Verax International Ltd




"The Dichotomy of Talent Development"

As the economy gathers pace and unemployment comes down, organisations will find that talent becomes more scarce and that they will be even more dependent upon existing staff to achieve their business goals.




According to “The Times” (14th May 2014), executives predict that they will need a 20% improvement in performance above current levels in order to meet business objectives and that the vast majority of organisations will have to realise these gains by relying on their current workforce, not by hiring more employees.




But 76% of business leaders believe that H.R. does not understand which talent issues are most important for the business.




In our client work on Human Capital Measurement and financial ROI on Learning, Development and Change, we have found that organisations now want staff to contribute primarily byinitiating and enabling change and through building personal capacity so that their growth enables organisational growth, or achieve more with less. Yet most employees make their biggest contribution by applying their technical or professional skills. Someone has not got the message! There may be some messages for selection and recruitment here too.




Talent (the ability to achieve what the organisation needs a person to achieve) is a scarce resource – more than capital or technology and can pose the significant barrier to growth.




The more specific the growth or change objective, the better organisations can prioritise efforts and align their work to a higher order business objective. The usual transformation trinity of “people, process and technology” all need to be brought to bear.




Technology and process are incredibly important to get right, but the best designed technology or the most minutely constructed processes are only as good as the people using them. The most unappreciated part of the trinity is people. A great team can be great even with a mediocre technology or process; a mediocre team with a great technology is never more than mediocre.




76% of senior executives are being asked to achieve more and broaden objectives, with the ultimate aim of selling more or making more profit or surplus. Yet 73% of leaders say that their primary goal is to cut costs. This is not a strategy, but a tactic. It limits courses of action and confuses the strategic message. Within that confusion, over 81% of HR business partners are not perceived as strategically effective.




Yet, if organisations are to thrive in the challenging times ahead it is more important than ever that talent development is explicitly aligned to the strategic objectives and L&D and HR leaders can prove to the business leaders that they are contributing to the achievement of the strategic objectives – and they do so in the language that the business understands i.e. the Financial ROI.




Ref Raconteur “The Times” 14h May 2014

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