SHL purple header

Insights by Andy: How Our Customers Are Rethinking Talent Strategy

Transformations are impacting the entire employee lifecycle – SHL is partnering with customers across the globe to address their most pressing needs.



For this month’s vlog, I thought I would talk about what we are seeing here at SHL regarding the changing dynamics of our customer’s business amid COVID-19 as well as the Black Lives Matter movement. We will cover the people answers our customers have asked for and need. 

We have seen most organizations mobilize their internal resources to respond to the initial crisis of the pandemic. Now, we are experiencing a period where organizations are making more strategic and certainly more mid and long-term decisions. Some of those decisions are different from what we saw before this crisis began. There are three major decision points that many are considering in their talent management strategies… 


The first area is around transformation — many organizations are using this period to either accelerate transformations that were already underway. Digital transformations have increased so most of those programs have accelerated. 

In addition, organizations are taking this time to look at how they restructure their leadership and what capabilities they have within their talent pool for the future in this new environment. They are looking for different skills and new skills to meet their digital business needs. They are considering how to hire people with those skills (i.e. technical and coding skills).  

And finally, several organizations are coming to us to ask how they align resources and restructure their company for the mid to long term. Obviously, some of that is driven by what will inevitably be recession period and organizations are getting ahead of that to make the right decisions about their people sooner rather than later. And I think as government subsidies start to drop off — we will continue to see that increase more.  So, the first area is about continued and increased business transformations. 

#2—Employee Wellbeing 

The second decision point is a shift in consideration around the workforce — what I mean by that is a lot of organizations are trying to make themselves more human with their employees. They are thinking about remote working and the impacts it has on people; thinking about employee wellbeing, and about work-life balance and how that impacts productivity. They are exploring the types of support employees need. So, we are seeing a lot of activity around how organizations are trying to be more human towards their employees. 

In addition, organizations are increasingly looking at their diversity and inclusion efforts. The murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter campaign has increased the momentum around this area. We are getting a lot of inquiries from our customers about how they can improve their processes and how can they eliminate and reduce bias withing their hiring and promotional decisions across the whole of their organization. This is leading to some organizations to rethink their culture and reconsider the values they have. Again, all these things are big people questions that organizations are looking to address. 

#3—Vendor Consolidation 

The third area is more specific to SHL – We are seeing a lot of organizations take the opportunity to consolidate the vendors they use for human capital management. Now, a lot of that is driven by overall cost reductions, but also a lot of it is driven by organizations desiring strategic partnerships throughout this period.  

Human capital within organizations are key for success over the coming months and years. So, leaders are looking to develop deeper partnerships with other companies that can help them understand their people questions and provide the people answers that they need for the transformations they seek. This effort will help to lead them to having the right culture and values. 

Talent Acquisition 

So, those are the three areas primarily on Talent Management that SHL is seeing, but if we look at Talent Acquisition — it is slightly different. Most organizations have some reduced level of hiring. That is not unusual, but in contrast, we are seeing some organizations at almost the opposite as they are in the process of mass hiring.  

They lost a lot of their employees, having furloughed them for several months, and are now needing to get large chunks of their workforce to be rehired into those positions. It is a big challenge for these organizations.  

And even more, so a challenge because they are mass hiring virtually! How do you make sure that the candidate experience is still a great one when you’re attracting, assessing, interviewing, offering, and onboarding all within a virtual environment?  

So, it is important for organizations to make sure that the candidate journey is as good as ever. And we are seeing orgs take this opportunity to look at their end to end hiring and talent acquisition systems and processes to see how they can be streamlined. 

I think we are entering into an interesting period where for many years now we have had low unemployment. Organizations were looking for candidates and had to push hard while attracting them and bringing them out of current positions. Now the tide is likely to turn as unemployment increases, we will see more applications, more candidates going for positions, so organizations will need to have a very robust and efficient solution to make sure they get the best talent into their organization. 

So that’s a few observations we have seen in the market. I hope that is helpful, and I look forward to catching up with you next month. 

headshot bradshaw andy


Andy Bradshaw

Andy has spent over 25 years in technology and services businesses, over half of which has been in Human Capital Management (HCM). His career started performing a variety of roles for Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft, including running industry teams and building new customer segments. More recently taking senior leadership positions in mid-market organizations undergoing transformation. These included IT security, assessment and employee benefits segments. He returned as CEO of SHL 2 years ago, working with CEB and Gartner to establish SHL as an independent business. Andy is passionate about using people insight to improve business and individual performance.

Make Transformation Possible for Your People

Experience the greatest business outcomes possible with SHL’s products, insights, experiences, and services.

Find Out How

Explore SHL’s Wide Range of Solutions

With our platform of pre-configured talent acquisition and talent management solutions, maximize the potential of your company’s greatest asset—your people.

See Our Solutions