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Talent Management

Robust talent systems and processes for recruiting,

developing and retaining employees
How talent is defined is:
Organisationally specific
Highly influenced by the type of industry and the
nature of its work
Dynamic, and so likely to change over time
according to organisational priorities

An organisation needs to develop

its own definition.

Talent consists of those individuals who can

make a difference to organisational
performance, either through their immediate
contribution or in the longer term by
demonstrating the highest levels of

CIPD (2006) Talent Management Understanding

the Dimensions

Defining talent and

Different organisations can have different definitions
of talent:
An organisation may define talent as the top
performing 1% of executives
Another organisation could define talent as the top
10% of high performers, whatever their role or
Yet others may have a mix , defining talent not
only as executives with potential for board-level
appointments, but also high-potential individuals
who are identified as leaders of tomorrow
Others may be taking an end-to end view of newly
appointed graduates to top leadership
Finally some might take the view that every
employee should be included in talent

Defining talent and potential

It is the systematic attraction,

identification, development,
engagement/retention and deployment of
those individuals with high potential who
are of particular value to the
Talent Management Understanding the
Dimensions CIPD 2006

Why Focus on
Talent ?
Enabling retention of highest potential
Building a high-performance workplace or
learning organisation
Adding value to the employer of choice
branding agenda
Contributing to diversity management

Important aspects for Talent

Agreed, organisation-wide definition of
talent and
talent management
A proactive, strategic approach to talent
Support that flows from the top of the
Engaging line managers from an early

What characteristics do you

think a talented or high
potential employee has?

What Talent Looks Like

Characteristics of a high potential employee:
Has the respect and trust of peers, supervisors and
Maintains a high level of competence in their role/job
Has a bias for action and is a proactive catalyst for
Thinks and solves problems creatively and from a
position of inquiry (versus advocacy)
Is open to constructive criticism
Uses critical judgement
Has a broad understanding of the organisations
business and their role in achieving its goals
Has high capacity to learn

What Talent Looks Like (contd)


of a high potential employee:

consistently produces measurable results above

Self manages in a manner that fosters learning
and high performance
Ensures that team goals are achieved within
ethical and cultural guidelines
Manages and leads teams that demonstrate a
sense of loyalty and community
Strives to deliver and exceed customers needs
Arranges and leverages resources within an
From Cannon, J and McGee, R (2007)
Has high resilience

CEO / Senior

Develop strategy
Communicates aims
Provide support
Select appropriate talent pools
Contribute to talent
management panels
Direct involvement with top
talent pools, e.g. as executive

stakeholder roles

HR and talent

Research & evaluate approaches
Advise and support
Provide updates
Monitor interventions
Track progress


Take ownership of personal

Take proactive approach to
personal development planning
Maximise learning opportunities
Based on CIPD (2008)

Talent management: Organizations

are still not getting it right.
While demographic changes, globalization and the
rise of the knowledge worker are forcing
organizations to take talent more seriously.
(External pressures)
Many organizations still dismiss talent management
as a short term tactical problem; rather than an
integral part of a long term business strategy,
requiring attention of top level management and
substantial resources. (Internal mistakes)

What kind of demographic

Multiple generations working
Different generations different
Eg. Gen Y : demand more flexibility,
meaningful jobs, professional
freedom, higher rewards and better
work-life balance than older
employees; Switch jobs more often
high risk of attrition.

Globalization challenges
As organizations expand in global
markets they need a blend of global and
local talent.
Greater need for understanding local
ways of doing business; local consumers.
Growth of Knowledge workers
Fastest growing talent pool in almost all
But have their own demands and

Internal mistakes
Managers often treat talent management in a reactive
manner eg. hiring additional people sales & mktg people
only when new product takes off.
Organizations implement short-term point solutions,
ignoring the need to configure their talent management
efforts in a broader, more sustainable wayone that
aligns more closely with their organizations strategic
needs. Need for long term planning as regards talent
sourcing and career development.
May try and raise short term earnings by cutting down
expenditure on people development.
Vicious cycle: lack of talent blocks growth additional
performance pressures more short-term orientation.

Capability and capacity-related

talent risks
Lack of depth of internal candidates for critical roles

An insufficient pipeline of future leaders

Difficulties in recruiting top talent
Difficulties in retaining key people
Lack of clarity regarding which roles are critical to the
delivery of business value
Failure to develop the skills and capabilities required by the
business in the near future
Lack of compelling development opportunities for top talent.

talent risks
Whether their organizations mobility
policies and processes encourage or
discourage movement between countries ?
Whether their workforces are characterized
by sufficient diversity ?
How willing business leaders are to share
talent across the organization ?
How able business leaders are to engage
with, motivate and nurture business critical
talent ?

Cost related risks

Salary expectations of candidates
with critical skills become too high.
An insufficient budget for managing
and developing talent.
Compliance related risks
Managers view performance
management, talent reviews, etc. as
processes to comply with rather than
as business critical activities.

So what should
organizations do??

Target talent at all levels:

As against only concentrating on top
performers we need to look at all the talent
layers. Organizations cannot afford to
neglect contributions of other employees.
Unsung elements frontline staff, technical
specialists, and the indirect workforce i.e.
people who work for suppliers, contractors
and JV partners are often critical to the

Focus on only the top talent can

damage morale of rest of the workforce
and therefore overall performance.
Measure the impact of talent
management efforts
Develop a number of value propositions
Defining and creating a powerful employee
value proposition that attracts people to join.
Different for different baskets culture, gender,
age, generational differences

Strengthen HR
Functional to business orientation:
Deeper business knowledge.
Strategic contributions
Must be able to translate the
business strategy into a talent

Winning the war for


HR as a

Employer branding
Look beyond tier 1
Take care of expats +
Diversity recruitment

Smart training
Investment in in-house
Cultivating supervisors
leadership skills


Global career paths

Opportunities for
Compensation &
Benefit plans

Leaders have a pivotal role in recruiting and
developing talent within the business
Increasing emphasis on discretionary work and an
increasingly skilled workforce prioritises the war for
A targeted talent management strategy can help to
nurture talent internally and attract talent externally.
Need for deep rooted conviction among business
unit heads, line managers that talent really matters
that leaders must develop the capabilities of
employees, nurture their careers and manage the
performance individuals and teams.