Talent Management - An Overview


By

Dr. M. Vasan
M.Com., MBA, M.Phil, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Commerce
K.S. Rangasamy College of Arts & Science (Autonomous)
Tiruchengode, Tamilnadu-636215
 


Talent management implies recognising a person's inherent skills, traits, personality and offering him a matching job. Every person has a unique talent that suits a particular job profile and any other position will cause discomfort.

Talent management refers to the process of developing and integrating new workers, developing and retaining current workers, and attracting highly skilled workers to work for a company. Talent management in this context does not refer to the management of entertainers. The term was coined by David Watkins of Softscape published in an article in 1998. The process of attracting and retaining profitable employees, as it is increasingly more competitive between firms and of strategic importance, has come to be known as "the war for talent."

EVOLUTION

Talent management a process that emerged in the 1990s and continues to be adopted, as more companies come to realize that their employees' talents and skills drive their business success. Companies that have put into practice talent management have done so to solve an employee retention problem. The issue with many companies today is that their organizations put tremendous effort into attracting employees to their company, but spend little time into retaining and developing talent. A talent management system must be worked into the business strategy and implemented in daily processes throughout the company as a whole. It cannot be left solely to the human resources department to attract and retain employees, but rather must be practiced at all levels of the organization. The business strategy must include responsibilities for line managers to develop the skills of their immediate subordinates. Divisions within the company should be openly sharing information with other departments in order for employees to gain knowledge of the overall organizational objectives.[4] Companies that focus on developing their talent integrate plans and processes to track and manage their employee talent, including the following:

  • Sourcing, attracting, recruiting and on boarding qualified candidates with competitive backgrounds
  • Managing and defining competitive salaries
  • Training and development opportunities
  • Performance management processes
  • Retention programs
  • Promotion and transitioning

HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

Talent management is also known as HCM (Human Capital Management). Companies that engage in talent management (Human Capital Management) are strategic and deliberate in how they source, attract, select, train, develop, retain, promote, and move employees through the organization. Research done on the value of such systems implemented within companies consistently uncovers benefits in these critical economic areas: revenue, customer satisfaction, quality, productivity, cost, cycle time, and market capitalization. The mindset of this more personal human resources approach seeks not only to hire the most qualified and valuable employees but also to put a strong emphasis on retention. Since the initial hiring process is so expensive to a company, it is important to place the individual in a position where his skills are being extensively utilized.

The term "talent management" means different things to different organizations. To some it is about the management of high-worth individuals or "the talented" whilst to others it is about how talent is managed generally - i.e. on the assumption that all people have talent which should be identified and liberated. From a talent management standpoint, employee evaluations concern two major areas of measurement: performance and potential. Current employee performance within a specific job has always been a standard evaluation measurement tool of the profitability of an employee. However, talent management also seeks to focus on an employee's potential, meaning an employee's future performance, if given the proper development of skills and increased responsibility.

The major aspects of talent management practiced within an organization must consistently include:

  • Performance management
  • Leadership development
  • Workforce planning/identifying talent gaps
  • Recruiting

This term "talent management" is usually associated with competency-based human resource management practices. Talent management decisions are often driven by a set of organizational core competencies as well as position-specific competencies. The competency set may include knowledge, skills, experience, and personal traits (demonstrated through defined behaviors). Older competency models might also contain attributes that rarely predict success (e.g. education, tenure, and diversity factors that are illegal to consider in relation to job performance in many countries, and unethical within organizations).

TALENT MANAGEMENT Vs. TRADITIONAL HR APPROACH

Traditional HR systems approach people development from the perspective of developing competencies in the organization. This can actually be a risk-prone approach, especially for companies operating in fast evolving industries, since competencies become redundant with time and new competencies need to be developed. Thus, over time, the entire approach to development of people might be rendered obsolete calling for rethinking the entire development initiative.

Talent management on the other hand focuses on enhancing the potential of people by developing capacities. Capacities are the basic DNAof an organization and also of individual potential. In fact, the following appropriately describes the role of talent management:

THE FOCUS OF TALENT MANAGEMENT

At the heart of talent management is developing the following intrinsic human capacities:

1. Capacity to learn (measured as learning quotient LQ)

Enhancing an individual's capacity to learn improves the person's awareness. It adds to the person's quest to know more and delve into newer areas. This capacity is developed by holistic education that teaches how to learn, an enabling environment and good mentoring.

  • Introspection is the individual's willingness to look back and learn ability to learn from mistakes and identifying areas of improvement.
  • Reflection and contemplation is the individual's ability to observe his own thoughts, actions and emotions/feelings and using the awareness to improve further and perform better.
  • Getting into the flow is the individual's ability to get into a new experience and flow with the experience. It is the person's child-like ability to derive joy out of learning.

2. Capacity to think (measured as conceptual quotient CQ)

An individual's quest to know more leads his mind to create images. Enhancing an individual's capacity to think helps the person not only take learning to a higher level of intellect but also improves creativity. Capacity to think comprises of the following:

  • Analysis is about asking the right questions and breaking complex things into simpler elements.
  • Creativity is about generating new thoughts and breaking the existing patterns of thought.
  • Judgment requires both. This is what helps an individual take quality decisions.

3. Capacity to relate (measured as relationship quotient RQ)

It is important for an individual to be able to relate to his learning and thoughts. This leads the person to be able to relate to other individuals and the environment around him. The outcome is indeed a sense of belongingness and an environment of trust at the organizational level and team spirit at the individual level. Capacity to relate comprises of the following:

    • Listening is the individual's ability to listen with warmth and respect. Active listening is free of biases, evaluation and pre-conceived notions.
    • Empathizing is the ability to put self in someone else's shoes and getting out of one's own shoes.
    • Trust requires a combination of both empathizing and listening. It is about authenticity, openness and genuineness.

4. Capacity to act (measured as action quotient AQ)

Action is how the above three capacities of an individual are manifested. It is the individual's ability to enact his intentions. Following are components of capacity to act:

* Organizing refers to the individual's ability to organize his time and resources so as to enable him to convert intentions into reality.

* Implementing means delegating, attention to detail, and focus on the right process.

* Perform under pressure means the ability to work under pressure and time constraints and handle multiple tasks without negative stress.

The individual's values help in discriminating amongst alternatives and act as the bedrock for decisions. They act as multipliers in enhancing the individual's capacities, a sigma of which reflects the individual's true talent.

  Thus:

  (LQ + CQ + RQ + AQ) X Values = Talent

BENEFITS OF TALENT MANAGEMENT

Talent Management is beneficial to both the organisation and the employees.

The organisation benefits from:

Talent Management is beneficial to both the organisation and the employees. The organisation benefits from: Increased productivity and capability; a better linkage between individuals' efforts and business goals; commitment of valued employees; reduced turnover; increased bench strength and a better fit between people's jobs and skills. Employees benefit from: Higher motivation and commitment; career development; increased knowledge about and contribution to company goals; sustained motivation and job satisfaction.

    • Increased productivity and capability;
    • a better linkage between individuals' efforts and business goals;
    • commitment of valued employees;
    • reduced turnover;
    • increased bench strength and
    • better fit between people's jobs and skills.

Employees benefit from:

    • Higher motivation and commitment;
    • career development;
    • increased knowledge and contribution to company goals;
    • sustained motivation and
    • job satisfaction.
       

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Source: E-mail September 1, 2011

          

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