Fostering talent is vital for organisations, says KPMG expert

With resource challenges and uncertain economies, talent management is a priority of the Human Resource (HR) department. Nischae Suri, Partner and Head People and Change, KPMG-India, speaks on the HR mantras that will help handle this dynamic challenge.

How does a company mitigate talent risks? Is there a procedure?

Moving well beyond tried and tested current practices, human resource department can mitigate talent risk and deliver demonstrable strategic impact. For this, they need to configure processes and practices to hardwire innovation into an organisation, use Performance Management System (PMS) to align organisational goals with employee expectations, drive decision-making through the use of data analytics and recruit and retain talent through social media. It is imperative that organisations focus on hiring retainable talent, practice one-on-one engagement and celebrate the growth of their employees.

How important it is to mitigate talent risk in today's economic scenario?

It is crucial that organisations begin to evaluate talent-related decisions for their return on investment. If this is targeted effectively, a benefit-based analysis can provide a clear view of how best to tune into talent. Mitigating talent risk becomes particularly important in an uncertain environment where we are continually trying to overcome resource challenges, where we struggle to attract quality talent and where the mandate is to survive in a lean and networked world.

Which finding of the global talent risk survey according to you is a matter of concern and need attention?

The notable concerns that need immediate attention are - an insufficient pipeline of future leaders, managers viewing PMS as a process to comply with rather than something that is business-critical, a lack of compelling development opportunities for top talent and the business leaders’ inability to engage with, motivate, and nurture critical talent. The survey also showed strong dissonance in opinion on talent risks between HR on the one hand, and business leaders and frontline managers on the other.

Who is responsible to hone and build talent -industry or academia?

The responsibility to build talent lies both with academia and industry. Education can provide with the necessary foundation while industry plays a role in developing critical skills. On the one hand, the right education can act as an enabler and on the other – industry exposure can give a platform to talent to explore ambition and potential.

Do you think that the industry-academia tie ups are now a redundant technique in talent development?

Organisations are much in need of syncing their overly simplistic concepts to sound academic perspectives, grounded in research. Universities are also increasingly adopting an approach that incorporates both theories as well as practice and have initiated outreach programmes to give a preview of what lies ahead. The relationship between industry-academia is not itself redundant; however, much needs to be done such that this initiative becomes more meaningful. Particularly, when it comes to research – an area where both perspectives are equally important, it is imperative that industry and academia collaborate more effectively.

Do you have any advice to talent managers?

Focus on viewing talent risk holistically, under different lenses. Initiatives should incorporate all the five Cs of Talent Risk – Capacity, Capability, Connection, Compliance and Cost. The biggest risk is the risk of not recognising the interconnectedness of risks.

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