So how many people do you have? What are their competencies? What is the total aggregated of any particular competency in your entire employee base? What is the engagement level for each of those employee populations for those competencies? Do those engagement levels change by generation, location, or line of business? Do you even care?
Well of course you care, but chances are (like most organizations) the talent strategy means that you try to answer all of these questions for all of your many customers. Every business thinks they are the most important and wants the top level talent acquisition support. Each business wants their employees to be the most engaged and to be the best trained. But the reality is that there are specific places that the business has defined to be the growth engines, or are the profit centers. It is these parts of the organization that your talent equation should be executing at the highest levels and at the highest priority. Listen, if the CEO wants to grow the (retail) business in (Texas), as the major part of the profit equation, guess what your main job is?
So we look at growth and profit, but we also have to look at the overall strategy. It’s not always about getting the best people to fill profit centers. Sometimes the growth is about a specific avenue for growth. If the strategy is to grow by M&A, HR has a much different role in evaluating acquisition targets and their talent profile they will bring to the combined organization. If instead, your organization strategy is innovation or scientific discovery, how you source and create a talent infrastructure for your innovators to collaborate, share knowledge, and just not be distracted from that will be quite different from the M&A strategy. And of course there is the customer service strategy, or retail growth and sales, etc. Each of these requires a different focus when it comes to talent management, but often I simply see the same thing from company to company: Talent means catering to all people. It does not. As in the rest of HR, you need to pick your spots and realize what the broader organization is doing to be most aligned.