Filling and Packaging Industry Blog

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Talent management functions like the kidney that hires the good personnel and fires the bad ones.

Talent management and talent management functions: like the kidney that hires the good personnel and fires the bad ones.

The two kidneys are the vital organs in the body amongst other functions cleanse the blood of toxins and keep it chemically balanced. The kidneys are sophisticated reprocessing machines and process the blood to filter out the wastes and extra water. Similarly a good talent management system will hire the good personnel, retain them and remove the bad ones.

Good management is not just about recruiting the right people to do the right jobs. This is particularly important during challenging times when staff budgets are cut to the bone. A strong management team must also have the discipline and insight to identify the dead wood in the company, and to be able to take firm action to remove them. These executives are those who have being entrenched in the system because of their job security and seniority are just cruising along and marking time. They do not have active and productive contributions as well as add value to the company. Most managers acknowledge that the most difficult task is firing of employees, particularly somebody that they have worked with closely for several years.

Usually, the people that you did not fire are the ones that make your life miserable.
In many organisations, the decision-making power resides at the top. Empire-building by yes-men becomes the main preoccupation of the day. In the corporate intrigue of power struggle for status and position, the good personnel who may have differing views are stifled.

In talent management, the CEO has to look beyond himself and his abilities. He is smart if he hires the right people who may be better than he in those competencies to execute tasks that he himself is unable to do. He is then able to extend "his arms and legs" within the organisation to get things done in more efficient manner. This philosophy is shared by Jack Welch as he felt that smart people hire smart people.

He said: "Every time you hire someone that is not better than you, you have missed an opportunity, because if you got all the answers, who the hell needs anybody else." GE's core competence is the development of people and Welch's greatest legacy was to transform GE as the training ground of the world's top business honchos. For example, the other two candidates, namely Robert Nardelli and James McNerney who did not get Welch's job left GE to become CEO of The Home Depot and 3M respectively. Hiring the right person takes good skill in recruitment. Sometimes, even with good evaluation and hiring efforts, the employers do make the wrong hire. In such situation, you need to try to redeem the situation or live with it or fire the employee and start the recruitment process all over again.

However, in the situation of lean staff budget, you do not have the luxury of carrying "dead wood". It maybe necessary to fire the wrong recruit. Jack Welch saw nothing wrong in delayering and downsizing incompetent people. To him, downsizing and delayering were absolutely necessary, and not firing workers who were a part of a losing business would have been more heartless than letting them go past the age of 50. Welch the self-actualizer is also Welch the pragmatist and he sees these decisions as necessary threads in the fabric of business. . "That is business," added the GE Chairman. He also explained it this way: "I think the cruelest thing you can do to somebody is give them the head fake....nice appraisals....that's called false kindness. A removal should never be a surprise."

On the other hand too, retaining the people that you want to keep has become a key issue for organisations. When the key and talented people leave, there is a loss of experience and knowledge as well as continuity. Yet, companies would rather spend the valuable resources to recruit new talent from competitors than retaining the talent that they already have.


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  • Very well said !
    Talent management is the key for any organization success !

    For Packaging machinery exporters

    By Blogger Industry Analyst, at 17/7/10 1:38 AM  

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    By Blogger Sun Mars, at 1/2/13 2:02 AM  

  • Excellent insights. Some of the best supervisors we've had have been hired through a top packaging recruiter. Our CEO definitely takes the responsibilities you've discussed in this post to heart.

    By Blogger Alex White, at 1/5/13 11:05 AM  

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