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Talent Management Today: 12 Talent Trends And 7 Implications For HCM (Part I)


The Talent Stakes

The talent stakes continue to grow. And the talent holds a lot of the cards.

Demographic changes have triggered skill shortages in certain fields leaving organisations with problems attracting critical-skill employees. Globalisation and technology now empower talented individuals to find opportunities anywhere in the world.  Career expectations continue to evolve, with Generation Y expecting multiple employers and several discreet careers during their lifetime.  The end of ‘jobs-for-life’ encouraged employees to manage their own career, and the most talented and entrepreneurial are doing so in our web-enabled, real-time, face-paced world with ease and success.

Global organisations meanwhile need to find talent faster, knowing that the speed at which they can move talent to the right place leads to their competitive advantage. They need to keep talent longer, knowing the high costs of turnover amongst high potentials, and the timescales to replace them.

The problem is, many organisations still have poor visibility of their ‘talent’. They haven’t defined it.  They don’t explicitly measure it. They have ill-defined subjective impressions of their ‘top performers’ and ‘stars’ but they hesitate to treat them any differently preferring to take an egalitarian approach, treating all employees ‘fairly’. In short, they don’t manage their talent.

Does that matter? Isn’t all this talk about talent management just another fad that will soon pass and give way to the next?

I agree that the words may pass, the terminology and some of the gimmicks and ‘frameworks’ and ‘paradigms’.  But as competition looks set to only increase in our global economy, and as technology enables those with the will and foresight to manage talent better (either their own or that of their organization), I believe that the management of talent will increasingly be a key differentiator between organizational success and failure.

Twelve Talent Trends

It’s a significant investment decision to invest in managing talent to the optimum.  Like any other such decision, a return on investment needs to be demonstrated.  Any amongst those organisations who have decided to make this investment, certain key trends are noticeable:

  1. Senior Sponsorship
    The CEO and Executive Team include talent amongst their top priorities. They are not sponsors in name only, but have regular involvement and insight into talent metrics.
  2. Accountability
    Line managers and executives are held accountable for selecting, and growing talent.  This is no longer an HR KPI, but has moved to those who have day to day responsibility.
  3. Employees
    This is not paternalism. Employees share responsibility for forging their own development and career paths, harnessing tools & support from the organization.
  4. Talent Sharing
    Talent is seen as a shared asset of the entire organization, not to be hoarded or exploited for the benefit of one function or ‘silo’. Talent production and growth is rewarded, while talent hoarding is penalized.
  5. Pipeline Approach
    Performance and potential are increasingly differentiated, with a focus on readiness for the next move rather than a static assessment of performance in the current role
  6. Long Term
    Talent strategies move from being simply position replacement to being long term projected needs, often including management of career pools of critical skilled employees
  7. Career Mobility
    Increasingly fluid and mobile career paths become the norm, with facilitation of lateral, cross-functional, cross-border moves, in order to be ready for promotional opportunities
  8. Transparency
    The opaque talent practices of the past are replacement by refreshing transparency, with an openness to discuss how talent is defined, measured, rewarded and managed
  9. Simplicity
    Complexity has been replaced by fewer, simple processes. Making the tools realistic for line managers and executives to use in their every day work lives is a key to success.
  10. Differentiated
    These organisations are comfortable to differentiate between different talent groups, being explicit about the rationale, the expected outcomes, and the potential to move between groups
  11. Consistency
    Where different business units used to have freedom to develop their own talent tools, this led to a lack of visibility across the organization, hampering moves, development and pooling of resources. Increasingly consistent frameworks and metrics are applied across entire organisations who are serious about maximizing their talent.
  12. Discipline and Rigour
    Using the simple tools, with top executive sponsorship, talent management moves from being a ‘once in a year’ review meeting, to an everyday responsibility included in metrics, agendas and conversations throughout the year.

In the next article we will see how technology can streamline these processes of change in talent management and provide visibility to the strategic HR function.

Betsy Kolkea

En la actualidad, Betsy Kolkea trabaja como consultora de recursos humanos en Meta4. Betsy cuenta con más de 20 años de experiencia en la gestión internacional de RRHH y en el área de tecnología aplicada a la gestión del talento. Ha desarrollado su carrera profesional en el ámbito de los recursos humanos tanto en compañías privadas como en organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro, tales como World Vision International, United Mission to Nepal, Pecaso, Tate & Lyle y Conoco. Con un Máster en International Human Resources por la Universidad de Cranfield, Betsy está particularmente interesada en la globalización de las empresas y más concretamente en el papel crítico que juegan las personas para el éxito organizacional. Durante su etapa liderando diferentes equipos de Recursos Humanos , Betsy se hizo consciente del papel fundamental que ocupa la tecnología como habilitador para gestionar a las personas de forma eficiente. Ha participado en la puesta en marcha de diferentes soluciones de Recursos Humanos desde varias perspectivas, tanto como cliente como de consultor.

Currently working as an HR Consultant with Meta4, Betsy has over twenty years’ experience in international HR and HR technology. Her career spans both commercial and not for profit organisations, having held HR positions in World Vision International, United Mission to Nepal, Pecaso (SAP HR Consultancy), Tate & Lyle, and Conoco. With a Masters from Cranfield University in International Human Resources, Betsy is particularly interested in the globalisation of organisations and specifically how critical people management is to organisational success. During her time in HR team leadership roles, Betsy was particularly aware of the importance of HR technology as an enabler for effective people management. She has been involved in implementing both Peoplenet and SAP HR, both from a customer perspective and as a consulting implementation partner.

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