Greater China Talent Management Summit 2015, organized by, now at its 10th year, is widely appreciated by human resources professionals in the Greater China as an effective platform to share insights, knowledge and tools on talent management. This important event will be held at Hotel ICON in Hong Kong on 18th June this year.

The Summit this year focuses in the future of workplace and the forces that are most impactful in the coming of future age. The Summit aims to explore the evloving trends that are shaping the future workplace including entrepreneurship, technology innovation and talent mobility. All of them have significant impact over the coming decade of work.

What will the future workplace look like? Forces reshaping the world of work

In this recent decade, economic shifts are redistributing power, wealth, competition and opportunity around the globe. Disruptive innovations, radical thinking, new business models and resource scarcity are impacting every sector. There are different forces radically reshaping the world of work. Businesses across the world are beginning to understand and plan ahead that they need a clear and meaningful purpose, and mandate for the coming decades if they are to attract and retain employees, customers and partners.

Researches have shown that demographic shift, technology breakthrough, shift of economic power and resource scarcity are among the top forces that people around the world believe will transform the way people work over the next 5 to 10 years. Unquestionably hunting and shaping future talent stand on an equally uncertain and challenging ground.

Technology, Mobility and Connecting to Work
Technology breakthrough is both shrinking and scaling our world, with a shift to the Cloud, big data is set to truly revolutionise most aspects of our lives in the next decade. Technology will play a key role in global working arrangements. Technology will move beyond and become further ingrained in the life and work styles of the future workforce, while also changing interactions with one another.

New collaborative technologies are now presently giving us the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime, and on any device and will be dramatically impacting the way we work and will work in the future.  Mobility is not just about being able to work and get access to people and information from a mobile device.  It’s also about being a mobile worker which means you can work from anywhere, anytime, and on any device.  

Hierarchies are being flattened as virtually any employee can connect or communicate with anyone else at the company regardless of seniority and information is being opened up instead of being locked down.  Systems are being connected and opportunities for business process improvement, customer experience, and overall efficiency improvement abound.  

Savvy young workers will flock to the companies that best adapt to innovative technology to meet market needs. Work-life boundaries will become blurred by a reliance on daily message on social networking sites, instant messaging and video calls.

The idea of “connecting to work” is become more prevalent within organizations as they are starting to allow for more flexible work environments.

Shift of Economic Power and Talent Mobility
Technology has enabled subject matter experts to be located and connected with colleagues across the globe is now a possibility that didn’t exist and this, together with the forces of shift of economic power have resulted in an explosion of business activity in emerging markets. These have contributed to a significant increase in the need for companies to move people and source talents from all around the world.

The growing importance of emerging markets will create a significant shift in talent mobility patterns, as skilled employees from emerging markets increasingly operate across their home continent and beyond, creating greater diversity in the global talent pool.

Having access to the best talent continues to be a challenge for business leaders, in an annual global CEO survey finds out that 97%of CEOs find that having the right talent is the most critical factor for their business growth. 79% of CEOs said they would be changing their strategies for managing talents, and 55% said they would look to change their approach to global mobility including international secondments.

Organisation Culture of The Millennials
By 2020 millennials are projected to be half of the entire U.S. workforce and similarly in the developed countries.  These are people who grew up with the many social media platforms that we use today.  They are used to being connected, collaborative, and mobile.  Millennials are used to sharing with each other, communicating through social platforms, working from anywhere, having a voice, and learning about what interests them.  Most organizations today are struggling to adapt to this changing workforce as baby boomers are starting to make their way out.  This is a big factor shaping the future of work as organizations seeking to attract and retain top talent are going to need to adapt.

Diversity in The Global Talent Pool – Woman Leadership
Women represent over half of the global talent pool, it is clear that they should be at the forefront of the economic and social scene. Under-representation of women in companies, particular in management and decision making positions exist. It is crucial that the very best minds, men and women, are brought together to address the challenges that society faces.

Results from a recent leadership behavior study shows that there are five leadership behaviours that women use more frequently than men – they are people development, expectation and rewards, role model, inspiration and participative decision making. Men, however, adopt two behaviours – control and corrective action and individualistic decision making more often than women.

