6/23/11: Top Talent Development Posts this Week

June 23, 2011 by Wally Bock

Every week, I review blogs that cover talent development to find the very best talent development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to pieces about stars or teams, managing a remote workforce, retention, hiring and firing, and pointers to recruiting tools.

From HBR Bill Taylor: Great People Are Overrated
Part I

“Last month, in an article in the New York Times on the ever-escalating “war for talent” in Silicon Valley, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a passing comment that has become the entrepreneurial equivalent of a verbal tick — something that’s said all the time, almost without thinking. “

Part II

“My guess is that the post touched a nerve because it touched on one of the great dividing lines in our business culture today. As members of an economy, a society, and a collection of companies, all of us are engaged in a conversation (sometimes explicit, mainly implicit) about what makes the world go ’round — individual brilliance or group genius, self-possessed superstars or well-rounded teams. This is not a strictly either-or choice, of course. Even the best groups have stars, and not all stars find it hard to work well with others.”

Wally’s Comment: Bill Taylor suggests that some companies recruit stars, while others recruit for fit with the team. I suggest you read the first post and comments and then the second post and comments all in the same sitting. Prepare to have your thinking jogged.

From Workforce Management: Out of Site: Remote Possibilities

“More employers are benefiting from a mobile workforce through improved productivity, increased employee satisfaction and reduced costs, but they also face new management challenges.”

Wally’s Comment: Today we use the adjective “remote” to indicate “remote” workers are something special and different. In the future we will probably see “remote” workers as a normal part of the workforce, but for now, we’re still learning and this post will help you learn.

From HR Morning: Are you training your top people for their next employer?

“A new study says some talent development programs could actually increase turnover rates. American businesses spend billions of dollars training employees to produce a more productive and committed workforce. But University of Iowa researchers have found that employees feel little compulsion to stay with an employer that provides professional development if they don’t see any career advancement opportunities. “Only those employees who can see a way forward in their careers will stay with an employer,” said Scott Seibert, an associate professor at the university’s Tippie College of Business.”

Wally’s Comment: This issue shouldn’t be a matter of debate, but it is. Some companies are so worried about wasting training money that they don’t invest in their people. The paradox here is that the people you train are more likely to stay. Think about it.

From Jon Ingham: Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should! (true, but, it also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t)

“I had a good couple of days with a small group of recruiting leaders in Barcelona.  I think they enjoyed the workshop, though they didn’t agree with me on everything e.g. my suggestions on career sites in my last post. One of the resources I’d suggest this group, and others, look at if they want to know more is the slides and videos from the recent Recruiting Innovation Summit in the States (successor to the previous Social Recruiting summit I attended irl last year).”

Wally’s Comment: Jon’s post is a helpful collection of pointers to resources of all kinds.

From Mike Haberman: Hire Slow, Fire Fast

“I don’t think there are too many things worse for a company, especially a small company, than to make a bad hire that is then allowed to hang around forever because management is afraid to act on the mistake they made. So the solution for this is to hire slow and fire fast. In an article she wrote, entitled 5 Rules You Should Eliminate Now, Margaret Heffernan listed “Fire Slowly” as one of the rules that should be broken. She said “Everyone makes mistakes hiring… usually that mistake is obvious in the first 6 months. Do not think you can turn this around. It’s distracting, time-consuming and you will fail. If you goofed, ‘fess up’ and move on.” I could not agree with her more. Often bad hires are kept and they harm morale, productivity, customer relations and who knows what else. They have the potential for becoming your ‘toxic’ employee.  But firing quickly does not mean you fire foolishly.”

Wally’s Comment: All my experience as a manager, business owner, and consultant suggests that you’re more likely to hire the right people if you take your time and have a process and that when someone doesn’t fit moving quickly to remove them from the team is the most productive strategy.

Carnivals, Lists, and Such

From HR Web Cafe: Tips for using Facebook (and other social media) in the hiring process

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Talent Management

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