1. Why People Management Is Replacing Talent Management: Part 1

    September 13, 2015 by ahmed

    Originally posted on Bersin by Josh Bersin

    The Epic Shift: Away from “Talent” and now focus on “People.” Talent scarcity is still a problem, but engagement, empowerment, and environment are now the real issues companies face.

    For the last ten years businesses and human resources departments have been heavily focused on building talent management strategies. Originally conceived as programs to help manage people from “pre-hire to retire,” these strategies have spawned a $10+ billion software industry, helped refocus HR departments, and have educated CEOs and business leaders about the importance of talent.

    And the scarcity of talent gets worse. Just this month a New Yorker article details the emergence of “talent agencies” for software engineers, replicating the marketplace for talent agencies in Hollywood. The company discussed in the article, 10X Management, brings together top engineers and product designers and serves as a complete agency to help you find top software teams. As the world of work becomes more contingent and the disparity between highly skilled and others grows (read “The Myth of the Bell Curve” for more on this topic.), the need to attract top people will get harder.

    Our latest research shows that your ability to attract talent (the right people, not just anyone) is now one of the biggest differentiating factors in business. We see a fast-growing new marketplace for tools and vendors which help you assess your culture and find people who “fit” – fit with your strategy, your culture, your team, as well as the job. New talent analytics tools and strategies now help you figure out who fits, find people who fit, and make sure you know how to keep people who fit.

    With all these changes, and an accelerating need for new young leaders, is “talent management” as we define it working? As I go around and talk with business and HR leaders, I am left with a big question:

    Do today’s “talent management” programs, as defined, work? Have all the companies who purchased and implemented talent management software truly transformed themselves? Have we really built the “talent-centric” organizations we talked about over the last decade?

    My answer is simple: the world of “talent management” shifted under our feet. “Talent management” strategies we conceived in the last ten years are rapidly becoming out of date. A focus on “pre-hire to retire” is becoming less relevant, stack ranking and performance management is being totally revamped, corporate training is undergoing a total transformation, and the concepts of “staffing and assessment” are being replaced by a focus on corporate culture, engagement, work environment, and empowerment.

    As I look back on the talent management research we did in 2005 and 2006 I realize that while most of it was important and fundamental, almost all of it has changed today. In this article I will give readers some perspective and then highlight the important trends and opportunities we have to better attract, engage, and manage people in the next decade.

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    History: Corporate “Talent Management” Started Around 2004

    Around ten years ago (circa 2004) people in HR started talking about bringing together many of the standalone practices within HR into a new function called “Talent Management.” At that point in time the economy was growing and pundits were talking about “The War for Talent.” (I believe McKinsey started the phrase.) The challenges included aging baby boomers, a tight economy for critical skills, and the need to build leaders around the world. This set of issues refocused HR on building talent programs to recruit, develop, and better manage people.

    Here is the issue we talked about over the last ten years – and it has turned out to be true (slide from 2004):

    talent2

    These set of talent challenges pushed HR to think differently. Rather than define itself as the “service center for employee issues” and a “service center for managers,” HR started to redefine itself as the “talent management function” for business. This was a profound shift and it set off ten years of restructuring, reskilling, and redesigning the HR function.

    talent3

    The original idea, shown above, was to “bring together” each of these standalone programs into an end-to-end process. Originally people called it “pre-hire to retire” (a dated, now that people change jobs so much), and it set of a big set of strategies and software vendors to try to not only optimize each step, but bring all the steps together.

    The term was coined: “Integrated Talent Management” – and a set of software vendors started to build “Integrated Talent Management Suites.” We called them “suites” because they were kind of cute and novel, not really a standard software package yet.

    talent4

    The goals of integrated talent management were lofty: give companies an integrated view of capabilities, leadership gaps, succession pools, and even talent needs for the future. Even today this is a tough thing to do, but we have built an industry around this whole idea.

    Software vendors jumped in quickly, setting off a major chain of acquisitions. I believe Authoria (now PeopleFluent) and Softscape (now owned by SumTotal Systems) started this idea, when they pitched the idea of a single software system that would integrate recruiting, performance management, compensation, and maybe even learning management. Softscape had an integrated HRMS and talent platform in the early 2000s and Authoria won the “shootout” for integrated suites at the HR Technology Conference in 2007, (which we as an analyst firm actually designed).

