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Talent Management

Via Financial Express : Employee value proposition is the secret sauce in talent management

EVP in India should focus on the company’s market position, a culture of innovation, and growth opportunities for the individual and the company, and not just compensation.

Ask the CEO of any large organisation on the biggest challenges in the market and he or she would most likely list ‘talent’ as one of them. Talent is becoming the biggest worry for organisations across the world. But sadly, talent management programmes have not been able to build brand connect to desirable levels with existing and potential employees. So, how can organisations fight the talent war that is raging in their respective markets? Employee value proposition (EVP) has arrived and already companies are reviewing and re-energising their EVP characteristics to ensure that it resonates better and creates a more authentic, compelling and attractive brand. What does EVP mean? EVP takes its name from the well-known marketing concept ‘unique value proposition,’ the value the company provides to its customers. It can be defined as benefits provided by an employer in lieu of skills, capabilities and experiences an employee brings to the organisation. EVP is just as important for attracting potential external talent as it is for retaining existing employees.

It is the underlying magic that can be the differentiator and provide competitive edge. It is the ‘magic sauce,’ as marketing guru Guy Kawasaki calls it, to being different from your competition. In short, EVP encompasses everything an employer is doing to attract and retain talent. It includes all the pay, benefits, rewards and perks that come with being an employee of that organisation. Basically, it’s the raison d’être why anyone would want to work in your company as opposed to finding employment somewhere else. So, how do you put together an effective EVP strategy?

Start with research:

i. Find out existing perception—both in the market and internally—about what your company currently offers. Is this perception aligned to the organisation’s goals and vision? What can be improved to better reflect the company vision and culture? You should consider the type of company culture you would like to foster;
ii. Understand what are the values and benefits that are important to the talent you would like to attract. Remember to also get input from current employees on the benefits they would value.

Drawing up EVP strategy

Be prepared to consider changing the benefits on offer to be more aligned with the goals, values and needs of existing and potential employees. Do not overlook the tough-to-quantify items that bring value to employees, like challenging work, interesting company culture, and values that align with their personal goals. Integrate the components of EVP with existing systems. For example, if the company offers time-off for employees to volunteer for charities, do not let it be overlooked in the administration of leave programmes, and make sure it’s communicated and reflected in the company’s EVP.

Rolling it out

Here is a four-step guide to implement EVP strategies:
i. Remember the importance of communication. Employees need to be aware of what is offered to be able to take part in and appreciate it;
ii. Make sure the leadership of the organisation is actively involved in developing EVP;
iii. Integrate EVP with external brand and customer experience;
iv. Work with all stakeholders to ensure EVP is integrated into total compensation packages and communicated consistently and effectively.

EVP for start-ups

What about start-ups? Do they need a differentiated strategy? For any entrepreneur venturing on the start-up journey, the idea of EVP should not come as a surprise. You should be thinking about people issues from day one, and have a plan in place. For most start-up founders, the first set of hires are easy as they are the people who have come together on the same passions and ideologies. It is the second set of hires that may not fully buy into the ‘big idea’ and therefore sustaining them would mean offering them a different set of EVPs to keep them engaged and motivated.

The easier option is to lean on to new funding to address pay and benefits related issues. But you must go beyond that to ensure the team stays together. A strategic EVP that offers the internal and external talent pool a range of experiences needs to be set in place. While this will need a good amount of investment of time from the founders, it needs to be specific and contextual to the company, the market and the business model. And it must continuously evolve to map to the growth of the company itself.

An interesting finding was made in KPMG’s India’s Annual Compensation Trends Survey 2017-18. The top reason for employees to change jobs still is better pay (28.1%) but another 23.4% quit for better career opportunity. The takeaway here is the increasing focus on better career opportunity. Thus, EVP in India should focus on the company’s market position, a culture of innovation, and growth opportunities for the individual and the company, and not just compensation. After all, talent is that magic ingredient that can propel your organisation to the next level.


