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Talent management

What is talent?

Talent is an ability, skill, inclination that allows a person with talent to do something easier, better and faster than other people.Talent is the general behavior, attitude, knowledge and skills that distinguish one individual from another.

Approximate reading time: 6m 3s

The words Talent and Talent management are one of the most commonly used when it comes to human resource management.

It is not circumstantial.Companies have a huge interest in having talented employees who, with good talent management, can generate value and competitive advantage.

Let`s look at the concept of talent and some of the more common practices for its management.

What is talent?

There is no complete unanimity among experts on this issue.Some emphasis is still being discussed on the nature of talent, its roots, as well as the context of talent in human resource management.

Here are some key statements about talent:

-Talent is an ability, skill, inclination that allows a person with talent to do something easier, better and faster than other people.Talent is the general behavior, attitude, attitude, knowledge and skills that distinguish one individual from another.Talent is what a person loves to do the most and it brings him pleasure.
-Talent is innate and inherited, but there are many proponents of the thesis that it is learned and assimilated. In both cases, the talent needs to be opened - to train, to develop, in order to be able to express itself with all its might.
-From a management point of view, a talented employee is one whose competence to deal with current and future tasks is much higher, more meaningful and more useful than the competence of his colleagues who are assigned the same tasks.The two most important conditions for the full expression of talent are the environment that provides an opportunity to learn and practice talent and emotional support - by the manager and the company’s policy.
How a leader understands talent also determines how he will manage it.

Management of capable employees between the 50s and 90s of the twentieth century

The words "talent” and talent management did not appear in the vocabulary of managers until almost the end of the 1990s. However, during this period, management practices are used to stimulate and support capable and quality employees.

These management practices include: planning the needs of the workforce, attracting new employees from schools and universities, periodic assessment of potential and career growth for management.

Very close to the concept of talent management are two management practices from this period: Matrix for evaluation on employees and Method 20-70-10 for evaluation on employees .

The author of both practices is Jack Welch - CEO of General Electric in the period 1981-2001. Welch appreciated capable managers because of their bright qualities, behavior and performance.He believed that these were managers with a strong passion for work, great energy, determination, high responsibility, charisma and ability to influence others.

Similar schemes for segmentation of managers and specific care for them have been applied in companies such as IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, AIG, Ford, Microsoft and others.

The human resource management models of the 1980s and 1990s expanded the idea of managing capable employees.Training and development programs, regular performance appraisals, career development plans, more flexible pay and remuneration systems are good examples from this period, but still do not fully fit into the concept of talent management.

McKinsey & Co talent management concept

The word "talent" first appeared in 1998 in the book The War on Talents.The book contains analyzes, conclusions and recommendations on behalf of consultants from McKinsey & Co - a well-known American consulting company.The guidelines in the book are based on interviews and surveys with 6,000 managers and CEOs from 77 companies, and a few years later McKinsey & Co’s survey covered 13,000 managers from 120 US companies.

Both surveys reveal a shortage of talented managers and executives in strategic positions and emphasize that this will continue for the next twenty years.The forecasts are not ;pink; and for another reason pointed out by the consultants - the demand for talented managers and executives will grow, but in the conditions of their decreasing supply.

As a way out of the situation, McKinsey & Co proposes to do something that is beyond selection, training and evaluation, believing that in this way the company will be able to gain stronger competitive advantages.

McKinsey & Co calls this talent management. It integrates three management actions for human resources, namely:

- Careful selection of managers and executives;
- Constant (not episodic) development of their talent;
- Retaining talented managers and executives through good working conditions and prospects.
McKinsey & Co ’s concept defines talent management as a strategy, not as operational human resource management.

Talent management concept after 2000

The concept of talent management after 2000 builds on that of McKinsey & Co.

Currently, the understanding of talent management is consolidating around the fact that talent management is a detailed and detailed strategy that integrates four management activities for human resources into one and is aimed at adding value to the organization, employees, customers and business partners.

