Talent Management

by Rachel Brushfield

The need for talent management

Being a line manager is rather like being a teacher: the future success of your team lies in your hands, which is a large responsibility. Small things can make a big difference.

The cost of poor talent management

Poor talent management takes many forms, all of which can adversely affect your company in general and your team in particular:

  • Poor recruitment decisions – you get in the wrong people and then have to cope with them or manage them out and start again
  • Poor organisation – not devoting enough time to coaching talent, so you don’t get the best out of them and they may leave
  • Not paying attention to the small factors and gestures that motivate and engage talent (such as saying thank you or giving feedback about performance)
  • Not making time for career development conversations – these talks may not be urgent or important for you, but neglect them at your peril
  • Treating all talent the same and as a generic resource, rather treating talented people as individuals and taking a targeted approach to job design and learning and development.

All the factors listed above can affect the attraction, development, productivity and the engagement and retention of talent and thus the success of your team and department.

Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.

Warren Bennis

Poor talent management will mean that your company falls behind competitors, making it hard to catch up and get ahead. Not employing good talent makes it harder to be successful. It is also difficult to be an employer of choice and attract new talent, as people like to learn and be inspired by those they work with.

Poor talent management will mean that you will waste time on lower calibre staff and spend time recruiting and training up staff, only for them to leave for a better employer or manager or more exciting career prospects.

The implications

If you work in a sector with a talent shortage, you may have to work harder and spend more time than you would ideally choose to keep your current team happy and attract the talent you need in future.

You need to be flexible and creative when recruiting, especially within a talent shortage. For example, you may need to look at similar competencies in lateral sectors or recruit from abroad.

You also need to realise that the younger generation of talent want more flexibility and diversity of employment. They are also more confident and challenging, and less loyal than previous generations, so they need to be engaged to stay.

When the winds of change blow, some people build walls, others build windmills.

Chinese proverb