“Good talent managers think like business people and innovators first and like HR people last”

“Good talent managers think like business people and innovators first and like HR people last”. That is the opinion of Patty McCord former chief talent officer at Netflix, a US company recommended for its outstanding management of talent. Netflix requires their talent managers and teams to constantly consider which strategies are required to the company a game-changer. While a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Ready, Hill and Thomas (2014) suggests the following 11 statements should be considered in order to determine whether or not you have a game-changing talent strategy:

  1. My company places “purpose” at the heart of its business model.
  2. My company has a high-performance culture.
  3. Leaders in my company follow well-understood guiding principles.
  4. Our people policies help drive our business strategy.
  5. Our talent management practices are highly effective.
  6. Our leaders are completely committed to excellence in talent management
  7. Our leaders are deeply engaged in and accountable for spotting, tracking, coaching, and developing the next generation of leaders. Our talent practices are strategically oriented, but they also put a premium on operational efficiency.
  8. Our talent practices engender a strong sense of collective purpose and pride yet work very well for my career as an individual.
  9. Our talent practices strike the right balance between global scale and local responsiveness.
  10. My company has a long-standing commitment to people development, but we are very open to changing our policies when circumstances dictate.

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz  author of It’s Not the How or the What but the Who makes a further point that the 21st century business is too volatile and complex and the market is too tight for the “competencies” model to work in hiring and developing talent. His contention is that managers must learn to assess current and prospective employees on five key indicators: The right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement and determination. “Then they have to help the best get better with smart retention and stretch assignments.”

The challenge though, is to keep track of talent management strategies and specifically the measurement and evaluation thereof. This is where talent management efforts in SA fall short. The latest Talent Management Survey (2013) conducted by Knowledge Resources discovered that only 27% of organisations are measuring and evaluating talent management efforts. What is making it worse is that only 18% of the respondents is applying a set of metrics and only 16% have a clear success criteria identified at the outset. In an effort to comprehensively address this, Knowledge Resources has researched and designed a number of specialised “deep dive” seminars. The first one is Talent Management: Getting the Metrics Right! At this one day event speakers such as Johan Ludike from Yum! Brands, Dr Daniel Burger from Accenture and Kim Dowdeswell from CEB-SHL, amongst others, will share their expertise in this area. Click here to learn more.

Another “deep dive” event will focus on: Selecting and Developing High Potentials, with participants such as Henry Chandler, Head of Talent and Acquisition and Planning at Sasol and Jenny Greyling, HR Director and Learning Leader, EY. Click here to learn more.

Sources:

Fernández-Aráoz, C. (2014). 21st Century Talent Spotting. Harvard Business Review, 92(6), 46-56.
Knowledge Resources. (2013). Talent Management Survey. Johannesburg: Knowledge Resources
McCord, P. (2014). How Netflix Reinvented HR. Harvard Business Review, 92(1/2), 71-76.
Ready, D., Hill, L., & Thomas, R. (2014). Building a Game-Changing Talent Strategy. Harvard Business Review, 92(1/2), 63-68.

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