Employers must ask their staff the right questions in order to bridge the talent intelligence gap, says Lynne Salmon, senior marketing manager at Taleo
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 is
Up to 70 per cent of an organisation’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. For example, in the private
sector most businesses know more about their PCs
than they do about the people that use them.
LinkedIn and Facebook may offer more
information about a company’s engineering staff
than their HR technology systems have today.
According to AMR Research, enterprises around the
world are spending $100bn on Enterprise Resource
Planning, supply chain and CRM systems while they
are only spending $2bn 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 optimising investments in their people that would
directly impact the business. We call this the Talent
Intelligence Gap and Taleo has built its entire talent
management suite to deliver these kinds of analytics
A Taleo survey conducted earlier this year of
100 senior managers from Australia’s largest
companies found that most businesses simply don’t
know enough about their people, particularly in the
post-GFC environment. They lack the analytics or
insights that HR professionals need to meet their
executive’s expectations of the HR function, and
need to do more to correlate a talent management
strategy to hard dollar business performance.
Of those 100 senior managers surveyed, 80 per cent want data on
succession bench strength, but only 29 per cent have access to reliable data on
it. Ninety-eight per cent said data on risk of loss of critical employees is
important, but only 37 per cent have access to data that is reliable. Similarly,
88 per cent wanted data on top performers by division but only 26 per cent
knew whether those top performers were on a career path.
Put simply, the majority of HR executives are not receiving access to talent
data that is important to them.
In order to build talent intelligence within the enterprise, Taleo recommends
building talent profiles using the most important talent data – including:
• An employee’s experience, skills and competencies. For example, are they
specialist in the area the company works within, have they worked on large
scale projects in the past and do they have client interaction / project
management experience that best fits the role?
• An employee’s career ambitions. For example – do they aspire to career
advancement locally, or running international projects? It is critical to align
development plans and identify succession candidates.
• Employee performance ratings to ensure high performers are identified and
• Performance information that identifies future leadership potential to fill the
• Critical skill sets that are at risk or the gaps in existing skills sets across the
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.
To read The Great Debate on Talent Management see the next issue of HR Leader magazine - hitting desks 14 September.
For more information on how your business can improve its approach to
talent intelligence, please visit www.taleo.com.au or call (02) 9356 1900