Talent Management: Old Wine, New Bottles, Same Problems Professor Jeff Gold HRD and Leadership Research Unit
We..believe that the attraction and retention of talent is even more important in the current economic environment than it has been at any time in the past.’ Corporate HR Leader, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services Group Rather than a ‘war for talent’ there currently seems to be a ‘war on talent’. CIPD 2009 ‘ The marketing of a consistent employer promise is more important now than ever….our goal is to make Kelloggs as famous for our employment story as we are for our products’ Cath Bailey, Kelloggs in People Management 12 March 2009 Some Recent Comments
What are organisations doing?
focusing on engaging, motivating, retaining and fully using the skills of their existing workforce.
• recruit talent discarded by competitors.
• Greater scrutiny is being placed on talent management systems and processes –return on investment perspective and more robust and transparent criteria for the selection and development of high-performing individuals
• Uncertain times have led to more honest and frequent communications between managers and employees
• Tighter margins are leading to greater scrutiny around pay and reward, and more creative approaches to non-financial rewards – small things that can have a big impact.
Source: CIPD 2009
The War for Talent ( based on Martin & Hetrick, 2006; Economist, Oct 7 th , 2006) Importance of Talent in knowledge-based economies/organizations Role of Population changes , international labour markets and HR supply chains The rise of diverse careers, work-life balance Employee loyalty and trust fading (CIPD, 2006) Talent drives reputations and is attracted by reputations
Employer Branding and Segmentation The brand people work for (Barrow and Mosley, 2005; Martin 2007) The brand people purchase Customer Brand Proposition CORE PROPOSITION Employer Brand Proposition Benefits Differentiators Reasons to believe Common focal point Mission, values and character Benefits Differentiators Reasons to believe Shaping a positive brand experience to capture and retain customers, and drive brand advocacy Ensuring brand integrity Shaping a positive brand experience to attract and retain talent, and drive brand advocacy
What is Talent Management?
*The integrated set of processes, programmes and technologies designed to develop, deploy and connect key talent and critical skill sets to drive business priorities (Sistonen 2005)
*The identification, development, engagement/ retention and deployment of those employees who are particularly valuable to an organization, either because they are ‘high-potential’ or because they are fulfilling business-critical roles (CIPD 2007)
The TM Cycle Evaluate Manage – deploy/retain/engage Attract Develop
Some metaphors/ concepts
* Talent Value Chain
Talent Pools and Pipeline Source: CIPD 2007
valuable, rare, and hard-to-imitate
In-depth and concise assessment of key elements of organisation culture and job structure, followed by matching with candidates who have specific backgrounds, work experiences, and personal qualities crucial in talent identification.
Each company encouraged to ‘understand the specific talent profile that is right for it’ (Michaels, et al, 2001, p. xii).
‘‘ TM requires HR professionals and their clients to understand how they define talent, who they regard as ‘the talented’ and what their typical background might be’’ (p. 2).
Talent Definition Exercise
Identify three members of your team (at work)
Considering their ‘talent’, two of the three have something in common, which makes them different from the 3 rd …..what is it?
How does the third differ by contrast
Drivers of TM
*Shift from industrial to information age.
*Intensifying global demand for high-calibre talent, esp. managerial/ professional
*Growing propensity to switch companies, careers
*Demographic changes: eg ageing workforce
*Marketing Theory: segmentation & branding
(Michaels et al 2001 : The War for talent)
Talent: Inclusive or Exclusive?
* Microsoft UK focuses attention on its A list, top 10 per cent of performers, regardless of role and level.
* Six Continents targets executives below board level and high potential individuals, as the two cadres likely to provide their leaders of tomorrow.
What is Talent?
A code for the most effective leaders and managers at all levels who can help a company fulfil its aspirations and drive its performance, managerial talent is some combination of a sharp strategic mind, leadership ability, emotional maturity, communications skills, the ability to attract and inspire other talented people, entrepreneurial instincts, functional skills, and the ability to deliver results’ (Michaels, et al, 2001, p. xiii) .
What is Talent? 2
* Williams (2000: 35) describes talent as those people who do one or the other of the following:
‘ Regularly demonstrate exceptional ability and achievement either over a range of activities and situations, or within a specialised and narrow field of expertise; consistently indicate high competence in areas of activity that strongly suggest transferable, comparable ability in situations where they have yet to be tested and proved to be highly effective, i.e. potential’.
