Aon CEO Human Capital Solutions Michael Burke. Source: Aon

Aon CEO Human Capital Solutions Michael Burke. Source: Aon

Aon’s Human Capital Solutions CEO on finding the right talent

COMPANIES that are serious about their digital transformation have realized that they need access to sufficient technology talent irrespective of the industry they belong to.

However, many recruiters tend to believe that there’s a lack of skilled technology talent in the market — citing this as one of the biggest hurdles to climbing the (quickly) digital maturity curve for most organizations.

Aon Human Capital Solutions CEO Michael Burke, however, believes that’s not entirely true. Burke told Tech Wire Asia that the challenge is less about finding tech talent, it’s about finding the right talent.

“Organizations need to focus on finding the right person for the job. It’s not about finding someone who can code, anymore, it’s about finding people who can marry their technology skillsets with business knowledge to deliver on projects.

“Businesses are starting to recognize the importance of such talent.”

Despite acknowledging the fact that the right talent is hard to find, Burke doesn’t really believe that big technology companies are taking away all the technology talent.

“These companies are generally younger, have less legacy technology challenges.

“Also, they really have a monomaniacal focus on the customer — and they’ve applied that throughout the organization, from top to bottom, to do things more quickly and easily.

“Those big technology companies have then taken the learnings from how they win with customers and applied it to the employee experience. It’s extremely hard for traditional companies to compete with that.”

Burke emphasized that traditional companies often realize that trying to attract the talent that’s right for their organizations might not be the right way to drive their digital transformation agenda forward.

People who are fit for technology giants must have an appetite for a fast-paced, agile ecosystem where changes and feedback are both quick and driven by customer needs — which is something traditional organizations might not be able to offer.

Conversely, technology talent that fits in well into traditional organizations needs to be able to help business executives understand how it helps them, manage the interests and demands from internal stakeholders, and deliver on expectations — that aren’t always driven by customer needs.

“Therefore, what we want to avoid is a culture or an expectation mismatch,” said Burke.

Given his role, Burke often interacts with business leaders, and one thing that the Aon Human Capital Solutions CEO is happy to report back is that traditional companies are starting to think holistically about talent.

“Traditionally, we’ve had a certain person looking after scouting staff, another looking after rewards, and yet another after performance — that’s all merging into one umbrella at the strategic level.

“In fact, organizations are also thinking harder about how they evaluate candidates and gauge potential rather than simply looking at professional credentials, experience, or educational qualifications.

“You know there’s positive change brewing when you see traditional companies exploring advanced assessment tools that see candidates for their potential beyond just their CV.”

At the end of the day, Burke urged companies to focus on finding the right technology talent to grow and support their business rather than just looking for talent that can code.