A key theme out of last week's world economic forum in Davos is that the pace of change today is so great that no one can reliably predict what the workplace will look like in five years' time. Companies are figuring out how to manage economic, technological and cultural change in a world that shifts the second they think have a plan. As Rich Lesser, CEO of Boston Consulting Group put it, "companies around the world are wrestling with how to rewire themselves".
What we can identify, however, are the broad tends that are shaping this change and that anyone involved in talent management should keep in the forefront of their minds as they seek to hire the people they need to lead their markets and thrive.
The top talent trends and associated jobs for 2016 include:
Talent Analytics: Data Rules the World. The wide-ranging possibilities of predictive analysis mean that analytics professionals who can use Big Data to identify organization-wide performance gaps and isolate development needs tied to business goals can change the trajectory of their organizations.
MBA talent is now seeing opportunity in the role digital technology plays in developing a talented organization, and the potential path of analytics management to the C-suite role of Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). Talent algorithms, revamped Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS) in the cloud and the wide-ranging possibilities of predictive analysis are the basis of the new era of talent analytics.
Thanks to the increasing importance of digital technology in developing talented organizations, this also opens up potential new career paths that can take people savvy in analytics management into C-suite roles. Far from being "poor relations", roles such as "Director of Talent Analytics" Chief of People Analytics will be will be jobs in high demand in 2016.
Millennials: Making Noise, Forcing Change. Millennials, once seen as entitled and immature, are the workforce of the next 40 years, and organizations are waking up to the fact that they need strategies to develop, motivate and retain them.
In 2015 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that by 2025, Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce. Attracting the best millennial talent and harnessing this talent in the most effective way is now the number one priority for organizations. No talent management professional can afford to forget this or ignore the changes they may need to make to ensure that their talent management strategy is effective.
Diversity : Action at Long Last. The increasing number of millennials in the workplace will also have profound impact on how organizations view and approach diversity. Millennials define diversity differently. For them it isn't so much a question of visible diversity as one of collaborative and cognitive diversity - respect for every individual and for different ideas and perspectives.
A long-term, sustained process of creating diversity of thought, imprinting respect and openness on the DNA of an organization from top to bottom could be the answer. Look for demand in 2016 for Head of Diversity Sourcing, Human Equity Director, and Vice President of Inclusion.
Culture and Engagement: Work Happy, Work Harder. Silicon Valley understood early on the connection between culture and engagement, creating flexible work environments to meet the lifestyle needs of employees so they would spend more time at work (productivity) and build loyalty to their company (retention).
Levels of employee satisfaction also have an impact on the bottom-line. According to a 2015 study by Glassdoor, public companies on Glassdoor's "Best Places to Work" list in 2009 have outperformed the S&P 500 by 115.6% through 2014, while companies on Fortune's "Best Companies to Work For"; list outperformed the S&P 500 by 84.2 percent.
Today culture and engagement are more difficult to achieve with a mobile, multi-generational workforce with widely varied cultural backgrounds and individual needs. Companies will be hiring for jobs like these in 2016: Director of Culture and Engagement, Vice President Employee Engagement and Minister of Culture.
Human Resources: Driving Talent Trumps Filling Jobs. Human Resources departments charged with creating strong organizations and leadership are focused on "talent" and "development" rather than "personnel" and "training." Harnessing data and insight to predict employee success, improve performance, identify leaders and move quickly when market forces change mean that senior HR professionals must be strategic thinkers and capable of sitting at the table with the CEO and the board.
Historically, few in HR roles have had the same career development steps as those in finance and other departments deemed to be more critical, so they have rarely moved into line roles to understand the business. As a result, those managers need to upgrade their skills and new-look HR executives will be in high demand in 2016: Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Talent Officer, Integrated Talent Manager, Global Chief of Talent Management.
This article originally appeared on Management-Issues.com, January 27, 2016.