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How Do We Divide Talent Management?

March 20, 2013

Dear Too Many Chiefs:

Talent management—sourcing, development and retention—should not be the sole responsibility of human resources.

When sourcing and recruiting is left to HR, the process can become a revolving door of candidates that, for reasons real or imagined, don't make the cut. Talent development, training and mentoring led solely by HR tends to frustrate employees who know their career success lies with management not HR. Rather than a dividing line, HR must create an authentic partnership with management that starts with a shared vision and understanding about talent and performance combined with mutual agreements and action plans.

So who should do what in the realm of talent management? Here are some suggestions for optimally leveraging the inherent interests, knowledge and strengths of HR and Managers.

Start with the end in mind. Engage managers in a meaningful discussion about their vision, aspirations and goals for the current year and beyond. Don't attempt to develop strategies and plans for managers but rather work with them as a partner, not just a provider.

In the realm of talent recruitment, HR must partner with managers and staff to fully understand what successful individuals and teams must DO not just what qualifications they must have. HR recruiters tend to focus on the keywords that appear in a job description or on a candidates resume. Before recruiting, HR can provide additional value designing tools and methods to help managers extract and define the critical competencies (knowledge, transferable skills, behaviors and motivations) that employees need to achieve results and support the organization's mission.

As far as development, employees own their careers and must be stewards of their own success. However, developing talent for the company's benefit is the responsibility of management. Establishing and supporting programs and infrastructure that support development is the responsibility of HR who also must help ensure employees are engaged, supported and have equal access to a variety of meaningful development opportunities.

Managers are ultimately responsible for the performance and results of their departments and, therefore, are responsible for talent management. Inherent in that expectation is ensuring their projects are adequately staffed with competent employees who are motivated to fully participate in achieving the company's objectives.

HR has a vital strategic role in talent management, creating and maintaining the relationships, infrastructure and support systems managers value and rely on to succeed.

SOURCE: Patricia Duarte, Decision Insight, Inc., Hopkinton, Massachusetts

LEARN MORE: Please read How Do We Practically Explain Talent Management?

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.