The Forage Talent Resource Center

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Talent teams matter now more than ever

Talent teams matter now more than ever

The “R” word is here. But in times of economic uncertainty - even recessions - come unparalleled opportunities to create tailwinds.

Well, it would appear that the party is over. After years of economic buoyancy, things are starting to take a turn and we are now facing the dark void of a recession.

For talent teams, this can be an incredibly stressful time. As budgets are tightened across entire organizations, an already lean (and frequently under-resourced) talent function is facing even tighter purse strings. And there’s the other scary consideration - what about the roles of talent teams themselves? Unfortunately, history shows that these roles are commonly one of the first to go during times of economic downturn.

This is a mistake. A big mistake.

Talent teams are the gatekeepers to the workforce. They are the driving force of an organization’s personality and persona to the masses. They are the connection between their organization and the broader world of future innovators, thought-leaders, and change-makers. They future-proof organizations for enduring success. 

Organizations that do not empower talent teams during times of economic downturn risk strangling their pipeline of exceptional talent that will be critical to future innovation, profitability, and progress. 

In fact, economic downturns are where talent teams can truly thrive. With the disheartening number of lay-offs (particularly in tech), comes a bright and shining silver-lining. Exceptional talent is now out there in the open, ready to be hired. Because more often than not, they’re not being let go for any issues with performance, but rather because certain strategic initiatives, projects or functions have been deprioritized - or they simply joined a few months earlier and are the first cabs off the rank. 

The talent market is broken right open - may the best acquisition team win.

This creates a ripe environment for talent teams to lead the charge. It’s no longer about them getting a seat at the table with the business - this is when they own the table. And Amy Schultz from Canva said it best:

“What if talent is the ‘table’ and the business pull up seats around us? Think about it, with market fluctuations and labor shortages globally, a company’s talent strategy has never mattered more to overall business success (and survival). In Talent, we have the data and the strategic levers on skills, mobility, retention, people & candidate experience…and much more. I wonder how dynamics and conversations would shift if we start seeing ourselves as the ‘table’ rather than trying to pull up a chair?”

Companies that sit back and ride out the downturns risk will be hit even harder when the economic climate changes. Companies that take the path less traveled, like Facebook during the 2008 recession, and embolden their talent teams to share their insights, drive strategies, and build out a pipeline of exceptional candidates can experience exponential growth. They can not only better navigate the downturn, but also bolster the inevitable economic tailwinds that will come. Because they always do - it’s just a matter of riding out the headwinds. 

Want to innovate your talent strategy to not only own the table, but also drive company growth? Schedule a consultation here

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