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Key Questions of Talent Management in Crisis

Rimma Lukashova (Senior marketing manager)

Talented employees are an undisputed competitive advantage in providing market leadership for a company. Talent management is part of the motivation program for prospective employees in the many companies. Moreover, the experience of the leading companies (Google, Facebook and others) demonstrates that it is more profitable to count on their own employees, growing talent within the company.

There are two main concepts in the modern methodology of talent management:

1. Personnel Reserve Management. Creating and strengthening of the reserve for the potential closure of critical positions in the company. The goal is to fill key positions quickly with "ready" or "almost ready" specialists.

2. Key talent. Key Talent is talented employees with high potential. In this case, the company is not focused on a position; it focuses on the person, and tries to use employees' potential with maximum effect for the sake of business.

Obviously the crisis forced many companies to revise their approach to their talent management program: how companies refocused their approaches, which HR tools they are used for their employees' development and promotion, whether the companies reduced the program or terminated it.

The results of the survey conducted by Coleman Services at the end of 2015 to answer those questions show that Russian and international companies continue to work on talent management.

Personnel Reserve or Key talent? The distinctive feature of Russian companies is that most of them work only with Personnel Reserve. So Russian companies are more focused on replacements in the framework of risk management.

International companies often work with the two categories separately.

All employees or select ones? It is known that the most important step in talent management is the identification of the most talented employees (Hi-Po, High Potential) based on the results of an assessment. According to the survey results, less than 40% of company-respondents are ready to include all their employees in Personnel Reserve/Key Talent. In the majority of the companies, the talent management program is not focused on all employees.

What HR tools are used most often? A wide range of HR tools are available for Hi-Po development and promotion.

Certainly there are definite differences between them, depending on their applicability to a particular company.

The tools that are used in Russian and international companies have some difference. For example, and it is easy to explain, Russian companies are not ready to provide business trips abroad to gain knowledge or for an MBA course, focusing on such tools as career development/career growth and personal development plans. At the same time, Russian companies provide their employees with the opportunity to take part in developing and implementing strategic plans more often than international companies.

Change something? It is an interesting fact that companies are realizing the necessity for further adaptation of the program. Evidently it concerns optimization of approaches and tools. Also, it is necessary to segment approaches to talent and the introduction of the right program for each segment, which ultimately helps to increase labor productivity and retain the most valuable employees. That is exactly why a lot of companies intensified work on their talent management programs in the crisis. In this case, the percentage of Russian companies is greater than that of international companies.

Some companies have reduced or frozen programs, and, unfortunately, this fact concerns only Russian organizations. Russian companies have intensified work and frozen their programs at the same time, whereas international companies have mostly left programs unchanged.

The current crisis is different from the previous one. Before, companies used massive staff reductions, but now many companies are more careful and not ready to lose the potential. Dismissals are carried made, but they are targeted. At the same time, companies continue to search for and select potential staff, develop a talent management program and review approaches and tools.

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