The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

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What the heck is Talent 2.0?  Well first of all, it’s not here yet.  Second of all, it probably makes more sense to define Talent 1.0 before I can theorize on Talent 2.0.  Talent Management 1.0 is simply what we have today.  It’s the thought that old school performance management, compensation administration, and succession planning can be automated using heavily transactional software applications.  We absolutely have succeeded in creating a high degree of adoption in the market that every enterprise needs talent management and needs to automate it.  Talent Management 1.0 actually has a very high degree of success compared to prior exercises in HR technology.  The problem is that Talent Management 1.0 didn’t really solve any problems.  It just made or talent problems more efficient.

I don’t know what Talent 2.0 will end up being, but here are just a couple of thoughts.  First, we need to move from transactional processes to a more integrated version of talent between HR and the business.  Simply automating manager processes for talent isn’t enough.  Managers still have a fundamental prolem with how talent management works, which is still “old school.”    Managers inherently don’t know what to do with talent, and simply automating processes didn’t really help them do anything but save a couple hours a year.  They are the primary interface to talent, and until they are properly engaged in the strategy of managing talent, talent management will not be truly successful.  Second, we need to move from simple analytics to real talent decision support.  Today’s talent management applications provide decent analytics, but I’m not sure they provide enough to facilitate the type of insights we really expect out of our talent practitioners.  Third, we need broader talent functionality that looks at our internal talent within the enterprise and views external talent in the same scope.  Workforce planning attempts to do some of this, but ultimately talent needs to grow beyond the confines of the individual enterprise.  Conversations are already beginning for employee talent profiles to follow them from job to job rather than staying with the employer.

Once again, I don’t know what Talent 2.0 ultimately looks like, but I do know that we will move beyond simple transactions.  These are just ideas, but I’m confident Talent will become more integrated with the business, and provide increasingly insightful analysis.  What are your thoughts for Talent 2.0?

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6 responses to “Talent 2.0”

  1. Bruce Lewin Avatar

    This seems to me to be on the mark again 🙂

  2. What the heck is Talent 2.0? Well first of all, it’s not here yet. Second, it makes more sense to define Talent 1.0…

    The problem is that Talent Management 1.0 didn’t really solve any problems. It just made or talent problems more efficient…

  3. Larry Dunivan Avatar

    Totally agree — when I’m talking about this, I use a maturity curve analogy (yours is definitely sexier, btw). But I speak to the notion that organizations need reliable, credible, actionable data for decision-making and that requires a level of sophistication that few organizations demonstrate today.

    I would further argue (from my soapbox, so bias is noted) that you need an integrated technology platform on which to do it at any tolerable cost. Integrating across a multitude of platforms isn’t going to cut it.

  4. Rob Scott Avatar

    Great piece – my two pennies worth is that the talent systems (and broader HR systems) need to become far more simple to use and operate. One of the reasons line management are reluctant to use HR tools is because they are overly complicated and offer little more that list reports (ie they don’t help with decision making)- if HR tools of the future are not as intuitive as operating a bank ATM, then we will struggle to get buy-in from the HR customer base.


  5. Sean Conrad Avatar

    If Talent 2.0 is about ensuring organizations do more than automate the process I’m all for it! Implementing technology merely for the sake of being paperless isn’t helping HR or managers get the job done. There needs to be a greater focus on leadership and ensuring managers are coaching their employees on a day-to-day basis, otherwise, the program and the technology will fail to meet business goals in the long run. Organizations with strong talent management practices realize technology is an enabler, not a panacea.

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