On Wednesday, June 19, I hosted my first tweetchat about talent management and talent management systems. Talent management is an area I have been exploring lately, and I was eager to hear my colleagues’ thoughts about what they have seen in the industry. We had a great conversation, and I was pleased to be joined by @MarkTregar, @Brittany610, @gregfarrell4, @Cate_Rooney, @ChasSharifi, @fzakhtar, and @JamesJLayman.
Since the topic can be defined in many ways, we began our conversation by sharing our definitions of talent management. I view talent management as strategic human resources aimed to recruit, retain, develop, reward, & increase people performance. @MarkTregar added that these components of the human capital lifecycle should all be integrated. @ChasSharifi stated that talent management is a strategy and lifecycle to help the workforce grow and improve business. After our comprehensive definition of talent management, we were ready to start discussing how it was impacting organizations today.
@gregfarrell4 posed the question of how talent management is changing the way organizations work. I’ve noticed that Talent Management is shifting HR from being an operational business function to being a strategic partner. @Brittany610 noticed a change in federal agencies in that they are reevaluating their HR and talent management systems to drive new performance. These observations made me wonder what other differences there might be between Federal and Commercial organizations who are implementing Talent Management.
Continuing the theme of talent management implementations, I asked the group what talent management challenges their organizations and clients are facing. @Cate_Rooney shared that there can be skill gaps in organizations, particularly around technology skills. In fact, skill gaps are a common issue I’ve faced with workforce planning. Like @gregfarrell4, I’ve found the best way to address this issue is by instituting competency assessments in order to identify training needs and fill skill gaps. @fzakhtar added that retaining top talent within an organization is also another challenge that many Federal and Commercial organizations are facing today. Interestingly, I’m seeing more organizations turn to workforce analytics and other technology in order to predict future attrition. Workforce analytics can help you predict what percentage of your workforce will leave and in which areas, while other tech solutions provide a better look at HR data, allowing you to plan strategically for the future. There are some exciting and innovative tools out there, and I’m eager to see more examples of them within the Federal Government.
While it’s easy to identify and suggest solutions that address these talent management challenges, it can be difficult to get buy-in from the necessary leadership in the organization. @Chassharifi emphasized that it requires buy-in from management, in addition to strategic partnerships with knowledge and experts, to succeed. In my experience, I have been most successful at achieving buy-in with an organization’s leadership when I become their strategic partner; it takes engagement from both the organization and our team in order to think through their unique challenges and develop solutions that will work. I also agreed with @MarkTregar, who said the key to buy-in was showing the return on investment from talent management initiatives. Demonstrating the benefits of Talent Management will assist in procuring the necessary buy-in and budget for these initiatives, either by using analytics to create a predictive model or by researching business cases. Making a great point, @JamesJLayman warned that unless HR operations are streamlined, whether through shared services or another system, implementing strategic talent management can be difficult.
As we concluded our tweetchat, a few things became clear out of our discussion. First, organizations, both Federal and commercial, are clearly facing workforce and talent-related challenges, but it has been difficult to achieve the necessary buy-in to support successful Talent Management implementations. Despite these challenges, new tools and solutions, such as workforce analytics, competency assessments, and Kenexa, have been successful at providing the necessary data to begin initial workforce planning and talent management. In the future, it will take strategic partnerships with the right leaders in Talent Management, and executive-level support from organizations who are ready to take a look at their talent management strategy.
What do you think? What have you seen at your organizations regarding talent management?