Talent management appears to have become one of those overused terms like ‘engagement’. Used in the boardroom so often that HR are instructed to put in place a ‘talent management strategy‘ without people really understanding what it entails!
In many organisations, the Executive Team relax thinking that introducing a new strategy will alleviate their people-based challenges. Then they can get back to the ‘real’ business of chasing the numbers. Certainly, this type of complacency can develop into a business risk. We believe that all organisations should consider the following common pitfalls that can make talent management a ‘concept’ rather than a reliable people management strategy.
So, ask yourself – what does the term ‘talent’ mean in your organisation? Could you define and measure who has it in your workforce and recruit for it? Have you got defined job roles and behaviours that clearly outline what low, average and high performance in that role looks like? Is every manager in your organisation capable of identifying who has talent in line with your criteria using objective data, as opposed to gut feel and intuition? If you were to define your organisation’s talent pool would it be clear cut with everyone in agreement?
Consider the principle that the famous Montessori schools are based on; that we all have talents, it is just about identifying them and enabling us to use and develop them. As Curt Coffman outlines in his book ‘Follow This Path’, successful organisations put people in roles that fit with their natural strengths and abilities.
Furthermore, ‘Talent’ should look different based on the job role in question. For example, your best computer programmer is highly unlikely to also be your best salesperson. Therefore, should we not focus less on finding individuals to label as talent and put more emphasis on identifying and nurturing the strengths or talent in an individual and utilising them effectively?
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