Tackling the Talent Challenges of 2012

The room was filled to capacity for Monday afternoon’s “Developing Supply Management Panel,” moderated by Nancy Q. Smith, director, strategic partnering at Exemplary Performance. It seems that a talent issues are of paramount interest to supply management right now, and during the panel, attendees learned about an “end-to-end talent management process” to help bring structure to the complex tasks of hiring and retaining talent.

The end-to-end talent management process has 7 steps, beginning with “Developing Strategies.” Panelists noted that it’s crucial to know the capabilities and talents of everyone in your group and weigh that against what you’ll need to achieve results. It’s also important to remember this is a process that changes constantly. “Make sure you properly prepare your workforce because the business needs are always evolving,” said Brent E. Edmisten, former vice president of supply chain operations for Hawker Beechcraft Corporation.

Many times, people get hung up on thinking they need elaborate software or tools to create a talent management process. Linda Lundquist, manager, supply chain processes and optimization for Caterpillar, Inc., said it’s fine to start with a simple spreadsheet to keep track of needs and talent and identify any gaps.

Other tips included:

* Skills assessments that are completed by both the employee and the manager, which can help open a dialogue about what each party’s needs and expectations might be;

* Review job descriptions, since they might be out of date. Periodically revisit the roles and duties of each employee to keep the team focused and on-task;

* Want to get to know the Generation Y employees? Take them out to lunch and have a frank conversation about what they want and what motivates them. “You can’t cookie-cutter a generation,” said Edmisten.

“At the end of the day, people have to feel valued and appreciated,” said Edmisten. “Don’t think you have to work around people. Work with them.”

To see the complete 7-step Talent Management Process model and view slides from this presentation, click here.

What are some of your challenges regarding talent? Inside Supply Management magazine would like to tackle this subject in the coming months and we’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment if you’d like to share your thoughts!

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