Talent management, also known as human capital management, encompasses critical processes such as recruitment, selection, learning, training and development, competency management, succession planning, among others. With effective management, these vital aspects enable an organization to compete and stand out in the market.

The talent management arena is continuously evolving with rapidly changing market trends. Today, Agile and cloud are more prominent. While the Agile process offers training and certifications to enable effective organizational transformation, digital technologies help organizations find talent quickly. Modern organizations must avoid the traditional periodic checking of employees and plan an effective way to prevent any disruptions in understanding the ideas, thoughts, and the needs of their workforce. At Western Union, we have implemented a new survey process for workforce engagement. The process is held every month, where we ask our employees 7-15 questions about their ideas, feedback and job satisfaction. Our monthly listening helps us understand the on-going developments in our organization, apart from confronting us with our drawbacks and needs for further improvements.

Role of individualization in talent management

The talent management arena has gradually shifted from traditional segmented processes to individualized for better results. Individualization constitutes a primary approach as opposed to segmentation. To understand the requirements of specific workforce skills for organizational development, we need to offer curated content in accordance with various segments of the employee population. For example, if we want to find the talent for the security department using segmentation, we must focus on equipping the department leaders with the latest information on talent acquisition. Whereas, individualization curates content in a thoughtful way to meet the organization’s needs by targeting talent from different fields who best align to the core capabilities needed by the organization. Curating content is a necessity in today’s market because our employees are adamant in the way they want to consume content, so, gone are the days when we had one method of delivering content. To deliver relevant content, we use micro learning to help people consume small chunks of content according to their preferences in the form of audio or video on their mobiles, desktops, or any personal device.

"The notion ‘individualization has to be coupled with HR for effective talent management’ can never be underestimated"

Challenges in talent management

The major challenge in the labor market is that most organizations compete for the same skills and capabilities. Similarly, organizations are dealing with challenges in talent management and compete among themselves. The most significant need of any organization is to figure out what capabilities in human capital will successfully drive the business and understand those requisites. Leaders within an organization must know the skills of the current workforce first, and then gather information on emerging trends. Understanding what an organization has and what is needed comprises the first step, followed by the determination of the approach - talent acquisition or further development of the in-house talent. We utilize tools to help us identify the availability of talent with specific skills and competencies in the markets where we operate. On the other hand, some organizations prefer to supplement their resources for a shorter period, depending on the organization’s specific needs and timing.

Distinct talent groups have additional capacities, and yet they lack the luxury of time to utilize it. In an organization, a particular group may not be able to complete a specific job effectively, so finding someone from a different department who might be interested in working could help an organization develop additional skills or benefit from exposure within a separate line of business. These are interesting ways to individualize and use talent management processes. We see a continuum of information about our talent—the roles they want, their career moves, skills and competencies they want to develop. This helps to create a marketplace where within an organization people who want to work outside of their traditional role or job can work on projects they have additional interest in, which ultimately enhances their skills and capabilities as well as engage them.

Hurdles for the C-level executives

Finding talent with specific skill sets at the right time constitutes one of the significant issues faced by C-level executives. Some of the areas we are focusing on are Agile and transforming how we manage and lead people as well as design work.  Workday helps us integrate our perspective on talent, gain insights from data related to sourcing and acquiring talent and understanding the capabilities of our talent in real time. The Workday applications further help with planning meaningful development and content, in a way that C-level executives can acquire the requisite talents. An organization should primarily focus on critical aspects and needs, and the related elements should support the primary focus.

Advice for the improvement

The fundamental idea behind enhancing the talent management arena is to understand the latest trends in the market and leading players in the space. Critical thoughts from industry peers assist organizations in changing the traditional ways of thinking while improving the usage of new technologies. We are strategic in selecting the data and peers we benchmark as well as the conferences we attend.  Ultimately this helps us understand on-going trends and issues related to talent management and allows us to meet the talent demands of today’s businesses.