The cost of an immature approach to 'Talent Tech' and Data

Employers are losing the ‘war for talent’ due to outdated approaches, with leading local and global organisations ranking at a maturity level of 38%, according to leading talent strategists TQSolutions’ annual ‘2023 Talent Maturity Model’ insights report.

  • Employer immaturity in people tech and analytics is preventing companies from engaging and retaining talent in historically tight labour markets
  • Employer brands built on subjective decision-making not data due to lack of tech
  • COVID-19 has matured HR’s representation in the c-Suite, but confusion remains around people and talent strategy
  • Organisations are not confident their hiring processes remove bias

The alarming lack of maturity in people tech and analytics indicates that organisations are missing critical data points and insights, including employee flight risk indicators, mobility opportunities, career development and planning activities. Instead they are relying on outdated ‘systems of record’, which leave them unable to engage and develop their people, and more recently stem the flow of post-pandemic resignations.

While the businesses that took part in the research - including a Big Four bank, leading energy, retail and FMCG brands, and government departments, among others - showed the lowest maturity levels when it comes to tech and data, they have matured during the pandemic regarding executive level representation for HR. Participants returned a 83% maturity rating, stating that HR is represented in the c-Suite and organisations genuinely appear to have a people-first agenda with a 78% maturity rating.

Conversely, however, organisations showed a lower level of maturity in regards to chief HR officers establishing a clear talent plan that is aligned with the business’s objectives, with this maturity component rating a 74% maturity. When it comes to adequate people development and training, organisations rated themselves at a 73% maturity level. But hoarding talent internally appears to be ubiquitous as participants returned a  63% maturity rating in response to the statement, “leaders and hiring managers are willing to collaborate internally and share talent.

The maturity of organisations’ hiring processes to remove bias is low, returning a maturity rating of 41%. This shows organisations cannot be confident that their internal and external hiring processes remove bias to support diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) goals.

The latest research spans 124 respondents, benchmarking more than 50 organisations, including leading financial services providers, global consultancies, energy and mining companies, government departments, universities, utility providers, airlines, and some of Australia and the world’s largest FMCG and retail brands.  

Commenting on the 2023 Talent Maturity Model insights, TQSolutions managing director Gareth Flynn said: “Employers are losing the war for talent because they lack adequate visibility of their people due to their reliance on antiquated ‘systems of record’, which result in sub-optimal people and talent decision making across the organisation. It’s also disappointing to see that bias remains in internal and external hiring processes, with a low 41% maturity score. AI will continue to grow its role in hiring processes, but clean data will be essential to training the AI to remove bias. Put simply, without the tech you don’t have the data and without the data you will have sub-optimal AI - and human - decision making.

“The mature businesses investing in people tech and analytics - and they are the minority of employers right now - will attract and retain an unfair share of talent in the volatile and tight talent markets organisations continue to battle and will do for some time.

On the relatively high maturity regarding HR executives in the c-Suite, Gareth added: “It’s encouraging to see this level of maturity and that HR is largely represented at executive level, but it isn’t surprising due to the impact of the pandemic on organisations and the world of work. It’s disappointing however to see that greater maturity is required by organisations when developing and deploying clear talent plans - a critical issue for many employers, but particularly those in industries experiencing skills shortages, where talent holes can exist.

”Employer brands are also suffering due to a lack of investment in enablement, including tech, with a low maturity rating  of 39%, resulting in employer brand teams working in the dark when it comes to identifying the right strategy and measuring performance. Organisational ability to adapt its Employer Brand to changing business and economic conditions was met with a low level of maturity as well at 45%.

On organisations making decisions in the dark when it comes to their employer brand, Gareth comments: “It’s not surprising to see employer brand ranking as one of the lowest performing talent maturity dimensions. Employer brand teams are traditionally under-funded, often in industries with tight labour markets - where your employer brand is needed the most to differentiate your work/career offering to existing and prospective talent. Organisations need to mature and mature quickly in this space.

“Without the right tech and tooling for employer branding, organisations cannot generate meaningful insights and this results in subjective and sub-optimal decision making because those in charge of these decisions lack the tools required to measure success. In a post-pandemic working-world - where talent has won the ‘war for talent’ - there is some maturity occurring in this critical area, but more needs to be done.

TQ’s Talent Maturity Model evaluates businesses ‘mindset’ and ‘enablement’ across eight critical talent dimensions: strategy; accountability; decision-making; analytics; capabilities; technology; employer branding and policies. Based on how they score themselves, businesses are ranked across five levels of talent maturity from highest to lowest: ‘ahead of the curve’; ‘progressive - high’; ‘progressive - low’; ‘transforming’; and ‘foundational’. The data shows that 10% of respondents self-assessed as ‘foundational’; 57% as ‘transforming’; 23% as ‘progressive - low’; 10% as ‘progressive - high’. No participating organisations ranked themselves as ‘ahead of the curve’.

TQSolutions developed the original ‘Talent Maturity Model’ in 2017 in partnership with PwC and more than 30 industry experts to benchmark talent maturity in local and global organisations. The third generation of the Model was released in February 2023. For further data points and insights, there is a free pack here.TQ Talent Maturity Model Key Insights - Graphs & Data (Feb 2023)

About TQSolutions

TQSolutions is Australia’s leading talent intelligence business, solving complex talent and workforce problems that enhance peoples’ experience of hiring, careers and work. TQ supports and advises some of Australia’s largest and most diversified employers to unlock solutions that enable them to find, develop and keep talent. TQ combines deep expertise with complex data and insights to provide clients with meaningful context to their critical talent issues and opportunities, allowing TQ to solve for these scenarios with scale, agility and speed. TQ’s Advisory offering guides organisations through significant talent change and transformation programs via future-state advisory on talent and workforce strategy and operations, people and talent tech enablement, and employer branding. While its People Solutions division supports clients with on-demand access to specialist HR capabilities when they are delivering on critical talent priorities for the business. Managing director and founder Gareth Flynn launched TQSolutions in 2008 when he saw a gap in the market for a specialist, independent talent consultancy that advised clients on building internal capabilities, as well as actively supporting projects through agile workforce arrangements. Since then, TQ has advised major employers including GE, Australia Post, Origin, Culture Amp, ANZ, IAG, Macquarie, Worley, Coles, Jetstar, Bupa, Reece, Lion, The Iconic, Deloitte, Federal and State government departments, among others. TQSolutions today employs a team of 70 experts, who work entirely remotely, to deliver best-in-class advisory and solutions services for its clients nationally. TQSolutions.com.au: IQ + EQ = TQ

About the TQ Talent Maturity Model

TQSolutions’ original Talent Maturity Model was created in 2017 in partnership with PwC and more than 30 industry experts to benchmark employers’ talent maturity in ‘business critical’ areas. It launched its third generation of the TMM in February 2023 to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on HR and talent management as businesses focussed on greater organisational resilience and talent risk mitigation strategies. TQ’s Talent Maturity Model uses a diagnostic that evaluates talent maturity levels within businesses across eight critical dimensions covering both ‘mindset’ and ‘enablement’: strategy; accountability; decision-making; analytics; capabilities; technology; employer branding and policies. Based on how they score themselves, responses are aggregated and businesses are ranked across five levels of talent maturity from highest to lowest: ahead of the curve; progressive - high; progressive - low; transforming; and foundational. Only completed surveys are included in the evaluation of responses to ensure accurate comparison of data across the maturity model’s eight talent dimensions and total talent maturity.

Find out more from one of our TQ people today.