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Archive for October, 2011

Today’s post comes courtesy of Roger Francis, MindLeaders ThirdForce Services and HR Director.

I have a theory that if you were to line up 50 HR Managers and ask them to define “Talent Management” or “TM”, you would get 100 different answers (people in HR love to provide options!). The problem is compounded when you add an “S” to produce “TMS”. Does the “S” stand for “Strategy”, “System”, “Software” or “Solution”?

So let’s try and cut through all the acronyms  and management speak and get to the heart of what Talent Management is all about. Recruitment companies might tell you that it is simply a case of  getting the right people into the organisation, whereas some software companies will proclaim it is all about “Performance Appraisals”. Of course, Talent Management goes far deeper than that. It is about the way we track our people’s life cycles within the company, how we help them to develop their skills and expertise, improve their personal performance and ultimately, that of the organisation.

Sadly there are many companies who jumped on the TM bandwagon and bought into expensive systems without first having a “Strategy” in place. The result? The Talent Management “System” that they purchased  failed to meet their expectations and failed to deliver any real benefits.

I believe that going forward, there are two fundamental features which must be an essential component of any Talent Management Solution. Firstly, learning must be at the heart of the system and not just an add-on.  TM shouldn’t just be a tool for the HR Department, it should be a process that gives every employee in the organisation immediate 24 hour access to a wide range of learning resources. If the Talent Management System is only dragged out for annual performance reviews, it will almost certainly fail to deliver.

Secondly, the system must incorporate the capacity to track and deliver “Social Learning”. There is a growing consensus that formal learning will only be one part of a future that is also about on-the-job coaching, mentoring and social collaboration. Tools and platforms that support this approach will therefore become an essential  component of any viable Talent Management System.

AtMindLeaders ThirdForce, I believe (as a HR professional, not a salesperson!) that we have learned from the mistakes of our competitors and built a Talent Management System that will not simply address current needs , but will meet the future requirements of a rapidly changing learning environment. Have a peek yourselves and see if you agree.

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