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Perspective on Talent


October 27, 2014 - 2 Comments

A perspective on talent

In today’s economy, available jobs, career opportunities, education background, and finding the right  talent appear to be close to the front, if not the very top, of many discussions.  Companies of all sizes are working to maintain a sufficient talent resource pool, while many of the talented are trying to maximize their value to their current employer or potential employer.  There was an article in Forbes Magazine about LARGE companies failing to keep their top talent.  The author pointed out ten (10) potential reasons why, including Corporate bureaucracy, shifting project priorities/whims, lack of accountability, etc.  All of the reasons given are valid, but I don’t believe they get down to the real reason why resource retention is a problem in today’s climate.

Even with the current employment rate in the US, there is an alarming statistic that 49% of US companies seeking to hire technically skilled employees are having a difficult time finding qualified talent to fill openings in their organizations, openings that range from IT support staff, engineers, and mission critical skilled trades.  Research has shown the bulk of US companies in search of top talent look to schools/colleges (where CompSci and technology degree majors are starting to grow), veterans from the US military (in-depth training and hands-on skills from years on the job), other competitors (let the other guy pay for the resource’s training then a competing company throws money and incentives at them later), and various other talent pools. However, in addition to seeking to hire resources with necessary skill set, companies also need to be more diligent in searching for candidates with an ability of adaptability, where inevitable change is met with professionalism and mature attitude.

Putting all of this in perspective, the lack of balance between management and the top talent is what brings about turnover.  An effective employer will keep their top resources by creating an environment where they are able to be managed successfully and where management is aware of the needs of their top resources.  At the same time, the skilled resource also has to be willing to participate with the management team in growth that is mutually beneficial to both.  If your company’s talent is top notch but their maturity level is low to the point they become high maintenance then it’s no longer cost-effective to retain their skills, and balance is lost.  Management has to be able to manage well, but the skilled resources also have to be mature enough for both to be successful.

Opinions expressed in this blog are my own and not those of Cisco!  Remember that!

Marc Buraczynski, Solutions Architect, Cloud IT Transformations, Cisco Advanced Services, Boston, MA

Semper Fi!  marinecrest_500

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2 Comments

  1. The Forbes article referred to in this post in nearly 3 years old. I wonder if anything has changed since? I'm not sure that I see much evidence of this. Part of the problem is that management tend to use their top talent to keep doing the same type of projects that they know that they are good at. They sometimes fail to stretch them new opportunities which leads to frustration. I agree with Fred about being referred to as a resource. I'm also curious to know where the 49% stat came from.

  2. An effective employer will keep their top resources by also not calling them resources, or are other people flattered by that label.