    We aggressively jumped into research in this area, and in 1997 we published one of the reports which helped define the market, called High-Impact Talent Management. I wrote much of this report and I remember thinking very hard about what this all meant to business.

    talent5

    The process we discovered and wrote about, shown above, was one driven by the business. We found a few leading edge companies doing this – starting with business strategy, moving to talent strategy, and from there to HR and process design. But many started at the bottom, and focused their talent management programs on software implementation or solutions to integrate HR.

    Even today this remains a challenge. With so many vendors in the market and the ERP providers offering talent management software, it’s common for companies to buy software first, and then later figure out how to use it. Today more than 40% of the companies buying HR software are focused on “making it easy to use” and integrating heterogeneous systems, not “solving particular talent problems.”

    To help companies understand what talent management was all about, we developed the framework shown below (which many of you have seen). It pulled together all the practices and processes to consider in an integrated talent strategy.

    talent6

    As the framework illustrates, we mapped out how these processes worked together and documented many of the process steps to link each together. Today such an integrated framework is common in most HR departments, and continues to be a point of ongoing discussion.

    As our framework shows, we define learning and capability management, competency management, planning, and business alignment as “uber processes” which play everywhere in the organization, and you can also see that performance management, succession, career, and leadership development make up the core. This is still a very valid process diagram, although some organizations may put talent acquisition in the middle (depending on your stage of growth.)

    I distinctly remember meeting with a client around that time (2008 or so) and they said to me “what about diversity, doesnt that belong in here?” My reaction was “no, I’ve never heard anyone think of diversity and inclusion as part of their talent strategy.” Well of course I was wrong – today Diversity and Inclusion is very core to this whole set of processes (or should be).

    The idea, again, was to provide what vendors sometimes call “pre-hire to retire” HR processes with an integrated set of programs that all work together. And in the early days talent acquisition wasn’t even considered a part of this process.

    Today almost every major corporation has a “VP of Talent” or “VP of Talent Management” and this person’s job is to manage some combination of the HR functions shown above. In some cases the company brings performance, succession, and leadership development together. In other cases the L&D team is integrated as well. And in many companies today the recruitment or talent acquisition team is also part of this function.

    2006-2012: Software Vendors Jump In With Both Feet

    While all this thinking was taking place within HR, software vendors smelled an opportunity and jumped in. Following Authoria’s lead, companies that sold standalone tools for recruitment, performance management and learning management (SuccessFactors in Performance Management, Taleo in Recruiting, SumTotal or Saba in Learning) suddenly realized that they could or should have everything. So there was a very exciting 8 year period of consolidation.

    This was quite exciting for all of us. Some of the deals included:

    • Authoria purchased several small companies and was later purchased and became PeopleFluent.
    • Taleo acquired Learn.com and was later acquired by Oracle. Oracle later purchased SelectMinds to expand its recruitment offering.
    • SuccessFactors acquired Plateau and was later acquired by SAP.
    • ADP acquired Workstream and built out its own LMS and talent paltform, and has since launched integrated analytics and benchmarking as part of its talent management solution.
    • CornerstoneOnDemand expanded from LMS to talent management and later acquired Sonar6 and then Evolve (analytics).
    • Stepstone acquired a variety of software companies, extended itself into end-to-end talent management, and renamed itself to Lumesse.
    • Silkroad acquired a variety of companies including an HRMS company and built out a suite, pioneering the idea of the HRMS being part of this “suite.”
    • Saba and SumTotal (LMS companies) acquired smaller companies to build out their end to end talent suites.
    • Halogen Software, Kenexa, and many others went down this path – creating an industry of “integrated talent management software” companies.
    • IBM acquired Kenexa and is going down this path now, and Salesforce has made some efforts through their acquisition of Rypple and launch of work.com (which has been repositioned for sales forces today).

    This entire industry has become huge, with more than $9 billion of total product revenues in the market each year. Today the whole concept of a “suite” is going away and the ERP vendors have jumped in. Almost all the ERP vendors have built or bought similar products to integrate with core HR systems (HRMS).

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    As those of you who work in the software industry know, this is the food chain of software companies. As a market evolves, bigger vendors with larger sales forces and lots of existing customers buy up smaller companies because they can quickly put these new products into their sales channel, rapidly growing that market.


