Learning: Key to “War for Talent”

TalentManagement.com author Marianne Langloi published an article last month that addresses an issue that applies to talent managers worldwide – the new “war for talent”. As the economy shows signs of improving, how will organizations differentiate between where they are now and how to move forward? Focus has generally been directed toward downsizing and succession management, but now more attention will be demanded from training and development programs.

Langloi writes that the key to success in this new economy is strategic talent management. She notes that the challenges the economic world faced have not been addressed, and new solutions have not been considered. Another issue is that the workforce has continued to age, and the recession pushed many into early retirement. If these challenges can be overcome, talent management must be a top priority and action has to be taken NOW.

There are two sides to this current economic battle. An internal battle for resources and an external battle for talent. On the inside, HR departments have received a smack-down, and their functions have changed to tactical measures instead of strategic. Talent managers need to focus on internal efforts.

Talent leaders need to focus internal efforts on developing mature models that allow an organization to better leverage its employees’ skills, plan for the future and create training programs to ensure that employees have the skills required to meet the changing needs of business. Talent management is the solution for this problem. It defines the processes an organization employs to identify, acquire, align, manage, develop and redeploy the people it needs to successfully execute its business strategy.

The external fight for talent stems from a dwindling talent market. An organization needs to determine its core values and competencies in preparation for a talent war. Establishing these credentials will help define an organization’s culture and will help to find well-fitting candidates.

The link between learning and talent strategy is important for talent managers to understand. There are three kinds of competencies: core, leadership, and functional; and these will help define the right candidates for your organization:

– Core competencies can be applied to any employee within an organization.

– Leadership competencies assess an employee’s potential and ability to be an effective leader or manager.

– Functional competencies evaluate how well employees can use specific skills that pertain to their particular positions within an organization.

An organization’s bottom line can be directly impacted by its ability to efficiently identify corporate competencies. These competencies may also reflect upon employee performance, not to mention lead to employee retention and business growth. Competencies are also crucial to workforce planning and recruiting strategies. Clearly defined competencies allow hiring managers to ensure that the talent under consideration and the talent that is selected is right for the position as well as for the future growth of the organization.

Developing programs for on-boarding new talent and delivering training mapped to the core, leadership, and functional competencies identified by the organization can drive individual performance plans, support succession plans, and provide the backbone for critical leadership programs.

As with life, learning is a necessary element for any organization. As your organization continues to grow and evolve, your workforce has to be able to adapt. And the only way to accomplish successful adaptation is through learning. Workforce learning needs to address the needs of your organization and your employees. In regards to recruiting, there is often a gap between when to acquire knowledge and when to build it. Is it time to hire new employees or teach current employees about the next business-focused step? Well, that all depends on what kind of knowledge is needed for the overall success of the organization.

Organizational competencies are the guidelines not only for your business, but for what kind of employees will help make your business successful. With an economic upturn, new employees may be necessary to help expand your business. Your organization can help create a successful talent search by implementing proper employee and new-hire learning programs. To learn more about talent systems integrations that can benefit your business, click here to read the full article.

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