Nudging Our Way Toward a Full-Talent Workforce in 2016

In "Signs of a Truce in the Mommy Wars," Claire Cain Miller surfaced some fascinating new research that showed that the perception of men's and women's work has evened out, with a majority of working couples determining who works outside the home based on income, not gender.

The research showed 92 percent of Americans support working mothers in many situations, and 77 percent also support fathers as the stay-at-home parent. People are more likely to favor single mothers working than married mothers. People are also less likely to support both parents working when their families don't need the extra income.

What's also true is that millennials -- and their notoriously fluid views of gender -- are now the dominant participants in the workforce. According to research by the Pew Research Center, more than one-in-three American workers today are millennials, and in the first quarter of 2015, millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce.

So how do we fast forward a Fortune 1000 hiring system that still has women holding 14.2% of senior management jobs compared to men and earning 78 cents to every man's one dollar?

By nudging our way.

If 2015 was the year the Fortune 1000 got real about unconscious bias with headline grabbing reports touting 1% increases in the number of women and people of color in management, despite millions of dollars spent on training, than 2016 will be the year that millions of small decisions, enabled by technology will see the outcome begin to match the intention.

Just as the so-called "nudge team" has delivered extraordinary returns for government with technology enabling small choices that save money, improve service and conserve resources, so, too, will new decision-making technology empower hiring managers to keep the focus on talent in the workplace.

We've heard from hiring managers across the Fortune 1000 that what's needed is a systematic and scalable remaking of the hiring process. A system that dynamically keeps pace with seismic changes in talent acquisition, builds on hiring managers' years of experience and talent with decision-making technology that's aligned across the enterprise with a renewed focus on talent.

From Bombay, to Topeka to Silicon Valley, hiring managers empowered by decision-making software, will make millions of small decisions representing the leap ahead required to help the Fortune 1000 catch up to today's vision of a full talent activation workforce. It is only through software - systems that can interact constantly, and in real-time, with hiring managers to help them make the most rational, reasonable decisions - that we will be able to match the talent of our organizations with the talent pools that are available to us.