Article: CEOs should engage with key talent


CEOs should engage with key talent

A CEO should make personal connections with key employees and track their life in the organization, says Sanjay Modi
CEOs should engage with key talent

One of the major areas of business focus for a CEO should be to build partnerships with start-ups that give the organization access to great skills


A major theme for CEOs this year is the theme of organizational diversity. As a CEO, I personally lead and track diversity initiatives in the organization. There is a significantly large untapped opportunity that organizations are yet to exploit in the current economy. Perhaps the largest of these opportunities lie in the search and inclusion of women in the organizational workforce. A significant percentage of the economically valuable population within the working age bracket are women, and as a CEO, it is my job to constantly think about how to create more inclusive opportunities for women. Besides that, there is also another opportunity that is tapped only on the surface, the opportunity of hiring differentially-abled people into the workforce. Organizational diversity will be a key agenda this year.

Within the next 24 months, the number of start-ups in the Indian industry will total approximately 1 million. This presents a significant opportunity for CEOs to build partnership models and gain access to talent and expertise externally. These partnerships will be one of the important ingredients of growth in the coming months. Start-ups are looking to attract talent in large numbers in the Indian industry and many view this as a threat. The trend, however, should not be looked upon as a threat because organizations can still gain access to the best talent through partnerships. Besides that, CEOs should acknowledge that exposure in a start-up environment is an excellent grooming ground for skilled talent. One of the major areas of business focus for a CEO this year should be to build partnerships that give the organization access to great skills.

A CEO this year will need to personally invest in the development of talent. Oftentimes, people tend to fall into the trap of straitjacketed thinking. A CEO has to drive innovation and “out-of-the-box” thinking in the organization because no amount of L&D efforts can effectively drive that. A CEO can energize the workforce to stop thinking incrementally and start thinking exponentially. The demand for hiring will exponentially increase pan-industry in 2015-16. At the same time, nothing has happened in the last few years to suggest that the churn of skilled workers has increased. A CEO, therefore, has to really think hard about partnerships with colleges and universities. Academic partnerships have moved beyond just being good PR exercises and have evolved to become a necessity.

Engagement and retention of key talent in the organization has to be the personal agenda of every CEO. As a head of a business, I maintain relationships with key talent in the organization and personally maintain relationships with each one of them. This is outside the realms of any high potential program. Sometimes, it could be just be over a water cooler break or a coffee. I maintain a separate scorecard to track the engagement and initiatives of every key talent. In fact the retention of key talent is an essential part of my CEO scorecard.

Insights will comprise a great deal of CEO effectiveness. When we integrate the employee management systems with the organization’s talent management system, it is an opportunity to derive some great insights. For example, such a system will actually be able to map the DNA of a successful employee in the organization so that similar traits could be hunted outside. It will be important for a CEO to take support from technology tools to manage key assets in the organization and mentor and build successors.

SANJAY MODI is the Managing Director of Monster India/SEA/HK and Middle East

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Topics: C-Suite, #TalentAssessment

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