Making the most of talent

by 15 Dec 2008

WHILE MANY companies acknowl edge that people are their greatest asset, they still have a way to go when it comes to managing talent and embedding rele vant processes into the running of their businesses, says an international talent management expert.

Alice Snell, vice president of Taleo Research, said organisations need to take a more holistic view of talent management in order to optimise the performance of their workforce.

“Talent management practices – from hiring through to performance manage ment, succession planning, goals align ment and career planning – need to be embedded in business processes an used by all of stakeholders in the workforce,” she said.

One of the most common problems with talent management, she said, is that relevant information exists in silos. “Information about the talent acquisition process doesn’t flow up and through the organisation. It isn’t built on as an employee comes on board and develops with the organisation. These silos are a really big issue,” she said.

Another common issue with effective talent management is weak buy-in from management and executives. “It’s a frus tration of HR, because managers and executives don’t know how powerful this can be and how beneficial this can be to the organisation,” she said.

Such processes were especially important in an economic downturn, according to Snell, because organisa tions need to identify and retain top performers.

“If you’re in a low-growth economy where you can only hire a few people, you really want to make sure you get the right people,” she said.

“So talent management practices are certainly not confined to a high- growth economy. In some ways, com panies come under a lot of pressure in a low growth economy, so talent man agement practices can provide even greater returns.”

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