HR has brought a well intentioned complexity into the entire process of talent management
People Matters talks to Marc Effron about his latest book ‘One Page Talent Management’
What prompted you to write a book that simplifies the process of Talent Management?
Although a lot of research has gone into how to manage talent, yet when we ask HR managers if they are happy with their talent management processes, they invariably reply, ‘not really’! Our view is that the HR has brought a well intentioned complexity into the entire process of talent management. In the process of helping people, HR Managers end up giving too many details and adding too much complexity to the processes, making them inefficient. So, we have a very simple premise of the book. We try to highlight the shortest path connecting the core science of talent management and the business objective organizations aim to achieve. And we believe that we can do that in three ways: by making the process simple, by bringing in accountability, and lastly the most challenging way, by bringing in transparency.
What made the process complex in the first place?
The fact that companies guide their managers more than they need to be guided. Take the Competency Model for example where companies want to give their managers four-five basic behaviours that will help them to build a better organization. But then, the HR manager will come up with another set of 10 behaviours to support the existing four-five. What the managers have at the end of it all is a 50-page manual instead of the basic 5-page manual. Such practices have made the entire process of talent management complex.
So how does your book, ‘One Page Talent Management’ tends to simplify these complexities?
Our concept is that for a simple Competency Model, let leaders and managers behave the way they want to behave. Make the model very easy and understandable. We look at six different talent management practices – from Succession Planning, Agent Surveys to Competency Models. We read hundreds of academic papers and extracted the core values out of them. For example, when we were researching on Performance Management Systems, we found out that most of the HR Managers agreed that if employees set their own goals, it helped to motivate them and keeps them committed. So, we looked for such core values and removed all the rest of elements that will just bring complexity to the process.