Aberdeen Group | November 2011
If we accept the premise that people and talent are the fuel of business growth, then it stands to reason that managing talent risk is critical to sustained performance. Organizations have plans in place for managing financial risk, supply chain risk, safety risk and risk around all other key ingredients of the business plan, but not enough have a plan for managing talent risk. To do so requires deep knowledge about the talent you have currently within the organization as well as externally, in order to build a talent pipeline through both acquisition as well as organic development.
Aberdeen Group’s first quarter of 2011 survey of more than 1,300 global business leaders in its Quarterly Business Review, makes the case for managing the talent pipeline through better internal and external data and analytics, as well as suggests possible strategies for better managing talent risk. Aberdeen’s Analyst Insights provide the analyst perspective of research drawn from surveys, interviews, and data analysis.
Out of 22 options, six of the top 10 challenges were talent related, ranging from employee engagement and retention to productivity and skill shortages. These concerns were further echoed in Aberdeen’s 2011 HR Executives Agenda study from January 2011. Growth and efficiency were the top pressures, and understanding talent gaps was the top strategy identified to address that need.
Best-in-Class organizations doing a better job recruiting, retaining and engaging talent have three differentiating characteristics:
- Identification of job roles critical to success
- Integration of talent management and business data
- Detection processes between workforce supply and business demand
By gaining visibility into the existing talent pool and the needs of the business, HR and talent managers can identify existing and potential skill shortage early, thus making a buy-verses-build decision while managing the risk of a wider gap. But it is essential that the talent strategy and the business strategy be aligned. Businesses cannot execute strategy without understanding talent issues; but talent strategy cannot be effective without integrating business needs.
To become effective at providing real information and insight into where talent will come from, talent leadership should know the roles that drive the business, mind the gaps between workforce capability and future business needs, combine talent management data with business data, and find ways to look at talent both inside and outside the organization.