HR and Talent Management Consulting and Training

Business-Integrated Talent Management

A critical foundation of your new role is the ability to quickly establish, and periodically refresh, business-integrated talent strategy.

Following our methods, your talent strategy will unify the organization as a whole and cascade with specificity to every function.

Without clear strategy, the rest of your talent management efforts will not align or have the impact they should.

Talent leaders become business leaders to the extent they initiate, operate and measure a clear and convincing business logic that specifically describes how customer-desired value will be delivered.

You do not want or need a heavy strategy exercise. Our method is fast, easy and enjoyable, without sacrificing relevancy, detail or business impact.

You must have a light-weight method because talent strategy formation and execution is an action you will need to repeat often as business conditions or objectives change. Because the results of the method are credible, your internal business leaders will commit to the talent actions which must follow.

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business integrated talent planning

Fitting Talent to Talent Strategy

Job matching brings strategy to life. Within a given strategy, your next most important capability is to establish a system that matches specific talent to specific opportunities, positions or situations (project teams, processes, initiatives).

Job matching, also known as goodness of fit analysis, requires a common data structure that is used to analyze both sides of the equation - job requirements and candidate capabilities.

If separate data structures are used, one for jobs and a different one for candidates, then goodness of fit analysis cannot occur. Without a common data structure that compares apples-to-apples, you might as well flip a coin to make talent decisions because your decisions will yield results no better than random chance.

Typically, and sadly, in most organizations job descriptions or hiring requisitions are used to inform the analysis of the job. But these are completely inadequate tools.

Job descriptions are usually made-up of nice sounding but imaginary phrases, do not reflect operating reality, and are rarely used for anything other than recruitment postings. Using such baseless tools will render your job matching and goodness of fit analysis unreal and irrelevant. If you are experiencing high attrition, one of the big drivers will likely be poor match to the nature of the work. You can fix this and get attrition under control.

With our methods you will have absolutely fresh, real-world job data gleaned from the people who are closest to the job itself and who know your operating culture. Your operating management will believe in and support talent decisions informed by our methods.

Goodness of fit analysis is also the foundation for many other talent management activities, such as determining skill gaps and designing training, performance management (and, hence, reward), succession management, leadership pipelines, coaching and mentoring, and offering employees a clear and objective basis for their career progress.

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person job match

Talent Supply Assurance

Strategy answers the question 'why do we need talent', job matching answers the question 'who is the best fit', but neither of these elements of creating business value will matter if you don't have control of talent supply.

Increasingly, organizations report having difficulty finding enough of the right kind of talent. But is there really a lack of talent in this world? Or are we just hearing and seeing evidence of organizations having a less than clear strategy for matching talent-demand to talent-supply?

Gaining supply control requires that you lead in three crucial areas:

  • overcome tunnel vision regarding supply strategies; most organizations know only one strategy - recruitment - when there are four basic strategies and you can take advantage of all of them (Buy, Borrow, Build, Bind)
  • learn to build dynamic talent pools; pools are a more stable unit of talent analysis and can be updated and re-drawn as conditions change and as you get closer to the moment of decision making about who to place in what position
  • shift from reactive to proactive mode; don't wait for talent disruption to occur before taking action (i.e., don't wait for someone to quit before you start to recruit), build pools continually

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four talent supply strategies

Effectively Prioritize and Apply the Right Supply Strategies

In your new role, you need to be able to put together the right combination of supply strategies.

Some supply strategies are more appropriate than others for a given segment of your workforce. In fact, using the wrong supply strategy could actually harm what you are trying to do with certain segments of your workforce.

We'll teach you how to quickly characterize any job in your organization to find its place in the segmentation model so that you can bring to bear the right supply strategy.

A typical org chart displays hierarchical relationships but says relatively little about how jobs in your organization fit into a strategic hierarchy that drives your ability to differentiate yourself in the marketplace and compete. Talent management is about being able to compete, so you need to be able to see these patterns. Once you see them, see how the organization can be segmented along strategic dimensions, then you can make human capital investments and plans that align to the segments. The value of workforce segmentation is to reveal the hidden strategic structure within your overall organization design.

Jobs can be sorted or grouped depending on how sensitive they are to two factors; 1) how much impact they have on business strategy, and 2) how much 'inside the company' knowledge content the job must have. These factors will drive your selection of talent supply strategies as you'll see by expanding the next box down.

Please note the 4-box model of workforce segmentation to the left of this text. The horizontal axis pertains to enterprise-specific knowledge, and the vertical axis pertains to impact on strategy. The upper right quadrant illustrates the intersection of both factors where jobs may be categorized which require both a large content of enterprise-specific knowledge and those which bear great responsibility for business strategy formulation. Jobs categorized in this quadrant could be characterized as 'win the market' types of jobs. These jobs are capable of differentiating the organization from its rivals.

The definition of enterprise-specific knowledge is knowledge that is unique or proprietary and that only can be gained by working inside the organization. Such knowledge is not general knowledge that one could gain by working at other companies. Any job that falls into the right side of the 4-box model is, by definition, a job that requires, to some extent or another, knowledge that cannot be purchased in the open labor market.

Therefore, for the right side of the model, your first choice of talent supply strategies should not be recruitment (the Buy strategy). Open labor market talent does not possess the enterprise-specific knowledge you need.

Although some external hiring can be applied to the right side to bring in new ideas and energy, too much non-proprietary knowledge in this segment will dilute your attempt to differentiate yourself. That would put at risk your ability to maintain your brand identity and relationship with the marketplace, or make your internal processes less efficient.

For the right side of the model, your better choices are to Borrow, Build and Bind talent, which are longer-term supply strategies. These three strategies are of much more interest to your dedicated and engaged workforce. Build is what most employees want, to learn new skills and to have career growth. Bind is retention, and any talent saved is one talent that does not have to be recruited or replaced.

Jobs categorized on the left side of the model require less proprietary knowledge and, so, are more agreeable to external recruitment.

Our methods will help you to quickly segment your organization and keep up to date your segmentation and supply alignment as conditions and objectives change.

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workforce segmentation
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