Where Talent Fits in an Organization’s Strategy for Success

One out of 5 directors' chairs is spotlighted

When all is said and done, how would you vote when asked to define a company’s greatest competitive advantage?

Is it your product? Just think how quickly it could be replicated or become obsolete. Is it your favorable pricing? Competitors will soon lower their approaches and prices to match. Is it your market? You know how fast others will follow. Is it your talent? If you have a high performing, highly engaged workforce, that is where your advantage lies.

For companies who do not have the right talent they need, it typically takes time and a concerted effort to attract, develop, engage and retain the top talent required to set a company apart. If yours is the company with the right talent where it is needed, this is your true advantage that is difficult to replicate.

Now the question becomes how can you build and sustain your talent advantage? You want to be able to attract, retain, manage and engage top talent where it counts for your organization. This is your challenge…to manage your workforce so that you have the right people with the right skills in the right jobs at the right time.

  • Hire, develop and reward talent where it is needed most.
    Aligning your talent strategy with your business strategy is key. For example, if you have determined that your business strategy for success is to create a customer-focused culture, then you must hire, develop and reward for the skills, competencies and attitudes that promote customer satisfaction.
  • Leaders need to put their money where their mouth is.
    All the research tells us that CEOs are increasingly concerned with talent management so their organizations are performing now and ready for the future. But they must not relegate this task to a single, under-resourced and underappreciated department (HR for instance). HR and senior leaders need to work together to support and fund the effort to build, develop and engage talent across the board in a way that makes sense.
  • Identify, hire and develop the qualities you know are needed for success.
    Create job profiles as the first stage of the hiring process. Know what you are looking for and then stick to the profile you know can be successful. And remember, “A” players exhibit more than the competencies required; they have the proven behaviors that drive toward success and that fit in your unique organizational culture. Once hired, your job becomes one of performance management to see that employees are equipped and held accountable to meet clearly defined job expectations.
  • Look to the future.
    Talent management is not just here and now. Done right, you would have a leadership pipeline in place that selects high potentials and puts them on a thoughtful, productive, well-monitored path forward. Watch these special employees carefully. Be sure they are ready and willing for the challenge, eager to grow, and fully capable of the trust you have placed in them. When they do not measure up, find them a path more in line with their abilities and aspirations.

Still need to be persuaded that talent management matters to your bottom line? An article by Andy Teng in HRO Today cites research by Steven Joyce of the Hackett Group that “top-performing talent management organizations…posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) that are 15 percent higher than peer companies.”

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