Deconstructing Talent Management

 In Blogs

Here at the Change Directors HQ, we love watching TV Cookery Shows of all shapes and sizes and we have become more than fascinated by the term heard so often these days – that of “deconstructing a dish”.

It is apparently a take on the term coined by the French Philosopher, Jacques Derrida and means taking the foods that are normally combined in the dish apart, understanding the core ingredients, changing their forms, and then plating them together in a different way. It’s not just about taking the dish apart, but putting its elements back together in a relevant way.

It got me thinking – could we apply the same approach to HR issues?  It might prove quite entertaining, so I am going to “deconstruct” a number of HR’s Hot Recipes …… stripping them back to their core elements and thinking about whether we could put them back together in a slightly different way.

The first subject on the menu is Talent Management – the strategies for powering the workforce so that organisations achieve goals.

Talent Management (TM) sits at the strategic end of the HR continuum. Companies who put their weight behind it enable a clear line of sight between people development to the effectiveness of the firm.  I’ve noticed that there has been an increase in the number of TM roles advertised quite recently as businesses get themselves ready for future growth.  They know that managing talent well impacts the bottom line.

To deconstruct Talent Management we need to understand its ingredients.  Traditionalist TM aims to

source, attract, select, develop, engage, retain, reward, promote and progress employees through the organisation.

Some ingredients are often missed or ignored such as

releasing weak or excess labour, making internal talent more productive or using substitutes through technology, customer interaction or outsourcing for example.

These maybe less palatable flavours but they are the areas where HR can have an impact on productivity and results.

Bill Gates said “one great programmer is worth 1000 good programmers”.  What can we mere mortals do to try to ensure that we blend TM ingredients into a recipe for success.  Here are a few suggestions to add into the mixture:

Use just 2 or 3 Killer aptitudes

Don’t fall into the trap of masses of competencies like we did in the 90’s. The key to implementing a TM approach is to identify the organisations unique competences that help the business flourish then recruit and develop those aptitudes

Use Contractors and Interims

Skilled people are easily obtained and, as a result, fit well into situations where there is a changing need for staff and skills. It makes workforce reductions easy to manage and can be used to manage fluctuations in resource needs.

Target Key Talent

Don’t be afraid to put your TM weight behind the roles which are pivotal to the achievement of strategic goals.

Use workforce optimisation software so you can offer smart work patterns

Flexible working patterns are a very effective response to the large individual differences that exist in the workforce when it comes to career objectives, work-life balance and career choice. In an age when the profile of employees is becoming increasingly diverse unless you can offer your best talent flexible work patterns you will not reap the number one benefit of workplace diversity – competitive advantage.

Build a useful employer brand

Large and small employers can build a brand to attract the right individuals – a brand that fits their purpose, identity and strategic intent. You’ll help potential employees make a good decision about whether there’s a fit between them and your organisation. Keep an eye on Glassdoor.

Train Leaders to become Talent Managers

Again large or small, it makes sense to carry out simple but formal executive discussions about emerging and key talent.

I remember suggesting this to the MD of a small, but growing business a few years ago.  At the time he dismissed the idea as he thought the business was too small,  but he now admits that it is an important role of executive team because they need to know which of their talent will work in the new outlets they are planning. We can never look at it in isolation but Talent Management is the main course.

Ruth is the owner of The Change Directors.  She can help you implement people powered change programmes and smart working strategies that bag the best talent… at pace.  07976 509551

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