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CEO’s are Failing to Understand the Need for Talent Management

It is so hard to resist the temptation to tell CEO’s around the world that they have made a monumental misjudgement in the terms of the talent available to fill skills shortages and skills gaps around the world but that is the reality.

Talent Management needs to be the number one priority of Boards of Directors around the globe as it is a global problem and not something peculiar to working in Australia.

It seems blindingly obvious but without people there is no profit and human talent is every bit as valuable to a company as another commodity as it is far less predictable and mobile than other business assets that have to be managed.

The first thing is that you need to look after the human talent you already have. Yesterday’s reward package is just not good enough. If you want world class talent you need to protect your investment and make sure you are on the button with your rewards programme and broadcast internally how important your people are to you.

No longer can the CEO and the FD look at people as units of labour to shuffled as required as it is now a candidate lead market. Candidates by and large don’t care where they go Australia, Canada, Norway are fine. Still a little nervousness about the Middle East but this is beginning to ebb.

OK, by accepting talent management as a board commitment you have stopped the rot but you are still having problems reaching out for the talent you need to underpin your future growth. Why would that be the case?

You are thinking locally , regionally or nationally rather than internationally. In areas like natural resources and engineering it is now a global market and your offer will be evaluated against your competitor groups around the world.

In Australia for example the market is very buoyant and will remain so but the Australians have been slow to recognise the competition from areas elsewhere in the world. The Middle East has woken up, Canada is competing strongly and Norway is a small but significant player. If Oz wants the talent it will have to pay up.

Decision making down under is painfully slow and bureaucratic and the best candidates will move on whilst Australia wrestles with tortuous corporate structures. HR influence is a real negative as international recruitment agencies want to find the people ; place them and move on without having kill a small tree with unnecessary paperwork.

Talking to selected recruiters is the way forward with a proper rolling brief based on a quality job description and a worldwide competitive package.

International Recruitment isn’t rocket science but it does amaze us how egg bound the larger companies are by internal process and the successful CEO’s will be the ones that simplify the process and continually broadcast brand messages through job descriptions.

Tracy Akwright formerly a HR manager, now owns a cleaning venture in Wetherby, she states, “talent management is such a key element in hiring the right people at the first attempt. All too often mistakes are being made”.

If you are constantly in the market candidates will start to target you but you must be visible, approachable and communicative and the most embarrassing thing for us is our inability to get timely feedback from clients and this undoubtedly increases our wastage rate.

Surely if you want someone you can produce a written offer within 7 days but with some corporates it drags on for months – no wonder they have problems.


Author: Chris Slay

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