Big League is a small software development company located in New York. The organization employs 200 people 20 of which are identified leaders. The company’s human resources (HR) department understands that there is a link between efficient and appropriate talent management and a company’s net earnings. This paper aims to outline a talent management strategy that will cover the entire talent requirements of Big League. It will examine the main elements of talent management and explore how it can provide the organization with a competitive advantage in the industry that is known for an extremely high level of competition. The paper will also formulate steps that should be taken in case the company doubles in size in the next 5 to 6 years.
Talent management can be defined as specific managerial efforts aimed at the provision of high performing employees known to be ‘talent’ with “the additional management, processes, and opportunities” (Blass, 2009). The importance of talent management differs from an organization to an organization and from industry to industry. For example, companies providing PR, legal or other consulting services are highly dependent upon employees who are considered to be talented; therefore, they dedicate a significant portion of their resources to conducting proper talent management processes. Regardless of the industry, if a company is to get a competitive edge, it should have an efficient talent management system for identifying, assessing, and developing employees that have a high potential (Blass, 2009).
Big League has developed a talent management strategy that consists of the following elements: organizational diagnosis, assessment, program design, implementation, support, and evaluation (Blass, 2009). At the phase of organizational diagnosis, internal realignment and capacity get assessed to ensure that 60 percent of employees get promoted from within the company, and only 40 percent are hired from outside (Janson, 2015).
The second phase of the strategy deals with the assessment of the existing talent base. It should be pointed out that to provide employees with training and resources commensurate with their aspirations and capabilities, it is necessary to take proactive steps for talent evaluation (Janson, 2015). The most important measures have to be taken at the level of hiring, and they include the reassessment of the existing relationships with recruiting associates, the development of more accurate job profiles for key positions, and continuous improvement of interviewing and screening procedures. The most important element in the talent management strategy of Big League is its definition of ‘high potential’ employees or ‘high performers.’ The company’s concept of talent is not directly based on the results delivered by a worker; therefore, past performance does not serve as a sole indicator of an associate’s potential. It has to do with the fact that the Big League’s HR department recognizes the assessment of talent and talent channels as a part of the larger process of crafting a talent brand (Janson, 2015). Therefore, the company’s model for evaluating ‘high performers’ includes the following elements of its unique talent brand: capability, ambition, and commitment. All components are interrelated and considered to be prerequisites of potential hires. To address the entire talent needs of Big League, the firm uses the consulting service of a psychology company that specializes in the promotion and new-hire processes. Their services include personality and motivation testing, leadership simulations, and cognitive function testing (Janson, 2015).
The phase of program design starts when all talent needs have been identified and assessed. It incorporates all elements described above as well as guidelines for developing talent. The process of developing a talent pool is based on the assessment of the following talent channels: former interns who demonstrated skills, attitudes, and behaviors that fall into the category of the company’s talent brand, former high-performing employees who voluntarily have left the organization, and prospective candidates who have rejected a job offer as well as those individuals who have been deemed suitable to fill an advertised position but have been not hired for some reason (Trost, 2014). Big League’s HR department recognizes that talent management strategy has to be linked to organizational goals to gain a competitive advantage. Therefore, at the stage of program design, it is necessary to define its purpose in a manner that would allow aligning the process of talent management with the company’s goals on which the program will be based (Latukha, 2016). Big League has the following organizational goals that coincide with the talent management strategy and will allow it the company to gain a competitive advantage: finding leaders necessary for ensuring the firm’s success, assessing the current leadership capacities, developing new leadership competencies, hiring professionals that will promote the company’s culture (Latukha, 2016).
The implementation phase of the talent management strategy reflects the organizational goals that have been outlined at the stage of program design. During this phase, the HR department and a leadership development officer assesses the compatibility of the strategy with Big League’s culture and its recruitment needs.
Evaluation is the final phase of the talent management strategy which “can sometimes be as simple as measuring quarterly revenues” (Goldsmith & Carter, 2010, p. 26). The company has also developed a comprehensive numeric system, which allows the HR department to assess the results of the implementation of the strategy for managing its talent.
