In 1997, McKinsey coined the term “The War for Talent” with its landmark study and subsequent book by the same name. A key finding of this research, and Human Resources practices that ensued, was the importance of focusing on so-called “A” players and High Potential employees to drive business results.
The McKinsey Quarterly recently published an article called “Making Talent a Strategic Priority.” The article says if anything, the talent shortage has worsened over the past decade. A key theme of the article was the urgency for broadening the talent playing field: “Executives must recognize that their talent strategies cannot focus solely on the top performers.”
This is a position that BSG Concours advocated early last year with a multi-client program teleconference called “Developing Business Leaders as Talent Scouts.” We cautioned organizations about the dangers of falling into “talent myopia,” an undue focus on “stars” at the expense of your broader employee population. We also recommend that talent scouting strategies include so-called “B-players;” not second-rate employees but rather those who do the unglamorous work that keeps the organization on track – and have potential to grow.
In our opinion, the operative question is: You’ve focused on the talent you have in the pipeline; how do you plan to get new people to the pipeline?
Does your organization scout for talent broadly – outside of formal talent management and succession planning processes? Do your leaders and managers feel accountable for developing talent at all levels? Do employees at all levels have plentiful opportunities to learn and share knowledge in their daily work? Are your learning, talent development and collaboration initiatives integrated and aligned with the business strategy?
If you have done Talent Scouting more broadly, how has that paid off in terms of employee engagement, retention and skill development? Please let us know – we’d like to hear about your successes and lessons learned!
Filed under: Global Labor Market, US Labor Market | Tagged: McKinsey; War for Talent; talent; learning; Tim Donahue | 2 Comments »