[feat-img-left] Three themes were brought home to the 400-plus attendees at Impact 2012, a conference presented by Bersin & Associates last month in St. Petersburg, Florida: Transform, Personalize, Glocalize. These themes were highlighted from the kickoff keynote by Josh Bersin and continued throughout two full days of programming that used the themes as tracks for the learning sessions. In his keynote, “Driving Agility: The Truths and Myths that Make a Difference,” Bersin noted that Impact 2012 was the sixth annual conference of its kind, and that its success and attendance have largely paralleled the performance of the American economy. He said that a global talent imbalance has CEOs around the world concerned, and that in fact Lloyd’s of London had assessed the talent shortage as a serious risk facing businesses. He shared a quote from the World Economic Forum: “We are entering the era of unparalleled talent scarcity, which will put a brake on economic growth around the world, and will fundamentally change the way we approach workforce challenges.” In the first Glocalize session of the conference, John Campagnino, senior director of global recruiting at Accenture, spoke about how his firm has approached its workforce challenges. Accenture, which adds about 64,000 new associates to its global workforce each year, has evolved from a centralized recruitment function to a center of excellence with localized recruiting teams and programs. The firm leverages social media, professional networking, and especially employee referrals to find new employees who are most likely to be successful. As part of the Transform track, a highly experienced panel featuring representatives from Motorola Solutions, Bristol Myers Squibb, and the American Red Cross explained “People Strategies for Agility: How to Manage the Blended Workforce.” Patricia Carroll, training manager at Motorola Solutions, recounted the company restructuring that has driven chaos and change in her learning organization for the past couple of years, and discussed how she uses strategic insourcing to supplement her learning team. Peter Jones, director of central learning services at Bristol Myers Squibb, noted that his company uses contractors and contingent workers across operations and around the world. Carol Robinette, senior director of talent acquisition for the American Red Cross, has a unique talent management challenge: Her contingent workforce consists of more than a million volunteers. The engaging, high-energy keynote on Day Two was delivered by Dana Tomechko, vice president of human resources for NBC News. Entitled “Building an Agile Workforce in a 24/7 Business,” Tomechko reviewed the size and structure of her company’s workforce, and explained how HR supports the diverse business units and teams so they are prepared to respond to the rapid changes taking place in the world and in the news business. She outlined HR’s three key tenets:
- Hold no perspective sacred.
- Be connectors.
- Explore, even in the face of ambiguity.
- The benefits that professional networks and social media bring to the sourcing process
- Effective practices for using social approaches to recruiting
- Leveraging employees as ambassadors for recruiting quality talent.