  2. Bad Meetings are Business Killers

    August 19, 2015 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Customer Experience Magazine by Blaire Palmer

    Senior staff believe just 36% of meeting time helps with their jobs and only 44% of time helps the business

    Senior staff estimate just a third of the time they spend in business meetings helps them do their jobs better and that less than half the time helps their organisation, new research* from executive leadership coaches That People Thing shows.

    The company, which has worked with organisations including Manchester United, Santander, Mattel, Airbus and the Foreign Office, commissioned the research to understand what is bad – and good – about the business meetings culture.

    Its nationwide study among senior employees found on average they believe just 36% of meeting time is valuable for their own jobs and only 44% of the time helps their business.

    More than a third admit to daydreaming and one in 10 plan their evening meal

    That is just the average – 73% believe less than half the time they spend in meetings is valuable for their job and 64% say less than half their meeting time is valuable for their company.

    The detail of how they spend their time in meetings demonstrates that – 35% admit to daydreaming in work meetings while one in 10 have planned their evening meal while 27% are doodling and 1% are on dating sites or looking for other jobs.

    More than half (51%) say they go to meetings even when they know beforehand it is going to be a waste of time.

    However there is general agreement on what makes a good meeting – 59% say a meeting which makes clear decisions is valuable while 46% welcome a vigorous debate and discussion.

    Blaire Palmer, CEO of That People Thing said: “Bad meetings are killing businesses. Meetings should be where key decisions are taken, where sales targets and figures are discussed and where the agenda is set.”

    The research however shows they are a huge waste of valuable resources tying up the time of key people responsible for the success of businesses in meetings where too much of the time they are achieving nothing.

    “Well-run meetings can create a positive ripple throughout the culture of a business and companies which address the issue of what is going wrong can see real benefits.”

    The research found the main problem with meetings was how long they were – 56% say meetings they attend are too long followed by 43% who say colleagues have not prepared and the same number who say meetings veer off topic and are not organised.

    *Research conducted between May 18th and 28th 2015 among a nationally representative sample of 668 senior business people by independent research organisation Consumer Intelligence


  3. How Do We Acquire Contagious Leaders?

    August 9, 2015 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Work Force by Alan Preston

    Q:

    How do we recruit (or groom) “contagious” leaders – people who spread their skills and develop more leaders? I know it won’t be easy, but give me some idea how to go about establishing this type of leadership culture.

    A:

    Recruiting and grooming people who will perpetuate a contagious leadership culture must start with support from the C-suite. First and foremost, senior leadership will need to prioritize this effort and supply the financial resources necessary. But money isn’t the only driving factor: What’s most important is providing leadership by example.

    To spread the types of leadership behaviors you desire, there must be a visible demonstration of this commitment at all levels. A mentoring program, for example, is a great way to demonstrate what you value, so that’s where you should begin.

    Start by selecting a small group of leaders who exemplify the behaviors you want to replicate, along with a member of your senior management team to serve as the sponsor. Generally speaking, you’re looking for extroverts with strong communication skills and genuine enthusiasm for leadership development in themselves and others.

    Be specific when you tell this team what their mission is, how they can contribute, and what the payoff will be. Everyone is doing more with less these days, so it’s important to remember that even the most dedicated among us are not likely to carve out time for activities that bring no reward. But for many, the reward is simply the recognition for doing something important and the opportunity to contribute at a higher level.

    Mentoring can be formal and structured or informal and loose, but it must happen with regularity. Leaders who volunteer to be mentors should be responsible for making it happen and for talking up their efforts around the company. Additionally, your corporate communications team or HR should publicize your mentoring program and include supportive comments from senior leadership. What’s important to the C-suite will become important to everyone else.

    Mentoring that fits your company culture and is publicized properly will go a long way toward demonstrating what you value. But even a strong program is not enough by itself to transform your organizational culture. In addition, you’ll want to build leadership performance, evangelism and the development of others into performance appraisals. Nothing gets attention more than objectives that have an impact on salary at review time.

    After institutionalizing expectations around contagious leadership, you’ll want to recognize and reward it. It can be quite inspiring for leaders and individual contributors alike to see others get recognized for their successful contributions to company culture. We tend to emulate those who are successful, and often people will look to those who are recognized as the examples they should follow.

