Talent Management Shows Room for Improvement

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Many organisations' talent management strategies are failing to score top marks, according to a year-long study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Speaking at the CIPD annual conference this week, Victoria Winkler and Rebecca Clake from the institute said that progress could still be made.

According to the study, just over half (51%) of those surveyed undertake talent management activities – 56% in the private sector and 46% in the public sector.

Victoria Winkler, CIPD learning, training and development adviser said: “Persistent skills shortages, the changing demographics of the UK workforce and the work-life balance agenda have led to increased competition for individuals who are capable of making the greatest difference to organisational performance.

“Our research found talent management contributed to other strategic objectives and the value of having an effective talent management process was crucial in placing the subject of talent high on the corporate agenda.”

Winkler and Clake offered delegates the following top tips:
Agree your definitions and have a common language
Link corporate and talent strategy
Get support flowing from the top

The pair said that getting management buy in from the top meant more than paying lip-service to the issue. “Senior managers need to walk the talk. Line managers also play a key role and there needs to be a two-way dialogue,” said Winkler.

Top talent also needs to be developed effectively, they said. “What happens to graduates when they finish their programme but aren’t as yet picked up on the senior management radar?” asked Winkler.

Keeping the majority happy also needs to be considered, they said, with thought put into what to do with those that aren’t hand-picked for accelerated management courses, especially in terms of their ongoing engagement.

Talent management according to the study can be defined as: “Talent consists of those individuals who can make a difference to organisational perofrmance, either through their immediate contribution or in the longer term by demonstrating the highest levels of potential,” but warned Clake and Winkler definitions need to be tailored to each organisation to ensure success.

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