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Harvard Business Review Special Issues

Fall 2021

Harvard Business Review OnPoint makes it fast and easy to put HBR’s ideas to work. Handpicked by HBR’s editors to bring readers the most relevant ideas and insight on a single business topic, these collections include full-text articles, summaries of key points, and suggestions for further reading, plus content selected from hbr.org.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Harvard Business School Publishing
Frequency:
Quarterly
$26.98

in this issue

1 min
there’s no going back

AS WE EMERGE from the pandemic, companies are confronting a talent agenda starkly different from any we’ve ever faced—the return to the office, the call to fulfill promises of equity and inclusion, and a digital skills shift accelerated by the past year press for attention, all while employees are feeling burnedout, disconnected, and ready to flee. No wonder that losing talent has become organizational leaders’ number one concern (see “Put Employees at the Center of Your Post-Pandemic Digital Strategy”). We created this collection of articles to help. From traditional strategies for engaging high potentials to pandemic-driven trends in employee benefits, ground yourself in the retention and recruitment strategies that make a difference. Learn too about the rise of talent platforms and the strategic way to use them to address rapidly changing…

16 min
rethinking the on-demand workforce

IN THIS ERA of chronic skills shortages, rapid automation, and digital transformation, companies are confronting a growing talent problem, one that has the potential to become a strategic bottleneck. How can they find people with the right skills to do the right work at just the right time? The half-life of skills is shrinking fast, and many jobs now come and go in a matter of years. Not only that, but major demographic changes are underway: Boomers are aging out of the workforce, and Millennials and Gen Z are taking over, bringing with them very different priorities about who should do what work—and where, when, and how it should get done. To help companies address these challenges, a new generation of talent platforms—such as Catalant, InnoCentive, Kaggle, Toptal, and Upwork—has emerged.…

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1 min
idea in brief

THE PROBLEM Thanks to rapid automation, digital transformation, and demographic change, it’s harder than ever for companies to find people with the right skills at the right time. THE RESPONSE Digital talent platforms now offer companies on-demand access to highly skilled workers. Almost all Fortune 500 companies make use of these platforms, but mainly on an ad hoc basis. The process is costly, inefficient, and decidedly not strategic. THE PATH FORWARD In newly strategic ways, companies need to embrace the full potential of digital talent platforms and the on-demand workforce. Doing so will allow them to create new business models and unlock new sources of value.…

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5 min
reengineering the recruitment process

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has upended many traditional business practices. When it comes to recruiting, the crisis has not so much disrupted as accelerated shifts in the talent landscape that were already under way, leaving many companies poorly served by their current hiring practices. In a period of steep unemployment, it might seem that companies looking to add workers would be in the driver’s seat. But job openings have also been rising in recent months, meaning that competition for top talent remains keen—and in uncertain times, bringing on the right people is more important than ever. A recent study from research and advisory firm Gartner examines those shifts in the workforce landscape and lays out a road map for navigating the new one. The researchers identified three trends that are rendering traditional…

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3 min
cynthia burkhardt: “we are seeing talent emerge in unlikely places”

As the global head of talent acquisition at health tech giant Philips, Cynthia Burkhardt oversees the filling of some 15,000 positions a year. She spoke with HBR about how the company is adjusting recruitment practices during the Covid-19 pandemic. Edited excerpts follow. HBR: How has the pandemic changed the talent market? BURKHARDT: We’ve been talking for some time about the dispersion of skills outside tech clusters, but Covid has accelerated the timeline. People in lockdown have embraced online learning, and now we are seeing talent emerge in unlikely places. One example is a chef whose restaurant had to close, so she taught herself to program in [the computer language] Python. How has this changed your approach to recruiting? Our approach is different for managers and business leaders. For business leaders, we try to speak…

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16 min
how to keep your top talent

PRACTICALLY EVERY COMPANY these days has some form of program designed to nurture its rising stars. With good reason—these high-achieving individuals can have an enormous impact on business results. Programs aimed at this class of talent are usually organized around some sort of annual nomination process and offer targeted leadership-development opportunities such as business rotations and special stretch assignments. But despite the prevalence of these programs, most haven’t delivered much in the way of results. Our recent research on leadership transitions demonstrates that nearly 40% of internal job moves made by people identified by their companies as “high potentials” end in failure. Moreover, disengagement within this cohort of employees has been remarkably high since the start of the recession: In a September 2009 survey by the Corporate Executive Board, one in three…

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