    As we know, actions speak louder than words. By dedicating time, resources, recognition and senior leadership involvement, you will create a contagious leadership culture and propel your organization toward higher performance all around.


  4. Talking to Their Generation

    July 22, 2015 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Talent Management by Halley Bock

    Generation Y, or those born roughly between 1980 and 2000, has earned a strident reputation in recent years in corporate America.

    These smartphone touting, hoodie-wearing workers, also known as millennials, don’t like the traditional formal dress code, prefer collaborative open-plan offices and have more than one way to message their thoughts on a project — regardless of rank or pecking order — through a number of technology devices they maintain.

    Indeed, communicating with this generation of workers, projected to make up nearly half the workforce by 2020, is no easy feat. This effort is made more complicated as millennials today represent just one of four generations still in the workforce.

    Here are three strategies talent managers should keep in mind when communicating with millennials.

    Immediacy

    As Dianna Kokoszka, CEO of Keller Williams MAPS coaching, a division of Keller Williams Realty Inc., said, “Millennials grew up with the microwave and the Internet. In their world, whoever implements the fastest wins.” In other words, this generation is used to instant gratification in every facet of their lives — and their jobs are no exception.

    This is illustrated as video clips become shorter, and learning and development content is now expected to come in “bite-size” chunks.

    And while there will always be endeavors that remain worthy of a deep dive, organizations can find plenty of opportunities to shorten or quicken the communication cycles, no matter the forum.

    For Keller Williams, the challenge was particularly important as it recognized that while it needed to adjust its classroom timelines, it wasn’t willing to sacrifice the integrity of its training. The company’s fix was to shift courses that previously required multiple days of immersive classroom time to a once-a-week shorter day over the course of seven weeks.

    Employees are now able to learn a new skill and incorporate it into their day-to-day and come back to add another layer to their learning, while still maintaining the depth and breadth of the training.

    Kokoszka said she also offers staff daily “power ups” in the form of a two- to three-minute video delivered over Keller Williams’ own internal app. Employees receive a tip, a new idea or motivational message that they can apply to their business.

    Adaptability

    In an ever-changing world, it only makes sense that adaptability is a crucial skill for any organization. Many millennials aren’t content simply climbing the corporate ladder. Instead, they want to explore the entire lattice, participating in a company’s growth by extending their skill sets beyond a single discipline.

    This can be frustrating for some employees that value structure and the historical way of doing things. Extra training around understanding new ways of thinking is essential when generations begin to butt heads.

    Law firm Perkins Coie offers a 90-minute presentation on generations that specifically focuses on how many generational values actually align with one another so as to create unity among differing age groups.

    And when viewpoints may be at odds with one another, Traci Laurie, director of staff training and development at the firm, said she offers tools on how to navigate those situations.

    “When an idea is presented and someone from another generation doesn’t like the idea, we have to ask ourselves ‘Why does this idea upset me?’ ” Laurie said. “If the answer isn’t good, the reason is only around protocol or because our pride is hurt, then we need to challenge ourselves.”

    As a result of giving their employees the communication tools to tackle these issues, Perkins Coie has been able to open up new career tracks for employees who aren’t interested in the traditional partner track, equating to longer tenured employees and higher engagement stats.

    Fluidity

    Studies show that communication is a top need for millennials. Whether it’s receiving immediate feedback, having regular one-on-ones or learning from others across an organization, millennials would prefer a constant, ongoing dialogue between themselves and their employers.

    Keller Williams encourages its millennials to take part in its “Young Professionals Group,” a leadership program designed for its younger workforce.

    Some of the most influential components of the program are the video interviews done with those of the older generation and, therefore, likely to be in higher leadership positions.

    The members of YP place incredible value on learning from those that have been in the industry and understand its intricacies.

    Laurie said she has found that while some may view millennials as wanting to short circuit process for the mere sake of advancing quickly, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In her organization, she said she has seen a marked increase in requests for more supervision, as millennials desire constant feedback and more frequent performance conversations.

    Constant communication is essential to ensure they feel connected with not only their own career growth and trajectory, but also feeling deeply connected to their organization and its impact on the world around them.

