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Agile in HR – The New Talent Management Movement

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July 17, 2022
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5 minutes
Gizela has almost two decades of experience within the Digital sphere and eagerly awaits the day she can be cloned so she can finally get everything on her daily to-do list done

Agile has been taking the business world by storm for many years now. Originally, it started as essentially a tech and software development management approach. Now it has evolved into a well-respected industry standard for all businesses when it comes to efficiency. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Agile in HR and Agile talent management is also making waves.

Agile in HR

HR is actually in a unique position when it comes to the implementation of Agile in any organization. From working closely with employees to organizational structure and development programs – HR is at the helm.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” — Henry Ford

So What is the Difference Between Traditional HR and Agile in HR?

Traditional HR is still very much bound by hierarchical organization structures. Agile in HR and Agile talent management shifts the focus from these strict rules and standards to a more collaborative and innovative approach.

The Benefits of Having Agile in HR & Agile Talent Management

As you can imagine, an approach such as Agile can have many benefits for a business. Some include:

Agile in HR, Agile in HR – The New Talent Management Movement
  • Having an HR that is structured to respond faster and adapt to situations quicker.
  • Taking on a flexible approach that can be molded along with an ever-changing workforce.
  • Being able to support a more customer-centric organization.
  • Improving team collaboration.
  • Being able to adapt and make shifts quickly.
  • Receiving continuous feedback that leads to developing solutions on a regular and consistent basis.
  • Being able to measure output much more accurately as Agile is results-oriented.

Exactly How Agile in HR Impacts Different Aspects

There are many ways in which Agile impacts HR and has a domino effect throughout the rest of the organization. These are a few ways how:

It’s Getting Rid of Borders

The old, traditional way of doing things in HR allowed for different function pockets to form. These work very independently of each other, whether recruitment, admin, or talent management.

Also, the entire HR department was usually removed from the rest of the business. Agile in HR changes all that. It dissolves this segregation and makes all departments take on a much more collaborative role within various projects and within the organization.

Agile in HR Accelerates Things

In the olden days, everything in product development had to be properly mapped out. Basically, everything had to be perfect before deployment could take place. This meant less failure, but at what cost? A lot of time was spent on coming up with one deliverable.

Agile speeds things up. This means that you are met with many mini-fails along the way. However, in the process, new things are discovered, and new solutions are developed. Consequently, multiple innovative processes could end up being deployed in the pursuit of just one.

HR Used to Adapt… On a Yearly Basis

It’s fair to say that life doesn’t wait for you to schedule change at a more convenient time. One needs to be able to adapt to situations as they pop up. The traditional way of running HR was to have set processes that would be reviewed and amended on a yearly basis. For obvious reasons, this is not ideal. The way Agile in HR tackles these things are on a more daily and in-the-moment basis.

Picking Personnel Changes

The way HR picks members for the team drastically changed. The reason is that Agile talent management shifted the focus. Before, HR was simply searching for the best candidate to fulfil the role. Now, the search is more focused on a team member which is multi-faceted and will get along well with the rest of the team when it comes to a collaborative environment.

This is also reflected in the way personnel performance reviews are conducted. The emphasis is no longer solely on how well the individual does his or her job, but on how well the team functions as a unit.

Training Almost Occurs Organically

Ok, not quite, but the point is that a collaborative environment stimulates growth within the team. Working closely together, cross-training and inter-departmental skill sharing naturally occurs.

HR used to make training and developmental programs available to specific positions regarding a very specific skill set needed for that position. This strategy has changed now to a much more open door policy. Team members who have particular interests in certain areas of the organization or have shown to be adept within other parts of the business will be able to receive the necessary resources to develop further in that direction.

Collaboration Changes the Corporate Ladder

Not only is a company no longer segmented into different departments and communication channels stuck within the chain of command, but the entire way of climbing to the top has changed. You no longer need to start from the bottom and work your way up. Moreover, many don’t even feel the need to. In an Agile organization, everyone has a voice and there’s no need to be the “big boss” to finally be heard.

Team members move around within the business based on their strengths and interests. That means that whenever a position opens up or there is potential restructuring, HR no longer looks to the immediate “runner-ups” like in the old days. Everyone has an equal opportunity to climb the corporate ladder.

Internal Matters are More Easily Dealt With

Office politics was the name of the game in a hierarchical system. The ones on the lower levels simply had to keep their mouth shut and take whatever comes from the top. Further, the top often fell prey to stagnating innovation in their struggle to retain power. There was no real open communication, no transparency, with very few people feeling like they matter.

Back then, a job was merely a job and the HR role was to oversee. Thankfully, this has changed due to Agile in HR and Agile talent management. Organizations value their team members and what they bring to the table. Thus, within the spirit of collaboration, individuals don’t feel suppressed or stifled. Innovation thrives. Wherever a group of people gather, there will always be some forms of conflict, but it’s less and can usually be easily sorted out on equal footing.

Agile is a very interesting topic, and it’s undoubtedly changed the way we do business – whether in HR or other departments and industries. If you would like to learn more about Agile and the various impacts it has on organizations, you can find plenty of free resources at Consultport!