In May I wrote the article ‘Future Skills Demand In L&D, Talent & OD – Now & Post Covid 19’. Sadly we are not post Covid- 19 just yet, but the market for hiring in this space has developed since the UK wide lockdown. I’m asked on a regular basis for my opinion on the niche space, so here it is.
What has changed?
At the end of March, hiring plans for many were paused indefinitely: Some of the searches I was managing were paused or completely cancelled. Others got in play again, completed processes, made offers and onboarded virtually.
The thick fog is slowly clearing but it would be naïve of me not to point out that lots of people team leaders are consolidating or fighting to retain their staff, worse still – letting them go. That being said, I am being instructed on newly created roles again, we are completing them, teams are growing, replacement roles are being back filled and fixed term contracts are regularly coming in; there is cause for optimism.
Much like the Brexit hangover there are similarities to this market:
Roles are becoming broader – an L&D Manager could now mean you are an L&D, leadership, talent and organisation development manager all under one title and JD for example.
There are lots of FTCs out there.
It’s hyper competitive for a smaller amount of jobs.
There are many mid-senior level roles at the £40-100k mark, with fewer in the £20-40k, or £100-£250k range.
What I predicted in May vs What has materialised now (October)
There were several specialist areas I anticipated would be in hiring demand during recovery – The ones that have come to the forefront are:
Leadership & management development
This has been one, if notthebiggest expertise needs for my in-house clients, as well as consulting clients. A recent LinkedIn survey of 700+ C-level executives found that69% of participants said Covid-19 was the toughest challenge of their career so far, with 52% doubting their ability to lead at times.
The lion’s share of the roles I’ve filled through this uncertain period have had a focus or a component of leadership development, assessment and succession. If you’re not investing in your leadership, you should be.
Organisation design & development
This has just begun to surface now – I’m seeing my consulting clients looking for breadth including both sides of OD as well as culture, but I’m seeing less specialised OD searches on the in-house side currently.
Again, much like after Brexit I expect the OD specialist roles will start to appear more, with culture and values coming in tow to support the office vs remote working challenges relating to things like innovation, individual, team and organisational performance. According to the Institute of Directors survey, 74% of businesses surveyed plan on maintaining the increase of home working, so I expect more businesses to prepare for changes to OD, talent and performance needs.
This isn’t new, but it’s as if someone has plugged it into a guitar amp and turned it up to 11. Virtual experience and knowledge is no longer just for the digital learning professionals. Heads of talent, heads of learning, L&D managers, are seeing this on their JDs. It is now a required skill to be able to create strategy which incorporates a blended approach, the use of eLearning, VR, immersive tech, make full use of an LMS, as well as the team having the ability to design and facilitate engaging sessions online as well as in person.
I’ve seen this with consulting firms, and in-house – it’s here to stay for sure. For those longing to return to the classroom, you will be pleased to know some of my clients have been delivering small, socially distanced face to face sessions.
Diversity & Inclusion
One big area I missed in May was Diversity & Inclusion. There has been a welcome rise in commitment and action from businesses in recent months, hiring specialist roles, as well as playing a big part of a broader talent role