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Thursday, February 7, 2008
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I read with interest your article "The Challenge of Talent Management" and can't wait to read more next month. I work in the healthcare industry and it baffles me why the industry complains about the shortage of nurses and quality staff but continues to rely on outdated recruiting and talent management methods to staff their facilities.  

K. Sue Hurst


Alexis Healthcare

Alpharetta, Ga.

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I found the article right on point. For the last 5 years, I have attempted to guide and influence my employer towards approaching talent development and management from a truly strategic perspective.

Even creating and reporting strategically aligned scorecard metrics have not brought about the "C" level endorsements required to invest in the required infrastructural changes such as benefit/compensation plans or performance management programs.

It is one thing to have adaptability as a leadership competency, but certainly another to actually embrace it in operation.

I know I'm not alone as a HR professional with a strategic passion. But I have to wonder what it takes to convince corporate leaders that adapting to creative HR leadership is also a requirement.


Anonymous please.


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Re: Talent Management. We've found that it helps to hire really smart people who are curious and willing to learn. Then we reward them for being flexible. Over time we've created a culture where people expect to be working on something new & 'unpredictable.' More & more that is part of what motivates & engages them.

I work in high tech -- semiconductors -- and the industry is built on Moore's Law which specifies fairly dramatic changes every few years as technology changes.  

Becky Baybrook

VP Human Resources

PDF Solutions, Inc.

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I read your piece on the challenges of talent management and from my perspective, people are too hung up on the definition. Corporate decision makers should be much more focused than they currently are on the tools and processes that can provide the quality data needed to build meaningful talent management programs.

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Over the past 10 years my organization has worked with many multinationals headquartered in the US and we hear constantly from them about their struggles to manage their talent more effectively: from hiring and development to assessment and training/retraining. As you say, the key to talent management is having the proper plan to get the right people with the right skills into the right jobs at the right time. The most successful companies are those that integrate regular employee assessments into the ongoing employee development process.

Without regular assessments, companies are ill equipped to identify the extent to which everyone from new hires and veteran employees truly comprehend how to fulfill the requirements of their jobs, have the capability and confidence to perform their jobs and are likely to make big decisions on behalf of the company. Assessments can also be used to identify those employees who do understand their jobs, but lack the confidence to make the right decisions in tough business situations.

Such assessments can help companies respond to some of the challenges you outline, providing more accurate and reliable mechanisms to forecast staffing needs, determine how budgets should be allocated for development, etc. Talent management should involve knowing where the company is at risk and which employees have the potential to mitigate against these risks before the worst happens.

Mary Clarke

President & CEO

Cognisco USA

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