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OVERVIEW OF CEE TALENT MANAGEMENT CONSULTING
WINNING THE WAR ON TALENT 2.0
In today’s tight labor market, companies are facing intense competition for talent – and are
giving increased attention to ways to retain talent rather than rely on costly replacement and
retraining. Retention of talent with critical skill sets is vital for achievement of business growth
and to build organizational competencies, which represent a competitive advantage. The loss
of needed talent is costly because of the resultant bidding up of market salaries for experienced
hires to replace them, the costs of recruiting and assimilating new talent, the lost investment in
talent development, and the hidden costs of lost productivity, lost sales opportunities, and
strained customer relationships.
Can companies win the “war for talent”? Will we be able to define and implement a retention
strategy that will give us the stable, committed, capable workforce required to achieve a
competitive business advantage? Consulting firm and research organization reports, published
books and articles, and internal company retention studies suggest that everyone is following
the same overall plan. How will this approach give a company an edge?
The supply of leadership talent is critical to any organization’s prosperity and is, therefore, a
central element of talent management. The increasing trend of growing leaders from within is
based on a dawning realization that a popular alternative for acquiring talent—poaching key
people from competitors—ultimately leads to frustration. Outstanding leaders who can ‘ramp
up’ quickly are hard to find, increasingly expensive, and even when successfully recruited,
tend to move from company to company. So the best approach, usually, is to develop
systems and processes to identify available leadership talent.
Many studies have shown that an important factor for commitment and retention is the
effectiveness of immediate management. Employees say it is an important element of the work
environment; research shows it highly correlated with commitment and retention scores, and
employees cite poor management as a key reason for leaving a company. Accordingly, there
have been many books focused on manager effectiveness. One big seller was First, Break all
the Rules, reporting on the Gallup Organization’s findings and recommendations for better
management of people.
So, what do we mean by talent management? In the broadest possible terms, it is the
strategic and tactical management of the flow of talent through an organization. Its purpose
is to assure that the supply of talent is available to align the right people with the right jobs at
the right time based on strategic business objectives. The term “talent management” is often
used to denote e-recruitment and automated applicant tracking systems. This emphasis on
staffing and recruiting is more appropriately called the talent acquisition phase of the talent
management cycle (see Figure 1), an important but preliminary step in the overall process.
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Figure 1: Talent Management Cycle
The Talent Management Cycle includes the proactive analysis and planning to assure long-
term strategic development and deployment of critical leadership and other resources
through systematic identification, assessment, planning, and developmental action.
Talent Acquisition Organisational Results
Vision, Mission, Strategy and Values
Talent Management Strategy
Results and Values Driven Leadership
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Talent Management Cycle is composed of several essential elements:
1. Talent Acquisition: Proactively recruiting world-class, diverse leadership talent and
providing on-boarding support for them to accelerate their assimilation into their roles.
2. Talent Development: Developing and executing learning and development programs,
processes & assessment tools to grow current and future leaders
3. Performance Management: The process of creating a work environment in which people
can perform to the best of their abilities.
4. Succession Planning: This is critical towards developing a leadership pipeline or assuring
near-term leadership continuity by thoughtful consideration of the availability, readiness, and
development of internal talent (including High Potentials) to assume critical “priority”
5. Organizational Climate: The flow of effective communication and the systems of
recognition and rewards are integral part of the climate which influences the talent’s
performance effecting productivity, creativity and in driving results with the right impact. The
climate is impacted by a values-driven leadership team.
Best Practice Approaches to Talent Management
From our experience in partnering with clients across diverse industries globally, we have found
the following are common "best practices" used by companies to develop executives and
leaders. These are what we hear from our clients:
1. Linked to Strategy: “Our executive development efforts are directly linked to our
organization's strategy. It's clear how these efforts help address our marketplace challenges
and/or achieve our strategic objectives”.
2. Top Management Driven: “Our top executives champion our executive development
efforts. We have a senior, line executive advisory board. Our top executives attend the
programs as participants and also teach when appropriate”.
3. Strategy & System: “We have a strategy and long-term plan for executive development.
Our programs and practices are part of a continuous system and process rather than stand-
alone, ad hoc events”.
4. Leadership Profile, Feedback and Individual Development Plans: “We use a custom-
designed [linked to our vision, values, and strategies], multi-rater leadership
instrument/inventory to provide confidential development feedback to our executives. Our
executives have individual development plans based on that feedback”.
5. Top-Down Implementation: “Whenever our executive and leadership development efforts
are aimed at organizational change, our top management attends the programs first as
participants. Then the programs are cascaded down throughout the organization”.
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6. Action-Oriented Learning: “Our executive learning experiences are action oriented.
Whenever feasible, we use some form of "action learning" where participants apply what
they are learning to real, current business problems and opportunities”.
7. Succession Management: “We have an effective succession management system that
ensures we have the right executive, in the right job, at the right time. We seldom are forced
to hire from outside the organization to fill a key executive job opening as a result of not
having a qualified internal candidate prepared”.
8. Integrated Talent Management System: “We have a well-integrated talent management
system (succession management, external and internal executive education, on-the-job
development, coaching/mentoring, etc.) rather than independent stand-alone processes”.
9. Measurement: “We set clear, measurable objectives when we create new executive
development strategies, systems, processes, and programs. Then we measure the business
impact using metrics that matter to senior management, and communicate the results
10. High Potential Identification and Development: “Our organization has an effective
process for identifying "high potential" talent and accelerating their development”.
What has been your experience? What are your ideas? We would love to hear from you.
Call or email us for a no obligation discussion on how CEE could partner with your
organisation to develop a sustainable Talent Management Strategy.
For further information contact:
CENTRE FOR EXECUTIVE EDUCATION PTE LTD
259 Tampines Central
Tel: (65) 6789 0977
Fax: (65) 6789 0911