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Benefits of Talent Management Talent management can be a discipline as big as the HR function itself or a small bunch of initiatives aimed

at people and organization development. Different organizations utilize talent management for their benefits. This is as per the size of the organization and their belief in the practice. It could just include a simple interview of all employees conducted yearly, discussing their strengths and developmental needs. This could be utilized for mapping people against the future initiatives of the company and for succession planning. There are more benefits that are wide ranged than the ones discussed above. The benefits are:
Right Person in the right Job: Through a proper ascertainment of people skills and strengths, people

decisions gain a strategic agenda. The skill or competency mapping allows you to take stock of skill inventories lying with the organization. This is especially important both from the perspective of the organization as well as the employee because the right person is deployed in the right position and employee productivity is increased. Also since there is a better alignment between an individuals interests and his job profile the job satisfaction is increased. Retaining the top talent: Despite changes in the global economy, attrition remains a major concern of organizations. Retaining top talent is important to leadership and growth in the marketplace. Organisations that fail to retain their top talent are at the risk of losing out to competitors. The focus is now on charting employee retention programs and strategies to recruit, develop, retain and engage quality people. Employee growth in a career has to be taken care of, while succession planning is being performed those who are on the radar need to be kept in loop so that they know their performance is being rewarded. Better Hiring: The quality of an organization is the quality of workforce it possesses. The best way to have talent at the top is have talent at the bottom. No wonder then talent management programs and trainings, hiring assessments have become an integral aspect of HR processes nowadays. Understanding Employees Better: Employee assessments give deep insights to the management about their employees. Their development needs, career aspirations, strengths and weaknesses, abilities, likes and dislikes. It is easier therefore to determine what motivates whom and this helps a lot Job enrichment process. Better professional development decisions: When an organization gets to know who its high potential is, it becomes easier to invest in their professional development. Since development calls for investment decisions towards learning, training and development of the individual either for growth, succession planning, performance management etc, an organization remains bothered where to make this investment and talent management just make this easier for them.

Apart from this having a strong talent management culture also determines how organization rate their organizations as work places. In addition if employees are positive about the talent management practices of the organization, they are more likely to have confidence in the future of their organization. The resultant is a workforce that is more committed and engaged determined to outperform their competitors and ensure a leadership position in the market for their organization. Talent Management - Opportunities and Challenges There is no dearth of professionals but there is an acute shortage of talented professionals globally. Every year bschools globally churn out management professionals in huge numbers but how many of are actually employable remains questionable! This is true for other professions also. The scenario is worse even in developing economies of south East Asia. Countries like U.S and many European countries have their own set of problems. The problem is of aging populations resulting in talent gaps at the top. The developing countries of south East Asia are a young population but quality of education system as a whole breeds a lot of talent problems. They possess plenty of laborers - skilled and unskilled and a huge man force of educated unemployable professionals. These are the opportunities and challenges that the talent management in organizations has to face today - dealing with demographic talent problems.

Now if we discuss the problem in the global context, its the demographics that needs to be taken care of primarily and when we discuss the same in a local context the problem becomes a bit simpler and easier to tackle. Nonetheless global or local at the grass roots level talent management has to address similar concerns more or less. It faces the following opportunities and challenges:
Recruiting talent Training and Developing talent Retaining talent Developing Leadership talent Creating talented ethical culture

