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At the Core of Human Resources & Talent Trends

Transforming semiconductor HR challenges into opportunities

Many semiconductor companies are looking towards new markets for growth; new markets that may require nontraditional business models and talent needs. As a result, there is tremendous pressure on the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) to ensure the right HR strategies and talent competencies are in place to transition the old business, fulfill new talent requirements and grow the leadership bench; all with fewer dollars as belts tighten.

Explore how CHROs that can meet the competency and leadership requirements of an evolving market — all while driving efficiency and broader business capability — will position their companies for success in the new market environment.

Meet our subject matter experts

Eileen Fernandes
Technology, Media & Telecommunications
Human Capital Leader
Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Scott Angel
Semiconductor Practice Leader
Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP


Scott Angel: The HR and Talent landscape within semiconductor companies today is changing; and changing quickly. A number of macro forces are driving these changes and are influencing many semiconductor companies to look towards new markets for growth; new markets that may require untraditional business models and talent competencies.

How can HR leaders position their companies to succeed in this changing environment?

Eileen Fernandes:

Combat organizational acceleration
It’s no surprise that the semiconductor industry has been characterized by evolving markets, rapidly changing technology, regulation and a long history of mergers and acquisitions.

The continuous cycle of change and industry evolution creates a great deal of organizational strain to achieve future business benefits.

In addition, the need to integrate company cultures and operational processes has made managing change effectively and efficiently very important.

To combat this trend of "organizational acceleration," semiconductor HR leaders should consider a portfolio approach to talent management, allowing for greater flexibility to address the full spectrum of needs that develop as market dynamics change.

Needs such as early horizon programs for legacy business managers and leaders whose business units are shrinking. 

And on the other hand, needs such as a structure to address the competitive compensation requirements of the talent whose skill sets are now in demand. By adopting a portfolio-style approach to managing talent, HR leaders can better address varied change management needs now and as well as position their HR model to be more flexible in the future.

Win the talent (development) war
Large investments in new technology, products and applications can make the difference between achieving cutting edge margins or huge losses in an industry like semiconductor. This innovation imperative creates enormous "right skills at the right time" pressure.

But to overcome this pressure, it isn’t just a matter increasing recruiting efforts. To survive in this war for talent, companies should take a harder look at the employees already on their payroll, concentrating more on developing talent internally.

Effective HR leaders will be those who transform existing talent competencies to meet the needs of the business now and in the future.

Many companies have spent decades trying to identify and clone the mythical "perfect leader." However, semiconductor organizations today face an unprecedented variety of challenges; globalization, unpredictable business environments and disruptive innovation. Each unique challenge requires a unique kind of leader.

Instead of searching for the perfect single leader, semiconductor leaders should instead consider a pool of leaders with diverse skills, personalities, experiences and capabilities.

To drive their organizations forward, chief human resource officers should look for leaders who are flexible, adaptable, creative and even have the courage to take risks — these are skills necessary to challenge the status-quo and innovate faster than the competition.

Transforming HR to meet new business priorities
As the focus on the bottom line increases, chief HR officers must remain focused on making HR functions more efficient and effective.

However, HR capabilities shouldn’t simply support the business, but should also enable broader business strategy. To balance efficiency with capability — and scalability — chief HR officers should make thoughtful choices when considering tough questions:

  • Can new enabling technologies such as cloud-based HR solutions be leveraged to provide chief HR officers with the ability to move from historical reporting to developing predictive capabilities?
  • What non-core activities can be supported through shared services to reduce costs?
  • Are HR transformation investments focused on designing scalable HR and talent systems that can work across geographic boundaries and support different business models?

This is a tough challenge. But as HR transformation programs are considered, successful chief HR officers will balance broader SG&A cost concerns with the need to impact business initiatives outside of simply HR.

Scott Angel: This is a time of not only tremendous change, but also of tremendous opportunity. CHROs that adapt HR and talent strategies to meet the competency and leadership requirements of an evolving market — all while driving efficiency and broader business 
capability — will position their companies for success in the new market environment.

Related links

  • At the core
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  • Rising tide
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