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[Guest Post]: Total Talent Strategy = Technology + EXECUTION on Ecosystem Approach

by Workrails Admin and 1 more

Ecosystem – a system, or a group of interconnected elements, formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment.

In our previous post, we promised to share what a more simplistic, modern, delivery model could look like for Total Talent Evolution.

The word ecosystem is used (or overused) a lot these days; ecosystem workforce solutions, global supply chain ecosystems, technology ecosystems. I was really proud of myself coming up with a new concept for total talent management two years ago, (spent big bucks with our lawyer to trademark our Total Talent Ecosystem Model) until I started seeing similar concepts pop up everywhere in the contingent workforce/talent acquisition space.

Then it hit me, nobody really designs or builds anything new, my model included, so I got over myself and silently sent gratitude to all those previous employers, mentors, technology companies that influenced me.  Facebook is a better MySpace, Google is a better MS Explorer, Elon Musk didn’t invent the electric car, just perfected it. My Ecosystem model is a hybrid of what others have done before me; I just used my 20 years of experience to change it up; I kept what works, refined it and discarded what doesn’t.

So what is the first ingredient in the secret sauce? Why did Elon Musk prevail and GM fail?  Execution…execution…execution.  Listening to your customer, learning from others mistakes, sifting and sorting what is critical, using what has worked before, address and acknowledge what is no longer working, solution it, then rinse and repeat. Execution isn’t sexy, but it’s the difference between success and failure.  You can’t just put a cool graphic, with all the right buzz words in front of a customer, you have to deliver on it.

In contingent workforce management; more clients are demanding a total talent management strategy with technology forward approaches from their staffing and workforce solution providers.  Many of our clients want to engage other forms of talent supply chain strategy, in addition to Contingent Workforce management (on-demand platforms, freelancer systems, RPO, SOW, IC management) NOW, not in multi-year phases like they did 5 years ago. They want sophisticated Data and Analytics, consultative expertise on the right workforce mix, and all of this enabled by a technology strategy that is seamless, and accommodates the full talent supply chain.  5 years ago, total talent strategy meant adding direct placement providers to your MSP/VMS supply base and maybe onboarding a separate RPO provider with their own ATS. Today’s sophisticated customers want something more comprehensive.

I had a meeting with a forward thinking client last month and introduced them to jabatalks; an automated voice interview platform; subscription based, no implementation required, and minimal cost. The client wanted to solve for challenges engaging all of their candidates, vetting and responding to them, and therefore losing really good talent to the competition. They saw this was an easy add in addition to their existing HRIS platform (they are still trying to fully integrate a year later) and could solve some near term pain NOW.

“We are moving towards a more de-centralized approach enabled by technology to address customers total talent strategy needs.” Staffing Industry Analysts – The gig Economy and Changing Workforce

The future of Contingent Workforce and Talent Acquisition is about a centrally managed, smart, simple, dynamic network of advanced expertise, workforce strategy best practices, data and analytics, benchmarking, and state-of-the-art technology including cloud, mobile and analytics.

It would look kind of like this…forgive clunky graphic, but kind of proud of my smart art prowess….

Total Talent Management (CWM, SOW, IC, RPO) Ecosystem Approach

What is the second ingredient in the secret sauce for Total Talent Management?  TECHNOLOGY. A nimble technology strategy is the glue. The way we work, and the reason we work, is changing — and technology is a primary enabler.

Today tasks traditionally handled by an MSP (Managed Service Provider) are being systematically replaced by VMS  (Vendor Management System)’s  due to advances in technology features and functionality, including AI and Machine learning.  Clients are now using SAAS Talent Acquisition technology platforms as part of an unbundled suite of systems to manage sourcing, vetting, engaging, retaining, training talent. Digital and On-Demand Workforce platforms are expanding the talent supply chain and providing new ways to engage talent and get work done.

“Talent acquisition is all about candidate experience right now, and it’s evident on the emerging technologies that focus on achieving well-defined and streamlined processes through a number of methodologies.” Says Suresh Parakoti, Founder & CEO of

Technology and AI are not “replacing” or diminishing the roles of “the humans.”  It is removing non-value added tasks, freeing up our time and energy and enabling us to focus on new skills development, vital human relationships strategic and critical thinking.

To quote a valued mentor; Jeff Leventhal, Co-Founder of WorkRails “In the end Technology always wins.”

Our clients today are looking for help in introducing these technology solutions into their technology ecosystem in a cohesive way, and maybe they don’t all need to be integrated or come from one end to end provider. Maybe the approach is, to quote 38 Special, “hold on loosely, but don’t let go.”  I’d say that’s a great line to start off your Total Talent Strategy proposal.

Terri Gallagher