Fostering a Culture of Integrated Talent Management

Integrated Talent management is a problem that haunts hiring executives in contemporary workplaces. It appears that no matter how rigorous and sound the succession and development plans are, companies still find themselves in either a shortage or surplus of talent and unable to keep up with strategic operations.

According to the Harvard Business Review, talent management practices in the twenty-first century by leading corporations are largely dysfunctional, especially in the United States, “leading to a lurch from surpluses of talent to shortfalls to surpluses and back again.”

Business problems caused by mismanagement of talent comes with consequences. Time and financial resources get wasted, employee engagement and motivation go down, and the quality of the talent is not good. As a result, the performance of the business suffers as well.

Effective talent management makes a substantial difference to an enterprise. A McKinsey study on 410 corporate offices found that organizations scoring in the top quintile of talent management practices outperformed their competitors by an impressive 22% in returns on shareholder value.

The solution to business problems caused by ineffective talent management lies in ‘Integrated Talent Management.’

What is Integrated Talent Management?

Research by the International Visegrad Fund, an international organization founded by the governments of the Visegrad Group countries, defines the concept of integrated talent management as one that “integrates the business strategy, the human resources strategy, talent management processes and the organizational culture.”

Linking the talent strategy to the corporate strategy allows HR managers to meet human capital needs before they are required. Knowing the organization’s business moves in advance allows the hiring manager to plan and recruit quality talent accordingly, with no time restraints.

Development Planning

A successful organization is one which focuses on the development of their employees. Enhancing the skills and abilities of your workforce saves on costs recruiting new talent and increases loyalty. There are multiple ways and multiple times that you can add development activities to an employee’s personal learning and development plan. It is better to integrate all those activities into one broad development plan per employee.

Managers have updated development profiles on employees which get reviewed during succession planning meetings and discussions.  They are relevant to managers, employees, and leaders because they show the physical impact of the individual’s work on the organization and shows them what it means in terms of developing employees.

We often say, hire for what you need one year from now, not today.  If you focus on today, you will end up with what you already have rather than focused on where you want your organization and team to be one year from now. The same over-arching theory can be applied to integrated talent management.  If you focus on the talent you need today, you will end up a year from now scrambling for the talent you need then.

An easy and simple ‘old school’ (non-technology) option is a succession planning and training book (or any number of the software platforms that now exist). Each manager has a book filled with a section on each employee. The section is simple. It is made up of two pages facing each other with the employee’s picture (visual helps) on one side with their current skill sets listed under it. The current skills should include everything within their current job as well as beyond it. It is surprising how many hidden, high-value skills go unnoticed by employers. The opposing side is their next career move within the company, the skill sets they will need and the gaps that exist. A development and training plan specific to each employee can then quickly and easily be created.

The key to putting any plan together is being able to see into the future and creating a plan that is consistent with the company’s culture.  Anything that is counter to the company’s culture will likely cause too much disruption to keep the needed consistency for it to be successful.  As we said, you also need to be able to see into the future.

The organization as a whole needs to be on the same page with the future of the company which is most often, the strategic plan.  Since people are often the number one resource in a company it is likely that they are the number one resource for executing a strategic plan.  Human resources is most left out of this process yet can be the most instrumental in the success of it.

As it was defined earlier, integrated talent management is one that “integrates the business strategy, the human resources strategy, talent management processes and the organizational culture.”  All cylinders need to be firing together or you end up out of balance and possibly spiralling in the wrong direction.

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