Talent management includes the following management activities:

a.Attracting and selecting talents;
b.Talent development;
c.Motivation and retention of talented employees;
d.Creating and maintaining a channel for delivery of talent.

As can be seen, talent management is not human resource management, although it uses it as a tool to achieve a specific goal - added value in the near future. The scope of talent management is narrower - these are mostly managers. And this is what gives specificity to management practices.

Questions such as whether employees with significant contributions or all employees should be involved in talent management are still under discussion; which has a higher priority in making management decisions - the position or the manager; whether to rely on internal sources or external sources, etc.

Let’ s look at these management practices that are currently present in the concept of talent management.

1.Attracting and selecting talents
The main emphasis of this practice is to attract the interest of talented candidates for vacant managerial positions, as well as to select the most suitable ones.

The three most commonly used techniques that companies use are:

- Employer’ s brand. The employer’ s brand is inspiring and attractive to talented candidates if it meets two conditions: first, it clearly expresses the essence of the organization; second, it contains a promise of the value that the organization promises to talented employees;
- Job description of the vacancy .This very important document in attracting and selecting talent fulfills its role if it contains a clear and precise wording of the promise of value to the employee in case he / she takes the vacant position.For example, expected roles and contributions, career prospects, etc.;.
- Interview. It differs from the usual interview in that it focuses on the competence of the candidate and in particular on his integrity, integrity, creativity.

2.Talent development
The emphasis in this management practice is the culture of learning in the organization.The talented employee-manager gratefully accepts the general rules, the environment, the feedback, the opportunity to share problems, to seek consensus, to trust and be trusted.

The two most common techniques for talent development are:

- Positive signals to the newly appointed talented employees. This includes practices such as introducing the new employee to colleagues (breakfast / lunch for welcome), setting goals, periodic personal discussions of results, policies and procedures, and more.
- Training needs assessment. Here are a few steps: to develop a common map of the necessary knowledge, skills and behavior in the near future; to have an up-to-date assessment of the available knowledge, skills and behavior; to determine the deficit of knowledge, skills, behavior; to define the specific needs for knowledge, skills and behavior; to determine the priority areas and the deadlines for implementation.

3.Motivation and retention of talented employees
This management practice is focused on the attitude of talent. Companies adhere to proven techniques for engaging and motivating talented employees based on theory on Frederick Herzberg .

Briefly, the techniques are as follows:

- Nurturing a sense of job satisfaction.The first step in this practice is to eliminate conditions and circumstances that cause dissatisfaction, for example through procedures and policies that are a barrier to effective performance, assigning more significant tasks, periodic review of the remuneration systems of competing companies.The second step is to create conditions for greater job satisfaction, for example by offering tasks and roles in the direction of new achievements, independent work without supervision, increasing competence, assigning more responsibility.
- Mentoring and coaching of talent. Mentoring is used when the employee has learned something new and it should be transformed into a specific skill.Coaching is different - it is aimed at helping the talented employee who wants to have personal achievements in their work.

4.Creating and maintaining a channel for delivery of talent
This management practice aims to create and maintain a secure source of talented managers.

Two techniques are used:

- Talent Reservoir.Provides equal opportunities for all managers, but within the requirements of competence, to develop their qualities through a series of well-thought-out in-house training and university programs;
- HiPo Program. It includes managers with a very high potential for talent that can be honed with those leadership skills that are tied to the achievement of strategic goals.

In summary:

A study by the Society for Human Resource Management among specialists in this field shows that in the period 2020-2030 the focus of human resources management itself will be talent management.

Therefore, let’s summarize:

- Talent management is not human resource management, but a well-developed, detailed strategy with integrated in one four management practices for talented managers in the organization.
- The purpose of talent management is to generate value in the near future - for the organization, for partners, for customers, for the talents themselves.
- So far, the following management practices are most popular: attracting and selecting talents, talent development; motivating and retaining talented employees, creating and maintaining a channel for “delivery” of talent.

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