What Talent Wants

July 12th, 2011 by Sarah Green Leave a reply »

At Zircon we are always seeking to further our understanding of Talent Management, keeping up-to-date with the latest Talent research and sharing best practice. Recently Lesley Uren and colleagues from Jackson Samuel, published a piece of research called ‘What Talent Wants’ and we were keen to understand the main findings and implications for Talent Management for our Zircon clients.

The Research Method
Jackson Samuel decided to take a bottom up approach to their research, placing all previous Talent Management research findings to one side, in order to identify and develop their own understanding of what talented individuals really want from their employers. Once they had gathered this information they compared it against what organisations offer, based upon what they think their talented individuals want.

The Key Finding
As you can imagine, whilst there was some overlap, there was also a great degree of difference between what employers offered talented individuals and what talented individuals actually wanted. The key message was therefore regarding the importance of organisations to provide talented individuals with what they really want, providing a personalised and tailored approach to talent management.

Implications for Organisations
Based upon their findings, Jackson Samuel recommend that organisations clearly identify and differentiate their groups of talent (referred to as Talent Segmentation), in order to provide relevant and desirable Development and Retention Plans for talented individuals (also referred to as Employee Values Propositions).

The Process of Talent Segmentation
Jackson Samuel propose a simple six stage process for achieving Talent Segmentation:

1. Focus
Identify the key competitive sources and the market state of the organisation i.e. is the market stable or fluctuating? This will involve considering the organisational context (micro and macro drivers) as well as the culture of the organisation.

2. Define
Having considered the organisations competitive sources and market state, identify the types of individual and skills required which will add the most value. It is important to prioritise the key capabilities you require. N.B. Different areas of the business will inevitably need different types of skills and talent.

3. Refresh
Refresh the organisations way of identifying Talent. A commonly used and simple method of identifying Talent is the 9 Box – performance versus potential. However, Jackson Samuel offer an alternative to the 9 box which seeks to consider performance, potential and value generation. The purpose of value generation is to recognise that not all Talent is future leadership talent, instead these may be individuals who work consistently everyday keep the organisation moving forward and delivering to high standards*

4. Group
Identify the individuals who fit into these Talent groups and then find out what they want. From their research, Jackson Samuel developed six Talent ‘Interests Group’ to summarise key motivators for individuals. For example, opportunity for upward career progression, networking opportunities, development opportunities.*

5. Align
Once you have placed your talented individuals into the six ‘Interests Groups’, a personalised Development and Retention Program can be tailored for each individual. This can be achieved by considering each individuals ‘Interest Group’, as well as the current and future challenges they will be facing.

6. Accelerate
The final stage is to accelerate Talent by following through on the individual Development and Retention plans. Jackson Samuel identified that 31 out of 44 organisations which had programmes in place to accelerate Talent, had up to 25% more total shareholder return than those companies who did not have an acceleration plan in place.

If you would like more information regarding this, please contact amanda.potter@zircon-mc.co.uk. You can download the summary report or purchase the full report at http://www.jacksonsamuel.com/.

* See the Jackson Samuel Summary Report for more information.

What talent wants: The journey to talent segmentation (2011). Jackson Samuel Consulting and Search.
Written by Melissa Tyson.

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