What is Talent? 3
* ‘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’ CIPD (2007)
‘ superkeepers’, based on classification of employees according to their actual and/or potential for adding value to the organisation:
‘ Superkeepers are a very small group of individuals, who have demonstrated superior accomplishments, have inspired others to attain superior accomplishments, and who embody the core competencies and values of the organisation; their loss or absence severely retards organisation growth because of their disproportionately powerful impact on current and future organisation performance’ (Berger 2004)
Perspectives on Talent
(1) Exclusive perspective : viewing key people with high performance and potential as ‘talents’ (people-related understanding);
(2) Exclusive perspective: viewing right people in key positions as talents (position-related understanding);
(3) Inclusive perspective: viewing everyone’ or communities/netwworks as ‘talent
Typology of TM
McKinsey: Narrow talent pool
Huselid: Key Roles, matching
Wide View of Talent Pool
Collective: Social Capital (Iles & Preece)
Typology of approaches Inclusive Exclusive Individual Collective Everyone Selected Elite Networks/Communities Key positions/Key groups
CIPD Survey: A Paradox?
51% of respondents reported doing talent management although only 20% had a formal definition
Developing high potentials (67%) and senior managers (62%) are main targets
In-house development, coaching and succession planning are main activities.
Strong belief that well designed talent management can have a major impact on organizations (92%)
66% believed that the exclusive focus had strong de-motivating effects on those not chosen ; only 29% believed that talent management should have an exclusive focus
‘ Solid citizens’
Talent Value Chain: Exclusive Version (Schuster, 2005)
Inclusive Perspective 1
Bones (cited in Warren, 2006: 25): ‘an inclusive talent management strategy is a competitive necessity’.
Buckingham and Vosburgh (2001: 17-18):
‘ The talent is inherent in each person…HR’ s most basic challenge is to help one particular person increase his or her performance; to be successful in the future we must restore our focus on the unique talents of each individual employee, and on the right way to transform these talents into lasting performance ’.
Inclusive Perspective 2
Stainton (2005): fundamental debate regarding whether TM should take inclusive or exclusive perspective.
TM may adopt a broader approach by recognizing everyone as having capability and potential to display talent; therefore, everyone can achieve opportunities to be considered and developed, and everybody basically can go through the same talent identification process.
Opportunities are essential, because talent requires an opportunity to be displayed.
Employees may have abilities, but they may not be given the opportunity to display them in the workplace.
It is critical to provide continuous opportunities for everyone to learn, to grow, and to strive to fulfil one’s potential (Walker, 2002).
The Nine Box Model Performance Potential Not yet full Performance Full Performance Exceptional Performance Mastery Growth Turn Bread & Butter In the wrong Job? Talented But! Talented & Troublesome or New? Valued Contributors Serious High Flyers Future High Potentials Seasoned Professionals Serious Possibilities Do the same but better Bigger, same level soon Bigger, next level 3-5 years time
2. New Dashboard
Potential Development Options Performance Potential Not yet full Performance Full Performance Exceptional Performance Mastery Growth Turn Bread & Butter In the wrong Job? Talented But! Talented & Troublesome or New? Valued Contributors Serious High Flyers Future High Potentials Seasoned Professionals Serious Possibilities Move into next role Secondment to gain breadth Agree retention tactics, use to coach External coaching or mentoring Training & Development Provide stretch Monitoring & coaching Short term objectives Exit – Role/ Arena
Dialogue on talent of staff
Sense-making if used well and meanings are clear
Unreliable – depend on interpretations
Little understanding of high potentials
Meanings are not clear
*Talent matters, but TM matters more?
*Talent requires opportunity & direction
*Organisation & management important: teams vs groups
* Varied responses of different business units where culture, history and current imperatives mediate attitudes towards TM
*Leadership, structure, culture important – line managers!!
* Another performance and appraisal process which provided a totem of respectability
*Human capital & Social Capital Development
*Links with diversity/EO?
Focus solely on Individual Talent/Human Capital
Neglect major repairs to organization as a whole
Arrogance and elitism
Talent not fixed over time
Focus on hiring outsiders at expense of developing insiders
Talented people recruit in own image, restricting what counts as talent
Focus on individual leadership, hero worship and executive pay – creates narcissism, over-reliance on financial incentives and ruthlessness
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