Let’s Talk About Talent

talk about talent webinarWe need to talk… about all the good things and the bad things that happen when it comes to identifying top talent.

To many of us, talking about talent is like talking about wine – “I don’t know much about it but I know what I like.” The problem is, we all might like different things. And what we like may have nothing to do with actual quality. So how do we first identify, and then go about developing, engaging and retaining top talent? That’s the topic of a webinar I’m holding on Tuesday, June 23.

Sadly, many organizations aren’t really talking about talent. In Brandon Hall Group’s recent Succession Management Study, the top three methods for identifying high potential talent were current performance ratings, manager nominations and work experience (cited by 53%, 50% and 45% of respondents respectively). But even among organizations using these most common methods, only somewhere between half and two-thirds found them to be effective or very effective at actually predicting future success. This begs the question, why are we using them for this purpose?

The answer comes down to the reason we don’t have most hard conversations: We don’t have the right language to talk about talent in a consistent, meaningful, and constructive way. So our conversations, when we do have them, are colored by opinion or recent experience or the bad commute that morning.

Interestingly, only 31% of organizations cited the use of talent review conversations as tools to ID high-potential talent. But 79% of those who do use talent reviews found them to be effective predictors. In order to have the best conversations we need a language to help us break down what drives performance. That’s why tools like assessments were rated as effective tools for identifying potential by 70% of users. While these tools on their own don’t automate the creation of a talent pipeline, they provide objective insight to foster constructive talent discussion.

So ask yourself:

  • Is your organization having effective conversations about talent?
  • Do you have a language to define top talent that can help guide your plans for developing, engaging and retaining those individuals?

Because if your organization doesn’t have something to talk about when it comes to great talent, you could wind up just talking to yourself. So join me next week for ideas on how to improve the conversations your organization is having on finding and keeping great talent.

Mollie Lombardi, VP and Principal Analyst,
Workforce Management, Brandon Hall Group

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Mollie Lombardi



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Mollie Lombardi