Those companies with more women in their management teams score more highly on their organizational performance criteria than companies with no women in senior positions. Women could be very effective as change agents in stimulating the spread of good leadership practices throughout the entire organization. Such change program can be achieved only if initiated and fully supported by top management. Companies must be in a position to offer personalized career paths in order to retain the best woman talent.


What skills are we looking for in the future talents ?

The future workforce changing behaviour is driven by diversity, woman leadership, talent mobility and a renewed definition of connecting to work.

The workplace organisational culture is being redefined by the seismic effects of technological innovation, globalization and entrepreneurship, what does this mean? What do these changes mean for leaders and businesses? And what skills are we looking for in the future talents and how are they being managed?

Although we can still expect large companies to exist in 2025 – proportionally we can expect more people to work for themselves as entrepreneurs, or with a small group of other people. Many will be employed in ecosystems that become the hinterland of companies. Like the many thousands of independent people who build the applications for the mobile technology and commerce, these people will be working on small parts of the value chain. Alternatively, they will be part of a much larger collaboration of many thousands of people brought together to experience economies of scale. Clusters of skills of these entrepreneurs are valuable, rare and difficult to imitate.

Creativity and Innovation
Creative and innovative industries will flourish and increasingly permeate life. Those people who invent, design and execute experiences will have valuable skills. This ‘creative class’ will continue to grow in size and impact in the years to come. The creative class likes to cluster with others with the same skills, they want to learn from each other and do business with each other. These clusters are energized and fuelled with innovative and creative ideas. On the other hand, companies need to keep abreast of new technologies, adopting the innovations necessary for the evolution of their internal process and the development of new products and services.

Coaching Talent Instead of Leading
The skills of coaching and caring will become ever more important over the next decade as keeping overworked employees happy and create supportive relationships to help navigate through life is the key. One of the particular focuses of these caring roles is family well being. Parents have a strong desire to do the best for their children and cherish their families. So, there will be services that care for them, educate and inspire, generally increase well being and happiness of employees.

The emergence of these prominent forces is going to create fresh challenges for HR. Organisations currently grapple with the realities of skills shortages, managing people through change and creating an effective workforce.

It is under this premise that this year's summit intends to address the following critical challenges of talent management in the future workplace:

The changing role of HR
  • How will HR drive organizational change? What will be their role?
  • What will HR look like in the future and where will they sit within organizational structures in the future?
  • Successful talent management can have a significant impact on a company’s strategy, how will talent management influence business strategies?
  • Declining birth rates is the major problem in the war for talent, how will HR leaders safeguard the talent pipeline for the long term?
  • It is likely that retirement ages will increase and people will extend their working lives, what strategies will HR implement?
  • Talent shortage is a critical problem for many organizations, they begin developing new talents across emerging countries, does HR has the necessary skills for training these multi-national talents with various culture from around the world?
  • Some organizations will enter new locations or exit some of their traditional business locations. How will they operate and resource their business in light of these talent mobility shifts? And how this will impact where and how people are managed and deployed will be critical to their success.
  • Organizations that plan to change their global mobility strategy are facing remuneration policy change, staff morale and employee engagement approach changes. These changes will represent significant challenges for HR, what new policies would HR develop that suit the new business environment?
How do the trends impact your organization?
  • Do you have an employee engagement strategy that suits a new world where significant numbers of employees may be overseas? How do you engage to retain key talents?
  • Have you determined how your strategy for growth over the next decade impacts your talent mobility strategy?
  • Have you mapped out your mobility needs to determine what you will need and where?
  • Do you have the right knowledge and data to determine where changes and investment may be necessary?
  • What kind of technology do you need to better manage the mobile community without the need to travel?
  • Organizations should pay close attention to the risks that emerge as a result of technology advancements.
  • What are your plans for managing the millennial generation?
  • What reward and incentive is appropriate to meet the needs across the generations in your organization?

  1. Getting a Job In 2025 - Lynda Gratton, The European Business Reviews 2011
  2. The Future of Work – A Journey to 2022, PWC Human Capital 2014
  3. The 5 Trends Shaping - The Future Of Work – Jacob Morgan, Forbes 2/27/2015
  4. Woman Matters 2 – Female leadership, a competitive edge for the future McKinsey 2008