Horizontal & Vertical talent integration

The alignment of talent management processes can be defined as horizontal integration. The development of organizations and employees are the focus of vertical integration. Below is an overview of the Talent Management processes, following every step of the employee lifecycle, along with some examples for developing and executing the Talent Management processes.

1. Recruitment

When determining the need for internal or external vacancies you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Do we have the right talent at the moment and in the coming years (taking into account; retention, absences etc.) to achieve the business goals?
  • Which talent do we need in our organization?
  • Does the talent fit within the team and within the culture?
  • Do we allow the candidate to grow into the function or does the talent have to fulfill all the requirements?

Based on this information, an organization can search for the right talent. For example, suppose you would like to invest in growth next year, which will mean that your organization should have invested to have the right talented sales employees.

2. Manage performance and identify talent

All employees should be evaluated during the performance cycle. A “Talent review” determines who the talents (“performers” and “underperformers”) are within the department of a particular team. It is then easy to determine how the team is performing and whether there are gaps related to the “to be” situation to achieve the business goals. Managers also should know where to focus on and where they have to take action.

3. Plan Career
Talented people are normally seen as fast growers, both horizontally and vertically. The development needs to be aligned with the organization and the employee. For example, if an employee has the ambition to be a distribution manager, but the organisation would like to outsource that specific department within a few years, expectations need to be managed.

4. Manage succession
To ensure continuity of your business it is important to have successors available for key positions in the organisation both in the short term as well as the long term. Using a fit-gap analysis there is a clear view on the risks and which action should be taken by the organisation. For example, from the strategic workforce planning you know that the organisation needs at least 10 senior managers within 3 years and from the “Talent Review” you know that there are only 5 who will reach this level by that time, you know you need to recruit managers externally soon.

5. Learn
As a result of the talent management strategy the organisation decides in which talents they would like to invest. Will it be all employees or only two talents on every department and are these specific employees or specific roles. Suppose that an organization would like to improve the quality and that the employees are not sufficiently conscious of quality, it is recommended to invest in this skill. This can be done to train employees or to recruit externally.

6. Manage compensation
The compensation policy should be aligned to the talent management strategy and the other HR processes. A compensation policy with an established collective labor agreement increase in salary does not fit to the possibility of additional compensation for talents. The compensation policy related to talent management ensures to attract and retain the right talent and to stimulate exit of other employees. If you do not correctly apply it is likely that the talents leave the organisation when the same increase in salary is effectuated for a talent as well as another employee.”

7. Manage mobility
Mobility is important to create dynamics within the organisation. This is needed to create vacant positions and to develop talents. This has a positive effect both on the motivation of employees as well as the vulnerability of the organization. This is especially important if the number and diversity of talent is not aligned to the business goals. Think of ageing of the population.

8. Manage exit
Employees are the ambassadors and the heart of the organisation. As an organisation you would like to attract and retain your talents and rather not see them leave your organisation. In some situations a talent is on the maximum what an organization can offer. Then there is a big challenge to discuss a possible leave with the employee, this is part of strategic talent management. Leaving employees also offer opportunities for internal transfers or recruit external talents. Positive “leavers” will be ambassadors of the organisation. For example if a talent leaves your organization at a young age to gain experience in another environment, it would be beneficial to the organisation to employ the person in the future again.

The choices made in the different processes are dependent of the translation of the organisation strategy to the HR- and talent management strategy (also called vertical integration and discussed in previous blog). To execute the talent management strategy you use your HR processes. For optimal results you should align those HR processes, a horizontal integration as described above. Employees are able to use their talents and a logical outcome is increased productivity, effectiveness, and power of innovation for the organization. These are the achievements we would like to see from horizontal and vertical integration.

March 31 2016