The Myth of Talent Management
Now widely considered one of the biggest competitor differentiators, the term ‘talent management’, which has been knocking around since the 90’s, continues to be heavily debated amongst HR and resourcing professionals with the employment of the wrong people, or too few people, being both costly and high risk. Are we still unable to provide the answers to a successful succession plan, nurture a healthy talent pool or even learn to adapt our talent management programme to our organisations changing needs?
It is now widely accepted that a company needs to be responsible for the development of succession plans and leadership programmes to cultivate its employees. With the need to differentiate between ‘the skill’ and ‘the will’ amongst home grown talent, many management techniques and succession programmes need to incorporate a variety of techniques to drive the right people in the company to the top. Despite the considerable financial risks of investing in employees when they could then simply up and leave, advocates such as Sir Richard Branson promote that a company should ‘train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to’.
However, although this approach has seen a lot of universal buy-in, succession planning on a whole has not been an overriding success often due to a lack of resources in the development process and to much focus on planning. Upon experiencing the departure of a key employee, many managers will become disheartened by the plan and will begin to neglect the scheme altogether. Many other companies will fail to tap in to the businesses’ own talent pool and, without considering a strategic approach, will replace from the external market before exploring internal resources.
When exploring the external market, we see that the manner in which we work and recruit has evolved ever more purposely over the last decade and there seems little sign of developments decelerating. Social media platforms, most notably LinkedIn, are responsible for offering a global talent pool whereby modern careers are no longer drawn by national boundaries and the realisation that the best talent for your company may not be on your doorstop is beginning to dawn.
What this means for your average company is that talent pooling needs to be in a state of constant flux and businesses must continue to evolve and strive to be flexible. It’s clear that to be successful, talent management must become an integrated business strategy, incorporated fully into the organisation and all of its employees. To achieve this, significant resource must be invested and ideally a team dedicated to its management.
With a continuous flow of talent management suggestions filling up our inboxes is it time that we ditched the ‘off the shelf’ suggestions and realised that only a bespoke solution is going to address our individual needs? Our latest roundtable ‘The Myth of Talent Management: do organisations really know how to manage talent?’ will be addressing all of these issues and more. Keep an eye out for the white paper summary to follow shortly where you’ll find the thoughts and ideas of industry leaders.
Posted on: Tuesday 23rd Sep 2014