For us to realize just how important the concept of “talent” is today, it’s enough to do a simple Google search to find out that this is a recurrent subject in umpteen blogs, articles, HR forums and highly topical in all areas and levels of organizations.
Talent search, promotion, development and retention have thus become critical, marking the difference between companies today. Nevertheless at this junction, it is worth stopping to make some preliminary reflections.
Have we ever found ourselves in a situation where we receive notification of resignation from a key employee? First of all to start managing talent, we should ask ourselves whether we are able to identify and locate talent in time within our organization.
Moreover we should bear in mind that each organization, each business model or each culture has their own talent management needs; in fact we would find countless models.
Lastly and a critical factor, we should bear in mind that having a repository where we store information on which employees provide us with the most talent will be quite useless if we do not possess the ability to implement actions to enhance and develop talent within the company.
After giving thought to these reflections, we can tackle the following issues: What is talent review? And above all, is my company ready for this review process?
If we imagine the Maslow pyramid of human needs and we pass these to an HR department’s needs, we get a pyramid with 6 levels. Then we will revise each level to see how we can build this pyramid starting from the foundation and also find out if our organization is at the right point for undertaking this talent review. Care to join us?
Basic organizational needs
This first level is the foundation upon which the HR policies of a company are built. Here we tackle issues like: How many employees do I have? What positions have been assigned to them? Which departments are they in? Who is their manager? If we do not get an answer to these questions put forward, it will be very difficult to develop talent in our organization.
Advanced organizational needs
At the second level we will go deeper into the more advanced organizational needs. Here I want to find out more about my employees and their CV profiles. In connection with this, we will discover job details: the skills and responsibilities required for a specific task. At this level we will also define what vacancies I have to cover in my organization and hence what my recruitment needs are. When an employee leaves, how does this information come to me so I can know what CV profile I must search for among the candidates I have in my system?
At this level I already possess the ability to measure performance among my employees in order to plan and execute their training plan. Furthermore, thanks to the job description and the CV profile obtained in the previous phase, I can analyze possible mismatches between the employee’s skills and the job position held and identify “knowledge gaps” in order to cover these with the right training. Once this point is reached, talent analysis can begin.
Here we can move on to identify employees with high potential and develop specific programmes to develop their talents and turn them into future leaders of the company. By using analytics as well, I am going to be able to predict trends in talent within my organization. For example, we can tell if certain leaders further strengthen the development of their teams within their departments or we can detect which jobs are most likely to boost individual employee development.
At this fifth level we take a big leap forward. Our employee recognition policies are known publicly throughout the organization, so employees will make an effort to achieve these. Recognition in the form of promotions, salary increases, and others—all these options will make us improve the ability to retain the employees within the company we are most interested in.
Finishing and already located at the top of this pyramid, this ultimate level reflects the degree of satisfaction employees have with their work. Innovative organizations with happy employees are those whose employees possess a high degree of commitment and are willing to work overtime or go beyond their responsibilities. At this level problems are resolved smoothly without conflict; the needs for supervising work are minimized. We can say this is the "El Dorado" we all seek in an organization.
Finally to conclude, we should ask one last question, why is talent review necessary?
- It is the cornerstone upon which we will support ourselves for developing the talent within our employees and our organization.
- It requires prior analysis of the performance and potential of our employees.
- It is the point of departure for implementing specific professional development policies for our employees.