1. Recruiting Talent The recent economic downturn saw job cuts globally. Those who were most important to organizations in their understanding were retained, other were sacked. Similarly huge shuffles happened at the top leadership positions. They were seen as crisis managers unlike those who were deemed responsible for throwing organizations into troubled waters. It is the jurisdiction of talent management to get such people on onboard, who are enterprising but ensure that an organization does not suffer for the same. 2. Training and Developing Talent The downturn also opened the eyes of organizations to newer models of employment - part time or temporary workers. This is a new challenge to talent management, training and developing people who work on a contractual or project basis. Whats more big a challenge is increasing the stake of these people in their work. 3. Retaining Talent While organizations focus on reducing employee overheads and sacking those who are unessential in the shorter run, it also spreads a wave of de motivation among those who are retained. An uncertainty about the firing axe looms in their mind. It is essential to maintain a psychological contract with employees those who have been fired as well as those who have been retained. Investing on people development in crisis is the best thing an organization can do to retain its top talent. 4. Developing Leadership Talent Leadership in action means an ability to take out of crisis situation, extract certainty out of uncertainty, set goals and driving change to ensure that the momentum is not lost. Identifying people from within the organization who should be invested upon is a critical talent management challenge. 5. Creating Talented Ethical Culture Setting standards for ethical behavior, increasing transparency, reducing complexities and developing a culture of reward and appreciation are still more challenges and opportunities for talent management. (Since an opportunity is the other face of challenge and vice versa, the words challenge and opportunity have been used interchangeably in the article) Creating a Talent Management System Over the past several years, Talent Journeys goal has been to provide insightful leadership articles pertaining to strategic and operational aspects of your business. We often focus on the management of human resources including leaders, teams and the workforce. The broad process of managing human resources within an organization is called Talent Management. Just as your IT system organizes all the computer related technology within an organization, a comprehensive Talent Management System manages and integrates all of the human resource (talent) related components of your business. A well-designed Talent Management System provides the infrastructure used to optimize your investment in your people. It is a key component of any successful organization.

What is a Talent Management System? A talent management system incorporates all the important aspects of building, managing and equipping your workforce to achieve your strategic mission. The important components of this talent management system include: selection, on-boarding, performance management, engaging and developing, career advancement and succession planning. In this article, we aim to demonstrate the power of an integrated talent management system to support your strategic initiatives, align your talent management initiatives and foster your employee/customer satisfaction. First Step The first step in creating an integrated talent management system, as highlighted in last months Talent Journey newsletter, is understanding and identifying core competencies that are required for each unique job. Core competencies are the skills and behaviors required to be effective in the context of that specific job and your organizational culture. They also reflect the needs driven from your business strategy. The exercise in determining core competencies is fundamental to the success of your talent management system from the point of hire through succession planning. Once youve identified the core competencies required for success, the talent management systems objective is to align, engage and develop those core competencies in your job candidates and internal team members. In this article, we will define the role of the leader in each phase of the Talent Management System. Selection In the stage of selecting and hiring, your role as a leader is to ensure that you have thoroughly vetted your candidates against the technical and soft skill requirements required for the role. In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the job, smart leaders analyze their teams strengths and may choose a new hire partially based upon team gaps/composition in meeting strategic goals. Finally, it is important to incorporate the fit candidates have with the values and expectations of your organizational culture. Tools to guide the interviewing process and assessment instruments help identify and vet candidates. On-Boarding The role of a leader at this stage is to acclimate the new employee as quickly as possible into the organization or department. We cannot underestimate the importance of clearly depicting the vision, mission and culture of your organization with new employees. Each organization operates, like a family, in its own unique way. Additionally, each new employee brings a unique set of strengths and abilities, knowledge, values and experience that the organization will want to incorporate as quickly as possible in order to leverage those attributes and increase the productivity of the organization. It is critical to invest the time upfront with new employees, ensuring a successful on boarding experience for both the employee and the organization. A thorough and effective new employee orientation and using assessments to facilitate communication of the strengths and abilities of new employees are helpful tools in this stage. Performance Management, Engaging and Developing The role of a leader at these stages is to ensure that the natural strengths and abilities of each person are leveraged to the highest potential. A leaders skill in maximizing talent, both individually and within the team, predicts success in retention, performance, and organizational momentum. The leader must have the tools and wisdom to actively identify, utilize and develop the talents of their people. The core competencies identified in the first step of an integrated talent management system are used in these later phases to evaluate (performance management) and develop (skills and career) employees on the team. Properly designed performance management evaluations, 360 feedback instruments, and an organizational training program rooted in the pre-determined core competencies are helpful tools at this stage. Career Advancement and Succession Planning Finally, the role of a leader in career advancement and succession planning is to align the potential of individuals with future opportunities that exist within the organization. Most organizations today are concerned about their leadership bench. The economic downfall, reduction of the workforce and other high-priority initiatives have stifled leadership development over the last few years. Organizations are feeling the squeeze in this area and know they need to bridge the gap. A first step is to assess the leadership competencies necessary for future strategic success against the existing talent potential within the organization. Organizations now need to allocate resources

