Human Resources

Vincent Belliveau (Global) - Addressing Global Talent and Skills Shortages in IT

Global skills shortages mean it is increasingly difficult to develop and retain staff at all levels within an organisation - particularly in IT. The intense competition for good people was reflected in a recent article by Bloomberg and the IDG connect report "The Global IT Skills Landscape". Faced with this new reality, organisations must take a step back and re-evaluate how they attract, assess, develop, engage and mobilize current and future leaders.

Senior executives are becoming acutely aware that they need to develop well-stocked internal talent pools if they want to build a stable organisation and achieve their business goals. When faced with employee losses or an inability to attract and retain key talent, how do organisations close these gaps? We are seeing first hand with many of our customers that creating an "employee life cycle" - starting from the day a new hire arrives at the office - helps to drive staff engagement, organically develop leadership potential through access to internal openings, enhance staff learning and development experiences and, critically, create succession planning opportunities.

In essence there are four elements to consider when managing talent across the employee life cycle. First, Onboarding: the use of assessments enables employers to identify high potential people, group new hires into talent pools and create learning and development plans based on aptitudes revealed in the assessment results. It also allows the employer and employee to align development goals with business strategies, ensuring a relationship of reciprocal interests.

Secondly, performance management: having a performance management system and process is critical. By measuring performance against personalised learning and development plans, employers have the opportunity to evaluate staff progress and realign individual performance with business goals. It also gives management teams the opportunity to adjust development plans based on individual needs. The third element focuses on learning management: by this I mean enterprise-wide learning initiatives. Learning management is a fruitless endeavor when development plans are randomly assigned or poorly executed. If employers want to create leaders that are capable of tackling global challenges, then they must actively identify, address and minimize knowledge gaps across the organisation. In IT roles for example, technical specialists may not have the soft skills required to be a good manager - and likewise staff with people management skills may not have the right level of technical expertise to manage an IT function successfully. This is also against a backdrop of rapid technological changes which means managers must keep up to date with developments in their market.

The fourth element is succession management: which is the process of identifying, assessing and developing future leaders and other strategic talent imperative for competing in the global marketplace. Succession management ensures that the right people are promoted to the right positions and it channels the right candidates into the right talent pools. To do this effectively, organisations need a system that integrates information for talent profiles, career management, internal recruiting and employee succession planning.
Forward thinking organisations are beginning to reap the business benefits of internally developing their own leaders - empowering employees to build a career within a single organisation, stocking talent pools with deep skills for managerial and professional roles, and reducing the time and cost of training new people.*

In the past, programmes for developing and molding leaders were often focused narrowly on upper echelon management and high-potential individuals. Taking a holistic and thorough approach to staff development ensures that no employee is left behind. Developing and building leaders across your organisation is complex - there's no easy fix - however it's really about fostering a high-performance company within an environment that allows high performers to achieve mobility, grow professionally and, ultimately, lead your business into the future.

*The important role of Talent Mobility in Business Performance, Bersin Associates, October 6, 2010


Vincent Belliveau is Cornerstone OnDemand's General Manager of Europe, Middle East and For further information please visit http://www.cornerstoneondemand.co.uk or email info_UK@cornerstoneondemand.com




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