The Sept.-Oct. issue of the Harvard Business Review has an interesting package of articles on the 16-year tenure of recently retired G.E. CEO Jeff Immelt (including an essay by the man himself on what he learned during his time leading the company). One of what may be among his lasting impacts on the company is the campaign to use algorithms to transform the way GE develops and retains its 300,000 employees.

As writer Steven Prokesch notes, GE is now positioning itself as a tech-focused industrial company and has hired thousands of software engineers and other digital natives. These employees tend to have little patience for bureaucratic processes and a thirst to grow in their careers. As a result, GE’s HR team is coming up with a raft of analytics-based applications to help them develop their careers and networks, identify high potentials and match them up with training opportunities. “It’s GE’s version of Match.com,” James Gallman, who helped lead the effort at GE and is now Boeing’s people analytics director, told Prokesch.

GE’s analytics push is focused on six areas of talent management: career and succession planning, training, high potentials, networks, talent retention and cultural change. The tool for career and succession planning is the furthest along, writes Prokesch. It uses data on the “historical movement of GE employees and the relatedness of jobs (which is based on their descriptions”) to help users identify potential new opportunities throughout the entire company, not just in their own business or geography. The app is also intended to help leaders do a better job of succession planning by identifying “nonobvious candidates,” for example. “When we’re thinking about who could possibly fill a particular role, we have a technology that helps us come up with additional possibilities,” HR exec Paul Davies told Prokesch.

GE’s training app, still in the prototype stage, recommends training to help an employee do a better job and advance in his or her career. The company plans to connect it to an existing performance-development app for GE’s salaried employees that provides them with a steady stream of constructive feedback from their managers (Under Immelt, GE did away with the forced-ranking model implemented by former CEO Jack Welch, which has fallen out of favor in most of corporate America).

GE’s HR team is also building an app that uses a technique called the “Pareto frontier” to draw on “outcomes” data such as salary increases, bonuses, promotion rates, etc., to identify high-potential employees. It’s also building an app for networking that’s designed to help employees identify others within the company they can go to for help or advice on a particular problem.

The team is also testing an app for talent retention that’s designed to predict, within a six-month window, when managers and employees in a given function are likely to jump ship. It will identify certain circumstances — such as when a team member leaves — under which people often quit, so that managers can intervene by, for example, talking about the next roles they might play.

Finally, GE’s “cultural change” app would help it identify factors within its organizational structure that may affect its efforts to become a nimbler, more customer-focused entity. For example, the app — still in the early stages of development — would measure whether people serving on large teams feel differently about the company than do people serving on smaller teams.

As Cade Massey, a professor at Penn’s Wharton School, tells Prokesch, although none of these apps will be a magic bullet for talent retention and development, they will give GE much more to rely on than intuition and bias in terms of what works and what doesn’t. “As analytics progresses, it offers a chance to make more rigorous those intuitive methods and to de-bias some of that judgement,” he says.

Via The Globe And Mail : Developing HR policies for the next generation of talent

The marketing communications industry is a people oriented business and our currency is the ideas our employees come to work with everyday. And yet, it was my venture outside the marketing world that taught me my most valuable lesson about people.

After leading the “I am Canadian rant” campaign, I left Molson Breweries to pursue something entirely different – a startup focused on what today would be recognized as visualization software.

It was a step into relatively uncharted territory for me, but I was comforted by a singular vision to create a perfect product. That was my guiding light.

Many successful companies obsess about perfection. Some of today’s corporate titans are famous (and even infamous) for a commitment to perfection. Armed with that goal, a small band of colleagues and I went to work on joining their ranks.

Early success followed – we grew quite rapidly from four employees to 40 in just six months. We were laser-focused on improving our product; updating the software and releasing new iterations on a monthly basis. Anyone that goes through the process of almost completely rebuilding a product from the ground up every month will attest to the strain it creates. We felt strongly that our success hinged entirely on the quality of our offering.

We were only partly right.

Yes, our product needed to be perfect, but what about all those people we were hiring? Where was the quality control there? Looking back, we simply didn’t appreciate that we needed to be as uncompromising in establishing best-in-class human-resource policies as we were in our pursuit to create the best software.

