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Organisational Effectiveness – Why Talent Management?

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What has Talent Management to do with Organisational Effectiveness, and why should we be concerned with it?

In 2008, our country and our people were suffering from the grossly myopic strategic planning of both Government and Eskom – the “energy” crisis!  But I wonder if our management are not going to be found guilty of the same myopia in the not too distant future.

Since McKinsey’s first report on the “War for Talent” in 1997, we have been warned of the looming talent “crisis”.  But what are we doing about it.

When I speak to managers and HR managers, there are some IT roles that are extremely difficult to populate at present, such as Business Analysts, Project Managers, high-level application developers.  But when I ask what the organisation is “DOING” about it, it seems that the general practice is to “throw money at the problem”, that is increase salaries.

But this is a self-defeating practice, with the only winners being job-hopping employees.  And even they will loose out in the long run.

The solution is Talent Management.  But this is a confused term, with a number of application solution providers claiming theirs to be a Talent Management (or HCM) system.  But is it really?

What is Talent Management?

Talent Management is a continuous process that plans talent needs, builds an image to attract the very best, ensures that new hires are productive in the shortest time possible, helps to retain the very best, and facilitates the continuous movement of talent to where it can have the most impact within the organization.

Talent Management, often confused with Human Capital Management, is the process of recruiting, managing, assessing, developing and maintaining an organization’s most important resource—it’s people!

Why Worry about Talent Management?

Traditionally anything to do with “people issues” has been the domain of the HR department.  They have been responsible for recruiting, training, remunerating, and administrating the organisation’s talent.  But questions are now being asked about this “abdication” of responsibility on the part of management.

During the 1990s organisations went through the pains of “downsizing” and “rightsizing”.  Many people were made redundant during this period and the “battle cry” of management since then has been “delivering more with less”.  But what we now find is that we need to understand exactly of what “less” comprises – in other words, what are the critical skills and abilities that the organisation needs in order to be able to achieve it’s goals.  In any organisation it is easy to achieve the “head count” goal.  It is much more difficult to achieve other strategic goals unless the right skills and abilities (heads) are on board.

This is the very essence of Talent Management.

The purpose of Talent Management is:

  • Understand what core skills and competencies are needed in the organisation in order to deliver strategy and goals
  • Determine the roles within the organisation that are critical to strategy delivery
  • Identify the High Performers, High Potentials, Average Performers, and Low Performers in the organisation, and align activities and