Understanding Our Human Talent - (Article)

May 19, 2020

If humanity is to survive and prosper in the future, we must get better at allocating our scarce resources; be it natural resources, capital, infrastructure and human talent. Human talent is our most precious resource and currently, we are not allocating those resources efficiently, school kids are ending up in the wrong third-level courses, graduates are ending up in the wrong jobs, bias pervades the recruitment of experienced hires and the re-skilling agenda lacks momentum. That’s before we start to consider the significant cohort of humanity that struggles to access education and opportunities in the first place, through a combination of poverty, discrimination

and bias.

 

The Economic and Social Cost of Inefficiency

We need a revolution in the way we approach the allocation of talent anchored on two key pillars - on the supply side, democratising access to opportunities while on the demand side, the adoption of best practice science to make better decisions about talent. The prize of getting this right will be huge. Now more than ever is the time to empower, educate and evolve.

 

Talent Management

Talent management is about attracting, developing, deploying, and retaining people to facilitate the achievement of business and organisational goals. Historically semantic and procedural knowledge, based on a candidates training and credentials, were the primary basis for selection of talent. The ability to make good judgments and predictions across a wide range of situations, and not just about the technical tasks involved, is what determines true talent in an organisational setting.

 

These are skills, when it comes to decision making, about interpersonal working relationships that arise from employees’ predisposition to think, feel, and behave across a wide variety of contexts in the workplace.

 

Best Practice

Best practice HR solutions, such as applying evidence-based solutions or leveraging past research to inform talent management system design, will have to become more informed by good research, rather than simply being fad based. Most fads always promise a simple, holistic solution in a faster time and with better results. The evidence-based path to solutions takes longer and requires more resources to create and deploy.

 

Personality theory and measurement within a talent management context have burgeoned.

New personality constructs and compound constructs of well-known traits are being brought into the talent management process. Conscientiousness or ‘grit’ has been recognised as being of importance in all jobs regardless of the position in the organizational hierarchy.

 

COVID-19

The current coronavirus pandemic demonstrates dramatically that we live in a global village.

The increasing prevalence of diversity in a geographically mobile workforce presents the practice of talent management with both challenges and opportunities.

 

Diversity 

This global workplace with diversity at its centre sees talent as multifaceted. Talent has a natural inborn element of unique traits that lead to superior performance. In addition, talent encompasses systematically developed skills and knowledge that lead to superior performance. Finally, talent is concerned with organisational fit i.e. being in the right organization, in the right position, at the right time. Talent management processes in the future will need to better adapt to this changed environment.

 

Competency models of job performance generally refer to methods to arrive at collections of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAO’s) that are the ‘proximate’ behavioural attributes needed for effective performance in the workplace and/or educational settings. Exit Entry has been established to help businesses and organisations better control the talent management process involved in the journey from concept to market, either for new or established companies.

 

General Mental Ability (GMA), personality traits, and interests are ‘distal’ constructs underlying causes of behaviours or competencies such as interpersonal relationships, leadership skills, and so on. An employee’s third level qualification will provide information on whether he or she can design the ‘better mousetrap’ but, increasingly so in the workplace of the future, the manufacturing and marketing of the mouse trap will depend on whether the team can get together and bring the better design to the successful commercialization stage.

 

Conflict will arise in the team tasked with bringing the better mousetrap to market, but the conflict needs to be task-related rather than interpersonal.

 

About the Author

Lewize Crothers is the Founder and CEO of Exit Entry- a global low-cost self-service, SaaS technology that assesses human capital by accurately measuring interests and skills based on robust proven science. Lewize Crothers is not an academic and lives her life in pursuit of pushing boundaries and not accepting the NORM. As a teenager, she sold jeans on the black market in Russia out of her school bag and in her twenties, Lewize worked in design, project management and brand development and lived on a deserted island in the South Pacific. In her thirties, she built a residential and commercial development company, lost her business in the recession and then returned to University as a mature student. What she found shocked her - nothing had changed in terms of access to opportunities. Exit Entry is now solving this problem.


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