We needed people to help us build the plane as we flew it, and they needed to genuinely feel as though they had a vested interest in our goals. Our greatest failing wasn’t that we couldn’t articulate our vision; it was that we didn’t let others articulate theirs.

That experience has shaped human-resources policies at Vision7 International, the holding company for Cossette Communications, Citizen Relations PR, V7 Media and the digital/advertising agency network The Camps Collective. At Vision7, employees are assets to be leveraged, rather than commodities to be deployed.

This concept is also a major tenet of today’s NewCos – the new companies that are fundamentally unrecognizable from the OldCos (old companies) that preceded them. Google, Facebook, Airbnb and others all prioritize talent.

NewCos challenge traditional paradigms of how a company should operate. Talent management is one area, and there are others.

NewCos forgo mass consumerism and embrace markets of one at scale and continually introduce product/service iterations rather than adhere to a 12-month development cycle. They also prioritize the flow of information over expropriating raw materials, favour trust-based management styles over hierarchical ones and are driven by purpose and profit in equal measures. NewCos are the complete opposite of companies born from the Industrial Revolution in every way.

These NewCo fundamentals also provide the blueprint for how to manage the next generation of talent. Flexible human-resources policies that address individual needs are better than a one-size-fits-all approach, and more frequent performance check-ins with timely examples of progress toward professional-development goals echo the constant development cycles common to NewCos. It’s also important to trust your employees and give them room to contribute ideas, and you’ll find they are especially motivated to do that if you can convey a grander sense of purpose.

NewCos are changing the way we do business and will usher in a new era of industry (and clients), which is why I’m helping to bring the NewCo Festival to Canada with an initial stop in Toronto on September 13-14.

Companies that are intrinsically built on NewCo principles will leapfrog established organizations – and do so with ease. Just look at how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry. But even if your business isn’t discoverable through the latest app, it can still benefit from adopting human-resource policies based on the NewCo blueprint.

The spark that ignites the next phase of your company’s evolution is unlikely to come from a material discovery. You can’t drill for intelligence, mine for creativity or build curiosity. That’s why it’s important to emphasize the value of human capital over working capital. The degree to which you invest there – on people – is a better indicator of how successful you’ll be.

Via Skills Provision : Talent Management in a Shrinking Global Village

Talent, that’s the challenge, never more so than in the middle of the worst set of economic conditions since the depression. That challenge is only going to get tougher in markets like Europe with pay rises that are flat – or non-existent – taking away one of the most obvious motivational incentives. Will talent move on as a consequence? Of course it will, it would be naive to think otherwise.

According to the Deloitte 2013 Top Five Global Employer Rewards Priorities Survey, finding, motivating and keeping talent will remain the top challenge for Employers around the globe. Shortage, motivation, and retention of qualified talent far outpaced all other choices with 26% of respondents citing it as their main problem.

The solution is effective talent management – but that of course may be easier said than done. A good starting point though would be agreeing on a definition. There are multiple interpretations of the term, understandably enough given the differing natures of the various business sectors. According to the CIPD, talent is “the systematic attraction, identification, development, engagement, retention and deployment of those individuals who are of particular value to an organisation, either in view of their ‘high potential’ for the future or because they are fulfilling business/operation-critical roles”.

To provide an indication of why talent management matters, a recent PriceWaterhouseCooper study found that CEOs find themselves changing their talent strategies more often than their approaches to risk management, with skills shortages seen as the main threat to continued commercial expansion. One in four CEOs cited instances when they were unable to pursue a market opportunity because of lack of available talent.

With that in mind, it’s clear that talent management needs to be strategic, not a series of tactical initiatives, if businesses are to have a chance of mapping how their talent management needs are likely to evolve.

Interestingly two thirds of respondents to PwC’s study expect talent to come from within organisations rather than from outside, suggesting that internal talent management is the critical priority.

