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HR in 2030: Focus on competencies that really…
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Sustainable careers
Talent & labor organization

HR in 2030: Focus on competencies that really matter

What will our jobs look like in 2030? What competencies will be "hot"? How will employees and employers engage with each other? What do we see a leader doing? How do team members connect? And what about 'employee experience'? How do people build their careers sustainably in 2030? Are we evolving toward more flex workers?

These and other questions were posed to us by our knowledge partner Janssen Pharmaceutica as part of a 2030 strategic talent exercise. Based on our current insights and storylines, we set to work on a future forecast. The result is five concrete innovation slopes, based on 5 central themes within our Competence Center 'Next Generation Work'. One of these themes is compentences that really matter.
Lou Van Beirendonck 1024x6832
by Lou Van Beirendonck, PhD | August 23, 2022
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Via e-mail or online meetings, you communicate with the whole world; everything can and should be faster. In organizations, classical hierarchy is giving way to collegial team models. Empowerment, engagement and agility are no longer buzzwords but fixed values for success.

But sustainability is also key, and the permanent pursuit of a win-win for both organization and employees creates new challenges: E.g., how do we combine being strict on required competencies with valuing talent? How do we attract the most competent people in a tight labor market?

Attracting and selecting employees who meet a long list of desired competencies seems to be over. Many are already happy that vacancies can be filled at all. So we are very flexible and tolerant. However, years of research confirms that on average for any job, there are 3-4 competencies that make the difference. They account for about 80% of the variance in prediction. Other competencies sometimes contribute slightly to the prediction of success; others correlate negatively. On average, the following competencies are the better predictors: results orientation, flexibility, direction, persuasion and judgment. Of course, these competencies vary depending on the job and context. Moreover, we know that of these five, the competencies flexibility and judgment tend to be the least easily developed in adults.

Hence our recommendation:

  1. Identify those competencies that really matter. You can do this based on thorough analysis beforehand, and/or based on correlation research between measured competencies and success in practice.
  2. Assess competencies and value talent, but primarily select based on that limited set of competencies that matter.
  3. In your decision, keep in mind especially those competencies that are less easy to develop.
  4. In selection or promotion, measure more than these 4 or 5 competencies, but use that extra information primarily for development.

"What we definitely remember is the focus on those competencies that matter, rather than taking a never-ending list of competencies with us in attracting and developing Talent. In addition, it is a continuing search for a fine balance between appreciation of everyone's talents and the necessary, evolving competencies."

— Reflection Janssen Pharmaceutica

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