Principles of Talent Management

There are no hard and fast rules for succeeding in execution of management practices, if you ask me. What may work wonders for one organization may ruin another one! For convenience sake however there are certain principles of Talent Management that one should follow or keep in mind.

Principle 1 - Avoid Mismatch Costs

In planning for future manpower requirements, most of the HR professionals prepare a deep bench of candidates or manpower inventory. Many of the people who remain in this bracket start searching for other options and move when they are not raised to a certain position and profile. In such a scenario it is better to keep the bench strength low and hire from outside from time to time to fill gaps. This in no way means only to hire from outside, which leads to a skill deficit and affects the organizational culture.

Such decisions can be taken by thinking about the ‘Make or Buy’ decision. Perhaps questions like - How accurate is the demand forecast? How long is the talent required? Can we afford to develop? Answers to these questions can better help the talent management to decide on whether to develop or buy talent.

Principle 2 - Reduce the Risk of Being Wrong

In manpower anticipations for future an organization can ill afford to be wrong. It’s hard to forecast talent demands for future business needs because of the uncertainty involved. It is therefore very important to attune the career plans with the business plans. A 5 year career plan looks ridiculous along with a 2 year business plan.

Further, long term development and succession plans may end up as a futile exercise if the organization lacks a firm retention strategy.

Principle 3 - Recoup Talent Investments

Developing talent internally pays in the longer run. The best way to recover investments made in talent management is to reduce upfront costs by finding alternative and cheaper talent delivery options. Organizations also require a rethink on their talent retention strategy to improve employee retention.

Another way that has emerged of late in many organizations is sharing development costs with the employees. Many of TATA companies for example sponsor their employees’ children education. Similarly lots of organizations use ‘promote then develop’ programs for their employees where the cost of training and development is shared between the two. One important way to recoup talent investments is spotting the talent early, this reduces the risk. More importantly this identified lot of people needs to be given opportunities before they get it elsewhere.

Principle 4 - Balancing Employee Interests

How much authority should the employees’ haves over their own development? There are different models that have been adopted by various corporations globally. There is ‘the chess master model’, but the flipside in this is that talented employees search for options. Organizations can also make use of the internal mobility programs which are a regular feature of almost all the top organizations.

These principles are just broader guidelines; their application varies across industries and organizational cultures.

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