to develop high potential internal candidates or put aside dollars to recruit outside the organization where internal gaps exist. Workforce planning tools, assessment tools and high potential programs will be helpful at this stage. In summary, high performance organizations are founded upon an integrated and well-managed talent management system. This system is powered by the core competencies that will fuel achievement of the strategic mission. Like a thread through fine fabric, a talent management system weaves crucial core competencies through your selection, on-boarding, performance management, engagement and development, career advancement and succession planning processes. Invested in appropriately and used consistently, this integrated system clothes your organization with human resource efficiencies, effectiveness and productivity. The successful implementation of strategy depends upon an organizations ability to deploy their Talent Management System effectively. It is the people that bring strategy to life!

Five Building Blocks of an Integrated Talent Management System

What is an integrated talent management? Integrated talent management (ITM) refers to the management of traditional HR sub- functions (recruitment and selection, workforce planning, performance management, learning and development, reward and recognition and succession planning) in an integrated fashion to strategically leverage talent. An integrated talent management strategy must be aligned with the business strategy of the organisation otherwise it will add no value to the business, regardless of how good the strategy is. The cornerstone of an integrated Talent Management (ITM) System is a robust competency model that guides talent management strategy and tactics. There are five building blocks that make up an ITM system, i.e. Philosophy of Talent Management, Talent Management Processes, Integrated Talent Management Information System, Governance Structure, and Talent Management Metrics. 1. Talent Management Philosophy Talent Management Philosophy refers to a collective understanding of what is "talent management" and also the school of thought (pertaining to talent management) the management team has adopted. We learn from organisational psychology that for any organisational change effort to be successful, it must be supported by the top management of the organization. It is therefore important that an acknowledgement of the challenges faced by the organisation from a talent perspective, and how the organization intends to respond to the challenges is expressed in a policy statement of the organisation. The leadership of the organisation must agree on the guiding principles that will be applied to manage talent in the organisation. 2. Talent Management Processes Processes are used as vehicles to transform something from one form to another form. HR Practitioners should shift their mindsets from a silo based mentality of managing HR sub-functions to a mindset of using these functions as a vehicle to build an organisational capability to attract, engage, and retain competent and committed employees. Each process functions as a means to an end and not an end in itself. It is critical for owners of each process to understand the outputs of these collective processes, otherwise the benefits of an integrated system will not be realised. The following is a brief discussion of how each process contributes to building this organisational capability (strategically leveraging talent).

2.1 Talent acquisition The Talent Acquisition Process serves as a lever to pull talent from the external and the internal talent pool, but it does not lose sight of the over-arching objectives of the collective processes (talent acquisition, talent engagement, talent development and talent retention). First and foremost, the Talent Acquisition Specialist (TAS) must understand the business strategy and translate it into talent outcomes (the quality and quantity of talent) for the short term (1 year) and the long term (3-5 years). The next step will entail establishing if the required talent will be available (internally or externally) when it is needed. Decisions will be made as to which talent to buy (attract and source externally) and which one to build (develop). The TAS will not be able to make these decisions (buy or build) if he/she does not understand the depth and breadth of internal talent and also what talent is available in the labour market. If the organisation has the luxury of time and has identified potential talent to be developed, the Training and Development Lever will be engaged to start the process of preparing the identified talent for the future roles. In a case where a decision is made to buy talent for current and future roles, the TAS will embark on a recruitment drive to fill current vacant positions and identify talent earmarked for future roles in the organisation. A talent bank will be established where potential external candidates' names to fill these future roles are recorded. The TAS will not be able to discharge their duties if they don't have a "Workforce Plan" and don't know what the organisation's Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is. These two documents will guide the Talent Acquisition Strategy and the tactics to implement the strategy. The outputs from this process (Talent Acquisition) will flow into the On-boarding, learning and development, and talent engagement processes. The EVP commits the organisation on what value employees will gain from working for the organisation, hence it is incumbent on the TAS and other role players like HR Business Partners, HR administrators, Line Management, Learning and Development Practioners, and Compensation and Benefits Practitioners to make this proposition a reality. 2.2 Talent engagement Talent engagement is the extent to which employees commit to something or someone in their organisation and how hard they work and how long they stay as a result of that commitment (Corporate Executive Board, 2005). Employee engagement comes into effect from the point when an employee is on-boarded. The purpose of an onboarding process is not just about an employee understanding the policies of the organisation and preparing their workstations before they join. The purpose of the onboarding process is to enable the new recruit to add value to the company in a short space of time by coaching and providing them with all the resources they need to feel engaged and valued in the organisation.

