undconsorten LLP

The talent management of the future is no longer only about managers or a small, hand-picked group of employees: the participants of this year's European Talent Management Round Table, led by undconsorten, discussed broader definitions of “talent” that need to be identified and promoted to ensure that companies and their employees are ready to face future challenges.

What are the demands on the talent management of the future for organizations that have to adapt to new business models, changed working methods and demands as well as demographic change against the background of digitization and globalization? How will companies redefine talent and which talents and skills will be in demand in the years ahead? In what way do corporate cultures, the mindset of employees and the understanding of leadership need to change?

To find answers to these questions, top HR managers from 19 multinational companies met for the sixth European Talent Management Round Table, initiated by undconsorten, at Vodafone's Düsseldorf headquarters at the end of April. Since 2009, undconsorten has regularly invited a number of talent management representatives to these rounds of talks. In an open and trusting atmosphere, the participants can discuss successful as well as unsuccessful approaches they have taken and develop new ideas together.

“The round table brings together undconsorten’s outside perspective and the hands-on experience of various companies. The key factor is the open discussion conducted in a small group, where we also discuss failures and problems so that everyone can learn from each other,” says Dr. Corinna Fink, Associate Principal at undconsorten. The participants from the companies benefit from this:

“The open exchange with colleagues has shown me that I am not alone when faced with certain challenges, but that these issues are the same in all companies. The discussions gave me a lot of food for thought that I'm happy to take home with me.”

— Sundar Subramaniam, Head of Global Talent Management at BASF

Skill gaps and lack of transparency

Major challenges in talent management

Talent skill gaps
Talent culture
Lack of placement options
Lack of transparency
Changing expectations
Immobility of talents

This time, the participants identified the most important challenges they face in talent management in changing organizations: 54 percent of those surveyed identified the gap between company requirements and the skills of applicants and employees as the biggest challenge in the years ahead. At the same time, in many places there is a lack of suitable positions to retain and develop talents within the company. The lack of transparency in identifying and promoting talent within the company was identified as a further obstacle. In addition, human resources managers have to deal with changing employee expectations and the lack of talent mobility.

The discussion among the participants at the round table soon made it clear that companies will have to broaden their definition of talent in the future and can no longer focus exclusively on top executives and junior managers in talent management. However, this is not only because the hierarchies in agile organizations are becoming flatter and more team spirit is required in addition to leadership qualities. At the same time, other qualities will be increasingly in demand in the coming decade, such as flexibility, autonomous work, technical knowledge, professional expertise and, above all, an agile mindset and an agile working style.

Recognizing and developing potential

Overview of the results

“Everybody has a talent!” is the motto for the talent management of the future. The spectrum of required talents is becoming broader and it is important for every employee to develop their individual talents. This requires a wider perspective in identifying talent and intelligent data analysis within companies to recognize and develop the potential of employees faster and better.

Companies can post vacancies and project roles on internal marketplaces and offer employees incentives to be proactive and continue to develop their qualifications.

After all, if everyone is a talent, the individual also bears more responsibility for their professional development. In the future, the assessment of talents must no longer be left to the direct superiors, but rather must be placed on broader footing—this also means that the employees themselves must be more closely involved.

Find out how these findings will change tomorrow's talent management in our forthcoming release on Talent Management 4.0.

    Download overview of the results

Our talent management specialists are at your service:

Dr. Axel Hüttmann

Christoph Thoma
Associate Partner

Dr. Corinna Regnery
Associate Principal

Thekla Schmidt
Senior Associate