Should You Build, Buy, or Rotate Workplace Talent

Should You Build, Buy, or Rotate Workplace Talent
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Managing Talent – Build, Buy, or Rotate Workplace Talent?
Talent management is all about attracting, developing, engaging, and retaining top talent in a way that makes sense to the business AND the people. And the research proves that better talent management matters. According to studies by Bersin, organizations that excel at managing top talent:

  • Achieve 26% more revenue per employee
  • Have 41% lower turnover

And our organizational alignment research found that talent accounts for 29% of the difference between high and low performing companies in terms of revenue, profits, customer loyalty, leadership effectiveness, and employee engagement. It’s all about having the right people in the right roles at the right time with the right skills and attitudes.

The Challenge
As a leader, you need to ensure that your talent is positioned to achieve your current and future business goals in a way that aligns with your workplace culture.  The question is how?

We see three possible strategies: build, buy, or rotate workplace talent. Which makes the most sense for your organization? Only you can answer that question, but we suggest being open to a combination of all three approaches.

Build, Buy, or Rotate Workplace Talent
Here are definitions of each of these terms and when each strategy is most appropriate:

  1. Build Workplace Talent
    To show employees that they have a viable career path, many Chief People Officers prefer to invest in and promote their own workforce before looking elsewhere for talent. This requires a company-wide commitment to assessing and developing the core skills required for current and future performance.   

    This approach to talent requires leaders to proactively build new skills so that employees can perform in different roles and increase performance in current roles.  This approach also helps to engage and retain top talent.  According to Gallup, 87% of millennials say that professional or career growth and development opportunities are important to them in a job.

    This strategy has the advantage of investing in employees who have already proven their cultural fit in the organization and do not need additional skill building to get them up to speed. 
  2. Buy Workplace Talent
    Especially when increased innovation or cultural change at work is required, many organizations prefer to hire outside talent to gain fresh perspectives, break out of old habits, bolster expertise, and bring new energy. 

    When you decide to look outside the organization for talent, make sure you define the behavioral competencies needed to succeed in the job, your corporate culture, and your business strategy.

    Typically, buying talent works well when you are expanding into a new business area or current employees don’t have (and can’t acquire) the necessary skills fast enough to be successful.
  3. Rotate Workplace Talent
    Rotating talent is where employees rotate between two or more jobs in the same organization and then often rotate back to their original role.  

    Job rotations allow employees to gain experience, exposure, and skills across different parts of the business.  Done right, job rotations promote collaboration, big picture thinking, agility, decision making, employee engagement, and employee retention.

    Similar to building talent internally, job rotations improve career development and learning opportunities for employees.

The Bottom Line
According to the World Economic Forum, in the next five years up to half of all employees will need some level of skill building to perform effectively while almost 100 million new roles are likely to emerge. Use the three levers above to manage your organizational talent in a way that makes sense for your specific business strategy and unique organizational culture.

To learn more about developing top talent, download How Organizations and Managers Must Reassess Career Development

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