Talent: Managing Organizational Intelligence



In today’s scenario, the concept of Human Resources, which was primarily responsible for the administrative function, has been replaced by the “Human Capital Management” concept. HR has widened its horizon and has conveyed the idea of becoming a “business partner”. Many organizations are struggling to change their HR processes and technologies. New thinking and a new vision and mission are required to achieve business success.  All competitive business factors have become commoditized, and talent is the ultimate driving factor for business success. The communities of HR professionals are looking forward to “Talent Acquisition & Retention.” Talent acquisition is viewed as selecting and nurturing talent. The best talent within an organization should be made insular to the external world so that the loyalty or productive employee is ensured continuously to an organization.

The article emphasizes the strategic human resource initiatives needed by the organization that can help the organization realize the institutional talent goals and help to contribute to higher performance and build future institutional capacity.

Key Words: Business success, employee engagement, strategy, talent acquisition.


Talent management refers to identifying, developing, engaging, retaining, and developing employees who are particularly valuable to an organization in terms of their potentialities for the future or because they are fulfilling business/operation critical roles. Talent management ensures that the organization attracts, retains, motivates, and develops the talented people it needs.

Managing Organization’s Intelligence requires a skilled workforce, employee engagement, managing demands of global workforces, succession planning, outsourcing, and off-shoring trends. “If organizations believe that their people will win them greats in the marketplace, it stands to reason that they attract the right people, keep them, and grow them.” “Talent Acquisition” forms a broader strategic approach in the corporate quest to gain and sustain a competitive advantage. Strategies are to be formulated considering the organization’s strategy and objectives. Talent management is depicted as a circular, not linear, set of activities.

As Larry Bossidy put it: “To put it simply and starkly: If you don’t get the people process right, you will never fulfill the potential of your business.”

The McKinsey organization, in its report “War of Talent,” suggests six action steps, i.e.-

  1. Establish a gold standard for talent.
  2. Get actively involved with people deep within the organization.
  3. Drive a simple, probing talent review process.
  4. Instill a talent mindset in all managers throughout the organization.
  5. Invest real money in talent.
  6. Hold leaders accountable for the strength of the talent pools they build.

Talent management requires strong support with the systems and processes for utilizing the right talent for the right work at the right time. This is how talent drives higher business performance. According to John Gibbons, the program director for employee engagement research and services at the Conference Board 2010 (the survey done on job satisfaction), “widespread job dissatisfaction negatively affects employee behavior and retention, which can impact enterprise–level success. Organizations have to invest in talent acquisition programs –skills. According to a survey by Aberdeen Group in 2008, the top pressures are in all Organizations. Competition is for skilled labor 88%, shortage of desired skills 83%, Globalization 14%, and compliance requirements (11%)

To achieve corporate goals by enhancing Organizational Intelligence, there is a need for initiative and a combination of strategic actions technologies and organizational capabilities required. Some of the HR initiatives strategies that an organization can formulate can be;

Enhancing Strategy for Workforce Planning

There are internal struggles and pressures which the organizations should address to. For this, the organization should formulate a proper strategy, which is the long-term strategy, before searching for the acquisition of the workforce. Organizations need to formulate a long-term strategy and define their goals. They need to assess the objectives and means to achieve them. While formulating the strategies to acquire talent, one should be clear about the goals and roles. Talent acquisition and retention strategy will be decided by the organization’s long-term or short-term objective and how far the required talent can help us grow. While planning, we must understand that every non-conventional idea will become conventional and obsolete one day.

Without clear goals and support, trust can erode quickly, and even talented people who are a good fit can fail or decide to leave.

A.     Talent Sourcing: Aligning the individual goal’s with the Organization’s goal

An organization should plan the workforce by addressing the needs of the skills required for the organization as per the short term and the long term future as well as the present. An effective method of estimating the industry and the market conditions should be examined with the business and the staff needs. Talents are abundant in organizations; the need is to tap for the right source to get the right people at the right time. To meet the situation easily, organizations need to develop a talent source to ensure the pipeline of qualified talent at the time of need. In a proactive search for the potential candidate, the hiring cycle needs to be redesigned. Strong relationship-building or networking skills are important to identify “star players.”

