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Talent Management and the Rise of the Flexible Career


Talent Management and the Rise of the Flexible Career

In Conversation with Q5 presents, ‘Talent Management and the Rise of the Flexible Career’.


How can your organisation best respond to an evolving workplace culture?

This webinar, co-hosted by Q5 and Ceridian and inspired by Ceridian’s 2023 Pulse of Talent Survey, focuses on evolving workforce dynamics and leadership roles. The panel discusses innovative talent retention and development strategies that can help organisations prepare for future workforce challenges, as well as the role of technology in talent management and global variations in talent management approaches.


Reading time: 7 minutes

In an era where the landscape of work is rapidly evolving, understanding the nuances of talent management has never been more crucial. Q5 recently hosted a webinar, titled ‘Talent Management and the Rise of the Flexible Career’, bringing together industry experts to delve into the complexities and emerging trends in the field. Facilitated by Q5’s Director of Purpose & Sustainability, Claire Hamlin, we were privileged to hear Michelle Bonam, Vice President of Organisational Effectiveness at Ceridian, and Guy Cohen, HR Vice President and Global Head of Talent at TT Electronics, share their invaluable perspectives and experiences.

You can listen to the webinar as a podcast below, or on streaming platforms Spotify, Amazon Music or Google Podcasts.




The webinar provided an exploration of the current challenges and opportunities in talent management, ranging from the widening skills gap and generational shifts in the workforce, to the impact of societal expectations on businesses. Michelle Bonam offered insights from Ceridian’s 2023 Pulse of Talent Survey, shedding light on how employees are adapting to the post-pandemic world of work, their career aspirations, and the prevalent issue of burnout. Guy Cohen brought a unique perspective from the manufacturing sector, discussing TT Electronics’ innovative approaches to talent attraction, retention, and development.

In this article, we will delve into the key themes addressed, including the evolving role of leadership in talent management, the importance of leveraging technology in career development, and the strategic implementation of flexible career pathways. Additionally, we will explore how different industries, particularly traditional ones like manufacturing, are adapting their strategies to attract and retain the next generation of talent.


The evolving landscape of talent management

In today’s rapidly transforming business world, the landscape of talent management is experiencing significant changes. One of the biggest challenges discussed in the webinar is the evolving dynamic of the workforce. As organisations grapple with a widening skills gap, they are also navigating the complexities brought about by generational shifts.

The skills gap, a persistent concern for many industries, has only been magnified in the wake of technological advancements and the evolving demands of the modern workplace. Organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to find talent with the right mix of technical and soft skills. This gap not only hinders organisational growth but also impacts the ability to innovate and stay competitive.

Compounding these issues are the generational shifts within the workforce. As Baby Boomers retire, there’s a significant transfer of knowledge and experience that needs to be managed. Meanwhile, Millennials and Gen Z are entering the workforce with different expectations and values, particularly around work-life balance, flexibility, and the role of technology in their work. These new generations are not just looking for a job, they’re seeking meaningful work and opportunities for continuous learning and development.

This evolving landscape requires a nuanced approach to talent management, one that not only addresses the immediate skills shortages but also embraces the diverse needs and aspirations of a multi-generational workforce.


Key findings from Ceridian’s Pulse of Talent Survey

Ceridian’s Pulse of Talent Survey, as discussed in our webinar, offers critical insights into the workforce’s current state. Surveying nearly 9,000 respondents globally, primarily full-time employees from medium to large companies, the report sheds light on key workplace challenges. Notably, it highlights significant employee adaptation issues in the post-pandemic era, widespread experiences of burnout, and feelings of career stagnation. Less than half of the respondents felt that their employer understand their career ambitions.

