The Chief Talent Officer: Conquering The War For Talent

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Pearson Partners International is a member of IIC Partners, one of the world’s top 10 executive search organizations. IIC Partners recently conducted a study exploring the role of Chief Talent Officers in today’s business climate featuring insight from six of its member firms, including input from Pearson Partners’ own Lisa Thompson.

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As the war for talent continues, more organizations are strengthening their internal talent management capabilities under the stewardship of a Chief Talent Officer (CTO), who serves as a strategic partner to the CEO and C-Suite. Evolving talent landscapes, the rise of remote workforces and technological advances are disrupting traditional approaches to talent management. The relationship between employer and employee has drastically shifted, creating unprecedented challenges for the CTO.

Preparing Future Generations

In recent years, many retirement-eligible senior employees have remained at work, blocking new leaders from rising up, while professional development of the next generation is often lacking. It falls to CTOs to develop future generations of leaders to fill the gap. Doing so requires:

  • Consistent internal communication and a transparent culture: New approaches might include balancing the importance of “hard” and “soft” skills, encouraging individualized leadership styles, providing leaders with broad development opportunities, giving access to tech-driven development initiatives, and offering opportunities for people to move around and demonstrate commitment.
  • Embracing a new generation of leadership style: CTOs should create clear succession paths for employees, as well as well-marketed, accessible development opportunities. Emerging leaders treat leadership like a responsibility and take a “whole-person” approach, merging work with life commitments.

Competing for Talent in a Hyper-Competitive Market

Demand for skilled leaders continues to increase, while the supply of eligible candidates shrinks, creating more competition for talent. The CTO must identify how to attract and retain key talent, moving beyond compensation and benefits to build distinct and engaging cultures that leverage:

  • The employee value proposition (EVP): CTOs lay the foundations of the EVP, ensuring promises are met and adapting it as workforce values change over time. CTOs can analyze the integrity and effectiveness of the EVP through employee surveys, reviews and performance metrics. Then, the CTO can deploy new talent strategies and tailor development programs and benefits to specific segments of the workforce.
  • Diversity and inclusion: Emerging leaders see diversity and inclusion as imperative and are attracted to companies that align with these values. CTOs must evaluate leadership gaps and integrate new processes for promoting diversity. Some tie diversity and inclusion programs to overall performance, while others create an inclusive environment where employees feel comfortable sharing differing opinions. The definition of “diversity” has broadened beyond gender, race and sexual orientation to include a myriad of socio-economic factors.

The talent market is undergoing a drastic transformation, and a sustainable strategy for the future may require the dismantling of human resources models of the past. The value of the CTO is unlocked through collaboration, so communication with senior leadership is critical to effectively grow and nurture a company’s most valuable asset—its human capital.

This article paraphrased from “The Chief Talent Officer: Conquering The War On Talent.” Read the full version.

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