Are You Searching For Talent?


A company I work with has recently employed a Talent Manager.  The term is becoming more common in the Human Resources function as the search moves from just warm bodies to the identification of talent to ensure the best and brightest are part of our organizations.  What is not to like about this?

Nothing.  Not one darn thing.  Assuming we know talent when we see it, this is a win-win for both parties.  Only it doesn’t quite work out that way does it?

How do I know this?  By the amount and number of people who connect with me for their professional and personal development.  Rarely are they looking to leave their employer; rather they are looking to grow and aren’t getting what they need to do so from their employer.

That is also not a negative.  How many companies and organizations focus their day-to-day activities on talent development?  Some larger ones do and have specific programs, yet I still get asked to help.  Smaller companies rarely have the resource for talent development so if it is addressed at all it is done by an outside party.

So where is the challenge?

What gets missed in all this focus on talent is the actual application of that talent.  Once the talent is identified and acquired, the person embodying it is often left to their own devices to figure out how to productively apply that talent in the organization and environment they find themselves in.

Doesn’t past success indicate that someone knows what to do in a new environment?  Absolutely not.  Confident in what served them in the past, the new hire continues in that mode not recognizing until it is too late that the old way of doing things doesn’t fit the new environment.  Or, terrified of making a mistake, the new hire simply follows the model of teammates and colleagues, not utilizing the talents they were hired for.  Now we are at a lose-lose situation.

The remedy?  Empower the newly acquired talent to understand the reason they were hired.  Remember, it is not those tasks in that detailed job description, but the value they contribute through application of their talent.  Express what is expected of them and then encourage them to use their own unique strengths to accomplish it.

All the attention to talent management and development does not exclude us, each individual, from proactively managing our own career.  That is why my phone still rings and my calendar gets filled as talented professionals seek to make the most of what they have to offer.

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