Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Recruiting and Maintaing the Talent Pool: How Organizations can use Attracting Talent as a Strategic Opportunity


In McKinsey and Company’s article “The War for Talent” they posit that attracting and retaining talent will be a key requirement for businesses to stay competitive. [1]This will be especially true in the upcoming decades as baby boomers retire and executive positions will have to be filled from a smaller population of workers. In order to mitigate this transition and ensure continued success for the company McKinsey suggests that companies follow 5 steps for talent management:

  1. Instill a talent mindset at all levels of the organization beginning with senior leadership
  2. Create a winning Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that brings scarce talent through the doors and keeps them there by creating exciting work, having a well managed company, a wealth and reward system, and potential for growth and development.
  3. Recruit great talent continuously
  4. Grow great leaders
  5. Differentiate and affirm employees by not treating them as a monolithic block


These five steps for talent management seem like a solid plan for ensuring the continued presence of talent in an organization. However, I am interested in how these types of talent management initiatives fair in the real world. What are the programs currently place at high achieving organizations that can be modeled and utilized by other organizations?


A common but highly effective program for talent recruitment that I found through my research were leadership development programs for recent graduates. These programs are usually for 2-3 years and are either rotational or program based in nature. The goal leadership development programs is to bring in top talent from universities and groom them for future leadership responsibilities. GE, Bank of America, Disney, Johnson and Johnson, and Microsoft all have successful leadership development programs that have brought in talent and increased employee retention- both of which are key steps for talent management according to McKinsey.[2]


Given the success of leadership development programs at attracting and retaining talent what are other programs that can meet the other requirements of McKinsey’s 5 step talent management process?


[1] McKinesy and Company, “The War for Talent”. http://autoassembly.mckinsey.com/html/downloads/articles/War_For_Talent.pdf

[2] http://www.leaderexcel.com/best_ranking.html

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