True Talent Management Requires Bold Strategies



On Sept. 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave an address at Rice University that would go down in history as his “We choose to go to the moon” speech, urging support for the Apollo program. “We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained,” he said on that day, “and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people … The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment … We must be bold.”

At a recent U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) “Industry Day” event that I attended, those last words from President Kennedy – “We must be bold” – emerged as a core theme. The OPM is convinced that government personnel leaders should move forward quickly to elevate the performance and accountability of HR systems so that people stand to benefit as the central focus of progress. Successful talent acquisition and management, after all, is about much more than staffing.

I was very encouraged by the presentation, especially when the “how-to” action points were discussed. They are clearly in line with how Acendre has been helping government customers for several years. Indeed, it seems OPM is taking direction from us in some ways. While we are not a federal agency, we work closely and partner with agencies on the following, OPM-supported goals, because this is what we do — now:

Enable seamless integration of HR technologies and services. Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs) and their teams have to embrace interoperable, enterprise-wide IT systems, instead of the scattered, siloed legacies which they’ve depended upon for too many years. Through solutions such as our Acendre Recruitment, Performance and People Analytics, that’s exactly what we’ve done for our federal customers. We understand that multiple systems create multiple points of failure. When all HR professionals within an entire organization can see and collaborate upon the same information within the same portal, they are empowered to make faster and more effective decisions about their human assets.

Do more with data. Data is the ultimate knowledge liberator of our times. Just as rocket fuel powered our space ships into orbit, the mining and sharing and leveraging of data will drive HR teams into the next frontier of talent management. Through our analytics solutions, agencies make new discoveries about their recruitment processes, onboarding programs, training efforts, performance and engagement levels, turnover rates, etc. and – again – make smarter decisions as a result.

Address “the memo.” As indicated in a prior article on performance management objectivesthe much-discussed, 14-page, detailed memo (M-17-22) from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on April 12 promises to overhaul government programs and practices, particularly with regard to how they impact employee performance. There are “too many (federal) employees stuck in a system that is not working for the American people,” according to the memo. Specifically, it encourages agencies to boost efficiencies, eliminate duplicative and non-essential functions, improve information-sharing throughout existing silos and better leverage and consolidate technology to serve key business needs. As stated, that’s exactly what our solutions do. What’s more, they directly support the memo’s call to “identify opportunities where adopting new technology will automate processes and result in increased efficiency and budgetary savings” and, thus, do away with paper and otherwise manual procedures.

Usher in the Performance Management era. Through integration, automation and data analytics, you create something much greater than simply “HR” – you’re now managing performance in a proactive and strategic manner which profoundly advances business objectives. You eliminate recruitment bottlenecks. You enhance training programs. You identify areas of both high and low engagement and come up with best practices from the former to bring up the latter. And because you’re using people analytics solutions to accomplish all of this, you’re constantly discovering new data – and new ways – to make your agency better.

In the most eloquent and enduring part of his “moon” speech, President Kennedy said “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” I find these words ironic. Yes, sending man to the moon was hard. But, today, technology – in this case, talent management analytics solutions – is making life easier for our government customers. They no longer lose top job candidates because of disconnected, dysfunctional hiring systems. They get more value out of their training investments. They aren’t losing current staffers to attrition because they know where the potential for disengagement exists – and they tackle the issue before it causes significant damage.

To borrow from another famous “moon” quotation, in the larger picture of human capital, that’s certainly a “giant leap” as opposed to a “small step.” If this sounds like something you’d like to discuss with us, then then let’s talk.



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