Talent Management — Keep it Simple…

I recently surveyed about 35 chief executives (CEO & COO), who nearly unanimously considered Talent Management, as I describe it below, as their number one priority on a go-forward basis.

Think about it: Not market share, pricing demands, or even concerns over recent burdensome legislation. Talent Management.

So, no real news there, right? After all, unless you’ve been living on Pluto (I like picking on the new “non”-planet), we’ve only read about this “talent management” thing for about 2-3 years, in every conceivable business publication.

No new news… Big deal, eh?

Actually, it is a big deal, because I’m not at all certain we actually get it yet. In other words, if — just for the sake of argument — we agree that talent management is so all-fired important, what exactly are we doing about it? Have we got the execution figured out? If we do, I haven’t seen it.

Talent Management is simple. I know I say that a lot, about a lot of things, but really… it’s simple. It takes 3 things:

1. Recruitment. This, of course, involves determining competencies and qualifications, effective sourcing, and successful hiring/employment.

2. Development. If we find an “A” player, let’s keep him or her and use them in the role they can best help the organization succeed. That may or may not be what they do today. And don’t forget about future skill development (management, leadership, executive). Important.

3. Retention. Damn… it seems like it costs a small fortune to recruit and hire solid talent today — lots of resources come to bear on a single focus. It’s a shame that we don’t continue some of that effort to purposefull retain; retention includes a modicum of motivation, which makes these employees even more productive. Effective retention, then, becomes a “two-fer;” the same efforts that effectively retain also tend to motivate good performers to higher levels of performance and productivity. A bargain at twice the price.

So, talent management is an all-hands-on-deck exercise. To be effective, we need solid human resources guidance and resource management, general management’s sincere participation, and direct involvement by the CEO and other senior-most leaders.

It’s just too important to be entrusted to anything less.


Kevin Berchelmann

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