Talent Management in 21st Century — Expectations and Aspirations!

The corporate world has been struggling with talent management and the failure in right execution of talent management programs is one of the major concerns of executives in the contemporary organizations. Incidentally, the talent management practices, over the past generation, has been largely dysfunctional. The situation is worse in the US, as the organizations oscillated between surplus supplies and talent shortages.

There was an immediate need for talent management programs that addressed the talent related issues at the heart of it. But before that there was a need for revise what talent management was and how it transformed organizations.

Talent Management — the definition

Talent Management put in simple words is the strategic process where the organization identifies the right talent and engages the resources to attract, develop and manage this talent positively for the development of the organization and its objectives.

It will be interesting to note that the best way to manage the current pool of talent should start by talent engagement. This in turn should happen even before the job-application stage.

Talent Management Programs and Talent Management Professionals

While at the heart of it, organizations understood the importance of talent management programs and even had talent management systems in place. There was definitely something missing as the attrition rate increased and so did the turnover costs. One of the reasons was talent was thoroughly disengaged. However, despite addressing the traditional barriers to talent management including but not restricted to -

  • Inability to adopt modern marketing approach while hiring
  • Ignorance of the importance of familiarity
  • Undermining the rising smartness of applicants
  • Failure in building and stewarding employer brand

It was concluded that the new millennium managers need to move further from the traditional archetypal functional cubbyholes and become talent miners, talent nurturers and talent owners if they wanted to have successful talent management programs in the 21st century.

But this again was not enough to have successful talent management programs in place. As organizations realized there was still a huge gap between the demand for skilled talent management professionals and their limited availability. And the traditional way of responding to the talent management crisis was failing, which left organizations in drought of talent. In fact, this is the time when there was a dire need to rethink the strategies for talent management and come up with something like talent-on-demand framework.

Nurturing Talent In-house

If for a moment talent nurtures can consider this (talent-on-demand) framework, then they will realize that this will be one of the best suited model to deal with the current talent management crisis and also to develop talent at all stages. The idea is to -

  • Compare forecasting product demand with forecasting talent needs
  • Estimate the cheapest and the fastest way to develop talent cost-effectively
  • Hire talent available in the market as compared to training them in-house
  • Though in-house training for developing talent management professionals should not cease

In fact, when studied carefully, it was revealed that both the issues and challenges that managers face in managing internal talent pipeline — from how employees advance through development jobs and experiences — can be compared to the movement of products through a supply chain. Industry experts when applied this process to manage internal talent pool, they realized that the process helped in reducing bottlenecks — a major hindrance in advancement, at the same time it also accelerated the processing time — another roadblock and improvised forecasts that resulted in better matched results.

New Approaches to Talent Management

Keeping up with the trend of innovating new approaches to manage talent, industry experts use four particular principles. These principles are drawn from operations and supply chain management.

The principles have been designed and executed in such a manner that two of them address the demands uncertainty — which includes balancing make-versus-buy decisions and the ways to reduce the forecasting risks in talent demands.

And the other two tackle the uncertainty on the supply side, including the hows of improving the return on investment in development efforts and protecting that investment by generating internal opportunities, which in turn will encourage the newly trained managers to stick with the firm and thus help in building the talent pool.

So here are those principles -

Principle 1: Make and Buy to Manage Risk

Principle 2: Adapt to the uncertainty in Talent Demand

Principle 3: Improve the Return on Investment in Developing Employees

Principle 4: Preserve the Investment by Balancing Employee-Employer Interests

These principles when applied with the right attitude will garner results and will also ensure that despite the talent shortage there is always a continuous building of talent pipeline — that can help in finding the right talent, at the right time.

No doubt, talent management in 21st century is and will be a challenge, however, if the HR department is geared with skilled (read certified) talent management professionals then the road ahead will be smooth and organizations will have a steady pool of talent at any given point in time.

Another important thing to remember here is that while hiring fresh talent is a good solution, it will also help if organization identifies and nurtures the in-house talent as well.

Originally published at https://www.qatarday.com.

Human Resource Professional. Passionate about Human Resources. Writing has always been a passion with strong interest in talent management & HR Industry.