Article: Talent Gaps: Should you buy or build talent strategy?

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Talent Gaps: Should you buy or build talent strategy?

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Once you understand your talent baseline, you can start closing the gaps between where you are and where you need to be.
Talent Gaps: Should you buy or build talent strategy?

How you fill the talent gaps in your organization depends on your business goals. A talent evaluation helps you identify gaps and decide whether you need to focus on a “build” or “buy” strategy. Today, companies are faced with dynamic talent demands, on one end of the spectrum it could involve recruiting a large number of employees in a short span of time, on the other end it could mean recruiting someone with highly specialized skills but is not actively looking for a job. Once you understand your talent baseline, you can start closing the gaps between where you are and where you need to be. 

Regardless of the approach that companies take up, it is important for any strategy to focus on building a strong employee talent pool – thereby increasing the chances of building on their own network of talented employees. It is also important to make sure that companies focus on performance management – by making sure that the value of the employees’ contribution is recognized and offer innovative rewards to keep them engaged.


The ideal strategy for HR depends on which skills and talent are most critical for executing the strategies that achieve the goals of the business. Based on your talent evaluations, you can decide whether you can groom and grow the skills the business needs from internal talent, or whether you need to buy an infusion of talent from outside the organization. The right answer might be a combination of both strategies, so you may want to assign priorities and timeframes to determine your initial focus.

Build talent when the focus is on:

  • Increasing stability through retention

  • The need to build legacy knowledge

  • Capitalizing on a strong bench – with potential successors ready to move into key positions including the leadership ones

  • Finding the solution without restriction on the time.

In order for organizations to focus on overcoming talent gaps that need to address any of the above focus areas, they need to engage in development planning, succession management, design roles that suit talent, engage coaching and mentoring programs and proactively use assessments with learning and development interventions.

Buy talent strategy when the focus is on:

  • Unique or highly specialized skills

  • Identifying  the right candidate in a short span of time

  • Overcoming a weak bench – when the talent pipeline in the company is unsuited for leadership positions

  • The company is on the lookout for new perspectives.

Companies need to work on identifying the most critical areas that need talent from outside the organization and should work on onboarding employees effectively by giving the required training, setting expectations and providing adequate mentoring and peer to peer learning initiatives. 

Whether an organization chooses a build or a buy approach for closing its talent gaps, it is important to develop strong onboarding programs for better retention. Research shows that effective onboarding programs are critical in setting the expectations, developing the capability of the employees and making them job ready and consequently addresses the issue of attrition. Companies that practice good performance management and regularly talk to employees about the ways in which they can progress and deliver on outcomes outperform those that don’t.

This article is a part of the People Matters- Oracle Let's Talk Talent series. Click here to visit the Let's talk talent page to read more such articles.

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Topics: Talent Acquisition, Strategic HR, #Lets Talk Talent

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