Is the War of Talent Over


Is the War of Talent Over


Written by Brian Sun, Managing Director, Orion Executive Search & Selection, Orion China Consulting Co., Ltd [A Glasford International Partner]

Recently, I read an interesting article on Fast Company, contributed by By Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Adam Yearsley.

Their point of view stimulated an agreement from my observations of the Chinese marketplace talent, especially highlighted by an excerpt that the writers described,

"Today, in a world full of many more Chief People and Chief Happiness Officers, which war nevertheless, appears to have been lost on all sides. Of course, many workers excel in their jobs and make pivotal contributions to their organizations. But for every one employee who does, there are many more who are underemployed, under-performing and just plain miserable at work."

The situation is no less gripe about the lack of talent but the shifting awareness that organizations are not listening sufficiently and measuring effectively to empower and motivate the quiet majority. With the survey results of the Deloitte 2017 Global Human Capital Trends published, the summary demonstrates that "organizations face a radically shifting context for the workforce, the workplace, and the world of work. After surveying more than 10,000 business and HR leaders from 140 countries, it reveals areas for businesses to focus on to better organize, manage, develop, and align people at work.

From these findings, there are voices within the ranks that emit a clear reveille for HR and Business Leaders. The survey indicates a number of converging issues are driving the need to "rewrite the rules." Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate. Individuals are relatively quick to adapt to ongoing innovations, but organizations move at a slower pace. Many still retain industrial age structure and practices that are long outdated. Even slower moving are public policy issues, such as income inequality, unemployment, immigration, and trade."

If there is acceptance of this slippery scenario, where does one truly start to build strong fundamentals?

1. Measure organization gaps and needs objectively with tools. Not all Fortune 500 have perfect HR management systems, let alone the established international corporations in the private category. In my own sector, as a raw indicator I observe annually that organizations do not focus on updating job descriptions. There needs to be more balance between intuitive and scientific management methods.

2. Addressing weaknesses with a "it is what it is" mindset. It has been an increasing trend for organizations investing big in leadership development. While it is worthy to develop confidence and leadership skills, how much of such training is reflecting also on weaknesses and developing the mindset of "helping oneself first in order to help others. Working on individual weaknesses corporately will invariably improve the organisation's effectiveness in due course. How this is approached is another topic to discuss though.

3. Talent is about people and most challenges are settled once the right person is assigned in the right job role. However, two right persons does not necessary make the third person right again. Organizations need a balance between performance measurement systems and an energized management team that believes in empowering human potential including those who are weak and without a voice. Talent should not be fought for but co-existing holistically with the pulse of the organization.