person for the right job. If the new recruit does not fit the job profile and the culture of the organisation, the talent engagement efforts will not positively influence the new recruit's engagement level. Learning and Development as a function must also understand the competency gaps identified from the new recruits during the selection process so that opportunities for competency development are immediately created and actioned. Other levers that are

used to engage employees include Performance Management, Succession Planning, Recognition and Reward and Leadership Quality. 2.3 Talent development The talent development strategy must be aligned with the business strategy. The Training and Development Practitioner (TDP) must translate the business strategy into Talent Development outcomes. The TDP should understand what organisational capabilities related to competencies (knowledge, skills, behavioural) must be developed to enable the organisation to execute its strategy. This does not mean that employees who have competency gaps related to their current positions are ignored, they too must be developed. Another source that feeds into the talent development space is the career development needs of employees, which must also be factored into the training and development strategy. The career aspirations of employees must be aligned with the long term plans of the organisation which are reflected in the career paths and the organisational structures of the organisation. You would not want to spend resources developing employees in a particular direction knowing that in the medium/long term, such skills will not be needed in the organisation. What are the inputs and outputs of this process? There are three inputs (HR functions) that feed into the Talent Development Process, i.e. performance management, succession planning and workforce planning. At the end of the performance appraisal period, the competency gaps of the relevant employees are collated and fed into the Learning and Development platform. The potential successors' development needs are also transferred to the Learning and Development platform. The LDP is a critical role player in ensuring that talent is developed for future positions. It is needless to say that the LDP should understand the organisation's workforce plan so that he/she, in conjunction with line management sets a strategy in place to develop future talent. 2.4 Talent retention The employee engagement index (a measure of employee engagement levels) serves as a leading indicator for retention. There seems to be an inverse relationship between employee engagement and labour turn over. A decrease in employee engagement scores, results in an increase in labour turnover rate if no action is taken to improve the employee engagement scores. It is important that your employee engagement initiatives are targeting what is most important for the employees you want to retain. Retention risk assessments must be conducted with all employees (those you want to keep) in critical positions and the High Potential Employees (HIPO). If you know what risk you have of losing them, you will develop a strategy to keep them and those that you can't keep, a backup plan must be put in place so that you have cover when they leave. Talent retention is not a once off intervention; it is an ongoing process that aims to influence how employees feel about their jobs, managers, colleagues, and the organisation. The quality of leadership has the most influence on the commitment level of employees in the organisation, hence, organisations must invest resources to constantly improve the quality of their leaders. To retain talent, an employer must understand what employees value, and align its practices with the EVP. A culture of "Employee Value " where everyone in the organisation, from an employee on the shop floor (quality of

