21st Century Surveys Talent Implications After Lockdown

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With the nation remaining in a state of flux due to lockdown measures, 21st Century’s ongoing survey series continues to examine South African businesses and the action they are taking to mitigate current circumstances. The seventh survey in the series covered Harnessing Talent post-COVID-19. These are some of the insights that came to light.  

As South Africa navigates “Advanced” Level 3 lockdown and many businesses return to work, the mass exodus back out into the working world will see staff and employers adapting to a very different way of life. So, how will this affect organizational priorities and what will it mean for talent?  

With priorities having to be reconsidered on a grand scale, 21st Century’s most recent survey examined organizational responses to current and anticipated talent implications, with special focus on the structures and competencies that might be needed in the post-COVID world. So, will many organizations be facing a gap in their talent palette?   

Overall, it was abundantly evident that the changes organizations face will directly affect the way they harness talent post-COVID-19. 37% of respondents revealed that one of the biggest challenges they face is that managers are not skilled and equipped to deal with some of the most pertinent current organizational issues. These include managing skills gaps in critical roles (33%). 

The most common focus area for the next six months – as revealed by 70% of respondents –looks to be a clearly defined talent strategy geared at filling key roles. 58% of the organisations surveyed, though, revealed that the immediate focus area will be identifying positions that are critical to the business’s success. 

Although most organisations are more concerned with vital operational requirements right now, prioritising talent as a competitive business driver is very much on the horizon in the next six months. “Predictive” talent solutions are going to become crucial in the months to come, as organisations will have to anticipate ongoing changes in the wake of COVID-19.  

Talent is the backbone of any organization. And ensuring that it is practically deployed will be a key driver as the economy grinds back to life. Perhaps a more “people-centred” approach will become increasingly prevalent in the freshly transformed landscape, as organizations “rewire” their systems and processes to move forward.  

21st Century’s survey series continues to gather data on exactly how organizations and their workforces will adapt to life as they return to a workplace that is very different from anything they have known before. Everyone is encouraged to take part in the surveys to help foster a new culture of collaboration and understanding as our surprising new reality unfolds.  

To view survey results or take part in the latest weekly survey, visit www.21century.co.za.