Pursuit of Talent

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Pursuit of Talent

No major HR-conference is complete without the talk of the lack of staff and the war for talented specialists. Why has competition between employers aggravated? Who are the “talent”, and why do companies need them so much?

At the bottom

You can explain the shortage of staff with two factors. The first one is the fall of the education level. Graduates need to learn and adapt to the realities of business, but companies need professionals here and now.

The second factor is the “demographic winter.” While older generations leave the labor market, young people cannot replace them because of there are too little of them.

As valuable as gold

Good young professionals in the labor market are rare, but specialists with good professional training are twice as rare. A competent HR-manager should come to the following conclusion: “If a talented employee does not work for us, then he or she works for our competitors.”

“Twenty or thirty years ago equating human resources to other resources of the company (production, finance, etc.) was already considered to be quite a progressive trend, by today the situation has changed, – says Brandon Valdez, a leading business coach, head of career management department in HRPartners, – “This is due to demographic processes, plus the unstable economic situation in the world which demand new approaches.”

What is the new approach? Practices of talent management are coming to the foreground. “This new strategic approach to human resource management, which includes a set of measures from hiring required candidates to leadership development, coaching in the workplace, assessment of potential and so forth,” – Brandon explains.

Raised in your team

So talent management includes recruitment, development, and retention of employees.

“In many companies, the focus has shifted from the employment to the personnel reserve. Rather than re-educate beginners, companies want to hire the right candidates, not wasting resources on adaptation but spending them on the development of highly productive employees and leadership programs,” – says Brandon Valdez.

The key concept here is highly productive employees. The company can afford to invest in professional development only if it expects to get the expenses back in the future. So, it makes sense to invest in those who are able to become a unique specialist, an industry leader, a good manager.

“Nowadays simply hiring staff is not the biggest challenge. Now we need to recruit those who can adapt as quickly as possible to the culture and main goal of the company”, – says the expert from HRPartners. In order for the talent management practices to be productive, you should pay attention to its first phase – selection.

The talents and Admirers

Who are the “talent”? Harold James, the CEO of consulting company TalentPuzzle is convinced that HR-managers are too attached to this word. “This term “the talent” nowadays every company understands differently, – says the expert. – Many imitate Jack Welch, who singled out 20% of the best employees in each department and called them the “A” category. I think he is the originator of the fashion of sticking labels on people. But Welch clearly knew what he was doing and what would follow. As often happens: the shape is much easier to copy than the essence.”  

Talent should not be understood in the enthusiastic/mystical sense: as a gift, which only the chosen ones have. “Most companies need people with normal abilities and normal management system to manage them. In order to pump oil, extract resources and prepare for the heating season in time, we need not the talent, but the clear plan for work and responsible attitude to it,” – says the CEO of TalentPuzzle. – “It is not about how to attract talent – the talent will always be of great value – but about the fact that any employee is supposed to be in the right place and bring maximum benefit to the company and develop professionally,” – agrees Brandon Valdez.

“For me, “talent management” is more of an idiomatic expression denoting primarily, HR-processes, allowing the company to saturate itself with the right people and keep itself in a good shape,” – sums up Harold James.

So, the talent in the current environment is the person who is able to bring benefit to the company here and now, whatever position he or she is working in. In addition, the talent has a high potential for further development. This kind of employees are the ones for whom recruiters will fight in the near future.

It is important to understand that it’s not enough to just hire a talented employee. It is necessary to keep him or her in the company and help to realize his or her potential.

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