skills and high turnover. In the end, this second brick is a guarantee for end customers as it adds even more value.
3. A smart matching between talents and opportunities
To meet the demand, organizations must be able to match the right talents with the right opportunities. Successfully doing so early in the deployment process optimizes operational performance.
Once the talent ecosystem is built and robust, it must be analyzed with accuracy, speed and simplicity. Service organizations can then identify the best talent from the full range of profiles and skills available. But to do this, the use of technology is still imperative. A vertical solution like Whoz provides features like the intelligent casting engine: powered by AI, it identifies and compares profiles based on specific attributes and criteria. The other benefit is the ability to match talent in an intuitive way. Indeed, once spotted, they can instantly be matched with current or new opportunities.
Matching talent to opportunities is a major necessity. Indeed, this alignment remains the key to finding the profiles that can bring the most value to the company. In addition, this third key step enables a real-time response to demand. It therefore improves commercial reactivity and increases the volume of business.
4. A dynamic talent allocation cycle management
To maximize value, service organizations need to rethink their resource allocation process. This means better deploying and redeploying talent across projects or parts of projects. Orchestrating such deployment, but more importantly optimizing it over time, remains critical to improving performance.
Turning to a competency-based model is a first response to this challenge. Thanks to technology, service organizations can identify each talent across an extensive collection of skills. Easily and quickly identify specific or rare skills to optimize them. For example, if a consultant is already positioned on a project, the manager is able to dynamically reallocate them to a new project or part of a project. Rare and valuable skills can be redeployed on projects with high ROI.
Then, the organization must take into account the availability of its talents. A solution like Whoz capitalizes on the lesser availability of talents, while anticipating the end of missions. By detecting part-time and micro-availability. Technology can thus pre-position candidates during recruitment and deploy available talents in other entities. The entire talent assignment cycle is managed through a unified, collaborative workflow.
The consideration of talent competencies follows from these previous phases. A vertical solution must be able to identify skill gaps for each assignment and opportunity. This detection tends to facilitate the upskilling, reskilling and development of talent at any given time. Being aware of their aspirations is equally important. Listening to them and sharing them is the key to opening up new perspectives.
The dynamic and continuous management of the talent allocation cycle is essential to successfully optimize utilization rates, operational margins, and revenues. It also directly impacts employee retention. With such a skills-based approach, organizations can allocate opportunities fairly and transparently. Talents are deployed based on their current expertise, not their past experience or any other personal consideration. This strengthens the sense of belonging, reduces turnover, and, in turn, allows the organization to improve its performance.
Bridging the gap between performance and talent deployment seems obvious. These four steps illustrate the importance of thinking through processes intelligently, so that both business and human aspects are met.