Talent Mapping

Here we go again.  Another multinational, in contact with us, because of the resignation of a key leader within their HR function, in this instance an Executive Compensation specialist.  So now the shock, surprise, and panic in the employer's response, with a "need it now" brief to find a replacement person, urgently.

Sure, its a great scenario for our firm.  But here's the thing.  This is a critical role within the function.  So why hadn't it occurred to anyone before now, that there was no succession plan in place?  And if they had realised this, why hadn't they had a "watching brief" for talent mapping the moment they realised there was a talent gap?

Two of our favourite employer companies stand out as being very effective for their HR talent mapping.  Both do a review every year, not only of their existing team members within all specialist functions and HRBP roles, but they also refresh their forecasts for extra needs they may have in 2-3 years time, based on business strategies.  They match their current HR staffers to those needs to identify any skill and/or experience and/or interest gaps and set to work where possible in plugging those gaps, now.

When they don't foresee the option to upskill or transfer internal HR talent, they come to us. And we build and maintain pro active talent pools, all very discreetly of course.  So that if the time comes for an external hiring need, we and the company can get moving fast, in formally talking to people who've already been checked for potential interest and capability.  In commercial terms, its a a "warm prospect" so the deal gets closed more efficiently and effectively than if it were a "cold sell".

It means a bottom gets on the seat sooner, to maximise delivery and productivity for the function.  It means the company is never feeling "at ransom" in addressing performance issues for the fear of being left short of a key specialist.  It means minimum disruption to the team and to the company.  It is another of those ironies in the world of HR, where we're constantly chatting with business leaders about talent risk, succession and workforce planning; but we too often miss applying these principles to our own function.

When you additionally consider that we now have specialist roles that have never historically existed (eg: WorkDay Implementation Leaders, HR Data Analytics, HR communications, etc); and we have unique regional and global talent shortages in some key HR areas (executive compensation for one!) - it seems so very obvious that talent mapping should be automatically part of every HR team leader's ongoing agenda?