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Growing a Successful Business is All About Getting Top Talent & Talent Management: Putting the Right People in the Right Seat at the Right Time

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“In times of economic uncertainty, there is nothing more important or strategic to ensure business success than talent management. Now more than ever we need to be focusing on top talent, high performers, and developing talent.” ~Tess Reinhard

Companies who attract the best talent are the ones who are going to be the most successful in the new economy. Talent is a major issue for most organizations, but there is no consensus on a definition for talent. ‘McKinsey’ defines talent as the sum of a person’s abilities, ‘The Economist’ says its brainpower, others say its leadership, and still others talk about it as the possession of emotional intelligence. What none of these definitions talk about is what is at the heart of talent and talent management; potential. In an article by Robin Stuart-Kotze and Chris Dunn they say, talent is not just about having the brainpower, the knowledge, the experience, the skill or the mental and physical characteristics to do something, in the present; it’s also about the potential to do something different, or of a higher order of difficulty and complexity, in the future. Talent has two components: ability (current performance) and capability (potential performance). Further they say that talent can only be defined in terms of specific contexts. People who are talented in one area or country are not necessarily successful in another. Simply, talent is the ability and the capability to do something very well…

In the article “Grow Your Business With Top Talent” by Dr. Linda D. Henman writes: One of the most critical responsibilities of senior leaders involves assessing talent; something you’ve probably never been trained to do. Of all the leadership and managerial duties you’ll face, this is probably the least intuitive, the most complicated, and the least familiar. Whenever you’re assessing strengths, you’ll need to carefully weigh the three constructs of talent: the aptitude to do the job, the behaviors that will ensure success in the job, and the requisite experience for success. Aptitude involves a natural disposition or tendency toward a particular action, the readiness to learn, and the raw talent to function in the role. Aptitude implies that, with training and experience, this person can master the skills required to do the next job. Behavior involves people’s conduct; the way they present themselves. Behavior encompasses morals, deportment, carriage and demeanor. Experience, the most easily observed and objective aspect of talent assessment addresses the skills the person has displayed so far. In other words they already know how to perform specific tasks and have demonstrated this in the past. While important, experience offers limited prophetic value. Experience should be one, but only one, factor in assessing talent. The trick is to first assess people and then to recognize whether or not they are in a job that lets them leverage their strengths.

In the article “Talent Intelligence: Know your People…Grow your Business” by Lynne Salmon writes: For any business to be successful in today’s economy, it is imperative that its talent management strategies align with its key business objectives, and are designed to keep the workforce motivated and engaged. However, many companies struggle to link their talent management strategies to their business objectives and the cost of that intelligence gap are substantial. Up to 70% of an organization’s value is based upon the skills and experiences of its employees, and yet for most businesses there is simply a lack of visibility into how well the company’s highly trained and expertly skilled assets are being managed. According to AMR Research, enterprises around the world are spending $100 billion on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), supply chain, and CRM systems while they are only spending $2 billion on managing their most innovative asset; their people. If companies had the same visibility into their people as they do into their financials, supply chain, or sales forecast; they’d have greater opportunities for optimizing investments in their people that would directly impact the business. Meaningful employee talent intelligence cannot be collected as an after- thought or as a separate process. It must be captured as part of the talent management process and be supported by HR data that is easy to access, easy to use and valuable to the business.

In the article “How to use Social Media to Find Top Talent” by Charles van Heerden writes: Underneath the iceberg of vacant jobs being advertised on job boards and newspapers, a strong invisible current of talent is ingeniously using social media to identify and strategize their next career moves. Prior to the popular rise of social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, the talent sourcing process was limited to a linear process; where a vacancy is filled in transactional fashion, embedded in a perpetual recruitment environment of sourcing in new talent. The advent of job boards have resulted in a significant shift away from print media, but compounded the overload of thousands of job boards, with job aggregator sites promising candidates to identify vacant roles. Though the cost of recruitment has been reduced, the process remained reactive. The convergence of a number of technologies and the establishment of a talent pipeline has created the opportunity to develop relationships with talented candidates through an effective just-in-time recruitment model. LinkedIn is the preferred social networking site from a business perspective, with more than 72 million users across the world. Facebook is by far the most popular social media site, with more than 300 million users. Twitter is being used by a large number of companies to post job openings, though smart employers are also using it to share interesting news and to strengthen their employment brand. Companies can use creative ways to find talent through social media, by running competitions, surveys, blogs and email updates. Companies can and should use social media to find top talent, by building a talent pipeline..

In the article “6 Tips for Effective Recruiting on Social Media” by Sharlyn Lauby writes: The goal of recruiting is to find the right person at the right time. Logically, that means one source is never enough. You’ll want to tap into diverse mediums to find the best talent. Social media is no exception. Each platform has its own unique demographic. You’ll want to consider that audience when making the decision about which applications to use for your recruiting efforts. Regardless of the application, there are some common elements of using social media for recruiting. Here are six things to consider:
• Create an online presence that reflects who you are: Bill Boorman, author of the ‘Recruiting Unblog’ says. “People connect with people, not brands.”
• Make the most of your time: A large part of any success with social media is involvement. This is especially true if you want to use social media for recruiting.
• Individualize your approach: If you are connecting with someone directly, be ‘individualized’ in your approach.
• Be authentic: Remember it’s NOT about the tools it’s ALL about the relationships.
• Share interesting stuff. Sharing news and tidbits of general interest can create what might be the equivalent of “social media small talk”.
• Focus on substance. These tools are not a magic bullet – to get value from your network, you have to add value to it.”

In the article “Talent, Wow!-Factor, Speed & Short-Cuts” by Vivek Ranadivé writes: Mediocrity doesn’t win Olympic medals, nor will it result in a winning company. Great businesses out-smart and out-execute their competitors day-in and day-out. But while hiring outstanding, dedicated people should be a given, it is equally important to create an open environment within the organization that allows top talent to flourish. Hierarchy can often create bottlenecks that stifle innovation and agility. That’s why I have always believed in a flat management structure that gives employees greater autonomy when it comes to decision making. Having smart people in the organization is one thing, but they also need to be given the tools to execute on good ideas quickly; as success depends on doing things both better and faster than your competitors. Great companies cannot be built on process alone. If the right decision-making infrastructure is in place, your team should feel confident enough to move quickly – even in chaotic environments – and go out and dominate a market segment. We come back to the importance of cultivating an empowered team of players who are ready to act decisively when the right moment arrives. The foundation for a winning company requires an organizational framework and culture of accountability in place, together with operational agility and supported by consistent yet flexible organizational best practices…

Having the right seats filled with the right people is fundamental for business success and growth. If you want to improve your business performance, you need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your talent, increase the value that your team adds to the business, and ensure that your talent is a key part of your competitive advantage. A successful talent development program focuses on four key areas: Skills, knowledge, behaviors, results…

“A leader’s job is to focus on talent… And I think a lot of companies maybe don’t realize that”. ~ Brent Carter

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