These findings underscore the urgent need for organisations to reassess and adapt their talent management strategies to address these growing concerns. There is a huge opportunity for organisations to increase employee retention by empowering employees to leverage internal mobility opportunities, whether that be working on different projects, in different teams, or transitioning to a new role entirely. This approach embodies true career flexibility, providing a wide range of options for personal growth and development. This requires leaders to really look at career paths differently than they have in the past. Michelle emphasised that the key is flexibility – not the traditional rigid career paths we’ve typically seen. Only 17% of workers said that they aspire to becomes executives and 14% said they aspire to become people managers. What they really want is a career that is flexible to their needs and desires and this will be the key to retaining talent going forward.

Additionally, setting internal hiring goals and utilising data-driven insights ensures that the right people are placed in roles where their skills can be most effectively utilised. Such strategies not only enhance employee satisfaction and engagement but also contribute to the overall agility and resilience of the organisation.


Redefining leadership and culture in the workplace

The webinar emphasised a pivotal shift in leadership roles, moving beyond just output delivery to actively creating a promoting a positive workplace culture. This evolution in leadership is not just about managing teams but about being architects of an environment that fosters growth, innovation, and engagement.

The connection between a thriving workplace culture and commercial success has never been more apparent. Companies that cultivate a strong, positive culture are finding it a key differentiator in the market, directly impacting their success and sustainability.


Technology’s role in bridging the skills gaps

Technology is playing a crucial role in addressing the skills gap, particularly through competency mapping and career development. Innovative tools and platforms are enabling organisations to quickly identify skills gaps and provide targeted development opportunities.

This technology-driven approach allows for a more efficient and effective way to manage talent, ensuring that employees are equipped with the necessary skills to thrive in their roles. The webinar highlighted how technology implementation in talent management is not just a trend but a necessity in the modern workplace. For example, the webinar discussed how technology is being used to make the whole competency mapping process more streamlined and efficient. The use of digital platforms is also making career paths and development options more transparent for employees, so that they are able to easily view career path options and progression opportunities available to them.


Addressing talent management on a global scale

Talent management strategies vary significantly across regions, as highlighted in the webinar. In the UK, for instance, there’s a greater reliance on interim contract workers compared to the US, where professional contractors are harder to find. In Asia, the preference leans towards stability and security in employment, making interim roles less common. These regional differences underscore the need for tailored talent management approaches that respect and respond to local cultural and economic contexts, ensuring that strategies are as effective globally as they are locally.


Practical approaches to employee engagement and retention

The webinar shed light on innovative strategies for boosting employee engagement and retention. One effective approach is the implementation of pilot programs, which allow organisations to test new ideas and gain employee buy-in through tangible results. Additionally, fostering a sense of healthy competition between departments or teams can encourage improvements and innovation. Equally important is the focus on internal mobility and career conversations, ensuring that employees feel valued and see clear pathways for growth and development within the organisation.


Preparing for the future of work

Preparing for the future of work involves anticipating and adapting to demographic shifts and emerging workforce challenges. The webinar emphasised the urgency of proactive talent management strategies to address these future changes. As the workforce ages, particularly in sectors like manufacturing, it’s crucial to develop strategies now to manage the impending shift in workforce demographics. This forward-thinking approach is vital for organisations to remain competitive and resilient in the face of rapid changes in the global labour market.



The insights from the webinar underscore the multifaceted nature of modern talent management. As we’ve explored, the challenges range from adapting to the evolving landscape of workforce dynamics to implementing innovative strategies for employee engagement and retention. The key takeaway is the necessity for organisations to be agile, empathetic, and forward-thinking in their approach to talent management.

Embracing technology, understanding regional nuances, and redefining leadership roles are no longer optional but essential components of a successful talent strategy. The discussion highlighted that the future of work is not a distant concept but a present reality that demands immediate and strategic action. Organisations that proactively adapt to these changes, value their human capital, and invest in creating a positive and dynamic workplace culture will not only survive but thrive in this new era.

As we move forward, the lessons from this webinar provide a roadmap for organisations seeking to navigate the complexities of talent management effectively. The journey ahead is one of continuous learning, adaptation, and innovation, with the ultimate goal of building a resilient, skilled, and engaged workforce ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

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