I define talent as one who adds value to achieving the business results. The talent may be from an external hire or from within the company. The challenge to a company is how they select one to be the talent for the company. The selection should also not violate Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DEI),
As in my earlier article, I mentioned that the selection stage needed to start with the management defining what would be the business results they wanted the talent to achieve. This would then determine the set of criteria needed to identify the right person to achieve the results. Appropriate decisions such as the type of hire (permanent or temporary staff) or reshuffling of resources will then be made accordingly.
The criteria specify what the talent will do and the possible behaviour traits and not depend only on his experience. We tend to select candidates with direct experience to be a talent potential. However, it is more important to find what is that behaviour trait that made him successful in those experiences or achievements. Likewise, if another does not have the direct experiences, but have those behaviour traits, overlooking him can be a potential loss to the company as he may be a talent. Soliciting input from stakeholders who may have work interactions with the potential talent can set the stage for good teamwork to achieve the business results.
Casting the net out to search for the suitable talents can be challenging when one does not have the capacity to sieve through what he has ‘caught’ in his net. Potential talents who are not contacted may deter them from considering the company in future. In the case of an internal staff, he may get disappointed with the company for not noticing his potential. Commitment to set aside time and to engage potential talents will determine not just selection of talents but retention too.
An effective selection stage requires selectors (whoever tasked to find talents) to have the means to know where to look for them. Unless the company cannot find the most suitable match internally, then find external candidate. For now, I will focus more on internal candidates.
Getting to know a staff from the perspective of his attitude, and not just his aptitude, allows the supervisor to provide the input that can be used in the identification of a potential talent. The input can be maintained in a simple database or well-crafted information system. What is crucial is the quality of the input and the means by which this input gets reviewed by others who are the selectors. In most cases, the selectors will be the potential talent’s department manager who participates in the sustenance stage of the talent management process.
As the supervisor knows his staff, he will then evaluate what task to assign his staff and how far he can stretch his staff to determine his potential. The selection stage is an ongoing process as it takes time for the supervisor to know the staff. Constant communication with all staff within the department is important to ensure that no one is left out as a potential. Some staff may be placed in the wrong portfolio and cannot exhibit his potential while others may need to be exited if they are not suitable anywhere in the company.
An ineffective selection can diminish the effectiveness of the department and cause attrition of talents. Most will acknowledge that it is more difficult and perhaps more expensive to exit people then to hire them. Therefore, when considering external candidates, the hiring manager needs to apply the lessons learnt internally. Take every step to identify the criteria for the job, share the culture of the company with the candidate and assess how he will fit in. It is important to paint the correct picture of the company as is and whether the candidate shares the same aspirations of where the company want to be. Be mindful not to stereotype the candidate but look out for that rare factor in the candidate that can make a breakthrough for your company.