David Henry opens #MBuzz

Last week I attended the first #MBuzz event.  #MBuzz, hosted by Monster, is a panel discussion with plenty of audience participation. Whilst it’s not unconference, there are no presentations and plenty of conversation with an expert panel.The format is a welcome break from the conferences doing the rounds with plenty of lively discussion from an informed crowd. This kind of discussion really helps to formulate my thoughts, and I went away with a clear focus on what i think is going to be important in the new world of work.

The topic of the discussion was “Talent acquisition v Talent management”, which is more important? This is a kind of chicken and egg question. At the end of the day I came down on the side of talent acquisition, not because most of my work is in recruiting, but because work is changing rapidly.

I didn’t get the chance to make this point, but I really believe we are speeding rapidly to a new type of work where people won’t actually have jobs. There will be more people working on contracts and projects at every level than there will be people working with traditional contracts of employment, and this changes things. The role of the recruiter will become more of a project manager, and talent attraction will become even more important get the right people in to the organisation for the duration of the work. This will mean talent communities and talent networks will become even more important, as individuals will need to be kept connected with the organisation.

In this new world of work, development will move away from the organisation to the individual to keep their skills current and in demand. This will see a rise in the importance of informal and social learning. Talent management will have less importance because careers will be more fluid between projects, and the areas discussed Thursday night like retention will take on less importance. It is critical now, but this will change over the next few years.

One area that came up in the discussion on Thursday night was the internal mobility. Whilst there was a general agreement that this was important, there was little evidence offered that many companies were actually serious about this. From what I’ve seen, very few organisations are really serious about this once you scratch below the surface. I’m not convinced that too many department heads encourage their best talent to move around the business. The only organisation I know of whose recruiters actively source internally without the need to seek permission is Sodexo in the US, and it is a strategy that is paying dividends. I’d like to see this practice becoming common place, with all employees being matched to every job that comes up, with recruiters having licence to make approaches.

Another approach I have seen working recently are a mobile app that enables employees to register their interest in a move and get notifications first of any opportunities that match their requirements, with a feature to register interest and speak to a recruiter. I’ve also been looking at a referral program that rewards internal referrals with double rewards. The key is to making internal mobility more than posting jobs on a notice board or portal, it is much more of a culture thing. the rewards will come provided the management team are genuinely on-board.

I really enjoyed this first event from Monster. It’s not so much that you learn a lot that’s new, but more that you get a handle on what people are thinking right now. The format is interactive with no presentation and facilitated discussion. Well done to David Henry of Monster, and @SiteAdvisor Keith Robinson who introduced the concept. #Mbuzz will be a regular event, you can put me down for the next one.