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In-Depth Jobs


Volume-13, 30 June- 6 July, 2018

 
Careers in Talent Management

 
Vijay Prakash Srivastava

Organizations are made of people and these achieve their goals and objectives through their people. Thus quality and performance of people are considered to be highly crucial for success of any organization. Over a period of time this people power has assumed more significance and now every organization (commercial, social, educational etc.) is very particular in choosing right people for their requirements and equipping them with necessary skills etc. to optimise their contribution. Talent management is more comprehensive than the erstwhile personnel or HR management function which  most of us are familiar with. Talent management primarily  involves formulating and executing strategies for sourcing right people and developing and retaining them. It considers people the real differentiator in performance of an organization and treats them as talent. Many organizations have rechristened their HR function as talent management function and have also started paying more attention on the people aspect.
Major activities covered under talent management are described below:
Talent sourcing: Organiz-ations and businesses need people for different roles.This need is met through recruitment process for which this new term of talent sourcing is used.In fact talent sourcing is an extension of recruitment function. The traditional methods of recruitment like advertising are still being used  but now more and more organizations are willing to recruit people with right profile through referrals, sourcing from social media platforms etc. For entry level positions many of the big and mid-size companies depend on campus recruitments. Finding suitable people for specific job roles is the primary function of HR. It is getting more challenging day by day. Maximum number of opportunities in talent management are in recruitment and for most of the young people  qualified in HR,  their career begins with working in recruitment function.
Talent development: Under talent management there is strong focus on talent development. Every progressive organization makes substantial investment in equipping its people with required knowledge, skills and aptitude. This investment is in forms of money, time and efforts. Various methods are used for the purpose of talent development. Training is most common of these. Depending on  specific  needs, organizations  provide product, process and behavioural training to their people. Coaching and mentoring are other tools used for talent development. Training needs identification, designing training & development programmes, preparing training budget and evaluating return on investment are major tasks under talent develop-ment. This also covers leadership development.
Succession planning: Generally organizations have to last longer than people. Roles in organizations stay even though people move. After attaining a certain age people have to superannuate. In addition organizations have to plan for contingencies when sudden vacancies occur due to unexpected departures like  deaths and attrition of employees. Succession planning is the strategy to ensure availability of suitable talent whenever the need arises.Under this, organizations groom people for higher responsibilities and also for new roles that may emerge in future. These days organizations prefer to develop an internal talent pool to reduce dependence on sourcing of experienced people from outside. It keeps their talent acquisition cost low and is considered a motivating factor for employees.
Employee engagement: To get best out of their people organizations have to create an enabling environment. Such an environment is employee friendly and encouraging. Employee engagement activities are aimed at improving workplace design, help employees find meaning in their work, make them more attached to their work and enhance their commitment to organization.In many researches it has been proved that engaged employees produce better organizational results quantitatively and qualitatively. They are more likely to continue in the organizations which brings down the attrition rate. Various activities including fun activities and other interventions are used to create higher employee engagement.
Compensation and benefits: This function of talent management deals with salaries, allowances, other reimbursements and payouts to employees. In case of private sector jobs, now the trend is to negotiate salary for almost every employee hired. Organizations calculate cost to company and  accordingly offer financial package which may differ for different  employees hired for the same role or position. Also in many cases the pay is divided into fixed  and variable pay. The quantum and periodicity of increments also varies from case to case. The new age employee comes with different expectations when it comes to  work conditions and pay. Accordingly organizations are becoming more flexible  in such matters  with the purpose of attracting and retaining right talent. Permitting employees to work from home is an example of this.
Performance review and management: Employee performance review has been a part of HR process since decades. Now organizations are putting in substantial efforts to make it more realistic, objective and scientific. In many organizations the appraisal process is participative and the focus is not only to  evaluate the performance but also to understand the potential an employee may have. With such understanding it becomes easier for organizations to place employees in roles, positions and functions  where they are likely to contribute most. In bigger organizations performance review remains a huge exercise.
Social media presence: All of us know how the new generation is attached to social media. In past 4-5 years, talent management function has got heavily influenced by social media and has started using it for talent sourcing, brand building and reaching out to job seekers. Now most organiz-ations are keen to establish their strong social media presence and  build a positive employer brand. Employees keep  posting at social media channels , their opinion about employer companies with both their positive and negative work experiences. Companies  also are curious to learn about  such comments which come to them as feedback and help them modify their talent management practices where considered necessary.
HR Analytics: This is the most recent function added to talent management. It  is also known as talent analytics. Under analytics we use data to draw conclusions and make decisions. HR departments have plethora of data pertaining to past and present employees. Through data analytics predictions can be made for future trends and requirements. For example analytics can help in knowing the additional headcount required when business is expected to grow at a particular rate, which employees are more likely to quit the job and if there are some differences in performance indicators of candidates recruited from various campuses.
