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It’s About the “Talented”…”Humans”

 Our CEO sounds off on the importance and transformation of talent management.
We live in a profession with great terms. When I was in college, I studied “personnel management.” That did not sound very nice. To the extent anyone would own up to being a “personnel,” they certainly would not want to feel “managed.” Now we refer to this management science as “human resources.”  With only a few exceptions, I will stipulate the use of the “human” (hominid sounds harsh doesn’t it?), and “resources” sounds hopeful. After all, if we called them human obstacles or human counterweights, it might be accurate but it would sound, well, negative. The best term out there and the one we need to really focus on—the most important in human resources—is talent management. HRO Today is going to spend a lot of time focusing on those two words in the next few years.
After all, not all humans are the same. Talent has been described as the quality that makes one excel that cannot be explained by skill or training regimen. Some people are just better at some things than others. For the readers of this column that really know me, they know I will never be asked to be an ambassador to the United Nations. Diplomacy is just not in the cards. But, I like to think I have other talents. (Not everyone agrees, but it’s my column so I am moving on.)
The talent management market is a vast market within the human resources services community and has undergone a telling transformation in the last decade.  Today, many talent management solutions are delivered via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models, in which the client uses the infrastructure of a provider to manage and update software and manage data. Increasingly, these SaaS model applications have been modularized to become fully integrated suites encompassing candidate relationship management functions, candidate sourcing, performance management, assessment, testing, and even goal and compensation management components. The service bundle in today’s talent management suite can be significant, and yet all of these services can be purchased individually as well. They can be purchased as part of an outsourced solution with an RPO or HRO provider or directly from the software vendor.  It’s starting to sound a bit like the HRO BPO market, doesn’t it? 
Our goal at HRO Today is to provide senior HR officers who read our magazine information about how to manage the operational components of their businesses. We focus our editorial on business problems and their resolutions, and talent management services and software is an increasingly complex and important part of the HR department’s strategic value to the CEO. I do not know a CEO who when asked to list his or her top five concerns does not include the quality of organizational talent. A bigger question that we will strive to answer with the HR Officers with whom we engage will be this: “How does good talent management translate into measurable impact on the strategic sales and earnings goals of the business?” 
Luckily, we have contributing editors like Naomi Bloom who have always been thought leaders in this discussion. We will be adding more content in this area, and we are hoping to hear from the practitioner readers with real examples and case studies in which they overhauled the HR function and improved talent management strategies to the benefit of their overall company. 
It has often been said that 20 percent of the staff drives 80 percent of the success of an organization.  My observation is that the number might actually be less than 20 percent and that talent is a mysterious and wonderful gift that some people have. It’s not hard to identify if you take the time to look and you have the proper tools. Where HRO Today can help our readers is by providing you the tools to find the best solutions and providers in this market to generate the best results. We will do this by using our case study-driven editorial approach, our customer satisfaction research and rating techniques, and our analytical approach to parsing the market into the sectors of suite providers and best-of-breed providers. Our aim is make your life simpler, your impact more strategic and, as always, HR more effective.  
Elliot Clark, CEO

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