© Fortune 1, I nc. , 2002 1
Fortune 1 Perspect ive: Talent Flow™
I nt roduct ion Several m onths ago I read a business art icle that said:
After the product or service idea that your organizat ion was founded to provide, the people you ent rust with building the dream are your m ost im portant asset .
This is bet ter said as:
The people you ent rust with building your dream - the product or serv ice idea that your organizat ion was founded to provide - are your m ost im portant asset .
There is no denying that talent and the search for people with the proper experience is increasingly the num ber one business st rategy. Talent is a com pany's only t ruly sustainable com pet it ive advantage and it is the com panies that invest in talent developm ent and m anagem ent that will win the growing talent war in the long run. Com panies succeed based on the talent they have on the front line, and the knowledge, m ot ivat ion, and networks of these people.
The biggest problem growing com panies suffer from is sim ply finding high-end talent to m eet the com pany's needs to keep the com pany growing. Today's hot word in recruit ing is inventory m anagem ent , and the press is r ife with the need to develop talent pools. The argum ent being, the com pany can tap into this pool of talent when the need arises. There is a lot to be said for candidate pool developm ent and inventory m anagem ent . However, significant caut ion is advised. The very nature of pools is they becom e stagnant , and despite a com pany's best effor ts there is no guarantee that som eone, whom the com pany has gone to great effort and expense to stay connected with, will accept a job offer when the com pany's need finally arises. Pooling talent and holding their sustained interest without a day- to-day connect ion is unlikely and is im pract ical. The only real talent pool a com pany has is it s current em ployees. This is the pool of t alent with which the com pany has an invested relat ionship and the greatest chance of occupying their heart s and m inds.
St icking with the water m etaphor, talent developm ent and m anagem ent is m ore like a r iver or m ult iple t r ibutaries com ing together - channels that feed a flow of talent in front of the com pany. Likely these people take only fleet ing glances at t he organizat ion and either their interest is seized or they cont inue to flow by. Talent Flow™ is about 1) creat ing this flow and generat ing a significant num ber of fleet ing glances, 2) m aking the com pany a player in the new talent m arket and 3) spreading a select ive net to pull in the top talent the com pany requires.
The Talent Market There is a loom ing labor shortage in the U.S. and in Europe. Research points to drast ic problem s in finding qualified talent to fill new jobs. This generat ional labor shortage is very real. Econom ic expansion is intersect ing with a labor shortage that will wreak havoc with com panies' growth plans for years....