team members) to the Chief Executive Officer understands and contributes to an environment where the organisation's EVP becomes a reality. 3. Integrated Talent Management Information System Different HR sub-functions (recruitment and selection, performance management, succession planning, training and development, reward and recognition) are applied in various processes of talent management and each HR sub-function generates data that are used for managing talent. An integrated Talent Management System enables users to pull all this information (from different HR sub-functions) together to assist decision makers to understand the depth and breadth of talent at their disposal and talent risks that they should mitigate. There are various talent management information systems available in the market. Some are offered as part of the Enterprise Resource Planning, and some are standalone systems. 4. Talent Review Committees Talent management is the responsibility of line management and HR supports line by making the tools available and also giving them training and guidance on how to apply the tools. Talent management should be a standard agenda item in the Board and Executive Committee (EXCO) meetings. Talent Review Committee's (TRC) function is to keep the focus on talent management alive, and to understand the talent risks the organisation is facing and develop and implement a risk mitigation strategy. Governance structures take different forms depending on the size and complexity of the organisation. For an example, a global organisation will have a TRC at a corporate level focusing on the senior executive bench strength, a number of TRCs per division, another TRC which comprises divisional representatives that focuses across divisions and functional TRCs. These committees will focus on different levels and different types of critical positions talent pools. 5. Talent Management Metrics The old management adage popularised by Professor Deming that says "you can't manage what you don't measure" also applies to managing talent in organisations. There are a myriad of measures that one can use to measure the impact of talent management initiatives, but before deciding on measures to use, you need to establish from your clients (line management) which measures matter most for them. Internally, you will also want to measure the outputs per process so that you can determine if all the processes are adding value to the ultimate outcome (business performance). There are two types of indicators that must be used when measuring the outcomes of talent management initiatives, i.e. lagging and leading indicators. Leading indicators (e.g. Employee engagement scores) predict the outcome, while lagging indicators are historical in nature (e.g. labour turnover rate). As far as talent management is concerned, the measures must help you answer the following questions: 1. What is the breadth of our talent ( Bench strength/succession cover for critical positions)? 2. What is the depth of our talent ( Readiness levels/ percentage of employees who are ready now, ready in the next year, ready between 1 and 3 years)?

3. What are the retention risks (Percentage of employees in critical positions who may leave in the next year, 2 years, or 3 years; Labour turnover rate of critical talent; employee engagement scores; leadership quality)? 4. Do we attract the right talent (Number of potential candidates per critical vacancy)? 5. Are we developing our own talent (Number of employees with development plans, cross functional moves)? There are different role players in the whole process of managing talent (from talent acquisition to talent retention) and to make sure that they all function as one team with the same objectives, they must all be measured against the same set of measures. Conclusion A framework was presented in this article on how to apply an integrated approach to talent management. There are a lot of frameworks available in literature with varying degrees of complexities. What is important is how you adapt these frameworks to your unique environment.

Evaluating a Potential Employee's Fit in Your Company Hiring new employees can be one of the biggest decisions a good leader makes. You need someone who can take your organization to the next level. A smart manager doesnt make hiring decisions based solely on a resume and a good work ethic, though. To build the best company with the best team, the best leader will remember to put shared values as the foundation. When you hire people to become a part of your organization, you want to be sure that their values are your values. Make sure you are personally clear about those values and ask any possible employee what theirs are. Let them know the way things are done around here things like how you expect them to behave, what they are allowed to do, and what behaviors are inappropriate when dealing with others. (A values statement is a great tool for this.) Perhaps before you spill the beans about your values, you may want to ask a few questions about their values. You might begin with some questions like these:

If you could work for any leader in the world, alive or dead, who would you pick? What about that particular leader led you to choose him? What guiding principles did this leader follow? In what way are those guiding principles the same principles that you value? In what type of culture or environment do you like to work?

The more personal clarity you get from job candidates, the more they may be worth considering. The brain that knows itself and is committed to its own values is much more valuable than a brain that doesnt know what its guiding principles are. Truly knowing yourself and what you value requires good communication between the executive areas of the brain and the emotional areas. Without knowledge of her own values, even someone who can recite your values statements to the letter may have little dedication to your values. You dont usually buy a new car without taking at least one test drive. Give the employee a trial period if you can. A new employee is similar to a student on the first few days of school, shes on good behavior. When she stops trying so hard to impress, the true behavior comes out. Let the candidate spend some real time on the job working with her possible team members. Doing so benefits both of you. If she hates the work after the trial, off she goes. If she doesnt fit in with others, you have the option of saying goodbye or trying her out in another capacity.