“Four years into the financial crisis, we find CEO’s more grounded about the risks and changing conditions for growth,” notes Dennis Nally, PwC Chairman. “The focus on talent and customers today is a natural ‘next step’ towards establishing their organisations in the markets where they operate and building the trust needed for the business of tomorrow. That’s why so many CEO’s are changing talent strategies to improve their ability to attract and retain the right people. Skills shortages are very real – just 12% of CEO’s say they’re finding it easier to hire people in their industries – and the constraints are having quantifiable impacts on corporate growth. Just as our customers are changing rapidly, so are our workforce’s – and our talent needs are changing, too.”

It’s a view backed up by the annual Talent Management Survey conducted by HR services provider NorthgateArinso (NGA). That finds that 87% of business people believe that talent identification would be critical to the success of their organisations over the next three years while more than half – 51% – believed that their industry suffered from a lack of suitable candidates.

“Talent management – in particular ensuring that existing talent can be nurtured, new talent can be attracted, and key positions can be replaced if necessary – is a critical concern of businesses,” says Michael Custers, Vice President of Strategic Marketing at NGA. “There is a real worry out there that there is a lack of readily available talent and that potentially this will impact on a business’s ability to deliver its strategic vision.”

This moves us on to solutions and approaches and the conflict that often exists between HR lead organisations and those willing to use third parties such as recruiter/head hunters to solve skills shortages. In reality a long term formalised partnership is needed for all to benefit.

This article is not about HR bashing but getting the Boardroom to realise that the talent management strategy needs to embrace more than in house recruiting especially for senior international positions where you need to be tapping the worldwide talent pool. Going fishing doesn’t mean you will catch fish especially if you don’t know where to go fishing and you don’t have the right tackle and bait.

In our view the role of HR is to ensure internal buy-in to the recruitment process, the delivery of a quality job description and benefits package and making sure the Company is ready to handle the process professionally at all stages as the Company’s brand is in the hands of the weakest link. The handling of actual recruitment needs to be thought through and there is nothing wrong with operating a mixed model of internal recruitment with outside suppliers and this can often deliver the best overall results.

Yes, it involves fees which are substantial but no more than having external auditors to support and check on the professionalism of in house accounting staff and a fraction of the costs of putting right recruitment mistakes.

Whichever way you chose to go you need to be proactive and there is a lot more to talent management than listing a job on your website with a bit of social media support.

We are happy to have a free initial consultation with any Directors that are concerned about the effectiveness of their businesses current recruitment strategy as our expertise lies in the worldwide sourcing of talent.

via Financial Executives : Discovering and Managing Talent in the Cloud: A Q&A With Oracle’s Steve Cox

Having a holistic view of financial functions as well as HR processes in the cloud gives organizations the power to keep up with the quick pace of innovation.

Across industries and for organizations of all sizes, CFOs have new roles as co-pilots and navigators, helping their businesses make better decisions. Two intersecting areas in which CFOs are innovating are talent and enterprise resource planning (ERP). Adopting a holistic view of financial functions as well as HR processes in the cloud gives organizations the power to better manage change and keep up with the quick pace of innovation.

A new study from Oracle and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, titled Finance and HR: The Cloud’s New Power Partnership, discusses the benefits of integrating ERP with Human Capital Management (HCM).

FEI Daily spoke with Steve Cox, Vice President for ERP and EPM product marketing at Oracle, about what’s driving the partnership and the progress companies are making on cloud migration.

FEI Daily: Why is it so important that finance and HR collaborate effectively? What has changed that makes the partnership so vital?

Steve Cox: In a lot of the keynotes I do, I talk about five catalysts of transformation and the first three are all people-related. I talk about the global talent shortage which is affecting finance, the rise of robots, and the end of jobs. Those are three things that are not only catalysts, they’re accelerating the pace of change in general. But they’re conflicting and contradictory.

If you think about it this way, there’s a global talent shortage. We need the right people in the right place with the right skills and the right talents, but of course we want not only to find them, we need to retain them. On the other side of this, you have the rise of robots where there’s a massive decline in the cost of industrial robots over the past three years which means many, many jobs are being eliminated.

