Talent Development

The "I can't believe they're still doing that" moments of Talent Management

April 8, 2021
  •  
3 min
Max Korpinen

Startups are pushing industries forward by "imagining the future," and we like to think that we're doing it as well. Every year around New Year's, HR professionals read countless industry trend reports that lay down the following year's trends. That's great for fine-tuning HR operations, but let's imagine that we were talent development professionals, not one, but 20 years from now.


What if our 20-years-from-now talent manager self time-traveled back to this day and had to work the "old way" - the way we do things right now. That would indeed be a confusing moment, but let's try a thought experiment: what would they consider old-fashioned, what would feel dumb or unnecessary, and what would frustrate them? What would make them go: "I can't believe they're still doing this"?

You might have great ideas as well. Here is a list of things that our future-selves here at Talbit can't believe we're "still doing" in talent development.

Manual processes and paper-pushing

For one, most can probably agree that there won't be much paper-pushing in 2041. Most processes are digital, and data is well-structured and visualized and available effortlessly about pretty much everything. We can integrate various AI-driven processes into our everyday lives, and most office jobs (if AI still hasn't taken over them) will be much more creative and less repetitive.

Yearly performance reviews

We talk about this a lot, but we'll bring it up here as well. How dumb and would it feel for "20-years-from-now us" that managers schedule meetings with their subordinates once a year to discuss the critical topics of performance, salary, and promotions? Discussing any topic once a year in such a dynamic and rapidly changing world is a bizarre idea for our future-selves.

With improving technology, feedback loops will be fast and efficient, making yearly discussions completely redundant. An employee's performance will be evident due to enhanced data gathering and analysis capabilities, and we will not need managers to evaluate team members. Data visualization and automation are key change drivers in this area.

Talent development = paying for online courses

There is nothing wrong with online courses. We think they are fantastic! However, it feels old-fashioned that employers consider that simply financing their employees' training or online course equals talent development. In the most common forms, there is no strategy here! Most training programs fail, and the reasons are many. One of the most prevalent ones is that employees don't get the chance to apply what they learned, and so the new skills go to waste. Why does this happen? There is no proper tracking of who has and what skills, and there are no tools for analyzing companies' skill gaps so that training efforts would suit a real purpose. That leads to employees using their training budget (if they remember to use it) randomly, without any touchpoint with reality.

In 2041, companies will always have a good idea of the skills they lack, and employees will have visibility into the company's needs so that they can step up and take the initiative.

Meaningless jobs and lack of bigger picture

The current way of organizing work is a remnant of the industrial revolution. Nobody wants to work a meaningless job of stamping documents or entering data into spreadsheets anymore. People need meaning, and they need to feel connected to the company's objectives.

In 2041, companies will go to great extents to make employees feel valued, and one way is to actively communicate how their employees' work relates to the company's strategy.

We at Talbit are continually trying to live in the future of talent development. These are some of our thoughts on what is currently missing from the industry. We're working hard to realize many of the improvements we see as necessary to take talent development to the next level. Do you have other thoughts on what is missing from talent development? We'd love to hear your thoughts, so make sure to comment on our social media or contact us.

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