The talent management process is especially important when it comes to guarantying a competitive advantage for a company. Therefore, Big League’s HR department emphasizes defining and identifying a target group, which is the group of people on the current and future labor market that can fill in specific roles at the company, thereby providing it with a competitive edge. To this end, key functions that are geared towards the organizational strategy have to be identified. Moreover, it is also necessary to anticipate future personnel requirements by examining bottleneck functions (Trost, 2014). To this end, the company’s management outlines future challenges that Big League will have to overcome and defines skills that will be needed for doing this. When it comes to identifying key functions, it is necessary to remember that in most positions at organizations, a worker’s performance is commensurate with the added value that they generate (Trost, 2014).
In words of a former Microsoft CTO, Nathan Myhrvold, “the top software developers are more productive than average software developers not by a factor of 10 or 100, or even 1, 000, but 10, 000” (as cited in Trost, 2014, p. 19). It is especially true for Big League—a firm that strives to hire only exceptional employees who can anticipate the requirements of clients even before they have articulated them. Therefore, even though the company’s management recognizes that all functions are important, it defines its key functions based on the strategic focus that includes the following elements: technological leadership, growth, brand leadership, and service leadership. It means that the role of the HR department is to recruit employees who will substantially strengthen Big League’s competitive position on the market.
Big League is going to double in size in five to six years. The rapid growth of the company should be supported by a modification of its talent management strategy. Currently, the firm’s main focus on attracting talent is angled toward programming skills and technical competency. However, to achieve the rapid growth that Big League is seeking, it is necessary to obtain a better picture of the capabilities of the company’s leaders. Namely, it is necessary to assess personality reports of the organization’s managers to have a better understanding of the skills and character traits that should be demonstrated by future hires. Moreover, executive onboarding is a process that helps to quickly assimilate leaders into a company (Adamsen, 2016). Therefore, Big League will have to dedicate more time and resources to make sure that it has an effective onboarding model which will help it “to preempt the possibility of derailment” (Goldsmith & Carter, 2010, p. 32). The main characteristic of such a model would be effective and proactive engagement. By helping leaders to “own executive success from the moment of selection to the end of his or her first year on the job” (Goldsmith & Carter, 2010, p. 33) the company will provide them with exceptional onboarding support, thereby guarantying the success of the future expansion. Another characteristic of an effective onboarding model is feedback-based integration.
Behavior Change Theories
The recent progress in the fields of psychology and neuroscience has allowed utilizing behavior change theories for the improvement of a talent management process. During the last decade, scientists have gained a deeper understanding of motivation and creativity (Sloman, Simmons, & Cantrell, 2015). According to Heath and Heath, people’s behavior at work is driven by two systems: the rational mind who seeks change and the emotional mind that would like to retain comfort (as cited in Sloman et al., 2015). The scholars argue that high performers can direct these two domains of their psychological functioning in such a manner as to strike a balance between comfort, mindfulness, and creativity (Sloman et al., 2015). In light of this and other scientific discoveries, a company that seeks to gain a competitive advantage has to adjust its talent management strategy to modern behavior change theories such as the theory of reasoned action and theory of planned behavior. These theories posit that even though people are not responsible for all elements affecting their behavior, reasoned and planned action is the key component in determining their behavioral characteristics.
This paper outlined the talent management strategy that covers the entire talent requirements of Big League. It examined the main elements of talent management and explored how it can provide the organization with a competitive advantage in the industry that is known for an extremely high level of competition. Big League has developed a talent management strategy that consists of the following elements: organizational diagnosis, assessment, program design, implementation, support, and evaluation. The paper also formulated steps that should be taken in case the company doubles in size in the next 5 to 6 years.
Adamsen, B. (2016). Demystifying talent management: A critical approach to the realities of talent. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Blass, E. (2009). Talent management: Cases and commentary. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Goldsmith, M., & Carter, L. (2010). Best practices in talent management. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
Janson, K. (2015). Demystifying talent management: Unleash people’s potential to deliver superior results. Palmyra, VA: Maven House Press.
Latukha, M. (2016). Talent management in emerging market firms. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Sloman, C., Simmons, J., & Cantrell, S. (2015). Talent management meets the science of human behavior. Web.
Trost, A. (2014). Talent relationship management: Competitive recruiting strategies in times of talent shortage (1st ed.). Berlin, Germany: Springer.