Talent Management and Poaching Talent

What could be the biggest source of competitive advantage to an organization in the current era of cut throat competition? If I asked this question a decade or two decade, the answer would have been something like - ‘it’s the technology’, ‘its global presence’, ‘its customer perception’ etc. All of them can be a potential source of competitive advantage to any organization even now. But the common answer today would be ‘the people’.

Yes, it’s the people that can be and that are the single biggest source of competitive advantage to organizations nowadays. Top executives globally are one in their view that the quality of people onboard decides your present and the future. Great mission and vision statements appear futile if the talent pool or skill inventory of an organization is not good and vice versa.

But since when have people become of strategic importance to organizations? They always were! But time demanded no reckoning of this fact. Organizations in the fast were progressing at standard rates and talent was developed at similar pace and consequentially there was no dearth.

But with the advent of globalization that has thrown open global market places, organizations and industries are growing at blistering pace. It is getting difficult to develop people at the same pace. The heat is being felt equally at the top as well as bottom level positions. There is shortage of skilled workers are the lower level and an equal dearth of people in leadership positions.

What’s more, organizations fail to understand how to retain the existent talent, compensation (financial and otherwise), rewards and recognition all have failed organizations in helping them retain people of skill and choice. An even more difficult aspect is to identify the right people for development for leadership positions.

Needless to mention here organizations want talent up and down the hierarchy and when they fail to retain the same, they poach. If I am an organization that believes in having talent onboard and I recognize talent in some organization, I have every right to poach the same, provided I can compensate him/her in terms of growth, learning and opportunity!

Poaching is not unethical on the part of any organization. In fact it showcases a flaw in the organizations retention strategy from where the person is being poached. It basically means that there is fundamentally something wrong in the way the organization compensates its employees. This is one of the biggest challenges to talent management. Consider the following facts:

  • The average cost of hiring a new manager in place of another who has left the job is 1.5 to 3 times the salary!
  • Each managerial position vacant can cost an organization up to 60000 on an average. It may shoot to six figures in some management positions.
  • According to an estimate 1/3rd of business failures are due to poor hiring decision and inability to attract and retain quality people.

This is the cost of poaching to both the organizations, the one that is getting people onboard and the one that is losing people.

While poaching is not a new concept, what should be of more concern to HR is why do people leave and how to retain them. It’s none other than the talent management that has to come out with a solution.


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