Magazine article Workforce Management

Assessment and Development Tools Optimize Talent

Magazine article Workforce Management

Assessment and Development Tools Optimize Talent

Article excerpt


Visionary business strategies require best-practice talent management to carry them out. Natural ability, experience, knowledge, training, practice, opportunities, feedback - all are critical factors for an optimized talent pool. Yet few organizations work them into an ongoing, effective cycle that identifies and hones essential talent for maximum results.

A unified approach to talent management involves defining success, hiring for the right combination of innate and learned capabilities, developing strengths and improving weak areas, and leveraging feedback and accountability.

Defining Success

Best practices begin with defining successful behaviors because knowing the target is talent management's foundation. Competency modeling is ideal for establishing criteria that align talent with business strategy. A solid competency framework sets the standard for effective behavior, defining the primary capabilities required for success.

Some balk at this crucial first step due to common misconceptions:

Myth #1: Competency modeling takes excessive effort, time and money.

Today's best-in-class modeling processes leverage competency libraries and technology to make competency modeling efficient and cost-effective. Train-the-trainer workshops are also available, empowering HR professionals to quickly and inexpensively construct models as needed. A good model can be complete within a few days time.

Myth #2: Each job description requires a different competency model.

Models defined at too granular of a level lose effectiveness. Competency models if constructed well, should be applicable to groups of jobs or job families. For example, specialized competencies are required for the leadership family, marketing family and engineering family, but every job does not require a unique model.

The key to effective competency modeling is using a top-down approach based on business strategy, involving those who know both the business strategy and the roles. Keep the models succinct and include only those competencies that truly differentiate successful performance, not all of the nice-to-haves.

Refine as needed as strategy changes or the market shifts.

Hiring for Talent

Job effectiveness requires both innate and learned capabilities and the goal of any selection process is to identify those candidates with the highest probability of success for the role. Identifying this match is not easy. Many companies relying primarily on resume/skill matching and interviews for this purpose find these tools have limitations in today's fluid workplace. As jobs change and evolve and individuals re-deploy and re-career, assessment of natural ability and a potential for future roles can take precedence over past experience. …

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