Can We Achieve Integrated Talent Management Within the Federal Government?

Can we achieve Integrated Talent Management (ITM) within the Federal government?

My answer is “Yes, we can.” In order for Federal agencies to achieve ITM, they have to do business differently than they have done in the past. One example that comes to mind is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA has achieved ITM for years for supervisory and management employees. Their HR system for recruiting, selecting, developing, and managing performance for supervisory and management employees is competency-based. Competencies are the knowledge, skills, and characteristics of that individuals need to perform their jobs or occupational functions successfully. The FAA’s HR IT systems talk to each other and allow for ITM. This is just one example of how Federal agencies can achieve ITM.

What is Integrated Talent Management (ITM)?

I attended a Federal interagency meeting last month sponsored by Bersin by Deloitte. The purpose of the meeting was to bring Federal agency leaders together to discuss talent management in the Federal government. According to Bersin by Deloitte, ITM is “three or more connected organizational processes designed to attract, manage, develop, motivate and retain key people.” It includes functional areas such as career and talent management, performance management, succession management, talent development, talent acquisition, rewards, and leadership development. These systems are integrated with a common interface or IT solution for the purposes of efficiently collecting and reporting data to drive business results.

What needs to happen for to achieve ITM?

Federal government agencies can achieve ITM by being proactive, continuing to develop the right knowledge skills of our HR professionals, and aligning competencies with mission goals. If we start doing a few steps, we will be well on our way to ITM. I takes coordination, collaboration, and a willingness to partner. I have summarized a few critical elements that are necessary to achieve ITM within the Federal government.

  • Create HR systems that are competency-based. Competency management is the foundation for ITM. Each of the various HR systems need to be connected by competencies. Competencies are the glue that hold the functions and systems together.
  • Improve efforts to professionalize Federal HR. OPM has made tremendous strides with creating a one-stop shop for HR professionals to develop knowledge and skills with HR University (HRU). HRU contains tools, resources, and activities for Federal employees to develop HR competencies. It’s up to Federal HR professionals to take advantage of the resources that OPM has provided. Here are a few specific activities that HR professionals need to do to support ITM.
  • develop HR competencies and business partnering skills
  • learn more about our customers business
  • make more data-driven decisions
  • establish the right mix of transactional work versus consultancy work to become trusted advisors versus processors
  • participate in more certification programs
  • work as business partners instead of working in silos by utilizing a systems view of HR work
  • Start connecting HR systems. In order for ITM to work, HR systems need to talk to each other. The only way to be able to collect data for reporting and making organizational decisions is to have systems in place that are compatible.
  • Streamline efforts to only work on two or three systems at one time. Don’t try to integrate all systems at one time. For example, start with connecting talent development with performance management. Talent development (also called learning and development) can work with organizations to create competency models as well as spearhead succession management.

What can we do now?

  • Create more of a matrix workforce that facilitates collaboration.
  • Conduct regular collaboration meetings with representatives from each HR technical specialty area.
  • HR professionals spend time creating individual development plans (IDPs), learning about the profession, and using the developmental resources on HRU in different technical specialty areas as well as their own
  • Learn from other agencies who are already moving forward with ITM efforts.

If your agency is effectively achieving ITM, please share your success stories.

Deadra Welcome is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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