Why Professional Services Organizations should unlock their talent déployment now ?
The market is talking about it more and more, companies are taking an interest, and employees are looking to it as the messiah: talent deployment. A concept that may seem obvious and simple to grasp, but it is much more complex than it seems. We talked a lot about performance last month. Or rather, how to achieve it by aligning your business challenges with the aspirations of your employees. And that’s the heart of the talent deployment issue: putting people back at the center to build natural bridges between the two stakeholders. Except that triggering this virtuous circle implies the implementation of a real internal strategy. Let’s take stock!
What is talent deployment?
It’s about identifying and allocating talent to the right projects, and maximizing their use to better meet customer needs and drive business growth. Because let’s not forget that underneath the numbers, it’s the employee who holds the reins of the business. They are the ones who carry out missions and who ultimately bring in revenue for the company. It is on his current and future skills that we must capitalize.
By aligning their skills, availability and interests with the company’s needs, talent deployment tends to maximize team efficiency, optimize resource usage and reduce costs. Talent deployment is an essential practice. It’s not just about listening to your employees and offering them opportunities that are more in line with their aspirations. It’s a true strategy that must be pursued head-on and be at the heart of internal processes.
In addition to good talent management, the company can also offer training and mentoring programs to enable the talent to further develop their business expertise. Deploying talent means enabling them to strengthen their commitment to the company. It gives them the opportunity to develop new skills, to work on assignments that are meaningful to them, and thus to progress in their careers. By improving this professional fulfillment, the feeling of belonging will increase as well.
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Talent deployment is an effective and sustainable way to improve employee engagement and the results of the service organization. This concept is based on strategic visions:
- Leveraging the “New Normal”: flexible working, remote assignment completion and alternative resource pools. The idea is to broaden the possibilities of recruitment across borders and structures.
- Move from a static, job-based recruitment logic to a fluid, agile, skills-based approach.
- Consider the aspirations of employees to offer them more adapted missions and concrete skills upgrades.
- Encourage collaboration between businesses through better visibility of talent, transparency of processes, and harmonization of operating rules and cross-functionality.
The objective is to bridge the gap between the real needs of the company, recruitment, learning and delivery. The deployment of talent is part of this process. It aims to exploit the full potential of a talent ecosystem, in all business units, in all countries. It also makes it possible to draw on the wealth of profiles
The current and future reality of Professional Services Organizations
To understand the power of a talent deployment strategy, it’s essential to look at the reality of the services industry.
2023 or the age of the challenge
It is important to know that the primary mission of intellectual services companies is to provide their clients with skills. And in a competitive market suffering from a scarcity of skills, capturing and offering targeted expertise is becoming increasingly difficult. But to grow and be profitable, these same companies must excel at managing their skills, and therefore their talent.
Deploying talent would then be the business driver for service companies, their main lever for improving performance. In other words, if it is not fully exploited, companies are doomed to leave certain activities untouched. A missed opportunity to maximize revenues and margins.
Démonstration by example
Nothing better than a real-life situation to understand the issues.
Every time a consultant changes assignment, it takes an average of 1.5 weeks to redeploy them to a new mission. This is because of internal processes, data availability, real-time data visibility and lack of foresight
Consider that half of all talent changes assignments at least once a year. This means that companies pay 1.5 x number of talents. This is the number of weeks that salaries are required, without generating any corresponding revenue.
The result? Costs are stable, revenues are declining and margins are shrinking. This puts a lot of pressure on decision-makers, and even more so in the presence of shareholders and investors.
This very concrete situation is just one example among many. It describes the reality in which a large majority of service companies are stuck. They are unable to address a critical problem: operational data is dispersed in siloed systems (ERP for finance, CRM for sales, HRM for skills, etc.), spreadsheets or in-house tools. This makes it nearly impossible for most organizations to orchestrate and optimize talent deployment, both locally and globally.
The reality that Professional Services Organizations could belong to
Many service organizations have struggled to break out of this reality. Yet a handful of them are spearheading the industry’s transformation: by leveraging datafication and digitization, they are successfully driving growth and profitability.
A recent Accenture study shows that activating the power of data, technology and people drives profitability and revenue. Investing in data and technology alone brings a 4% productivity bonus. But it’s when you combine this with people that the magic really happens: the productivity premium rises to 11%! And when you consider that only 5% of companies have the means to unleash this potential, this gives them an undeniable advantage over their competitors.
The Accenture study is not isolated. Many other organizations have highlighted the same finding: becoming a growing and more profitable business requires a crucial first step being core business datafication. And that’s just the first brick in a journey that must lead service companies to intensify their talent deployment.
Technology as a catalyst for talent deployment
While organizations are beginning to recognize the importance of deploying talent, they still need the right tools to do so. Implementing such a strategy requires a clear view of the talent ecosystem, its availability, and current and future assignments. The use of technology remains today the best answer to this desire for insight.
The latest Capgemini Research Institute found that 55% of executives plan to maintain their levels of investment in talent and skills. Employees will be able to leverage technology to smoothly adapt to business transformation as they upgrade their skills, acquire new ones, and even retrain. When organizations invest in people, they invest in the success of the business.
To achieve this transformation ambition, and thus build an effective deployment strategy, service companies have several solutions at their disposal. But we’ll save that for our next article!