Are you taking a strategic approach to Talent Management?
For organisations to gain competitive advantage, they need to develop a strategic approach to talent management that suits their business and gets the best from their people. The value of a tailored, organisation-wide talent management strategy is that it provides a focus for investment in human capital and places the subject high on the corporate agenda. It can also contribute to other strategic objects including:
• building a high performance workplace
• encouraging a learning organisation
• adding value to the ‘employer of choice’ and branding agenda
• contributing to diversity management
Wide variations exist in how the term ‘talent’ is defined across differing sectors, and organisations may prefer to adopt their own interpretations rather than accepting universal or prescribed definitions.
Talent consists of those individuals who can make a difference to organisational performance either through their immediate contribution or, in the longer-term, by demonstrating the highest levels of potential.
Talent management is the systematic attraction, identification, development, engagement, retention and deployment of those individuals who are of particular value to an organisation, either in view of their ‘high potential’ for the future or because they are fulfilling business/operation-critical roles.
These interpretations underline the importance of recognising that it’s not sufficient simply to attract individuals with high potential. Developing, managing and retaining those individuals as part of a planned strategy for talent is equally important, as well as adopting systems to measure the return on this investment.
Many organisations are also now broadening their definitions, looking at the ‘talents’ of all their staff and working on ways to develop their strengths. At its broadest, then, the term ‘talent’ may be used to encompass the entire workforce of an organisation.
According to the CIPD’s 2015 Learning and development survey, nearly three fifths of employers deploy talent management in their organisations. Talent management programmes may include a range of activities such as formal and informal leadership coaching, networking events and board-level and client exposure.
The Business case for Talent Management
The business case for taking a strategic approach to talent management is strong and persuasive. CEOs as well as HR directors are now likely to number talent management among their key priorities. Research demonstrates that the forces driving the increased interest in talent encompass a potent mix of external supply issues and internal organisational demands such as increasingly competitive global markets, skills shortages, demographic trends and corporate governance and business strategy.
The concept of talent management has in recent years evolved into a common and essential management practice and what was once solely associated with recruitment now covers a multitude of areas including organisational capability, individual development, performance enhancement, workforce planning and succession planning.
In research among organisations that operate distinct talent management programmes (or pools) for key high-level or high-potential staff, focussed on participants’ experiences and perceptions of being ‘talent-managed’. The findings, reported in “The talent perspective: what does it feel like to be talent-managed?“, clearly illustrate the positive results that can be achieved by talent programmes, with a large majority of participants agreeing that membership of such programmes has positively impacted on their engagement at work.
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