These are the thoughts and takeaways from the latest Talent Think Tank (TTT) held on Tuesday 12th February 2013 hosted by Mondelēz International’s Charlotte Moss (Head of Talent & Organisation Effectiveness), titled ‘What makes a Great Talent Strategy? Refocusing your Business Lens’ .
The following summary, prepared by our TTT partner the Chemistry group, reflects a segment of the discussion held amongst senior HR and Talent professionals from leading UK and international businesses. Specific company details, experiences and examples have been omitted from this summary as all discussions are held under ‘Chatham House Rules’.
This Talent Think Tank, began with introductions, and the opportunity for each of the attendees to voice some of the challenges that they are currently facing in their roles, which included subjects like:
- Building a great culture
- Creating meaningful action
- Created a joined up talent journey
- Creating a unified strategy across the whole business
- Creating a clear and consistent employee brand
What is Talent?
The first thing that we discussed in the group was what is talent? Is it the top talent of the organization, the top 10 or 20% of your workforce, which are going to be your future leaders, or is talent your whole work force, from bottom to top. What came out of this discussion was the importance of the message about what Talent means, particularly when you are taking the message to the business. In my opinion “Talent” is the whole workforce, the argument being that if they are not talented in the role that they are doing, whatever the level, they shouldn’t be doing it.
What is the Strategy?
When it comes to defining the talent strategy for a business there are a number of different things that need to be considered in order to set the strategy in the right context for the business. Ultimately the setting of a talent strategy is all about the choices and decisions that are made between the business and HR, decisions like “do we grow our own talent or do we hire it in?”, “Where do we focus the strategy?” etc. The answers to these questions can only be answered through conversation with the business and gaining a solid understanding of the business strategy.
The aim of a talent strategy is to enable the organisation to deliver the business strategy, and ultimately deliver value to the shareholders. To do this the talent strategy need to create a workforce that truly adds value to the business.
The Culture of the business
As a group we then went on to talk about how to create a culture in a business, and therefore create engagement with employees by defining a great employee brand. The concept of a company culture has changed over the last few years, as has the control that businesses can have over employee brand. The culture of a business is defined by how people behave within that business and what people say to each other on a day to day basis. When it comes to how that culture is portrayed in the market, and how the employee brand is perceived in the market, people are going to trust peer to peer recommendations far more than they will trust a message from a CEO, or a corporate brand statement. This change has come with the increase of social media tools like facebook and twitter, but also by tools like Glassdoor, which shows prospective employees what it is truly like to work for a particular business, from an employee’s point of view.
We closed the session by talking about the key messages that came out of the discussion, which were all about empowering the workforce to deliver the strategy by giving them permission and ensuring that the talent strategy linked completely to the business strategy.