A “Talent Pool” to tap internal and external talent can be clubbed and assessed to be utilized effectively in situations of any eventuality.

The need is to focus on defining, managing, and establishing a system on innovation-focused -talent management system. Companies must create an environment to generate new, good ideas, foster ideation, and take risk-taking initiative. Creativity is the ability to produce new and original ideas and things. Innovation makes the idea practical and usable. Innovative activity in any business enterprise depends upon the creative contributions of its members. It also depends upon how the organization taps the creativity of its talented members. Provide new managers with an internal mentor and an external coach to ensure support during the transition process. This support should be for at least six months to one year. This process is referred to as transition integration”.

B.     Knowledge Management.

Knowledge Management is the management of knowledge within organizations. It requires collecting and organizing the data, summarizing and analyzing the information, and synthesizing and deciding the knowledge to provide. The value of Knowledge Management enables the organization’s members to deal with today’s situations and effectively visualize and create their future; this relates directly to effectiveness. Organizations need to identify orderly means to transfer knowledge to new employees in case of succession and career path advancement. Steps and processes seek to expand the organization’s knowledge among the employees, looking into their background, abilities, and motivation. An integrated system with the right process, people tools, and due diligence steps is to be established to acquire the right talent. Effective knowledge management payoff in fewer mistakes, less redundancy, quicker problem-solving, better decision-making, increased worker independence, enhanced customer relations, and improved service.

A knowledge management system uses its knowledge about the specific, complex application area to act as an expert consultant to end users. For organizations to manage their knowledge effectively and efficiently, acquisition, storage, analysis, sharing, and application of knowledge for managing corporate knowledge through technological support.

C.     Succession Planning

Succession planning helps align development processes and strategic priorities to ensure that the right people are at the right job at the right time. It helps to identify future leaders in an organization and develop them to take the next leadership roles. The individuals identified in the plan will eventually ensure that the company can tackle future challenges. Establishing the strategic direction and succession planning helps to identify high-potential individuals in the organization, which is vital to the organization’s success.

For succession development, certain steps need to be taken:

  1. The organization needs to analyze key roles and duties of the employees and identify the business-critical tasks and the skill set one has.
  2. Identifying the potential leader from an existing Talent Pool.
  3. Mentor the potential Leader by defining roles, responsibilities, and expectations.
  4. Empower the successor to make management decisions and learn from their mistakes while you are still there to coach them through the transition.

D.      Human Capital Audit

HR audit helps to assess the effectiveness of HR functions of an organization and is to achieve the organizational goal. An audit of managerial compliance of personnel policies, procedures, legal provisions, and corporate strategy regarding HR planning, staffing, IRs, remuneration, employee motivation, morale, and job satisfaction needs to be done. HR Audit helps to find out the proper contribution of the HR department towards the organization and develop the organization’s professional image. An audit needs to visualize human capital as a top corporate priority. Companies need to assess these questions. How competitive is the organization in talent acquisition and talent management capabilities?  How prepared is the organization to compete for and retain “A Players” for the need to succeed?

Organizations must build the infrastructure for a talent value chain to successfully compete for the “A players.” Expertise in talent management strategies, processes, and systems will be developed for human capital acquisition, integration, and retention. Tools and training are required to develop the available resource.

E.     Activate workgroup commitment: Assimilation & Alignment

HR needs to encourage task forces, committees, and teams based on the competencies required for the task. Diversity can help to yield high-quality outputs and thus contribute to high-performance teams.  Organizations must develop the assimilation and alignment process to accelerate teamwork and productivity. The alignment process should condense the learning curve and support retention, whether the person is new to the organization or the job. Organizational culture developed over the period will decide the flexibility and ability to act as the recipient, which can accept the acquired talent as an augmentation to the talent pool and give a conducive environment for talent retention, accelerate teamwork and productivity in a short time.

Creativity and innovation are required from every employee, from the president to the front-line workers. Successful supervisors and managers know how to activate their employees’ energy and dedication. Creating commitment begins with helping employees see the connection between their daily activities and the organization’s goals.