    The influx of millennials into the workforce is no doubt presenting new challenges for talent managers as the style, frequency and delivery of any and all communication begin to shift in very specific ways.

    Organizations that can respond in meaningful ways that speak to this generation will find that these needs aren’t requiring large overhauls or new groundbreaking strategies to what already exists.

    Rather, with a few simple tweaks, companies can seamlessly slip into the new cadence of corporate conversations.


  5. The One Interview Question Most People Are Not Prepared For!

    June 24, 2015 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Linkedin by Bernard Marr

    Any job hunter would be wise to seek out common interview questions and think about his answers beforehand, but what about the questions that haven’t made it onto the lists yet?

    One question I’ve heard asked is some variation of, “Tell me something I wouldn’t know from looking at your CV,” or “Tell me something no one else knows about you.”

    This question seems to be becoming increasingly common, but it’s still not one that job applicants are routinely preparing for. That means it’s a good place for you to shine.

    What is the recruiter looking for?

    Of course, I can’t say exactly what any specific recruiter is looking for when she asks a question like this, but I can give you some possible ideas. She might be looking to see:

    1. How do you organize your thoughts? If you’re telling an anecdote or story, is it well thought out and well told? Do you connect topics and events linearly, or jump all around?
    2. Can you think on your feet? Because this is a less common question, the interviewer may be trying to get you away from canned, rehearsed answers and see if they can get a glimpse of the real you.
    3. What do you consider most important for the interviewer to know? What comes out as an answer to this question could say a lot about you. Do you tell a story about your philanthropy and charity work, or about your many awards and accolades, or about family and hobbies?
    4. Are you able to relate the story back to the job? It’s a nice indication of higher-level thinking if you can tell a personal story but relate the points about you back to why you would be a good candidate for the job.
    5. Are you saying anything you shouldn’t? This isn’t to say that interviewers are trying to trip you up, but they will always be listening for things you shouldn’t reveal about current or former employers, or anything personal that might make them question your qualifications for the job.

    Remember, their job is to find the best candidate, so it makes sense that they want to move you away from more rehearsed speeches into more authentic territory – even if that authentic territory doesn’t put you in the best light.

    How to prepare for this question.

    As with all interview questions, it’s important to think about how you might answer, but don’t compose your answer and memorize it word for word – any savvy interviewer will be able to tell.

    Since this is an open-ended question, your answer is an opportunity for you to highlight aspects of your qualifications, history, or skills that might not be immediately noticeable in your resume.

      • Keep your core strengths in mind. Go into every interview with a good idea of the core strengths you would bring to the job, and then take the chance to highlight those skills with your answer. For example, if you want to emphasize your organizational skills in a particular interview, you might tell a story of how you organized an elaborate fundraiser at your child’s school, or how you were the president of a particular club at university.
      • Think about intangible strengths and soft skills. Your resume should highlight achievements and metrics, but this is your opportunity to highlight your best soft skills. If, for example, your resume says you exceeded your sales goals by a certain percent, you could elaborate by explaining that you were able to do that because of your excellent people skills or your dedication to following up with your leads.
      • Share something personal. If the question comes towards the end of the interview, and you feel you’ve already been able to make your case for your job skills, you might choose to highlight something from your personal life that reflects well on your character. Consider sharing only personal things that are universally accepted as positive, like being an avid chess player or enjoying mountain climbing, rather than anything that could be considered controversial, like volunteering with a political cause or being involved in a counterculture.
      • Explain why you want the job. This is a great place in the interview to explain why you are particularly passionate about the job. If something in the job description excited you or any personal connection for the field. For example, I knew a young woman who was practically falling out of her chair to apply for a marketing position with a Parkinson’s charity because of the work they had done to help her father. This kind of personal connection can demonstrate that you would bring extra passion and energy to the position.

    Figuring out how to answer these more open-ended and personal questions is like solving a riddle; the answer should show how you fit into this new job opportunity. As important as it is to think about these questions before you go into the interview, it’s equally important that your answers sound friendly and conversational, not memorized and rehearsed.

    In the end, you should feel glad if you get one of these questions in an interview, because they afford you the opportunity to be your real self and highlight any of your best qualities that don’t fit into the resume template.

    Have you had this question put to you in an interview? How did you respond? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.