Selection and development of talents should be the key factor in most of the companies’ HR strategies. Unfortunately when we observe the most common practices, it seems that the leaders and sometimes even HR professionals base their promoting and development decisions on their subjective aniticipation only. This is not surprising, considering the fact that decisions about people are rarely based on the outputs of appropriate assessment tools.
Bad habits and practices are risks, when we have to identify potential talents, who could be nominated for the next Talent Management Program. We often mistake diligence, professionalism, or even the number of years a person has spent in a position for talent. Someone could think that we award loyalty or the “good corporate citizenship” with labeling a person as a talent. However, the objective should be to award those employees who could benefit most from the development program and contribute to the success of the organization by employing their strengths.
Illusion of performance data
Those who implemented already a performance management system at their company on which they base their vertical and horizontal promotion decisions, could feel revolted when reading the previous paragraph. The truth is unfortunately that we also make mistakes when we base talent selection on pure performance data. The most common mistakes with the performance data are that they could be also distorted and based on subjective managerial evaluation, or based on such indices, which are not strongly correlated to the success factors in a given position. Even if our performance data is substantive, is that enough to take into consideration how the colleague performs in the present position? How can we be sure that the person will be successful in the next position?
What is potential?
On the other hand, we are not suggesting here to totally forget about the performance data when creating the talent pool. It is only supposed to take the employee's potential into consideration together with their present performance. Potential means the possibility that the person will also perform well in the next position. It is also important to note that talent can only be defined in connection with the job specific expectations and conditions.
How can we identify the potential in our prosperous colleagues?
Potential means the presence of appropriate competencies bounded to the tasks and responsibilities of a job. We can draw consequences regarding the presence of these competencies from the perceptible behavioral sample of the person. If more surveyed participants declare that they discovered the specific behavioral criteria of the needed competencies in our behavior then we can declare that we own those specific competencies. The way how others conceive of the presence of our competencies is called reputation. This means that we can draw consequences about the level of potential the person owns from his or her reputation.
Basically the observational evaluation is not a mistake. However, it is faulty when it is used subjectively, independently from job competencies and based on the observations of a team of prejudiced colleagues. Unfortunately this is true in most of the cases.
How much does it cost the company if the wrong person is selected for the Talent Management Program?
It is easily imaginable how many negative effects there are for the organization, if we develop the wrong people and neglect our high potential employees. In this case we are not only investing money in people lacking the needed competencies and potential, but unfortunately we lose the engagement and motivation of our high potential employees and their profit-making capacity. Consequently we pay in multiple ways for a wrong decision!
360 degree feedback as the tool for measuring reputation
Asystems 360 degree feedback and evaluation tool provides an appropriate framework for evaluating potential / reputation, and with the help of this tool we can support our Talent Management in identifying the right people for the program. In the 360° feedback the inputs originate from many directions (superiors, colleagues, subordinates or internal and external customers) in a structured way along with relevant competencies, helping us successfully map the employee’s potential. We can construct a matrix from the cross section of the potential and performance data, where the high-potential and high-performing employees could be easily identified. These are the talents who should definitely be included in our next Talent Management Program. In this case the organizational acceptance of our Talent Management Program will also grow, since we have selected such talents into the program who also have a good reputation inside the company.