The Seven Tall Tales of Talent Management

Vona, Mary K. (2010). The Seven Tall Tales of Talent Management. Aon Hewitt, 12p.

As the economy moves toward a tepid uplift, the more prepared organizations have remained flexible, creative, responsive, and have not lost sight of the importance of talent management.

  • Nearly 40% of companies are in the intermediate stage of implementing an overall talent management strategy, and more than 38% are still in the novice stage, according to research and advisory firm Bersin and Associates.
  • A full 30% of US companies have a dedicated talent management executive, up from 21% in 2008.

One: Shifting Demographics Will Create a Global Talent Void

Two: There Are No Good Organically Grown HR Leaders

Three: Performance Evaluations Are the Only Way to Measure Talent.

Our efforts to “flatten” organizations and implement matrix and hybrid solutions have created complex reporting relationships, yet our performance evaluation process has remained “one employee/one supervisor.”

Research shows that over 85% of both managers and employees dislike the performance review process.

Some of the most common pitfalls include:

  • Creating a process that is solely driven by forms and technology
  • Setting overly ambiguous goals
  • Too much focus on measurements versus qualitative variables
  • Providing feedback only on an annual basis

There also is a lack of recognition of group/team-oriented goals.

Four: Reverse Mentoring is a Crazy Idea

Five: Leaders Cannot Impact Climates of Innovation

Six: Talent Assessments Have Plateaued

There is an inverse relationship between reducing people and infrastructure costs and the need for leadership. Plus, the economic downturn has driven down the demand for talent assessment and talent strategy.

Aon’s 2009 Benefits and Talent Survey found that the need for strong leadership was a key finding, but respondents self-reported that they were not doing enough to improve their bench strength. The need for talent assessments has never been greater.

Assessment programs can include the following methods:

  1. Performance Evaluations
  2. Psychometric Tests
  3. 360-Degree Feedback Surveys
  4. Employee Engagement Scores
  5. Trait-Based Assessments
  6. Talent Interviews

Seven: In the Current Economy, People are Fortunate to Have Jobs…Talent is Always Available

Downsizing, pay cuts, hiring freezes, and a generally thankless work environment have all combined to create the least loyal and least engaged workforce in history.

In her book Top Talent: Keeping Performance Up When Business is Down, Dr. Sylvia Hewlett presents new data detailing what has happened to top talent in this brutal downturn. Poorly treated and overworked professionals are taking an “I have to look out for me” approach to their careers.

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