And the third piece is the end of jobs. Certain trades and professions will completely disappear in the next five years. And if you then look at it from the CFO’s perspective, the people-side of the business becomes acutely important. You have to have the right people and you have to provide them with an engaging and exciting career. It doesn’t matter what size organization or what part of the world these CFOs are from, they have new roles as co-pilots and navigators, helping the business make better decisions about the future of the organization.

FEI Daily: When did talent became something that the CFO became concerned with?

Cox: It’s difficult to put a date on it. I would say it’s clearly a post-millennium thing. I think it coincided with the general acceleration in the pace of change and you can probably pinpoint some landmark moments, when somebody put their foot on the gas. I would argue that one was the launch of the iPhone in 2007. What the iPhone did was popularize the notion of the smartphone. It drove general adoption of the smartphone. But it then opened everyone’s eyes to the possibility of mobile devices.

There are a couple of other precursors. Our own popularization of the relational database is one. You could argue that, without the relational database, there wouldn’t have been applications. In some way it acted as a tipping point because once you could deliver enterprise applications over the internet, you could deliver anything over the internet.

Another is the birth of the first SaaS applications. The first SaaS application was NetSuite. And all of these things suddenly begin to change the way we interact with IT. Suddenly, you’ve got the power of IT in the hands of everybody. And everyone is changing the way they behave.

So, why is there a global talent shortage? Because the demographics of the world have changed. We’re all getting older, and we’ve got newer, and smaller generations of people, the millennials, coming in and their expectations of life and work are very, very different from previous generations.

FEI Daily: The study discusses the benefits of integrating ERP with HCM. But how easy is that integration in the first place?

Cox: If you look at finance and HR, they’re governed by policies, processes, workflows and so on and these are intimately connected. If you look at the finance function, every CFO I speak to is inordinately concerned about recruiting the right people and retaining the best people and giving those people the new skills and talents they’re going to need in the new era.

If you look at business volatility and the pace of change, having an integrated approach to the way you manage the finances of the organization and the people in the organization is critical.

Both finance and HR have a plethora of approval steps with them. And many of those approvals depend on people. So if you take a typical finance process where something has to be approved, you need that to be reflected immediately so that the process isn’t held up because the wrong person is expected to approve the thing.

I always talk about the single data model argument. Organizations keep far more data than ever before. Every finance transaction has a whole bunch of data, and we’re managing more and more data as every minute passes. This need to have HR and finance integrated from the get go is absolutely critical, purely because of that fact that this finance and HR world is dominated by policies, process approvals, and workflow.

If you buy two sets of applications from separate vendors, integration is as easy as it always has been. Oracle does provide an integration Cloud service set of applications that make integration a lot easier. Many of the customers surveyed in the study prefer an integrated HR and finance approach. In other words, financial management and HR applications from the same vendor.

FEI Daily: Describe the progress companies are making on cloud migration. What are some of the biggest challenges to adoption?

Cox: According to the study, 35 percent of C-level executives and finance, HR, and IT managers who responded plan to create a shared finance and HR function within a year. Forty-two percent of respondents say they are motivated by the need for improvements in productivity and performance.

Respondents view closer finance and HR collaboration in the cloud as a strategic imperative, promoting operational excellence and the freedom to accelerate innovation in response to the demands and expectations of customers and stakeholders.

One question executives often have, however, is how to begin their journey to the cloud. A majority of business leaders want to free their finance and HR functions to operate in the cloud. But to figure out which processes or business functions to start with, it’s really about aligning IT to the organizations’ aspirations and strategic ambitions. Today’s CIOs and CTOs, most of whom now have cloud-first strategy, make decisions about IT in collaboration with their peers in the c-suite – not only taking into account the needs of the business but also leading the way in showing how leveraging new technologies can exponentially improve the business.

They are able to exploit the promise of the convergence of the cloud with mobile, analytics, social, big data, IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning to help CFOs change business models, increase agility and deliver more influence in every aspect of the business. But, ultimately, organizations must undergo the transition quickly to stay competitive and innovate at scale— only the cloud offers the flexibility to do this.