Strategy | 5 Talent Management Dilemmas…and how to overcome them!

5 Talent Management Dilemmas…and how to overcome them!

Talent Management sounds great in theory but is actually very challenging to put into practice.

Here are some of the top 5 Talent Management dilemmas that organisations face and how you can address each one of them.

1. The term ‘Talent Management’ can be seen as elitist

One CEO that we work with hates the term 'Talent Management'. He is adamant that he would rather have 90% of the organisation focused on delivering their best rather than 10% being identified as 'Talent' and being seen to be given special treatment.

He would agree with the view put forward by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, authors of bestselling leadership book "Now discover your strengths". They take the view that everyone has talents that should be utilised in the workplace. We would agree and stress the need for great managers to maximise their performance and potential. A good performance and talent management system can help with this.

2. Managerial bias in assessing what is meant by ‘talent’

Managerial bias can cause a problem when you are talking about small talent pools only accessible to a few people. This also raises a concern with succession planning, where managers choose ‘talent’ in their own likeness. Managers need to be developed to be objective about performance and talent assessment. It is also important to recruit real ‘people managers’ rather than promoting technical specialists without the ‘people gene’.

3. Opting for recruited ‘talent’ rather than homegrown

Recruited talent is often a costly error for many businesses. Some people are brilliant at presenting themselves well at interview and may even be fabulous performers in another business. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will perform within your organisation. With homegrown ‘talent’ you know people’s foibles and they will be far more loyal than those brought in to change the world. The challenge for the homegrown is overcoming preconceptions within the business if they appear to change the status quo or jump management hierarchies. However, we would argue that if they are true talent, they can deal with this. Furthermore, homegrown talent is more cost-effective, lower risk and motivational to others.

4. Believing that those labelled as ‘talent’ will automatically perform

Whether we have paid over the odds to recruit top talent into our business or we have internally recruited our top performer, we can’t expect them to automatically live up to their reputation. Talent is often situational and it is important to remember that everybody, no matter how talented, must still be well-managed. Businesses fall short when it comes to Talent Management if they expect ‘new talent’ to just come in, walk on water and fix everything without any kind of good induction, without clear clarity of expectations and great management.

5. Identifying individuals as ‘Talent’ may actually increase attrition rates

There is a very real risk of talent pools raising expectations that are then dashed if the organisation cannot provide the individual with the career aspirations they believe they were promised. Examples of individuals within these groups becoming impatient and voting with their feet is high enough in typical graduate schemes. Putting them on a talent pedestal can be counterproductive.

The bottom line is that a terrible amount of money can be wasted when faced with these talent management dilemmas and so it is important to get talent management right. For further guidance, download the white paper: How to develop a talent management strategy.

This content is based on an episode of The HR Uprising Podcast, hosted by the CEO of Actus Software, Lucinda Carney. The Podcast is intended to help HR and L&D professionals to elevate the way their role within the organisation is perceived by delivering real, lasting value. Listen Here.

Watch our webinar on the topic of How to Develop a Talent Management Strategy below.

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