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Why is Talent Management Important in 2014? Part 1

By Miki Jo Resto (1775 words)
Posted in Human Resources on April 24, 2014

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Global Markets Mean Talent Markets, Too

I’ve been watching the global business economy and talent markets closely. As you may have been noticing, the need for talent is starting to recover from the recent Great Recession. While not everyone may be feeling the recovery, there is enough recovery to be conspicuous.


During the recession, leaders of most industries across the world have shared an overarching experience - the severely changing business landscape that threw competitive markets into a super-hyper-speed for efficiency and innovation. It was a fight to survive on a global scale. This time, the recession wasn’t a roving economic beast over a rolling time cycle. What was different was that leaders all over the world experienced the survival shake down at nearly the same time.


Global Conditions Have Changed the Talent Market Forever

Of course, world markets have been flattening since the beginning of internet business platforms. Since Y2K, during every boom and recession cycle, we business leaders have been noticing and watching. However, this last one was different and I heard it in personal business conversations, conferences, and in the media. Leader after leader sounded something like this, “The future is here. This is what it means to have a flat world economy,” and no one sounded happy.


They were right. Business and markets were no longer waiting for the world to become “flat”. It was “here”. Yes, the world markets have gone through declining economics together, and together they will prosper again - off to the races so to speak, as one huge market. This is a drastic over simplification, but you get the point. And, I know you’ve been experiencing and learning about the differences of the global recession for a few years.


There’s another difference that you may not have heard much about. This global convergence of change has changed the Talent Market forever


Why is Talent Management Important in 2014?

The Talent Market is everyone who works for your company, anyone else’s company, and everyone who wants a job or a new job - anywhere in the world. There is now one giant market of people. We’ve been noticing this growing reality over the last 10 to 15 years. However, there has never been a time before where this has been so evident, even more accessible, and most importantly so needed


In the not so distant past, Talent Acquisition (Recruiting) Leaders would talk about searching for candidates around the globe, “What are the barriers to finding them? Communication? Understand their values and what they want? How would we move them and their families here?” Or, business leaders would talk about moving production to another country, “offshore”. Then, corporate lawyers would research the barriers to enter a different labor market, legal landscape, and economic environment.


Now, enter today … what barriers? Ok, politics hasn’t crumbled - or all that goes along with the struggles for power and world domination. What you may not know, though, is that the IMF (International Monetary Fund) is very busy creating visibility for most international banking in all developed nations, in the name of reducing global imbalances and creating stability. (This is a very general statement, but this isn’t a financial or economic blog. You can look into and research it at www.IMF.org.) Combine this with the inter-connectedness of each countries’ GDP and the global economy, plus foreign investment and financial strategy, then add all labor markets - and you begin to get a picture. Money (that’s legal) and how it travels, where it stays, and where it grows is becoming more visible. People follow the money, whether it’s business leaders, recruiting leaders, or the talent market.


The Talent Market is Flat

What does this have to do with a flat Talent Market? Wide sweeping changes are flattening the market with force, from the top down, rather than deflating and draining talent. Think of a giant hand flattening a big mountain. That means the Talent Market is, and will be, dispersing over the globe. Migration will demand to grow, whether it’s temporary or permanent. Here’s where U.S. business leaders need to pay attention. As U.S. GDP rate slows and other countries’ GDP percentages increase, for the first time in decades the most talented in the U.S. will consider long-term international opportunities. Now, billions of people want a job but the best talent (most trained, talented, smart, creative and ambitious) wants a great career – wherever that is.


This also means that diversity and the need for international talent will grow for the U.S. too. Why? Not only will some of our best and brightest citizens export their talent, along side of that there aren’t enough motivated people with the right technical training, specific skills and knowledge for the jobs, and growing careers, within the U.S. labor force. To continue to increase GDP rates in the U.S., many U.S. companies already find themselves looking for talent beyond the national borders at ever increasing speed and frequency.


Now, what’s important about Talent Management in the year 2014? It’s difficult enough to build a business full of good jobs, where people want to stay and contribute to building the company. Surveys show that many employees don’t think their employers are very good at it - either in the largest U.S. companies also, in many medium-size companies which is the largest segment of employers. For two to three decades, the voices for topics like “equal pay for women” and “work-life-balance” has been getting stronger, but so has the nonstop workplace mantra, “do more with less”. Yet, the immediate pressures of the global market and international business environment are now demanding that employers change and get better at hiring the right employees, developing and keeping them.


Global Competition for Talent

Increasing global competition for the best in the U.S. Talent Market changes what used to be a nice-to-have into a must-have. Starting today, more than yesterday, leaders need to pay attention to the risks of losing their solid performers and their best talent. An even more productive approach would be to create intention and attention to a constructive culture, performance and rewards system, and employee development programs that keep their people and teams engaged. The term is “change engagement”, which isn’t just for M&As. Change engagement is a long-term employee development strategy that paces alongside, or a half step ahead, of industry and customer markets.


Technology is accessible to everyone who can afford it and, often, so is the best talent. When equipment and software are purchased they’re owned. When people are contracted as employees, their time is leased but not their loyalty or even their highest motivation. Now that it’s getting easier to follow the money - it’s getting even more difficult to develop a longer-term employee life cycle (loyalty). Leaders that aren’t creating enough intention and attention to their employees home-away-from-home (the workplace) will continue to experience pervasive pain from the inability to keep enough of the right talent. 


Companies continue to pay exorbitant prices to find, recruit, and hire talent. Though the world talent market is flattening, the best talent is getting more expensive, some may say exponentially so, because of the lack of educated or trained labor force for the growing job trends that contribute most to the U.S. GDP.


So, where do you start?  Do you want to start doing something for your company that concerns a constructive culture, performance and rewards system, as well as employee development? 


Think of Talent Management as a Health System

An organization is a living system - a living organism - that is greater than the sum of its parts. Much like your physical body, in order for an organization to grow and compete it must create on-going health and continuous vital energy. If it’s not healthy, it’s just surviving.


Achieving major business objectives that are directed at competing at higher levels takes Talent Management. Talent Management is the system that creates the opportunity for health and vitality. A healthy system builds the long-term and prolonged productivity that creates sustainable profits.


In my next blog, I’ll describe Talent Management in terms of this idea of a “Health System” and how to begin creating a vital organization. Look for ”Why is Talent Management Important in 2014? Part 2 – Creating Vitality to Compete in the Global Market. ” Coming in May.



{#/pub/images/MikiJoParkResto.jpg}Written by Miki Jo Resto, Vice President & Senior Consultant VPI Strategies & Bright Talent, Inc- Miki Jo is a Business Leader who increases company value in the market place through Talent Strategy and Organizational Development. As a Senior Advisor and Consultant, she partners with business owners and executives to create and strategize competitive advantage through leveraging human capital, organizational talent, and organizational development. She directs and leads major initiatives, with change and implementation strategy, across the global organization. Miki Jo’s Bachelor’s Degree is Marketing Communications, from Colorado State University, and she attended Antioch University as an M.A. student in Organizational Psychology. She holds certifications that range across organizational resources and leadership assessment, strategic action planning, team conflict assessment and management, and leadership coaching.


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