Many HR practitioners aspire to nurture a pool of creative and productive talent. Here are five misconceptions about talent that could be holding your organisation back.
#1 The phrase ‘talent management’ can be considered elitist
It may come as a surprise, but some leaders actually dislike the phrase ‘talent management’. Some would prefer having 90% of employees focused on delivering their best rather than 10% identified as so-called talent – and being given preferential treatment.
According to the authors of bestselling book on leadership Now Discover Your Strengths – Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman – everyone has talents that should be drawn on in the workplace. A well rated performance and talent management system can help with this.
#2 Managerial bias in measuring talent
Managerial bias can raise concerns with succession planning – where managers choose talent in their own likeness. Managers need to be developed who can be objective about performance and the assessment of talent. It’s also recommended to recruit people managers rather than fast-tracking technical specialists without the people gene.
#3 Opting for recruited talent
Recruited talent can be a costly pitfall for many businesses. Some people present outstandingly at interview and may even be terrific performers in another line of work – but this does not mean they will perform in your company. Never underestimate the value of homegrown talent.
With homegrown talent you know the individual’s shortcomings – and it is far more that they will be loyal to your organisation. While fresh blood can sometimes give a welcome boost, homegrown talent is more cost-effective, lower risk and motivational to other employees in the team.
#4 Believing that so-called talent will automatically perform
Whether you have paid handsomely to recruit top talent into your organisation or have recruited internally, you can’t expect them to automatically live up to their reputation. Talent is often situational and it’s essential to remember that everyone – no matter how talented – must still be well-managed. New talent still needs to be on-boarded with clarity of expectations and sound management.
#5 Labelling individuals as talent could actually increase attrition rates
There is a risk of those identified as talent will become dissatisfied if career aspirations they believe they were promised are not met. Putting them on a talent pedestal can be counterproductive and could even make them more likely to leave the company if their lofty expectations aren’t met.
Parts of this article first appeared on the HR Grapevine website