What is Talent? Where is Talent?
What is talent?
How does it enable growth
How can it be used in succession planning
Definition – Talent
- A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment.
- Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality.
- A person or group of people having such ability: The company makes good use of its talent
Talent Management has become one of the most important pieces of jargon or buzzwords in the business and HR world today. But are we just using this as a term to make recruitment and retention sound more exciting and strategic?
The HR Journey
In recent years the journey that HR has made has been significant.
In the 1970s and early 1980s the business function which was responsible for people was called The Personnel Department.
The purpose of this function was to recruit people, pay them, and make sure they had the necessary benefits.
Providing this range of services, the personnel department was a clearly understood operational business function.
In the late 1980s and 1990s organisations realised, through the influence of HR professionals that the HR function was in fact more important
The concept of Strategic HR emerged and was developed.
During this period organisations realised that the head of HR had a much larger role:
- Recruiting the right people,
- Training and Developing them,
- Helping the business design job roles and organisation structures
- Develop total compensation packages which include benefits, stock options and bonuses, and serving as a central point of communication for employee health and wellbeing.
The Head of Personnel became the Head of HR and had a much more important role in business strategy and execution.
To support this new role, IT systems were developed and include recruiting and applicant tracking, total compensation systems, and learning management systems (LMS).
In this role, the HR department now became more than a business function: it is a business partner, reaching out to support lines of business.
We are now in a new era for business and HR:
The emergence of Talent Management. While strategic HR continues to be a major focus, HR and Learning and Development organisations are now focused on a new set of strategic issues.
People involved in talent management are asking themselves
- How can we make our recruiting process more efficient?
- How can we develop managers and leaders more effectively to support culture, instill values, and create a sustainable leadership pipeline?
- How do we quickly identify competency gaps so we can deliver learning solutions to meet these needs?
- How can we use these gaps to hire the right people?
- How do we manage people in a consistent and measurable way so that everyone contributes equally, is accountable, and rewarded fairly?
- How do we identify high performers and successors to key positions throughout the organisation to make sure we have an adaptable organisation?
- How do we provide learning that is Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, Relevant, and Timely? See SMARTer Objectives
These challenging problems require new processes and systems. They need tighter integration between the different HR silos — and direct integration into line of business management processes.
Today many organisations are starting to integrate performance management systems, succession planning systems, and competency management systems.
The HR function is becoming integrated with the business in a real-time fashion.
Is this Just hype?
Is this HR trying to be strategic and ignoring the simple yet effective processes that business has grown to know and rely on… or is this the profession becoming more business led?
This is an interesting point. In some organisations the ‘talent teams’ are taking this on not just as a process but as a philosophy and strategy. Unfortunately others are taking the label and ‘selling’ their old wares under this new, more modern label.
For HR to be seen as strategic we must stop copying language and jargon and ensure that we deliver value add to our paymasters.
In business HR only has one customer.. the board. We may have many clients, but at the end of the day if we do not satisfy our customer, the people that give us our budget to work with, we will have no profession.