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Monica Pool Knox is the Head of Global Talent Management at Microsoft Enterprises.  She started with GTE (which would later become Verizon) and since then she has worked at several large companies including Pepsico, Sony, Twitter and she is now at Microsoft.

Microsoft has 120,000 full time employees in 109 countries. But they also have a contingent workforce which is larger than their full time workforce! Contingent workers are doing everything that full time workers are doing, however, they allow for flexibility for the company. They may move to another part of the company or leave altogether once the assignment is completed. Microsoft also has a third classification of workers – full time employees that can be redeployed to another part of the company.

This often meets the needs of both the employee and company. “Talent in the workplace – people want different experiences, different skills,”  Pool Knox says. People used to look at a company’s financial records but now things have changed and the mission and purpose is what is really important. If the culture isn’t something people want, they may opt to do something different.

The office is now ‘whereever you are’. The mentality of blending work and family and having harmony and integration is now where people’s focus is at. This requires companies to be flexible when they are looking for the top talent to attract and retain. This is a big shift from years ago.

Pool Knox says that she is worried that technology moves faster than we do, so are we going to have to have the new skills that are needed in the market. We need to find new talent to support those emerging skill needs. Microsoft goes to the traditional places – colleges, looking at talent pools in San Francisco and Boston and so on but they are also finding new opportunities in untapped places – unexpected places.

Pool Knox gives advice to leaders thinking about the changing nature of talent. She says managers need to think about how they are getting work done. Think about how teams form to get things done – be open to a variety of possibilities. Encourage diverse teams – diverse in terms of education, backgrounds, and so on and then how to leverage those members to accomplish the objectives.

And her advice to individuals is to get as much experience as possible to add to your tool box – this will make evolving easier. Consider learning a second or third language. It will help you not only in the workplace but with colleagues as well. Also, reach out to people via LinkedIn or other networks – people that might have new ideas and then connect with them.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Why it is critical to evolve as an employee
  • New ways people are learning
  • The role of a growth mindset in business
  • How Microsoft views the gig economy and contingent workers
  • How the talent landscape and the employee/employer relationship has changed over the past decade
Direct download: monica20renee20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:25pm PDT