In older, long standing  big organizations you may find exclusive departments for Transfer  & Placements, Promotions, Industrial Relations etc. under HR function. These also form part of talent management.
Educational/Professional Qualification: To make a career in talent management, you require a postgraduate degree/ diploma In Human Resource Management or should have chosen HR as specialization in your MBA/MMS/PG Diploma in Management. Such courses are available at most of the Management Institutes or Universities having a Department of Management. It takes minimum 2 years to obtain such qualification.
An indicative list of  reputed institutes offering such courses is given here.
*Indian Institute of Manage-ment at Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Indore, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Nagpur, Amritsar, Rohtak, Kashipur, Ranchi, Shillong, Tiruchirapally, Visakha-patnam, Jammu, Sirmaur,  Bodh Gaya
*Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
*Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur
*Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi/ Banaras Hindu University
*Devi Ahilya Viswavidyalaya, Indore
*Management Development Institute, Gurgaon
*Alkesh Dinesh  Modi Institute for Financial & Management Studies, Mumbai University
*Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research, Mumbai
*Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
*Indian Institute of Techno-logy  at Mumbai, Delhi, Kharagpur
*Hari Singh Gour University, Sagar
*Loyola School of Business Administration, Chennai
*Career opportunities in talent management are available in all kinds of organizations such as
Public sector undertakings: All big public sector undertakings recruit management trainees in HR discipline. Such undertakings include National Thermal Power Corporation, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, Gas Authority of India Limited, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Oil India Limited, Oil & Natural Gas Commission, Power Grid Corporation,Rural Electrification Corporation, etc. Similar opportunities may be available with state government undertakings also.
Private sector companies: All big private sector companies visit campuses of select management institutes to recruit  qualified HR management  professionals  as freshers. Examples of such multinational companies are multinationals like Hindustan Unilever, Proctor & Gamble; homegrown companies as ITC,Godrej, Marico and IT majors   viz. Infosys, TCS, WIPRO, HCL, Accenture, Cognizant and others.
Management Education: All management colleges and management departments at Universities have requirement for HR faculty. Recruitments are based on the norms prescribed by All India Council for Technical Education and Universities Grants Commission. Usually a doctorate is required to be eligible for faculty positions. Fellow programmes in management are available at IIMs which may help you to take up a teaching career. Management departments also need research associates.
Non-Governmental organizations:Voluntary/Non-Government organizations need HR professionals for administrative, training and counselling purposes. Such organizations may be operating at international, national, state and local levels. Child Relief & You, Action Aid, Oxfam, SOS Children's Villages, World Vision are examples of well-known NGOs. Many corporates have their arms for corporate social responsibility activities. Work opportunities are available with these as well.
Banks and Financial Institutions: Public sector banks recruit HR professionals as specialist officers to be posted at their administrative offices.After a certain period of service they can move to general banking. Private sector banks, foreign banks offer similar opportunities. Non-banking financial companies, housing/ infrastructure finance companies, insurance companies in public & private sector, mutual funds companies have regular requirements of talent management professionals.
HR Consulting Firms: AON Hewitt, Deloitte, IKYA Human Capital, Kelly Services India are well known names in HR consulting. Experienced profe-ssionals can choose to work as a freelance consultants also.
Recruitment Agencies: ABC Consultants, Randstad, Teamlease, Adecco are among big recruitment agencies operating at national level. There are smaller agencies working at state levels or in a particular city.
Startups: As a talent management professional you may explore opportunity to work  as an employee  in a startup. Also there are a number of startups working in the business of  talent management. You may  also join as  a partner  or  become owner  of a similar  startup For such a venture certain resources will be required. Startups also look for interns in various management disciplines including HR.
Career Path: With a  postgraduate qualification in HR, you have the option to begin your career as a trainee or junior executive in public or private organization. Where the size of organization and its   talent management department is big, you may be assigned a particular HR domain (e.g. recruitment, compensation & benefits) to work into. In smaller organizations you may have to look after multiple HR functions. Those who want to continue in one organization for long may do so. For others there always exist opportunities to seek better positions through lateral entry. Experienced talent management professionals are in  regular demand  and it is not a surprise to find people with 7-8 years' experience having worked in 2-3 or more organizations. Make sure that decisions regarding change of job are well thought out and not taken in haste.
Also it is for every talent management professional to decide if he or she wants  to learn all  disciplines of talent management or is willing to  develop expertise in a particular domain (like talent analytics). It is possible to exercise both options simultaneously. If you progress well,depending on your skills and performance, some of you should be head of talent management function in a small/ mid-size company  within 12-15 year of service. Few HR professionals have reached up to CEO level also. This is applicable for careers in corporate world only. After  having some industry experience one can move to teaching or consultancy. Experienced people can also be appointed as placement officer at management institutes.
Traits for success: A career in talent management is of interaction and dealing with people. As such you should be good at  verbal and non-verbal communication. Patience, empathy, ability to work  hard to meet deadlines, decision making, problem solving and  negotiation skills are few of the other requirements to help you succeed in a talent management career.
The author is a career counsellor based in Mumbai Email: v2j25@yahoo.in