The changing shape of talent

Looking at the global economy, the daily doom and gloom of the press and the relative instability in the financial markets, some may be mistaken for thinking that the demand for great talent is dead…. not so.

In 2012 many organisations have identified talent and leadership as two of the most important topics to drive growth. HR has a more critical role than ever in ensuring that talent is at the forefront of their plans.

While HR has evolved significantly over the last decade, it probably hasn’t matched the expectations of many businesses and the talent agenda is still of critical importance. When we look at organisational strategy, many companies are too focused on satisfying short term demands rather than looking at a longer term plan to nurture internal talent and committing enough investment in developing external talent. A leadership shortage is foreseen by many executives and as such identifying the talent of the future both internally and externally has become increasingly important.

This is good news for HR as organisations look to develop their leaders, developing talent strategies that will support geographical and operational plans. This impacts all aspects of HR as the relationship between current performance and future leadership can be very different and balancing the demand of both offers significant challenge.

It is important for global organisations not to become complacent in the attraction, development and retention of future leaders – what works for today may not be right for tomorrow. Many organisations are looking to develop the talent strategy to adapt to the demands of the business and the pressures of a changing global market.

The changing shape of workforces globally and the flattening of hierarchies in many global organisations has meant developing career paths and leadership frameworks that keep future leaders continuously engaged is being challenged. Now, more than ever, there is a realisation from many organisations that identifying and connecting with talent and future leaders externally is high on their agenda. Aligning talent strategy with corporate strategy, as GE has managed to do so successfully over the years, integrating it in the business planning process should be the norm rather than the exception. Identifying gaps and looking at how and where these can be resourced externally has to be an evolutionary process, creative in its delivery and utilising technology like social media to ensure that brand and differentiation are achieved. 2012 offers exciting opportunities in HR as they lead the charge in the global talent race.