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With digitalization a top priority for nearly 90 percent of corporate leaders and with organizations globally expected to spend close to $1.7 trillion on digital transformation in 2019, human resources leaders have a wealth of opportunities to bring digital talent into an organization. Gartner’s Pulse on the Future of Work report reveals that the top three demands for chief human resource officers (CHROs) will be to determine whether to build talent internally or attract it from outside the organization, think beyond digital talent as the current market views it in order to strategically develop talent for the future of innovation, and be a driver of innovation across the organization. Most HR leaders want to invest in current talent for forthcoming digital opportunities, according to the survey, which also found most are developing new leadership programs focused on digital management. However, 74 percent of leaders surveyed also say they want to recruit employees with specialized technical skills, such as coding or data analytics, from outside their company. CHROs also need to be aware that the digital labor market is experiencing a bit of turbulence as skill requirements change and the demand for digital talent outstrips supply and the supply available commands high salaries. CEOs are looking for CHROs to drive innovation across the business, capitalizing on growth opportunities fueled by technological improvements such as advanced data analytics and augmented reality. CHROs are no longer overseers of talent and rewards. Innovative solutions need to do more than improve existing business, they must be able to disrupt and create new opportunities. The most effective innovation strategies are those that take a “network innovation” approach, which involves building and drawing on a network of expertise – including employees and leaders at all levels – to innovate at scale, according to Gartner’s Driving Network Innovation: Talent Strategies for the Digital Age. CHROs need to engage employees not just in filtering, but generating ideas; equip leaders for shared, not individual, risk taking; and give employees more guidance, not more access, for using innovation networks.

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