Came across this from People Management that states

Only 17 per cent of organisations claim to have a good, integrated talent process and dedicated talent specialists in all disciplines, according to research from business advisory group Orion Partners.

The vast majority (95 per cent) of employers described their HR operations as ‘good’ or ‘acceptable’ but only a third made similar claims for their talent processes.

The survey of senior HR professionals from more than 40 large organisations, representing 2.5 million employees, was commissioned to mark the 18th anniversary of the influential Human Resources Champions published by David Ulrich in 1996.

Results suggest that while significant progress has been made in the improvement of HR operations since Ulrich’s theories, including the implementation of shared services and the deployment of supporting technology, the area of talent management has been neglected over the years, with negative consequences for the bottom line.

More than four fifths of the HR professionals surveyed said their organisations were missing out on commercial activities from talent management, with 53 per cent admitting there were plenty of opportunities left to explore.

Read more here

The article highlights some interesting things but are they surprising as one comment suggests?

Another comment raises the point that if practice is so far out of step with theory, maybe it's the theory that's wrong.

Talent & Retention Strategies have only got 8% (5) votes out of 62 in the DPG survey around priorities for this year so it looks like (whilsta  very small strategy) that Talent Management is still not a priority.

Why do you think this is?

Is it not a priority for HR in your organisation or does it manifest in other ways?

What challenges are there around Talent Management?

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  • Talent management is on our list of HR priorities for this year. I answered the survey but I wasn't logged in as me at the time (I didn't realise till afterwards - I was listed as a guest I think.)

    I think that to achieve good talent management (and development) the senior leadership team have to consider where the business is going, how the environment in which we work is changing and what additional skills we will need, to ensure the future success of the business. They need to have a clear view of any changes they are hoping for. They also need to have a clear  strategy on talent management which is well communicated.

    I think one reason talent management is frequently overlooked is because the benefits have not been clearly identified, analysed or costed, so businesses don't realise how big the benefits might be (or the dis-benefits of not managing talent.) A budget and/or time resource is required to deliver "development" and if this is just seen as a drain on profit, then it is likely to be the first thing to go in the event of a business downturn. Many businesses when looking ahead don't consider their staff development. They assume anyone wanting to develop will sort themselves out and to a great extent this has historically been the case. They recruit in people that they think have the skills they need and assume they will always be in a position to do this.

    Managers need help to identify "talent" and to seriously consider succession planning. It is tricky to decide who of your team is labelled as "talent" to be nurtured! We have in the past used a 9 box assessment process to help us differentiate between our staff. It can feel quite subjective though, and managers may feel daunted by the prospect of explaining to an enthusiastic team member that they haven't been identified as "talent", especially as this may have a negative impact on that person's performance. The development process or being recognised as "talent" are external motivators which in the long term can be viewed negatively rather than positively. Some return on individual expectation is also necessary in order to retain said "talent", which, if not forthcoming quickly enough, might cause loss of the individual to the business. So the timing might have to be strategically planned to deliver into the business!

     The support from HR is not always readily available for the talent identification and management process, which is another reason I think talent management is not done. In many instances there isn't even a clear framework for managers to use, in order to provide a consistent approach which at least helps managers in terms of justification. The framework should not only include how to differentiate and identify talent, but also the pathways and opportunities open to those staff identfied as future "talent" and how to access them.

    I think to do it and to do it well requires a lot of forethought and planning. It is no mean feat.

    Another approach would be to identify all staff as potential talent and provide a clear competency framework from which to work. Any development opportunities within the business to be made available to all and decided using a competency based interview. This would probably deliver a more incremental approach to staff development rather than a quantum leap approach, and may lead to loss of younger, talented staff members who might feel the opportunities don't come their way quickly enough.

    I would love to discuss this topic further as I think it is very important. I have had very little exposure to it.  



    • Just had a think about what I wrote above and have decided the latter approach is just ordinary, everyday staff development, not talent management.

      I guess the key to talent management is spotting the talent early and preparing them for their future role in the business, in time for the business need to be met and for the benefits to be realised.


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