F.     Internally driven for Performance:

Organizations need an infrastructure to build a performance and accountability culture. The average employee at every level cannot articulate how they contribute to meet the organizational goals or how they are measured.  Management needs to formulate measuring tools so that a clear picture of an employee’s contribution can be given to them so that the talent or the performers can be assessed separately and they can enjoy the feeling of achievement and success. HR can encourage and enable appointments to task forces, committees, or teams based on competencies required by the task.  Diversity yields high–quality outcomes, therefore contributing to high–performing teams.

“Performance is linked to the well-being of the individual that he is professionally well taken care of by the organization.”

G.     Retention Practices:

“Good Players” do not leave for money. They leave for Leadership & Opportunities. Once the talent has been identified, the next stage is building ongoing relationships and looking for that ‘elusive trigger’ in someone’s career that would get them to change jobs. Retained talent is more like a stock listed in the market. It performs more than the demand and value it gets.  Good retention practices focus not only on what the employee contributes to the company but also on how the manager can create a climate so that the employee is retained and committed long-term. Several organizational systems and processes influence retention. Some are evident, such as the equity of pay scales. Closely linked to the other components, Measurement, and Accountability ensures retention is an ongoing priority.

H.     Create meaningful rewards & Recognition:

Focusing on material rewards such as money or extra vacation days drives motivation. Certainly, people want to be paid what they’re worth, but motivation is much more than money. Employees want to grow, develop, be valued, and control their careers. Organizations should design a reward and recognition strategy to recognize performers. Top management should be equipped with the knowledge and tools to drive higher levels of performance and productivity.

Vince Lombardi is reputed to have said, “There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal.” Treat people based on merit, not seniority or position.

I.     Development

What is your ROI (return on investments) on human capital development? No stocks can pay back the same dividends continuously unless they are manipulated and combined with other stocks. Similarly, the talent acquired today cannot keep pace with payback capacity unless it is retrained & developed to face new challenges. The set of skills for which the talent is retained today will become obsolete. A process in place to acquire skills and competencies is to be developed. Provide all candidates with self-assessment tools and learning opportunities. This can be done in the organization through added responsibilities through outside learning opportunities such as conferences, executive education programs, and professional memberships.

II.     Conclusion:

Talent is to be developed. Talent Management is a strategic, proactive initiative to sustain the organization’s current and future success. The need is for Innovative HR leaders to understand and play a key to enabling a strategy for enhancing knowledge with innovative and creative strategy. The Talent Management process helps to develop the strategies that will enable those individuals to assume new roles and/or replace identified players who are making changes or leaving the organization.

Acquisition of talent in a rigorous exercise, which includes the identification of talent, required in line with the organizational goals and objectives. Once the talent is identified, the more intricate phase of retaining and assimilating the talent starts. This phase decides how long organizations can retain the inducted talent. The flexibility of organizational structure and acceptance of an alien in the organization will decide on the dividends we may reap

“Internal development of talent, amplified by strategic recruitment, provides ample approach to create an innovative organization.”

Expansion, diversification, mergers, and acquisitions are the order of the day and are here to stay. The core concept of talent acquisition is to get away from the “fill in the box” thinking to one that is more proactive and much closer to building the skill set required to achieve organizational success. In an emerging knowledge economy, value is increasingly driven by talent and other non-tangible capital. The competitive strength of organizations, regions, and countries is no longer strictly tied to physical assets or resources but to the intellectual attributes of their knowledge workers.

The average cost of replacing a professional is 1.5 to 3 times the salary, and working around an underperformer can run as high as six figures. The cost of consistently failing to attract and retain good talent-including declining productivity, morale, culture, and reputation, is inestimable. Investing in talent, acquisition, retention, and development infrastructure yields tremendous returns. The top management needs to be more sensitive towards acquiring talent and develop leadership skills at multiple levels to manage the talent pool to sail the organization smoothly in turbulence.


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[2]   CUPAHR. Journal 2008
[3]   Engagement thru’ empowerment- Vinay Kamath – Business line October 2005 Vol 6 Issue 3
[4]   Employee Retention toolkit. Retrieved august 22, 2008, from society for human Resource Management. Website www.shrm.org.
[5]   Human Capital. Com
[6]   HRD Newsletter 2004
[7]   Ismael D. Tabije:Talent Management 2010
[8]   Talent Value Chain.Com
[9]   Talent acquisition – Executive Issue –  management centre Europe -September 2005

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