Imagine your CEO comes to you with a question: “How much data science capability do we currently have in the company?”
Your human capital management (HCM) system can tell you how many employees you have with the title of data scientist, but that’s not what your CEO is asking. The request boils down to this: “We currently have extra demand for data science skills, and I need to know what our current talent supply is to meet those demands.”
It’s a reasonable request, and the talent analysis process is similar to the management of a manufacturing supply chain, in effect. And most HR practitioners don’t go into the field thinking they’ll need to understand supply chain management. However, to effectively manage their internal talent resources, they need to act as the chief operating officer of their company’s talent supply chain.
Understanding The Talent Supply Chain
When we think of talent as the asset in a supply chain, it’s imperative that HR moves into a role that manages an inventory level of skills within the company. Companies of the future will require someone whose responsibility is ensuring that supply for certain skill sets does not dip below the company’s demand for employees with those skills.
HR leaders will need to effectively manage the ebb and flow of critical skills before they’re irrelevant or urgent. This will require visibility into their workforce in order to manage their supply, set strategies to reskill or upskill, move employees around to fit changing business needs and close talent and skill gaps in the process.
Without understanding which skill sets to keep “in stock” and how to match their demand, strategy isn’t optimized; revenue suffers, and competitive advantage falls behind. HR is left to question, “Do we actually know who’s in our organization or how best to leverage our resources?”