Talent Management

In Claudia Lacy Kelly’s article “What Directors Should Ask about Talent Management,” she discusses the impact of the retiring baby boomer generation to the corporate world. Due to the recent drop of investments in retirement accounts, the baby boomer generation may remain in the work force longer, maybe. Nevertheless, it presents an excellent opportunity for organizations to explore the question of how they are going to manage their talent through proper succession planning. Kelly states that, “there are seven key questions directors should be asking about the companies they govern:

1. What C-level succession-planning process is in place?
2. How is the company assessing competencies of its senior executives and those immediately below them?
3. How much time do senior executives spend on succession planning at the senior executive level?
4. Who owns leadership/career development and succession planning below the CEO, and how are they being run?
5. How is the company approaching global workforce planning? What are the critical talent gaps the company faces over the next five years, and what programs does the company have in place to fill them?
6. What is the company doing to retain mission-critical and high-potential talent?
7. Is the HR function providing the critical leadership needed to drive these key questions?”

Talent management refers to the retention process of employees within a company. HR professionals are typically responsible for seeking out talent, hiring new employees, training them and giving them the tools they need to be successful in their new positions, and implement benefits to entice employees to remain with the company. The critical point in HR duties is when C-level executives are approaching retirement within at least a five year window, HR needs to implement the transition of the next employee for the position.

Corporations need to have three types of succession plans available for C-level executives including a plan for intended retirement of the individual, a plan for an unexpected early retirement or termination of an executive, and a final action plan to take place immediately if an executive leaves without preparation. It is crucial for businesses to implement succession plans and enlighten members of the company about future successors. HR should have an available database of potential candidates that could fill any position at anytime if an emergency should arise within the company.

Kelly states that, “it is generally less expensive and more productive to keep the people you have than to recruit new talent.” Employees promoted within the company have already internalized company values, learned the company structure, and been trained to take over the new position. Talent management within a company is performed by HR who implements training sessions, personality assessments, and analyze work styles. HR provides the candidates, the knowledge, and the resources for management to make effective hiring decisions. Training upcoming executives in order to prepare them for their future role is essential to the transition from one position carrier to the next.

Talent management is crucial for the success of executive transitions, but HR and management must also be prepared to hire individuals in new positions within the company for internal growth opportunities as well as international expansion of the company. Talent management is all about employee satisfaction and smooth company operations. Management needs to be aware of future succession plans and support the development and training of the next generation executives.