Year End Event


 Review: Hilary Frazer,  December 2013

The End of Year event is one of the highlights of the IHRC calendar and Aligning Talent in the New Work Environment was no exception.  After time for welcome coffee and networking, Daniel Dirks, Renate Hezemans and colleagues, led an interactive event  with an audience of HR professionals from ranging fron Alstom to Zurich.

Daniel Dirks shared perspectives from recent studies into business environments, organisational changes and the effect on employee working conditions.  These confirmed what many of us are experiencing:  that we have to deliver more with less.  A CEB analysis of responses from more than 2,000 business executives from Q3 2013 showed that expectations of business growth AND pressure on costs are increasing.  CEB’s New High Performance Survey of managers, executives and CHROs also showed that expectations of performance are changing, as business environments become more fast-moving and complex.
As business and organisational environments change, the way we work also needs to change, with more emphasis on being interconnected.  Our capabilities should also extend to transformation and turnaround capabilities, plus more focus on innovation through collaboration and teamwork.  None-the-less, targets still need to be met within matrixed organisations, with changing structures, by cross-functional teams who are dispersed geographically, have increasing workloads, higher volumes of information, yet less time to deliver!
CEB’s New High Performance Survey has gathered ~24,000 responses from over 40 organisations and over a 10 year period.  Results indicated that conventional performance management focussing on individual tasks and deliverables may no longer be able to support the new ways of working.  Consequently, talents would also require network performance and enterprise contribution.  Skill sets would need to include delivering through others, transfering knowledge and sharing ideas.  Competences would also need to include;  prioritisation, teamwork, organisational awareness and problem-solving, which may be new or unfamiliar.
To succeed in the new work environment, employees would need to demonstrate job, network and cultural fit.  The challenges would then be the best ways to define these new and additional needs, identify and attract them within internal and external labour markets, assess their potential and ensure successful hire and onboarding. 

Renate Hezemans continued by focussing in on HR practices and particularly Talent Measurement solutions.  As business environments and strategies change, Talent Management needs to follow suit. For instance; performance management models and processes, data for decision making, role definitions, talent location and selection criteria.
The CEB – SHL Global Assessment Trends report 2013 raised issues with current levels of insight into Performance and Talent Management.  The survey reported limitations that current models and systems may have with representing the scope of employee contribution and problems with delivering the 20% improvements that organisations now require. 
According to the research, gaps are emerging and business leaders are demanding the “right” talent to fill them.  There are implications for Talent Management; it may be difficult to identify and locate talents who meet the new profile, are of sufficient quantity and can meet future challenges and targets using retrospective measures of job performance.
Renate’s presentation raised a number of important questions spanning the Talent Management spectrum.  In many organisations, this is being extended to include Talent Acquisition, Succession and even Strategic Workforce Planning.  For instance: 

  • Where within your organization is the benchstrength?
  • How you increase the quality of hire?
  • Whether you are using best-in-class screening solutions?
  • When senior leaders leave, whether you have successors ready?

 This lead to a lively discussion highlighting concerns with many approaches, such as:

  • Reviewing and updating role profiles,
  • Linking assessments to competences that drive success,
  • Stakeholder input to hiring processes,
  • ROI on the effectiveness of new hires
  • Whether they are enabling companies to be more competitive. 

 Renate then drew on CEB research to emphasising that changes in skillsets and competences can mean that today’s high performers may not continue for tomorrow.    She showcased a new Talent Measurement framework adapted for both higher and lower touch, which could enhance applicability and deliver business impact from individual to organisational level.  This would enable a tailored approach including tools like; business simulations and case studies, personality and ability assessments, insight reports showing performance and potential, plus talent maps with regional perspectives. 

The audience had the opportunity to review case studies from EDF Energy & Hertz rental cars to illustrate how CEB – SHL Talent Measurement solutions have been used for; leadership audits, talent analytics for individual and group perspectives, benchmarking – internally and externally.  Therefore allowing focus on core competences required going forward, like; customer focus, driving and enabling organisational change

The presenters joined a panel for the final part, with interactive discussions around based on questions gathered via an online survey leading up to the event.  For instance; how to:

  • Future-proof development plans
  • Align talent development with international mobility
  • Jumpstart / stimulating high performance behaviours as part of a culture-change programme

 The event closed with an end of year apèro and opportunities for networking. 

 Further information and insight papers to download, are available via

Date: 11/12/2013
Time: 16:00 - 18:00
Contact Fee
Esther Martin
IHRC Member: CHF 0.00
For Non Member: CHF 0.00
Please see Becoming a member
Register Location
Hotel Glockenhof, Sihlstrasse 31, Zurich