The creation and use of talent profiles can assist HR in making much more granular decisions on how individuals can be nurtured and encouraged to deliver their best possible performance, writes Andrew Lafontaine
Traditionally, most organisations view their employees as a workforce rather than a group of individuals with varying skills and experience. High-level decisions are made and processes put in place that treat everyone in a similar way.
When it comes to things such as training and career planning, this often results in a one-size-fits-all approach. Little attention is given to tailoring approaches so they more closely match the strengths and aspirations of individual staff members.
As a result, the best outcomes are often not reached. Staff are sent on courses that don’t fully match their needs or individuals are promoted into roles that are not consistent with their skills or experience. Strong performers may also go unnoticed while self-promoters bask in the limelight.
A new approach
Digital technology is allowing organisations to take a new approach to HR management. Instead of relying on old methods based on analogue processes, new platforms provide the ability to radically change the way HR management is undertaken.
Instead of viewing staff as a single workforce, HR managers can use digital platforms to create comprehensive talent profiles of each individual within their organisation. Each staff profile can contain details on everything from prior experience and training to current role description and performance.
Each time a staff member undertakes new training or excels in their role, additional information is added to their profile. As a result, talent profiles become an evolving record that provides HR teams with an accurate picture of each individual and their place in the organisation.
The approach can be likened to that taken by companies with large customer bases. Over time, more information is learned about each customer which allows detailed talent profiles to be created. This profile then allows marketing to be closely aligned with the tastes and needs of each customer.
The power of talent profiles
Armed with detailed talent profiles on each staff member, an organisation’s HR department can make much more granular decisions on how individuals can be nurtured and encouraged to give their best possible performance in their role. Should skill or experience gaps be found, steps can be taken to address them.
The benefit of this approach for individuals is more job satisfaction and the chance to have a clear career path mapped out that will guide their professional development. Rather than having to sit through time-wasting courses or miss out on possible promotions, they can be confident that the decisions being made on their behalf are based on accurate, up-to-date information.
For the organisation, the benefits flow from improved staff productivity. Managers can be confident they have the people with the right skills sets doing the right jobs at the right time. When staff represent one of the largest overheads for any organisation, achieving such an outcome can make a big difference to the bottom line.
Another benefit will be a more loyal workforce, lowering staff turnover rates and reducing the need for external recruitment. If staff are satisfied in their roles, they are less likely to be tempted by opportunities at other organisations.
The digital platforms that support this new approach are already being used by organisations throughout Australia. They have come to realise that the role of HR is no longer just about managing administrative processes – it is now more about strategically managing the workforce.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Blackmores, Australia’s leading natural health brand, outlined how the role of HR is constantly transforming, and that they see digital platforms as a key enabler to allowing them to keep up with the rapid pace of change. Analytics is one capability Blackmores are leveraging to gain insights into the business.
“As we start to get more and more of those advanced analytics,” Linda Redfearn, head of HR at Blackmores says, “we’re going to be able to predict what we’re going to look like in the future, so that we can bring people into our business in anticipation of what we will need.” And as Blackmores pulls more data into its new HR system, she notes, its analytics capabilities will become ever-more precise.
By shifting away from legacy systems that don’t provide a full picture of their employees, HR is now much better placed to take advantage of future opportunities for growth.
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