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Home » MBA Articles » MBA - HR Articles » Managing talent supply chain

Managing talent supply chain

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"A managing supply chain is about managing uncertainty and variability. Starting with this though of Cappelli it can be said that though It is true that the ultimate success of any organization depends largely on the quality of its workforce with respect to the capability, willingness, organizational, work related, individual related and many other  factors that directly or indirectly affect the success and existence of any organziation.In this the percentage of employees who  actually are talented workers at present or are developed as talented employees for building talent inventory is very significant. Keeping a strong eye on this is important because talented people need to be identified, developed, monitored, and retained and   there are many factors that in turn affect the successful contribution of each of these sub factor for talent workers.  .An important success factor that decides the success of any organization is creating match between corporate objectives, talent processes, mindset of organization towards building an inventory of talent in a continuous way so that  managing and developing talent becomes a practice for organization. The idea that we can achieve certainty through planning is no longer true," Cappelli states. "Instead, we have to deal with uncertainty by being more responsive and adaptable."

It is so because aggressive prioritization of service line profitability in order to ensure the acquisition, development, retention, and integration of talent pools drives firm success. As also quoted in one of the articles in The Economic Times that one of the biggest challenge that India Inc is facing is having huge shortage of skilled manpower and almost 85% of manpower is unskilled and unemployable and the challenge lies in training this unskilled manpower and transforming them into productive labour pool which can further be utilized. The major challenge is lack of employable talent and further managing the available talent both for deployment and redeployment. Problem lies because the demand and the supply of the trained manpower is not balanced. One of the reasons being   a mismatch between the student's aspirations and corporate expectation that enhances the chances of unemployability as Dr Uday Salunkhe, group director, We School feels the people supply chain stands weak majorly due to two reasons-shrinking numbers of able and willing recruiting pools and poor employability of the available supply pools.

Local expertise in global markets is especially critical. Ecklund cites the example of Kraft Foods, which has moved from a reliance on American expatriates to the hiring and training of more nationals in various regions. Some of the biggest gaps in supply-chain talent today are related to problem-solving abilities, global leadership skills, business experience in worldwide environments, and customer relationships. Supply-chain executives don't spend enough time out with customers understanding their challenges.But now the trend has reversed today the trend is as we treat customers so should talent workers be treated and the focus at major is on understanding the candidate life cycle which includes viewing the talent  0development with a multi-faceted  perspective and including the HR,T&D,operations  and other related divisions to view the major factors that affect talent development like attraction, engagement and retention of the employees and these three are the major factors of any talent supply chain. It can be further broken down into six stages-Brands Establishment, Candidate Attraction, Application Management, Onboarding, Retention and Succession Management. Further each of these six phases has to be carefully designed, applied, assessed and then integrated so that a well managed talent life cycle can be developed.

Successful companies today are shifting their emphasis from cost-cutting to quality management and communications. "Think about what a supply chain does," Ecklund says. "It accounts for around 60 to 70 percent of cost in a company structure. It controls most of the inventory and the majority of physical assets, and is absolutely essential to companies accomplishing their business strategies and success."

Some of the strategies that can help to bridge the gap includes training the youth and providing them ready to apply skills for increasing their chances of getting employed the problem persists because there is no emphasis on practical training in mainstream education and quite poor enabling environment of learning and application. Apart from this providing vocational training to the students can help in streamlining  the efforts and help in achieving the corporate goals and this is important because creating a synergy between the corporate and the academic institutions is significant for creating an ideal job ecosystem for building and sustaining talent in the organization. As also suggested by Rajesh A.R, head, iRize, MaGE that it is important for government to engage more and more of private players from different sectors and create skill councils and thus ensure the delivery of employability services as is done by expert players in different domains. Another strategy can be by tapping and training the rural youth on areas like communication, soft skills and even developing better product knowledge can also help because Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMSEs) in various industries such as leather, textile, auto parts, packaging and other ancillary industries set up their operations in rural areas, they are ready to recruit low skilled labour.

Another very effective strategy can be breaking down each job and role so as to create a right fit between the job and the job holder as suggested in the DKSB framework - Data, Knowledge, Skills and Behaviour framework, it is important to inculcate these required skills in each candidate after analyzing where does the gap lies while expecting a right candidate. This will help in creating a right match between the job and the job occupant and also by revising and redesigning right curriculum to teach them the required knowledge which can be applied and by providing opportunities for getting practical experience through internship and enhancing their employability.

Organization needs to identify strategies right from recruitment, development training till retention for development and deployment of talent in the organization. A full proof planned strategy aimed at developing human capital program needs to be constituted so that it becomes easier for organization to remove operational and organizational complexity and increase agility to increase business results ,improve talent leadership development strategy to enhance accountability, align employees  efforts to business results.

This can be developed by bringing clarity in execution excellence and adopting approaches like

    Segmenting the workforce (e.g., based on learning styles, values, personality, wellness profiles, mobility).
    Offering modular choices from a list of defined and sanctioned alternatives (e.g., international job rotation opportunities).
    Defining broad and simple rules (e.g., Google's rule of having engineers spend 20 percent of time on projects that create value for the organization).
    Fostering  employee-defined personalization (e.g., using social  media to create a customized learning experience)
    Fostering new learning  and collaborative channels
    Aligning talent and organization supply chain analytics like For example, workforce skill segmentation can be combined with customer demand to schedule service technicians during the hours customers will most likely need their specialized skills. This type of analytics has measurable business outcomes that drive critical alignment of talent and supply chain metrics
    Maintaining and utilizing the data related to talent like Human capital facts (head count, turnover, recruiting success, willingness to recommend the company) across unique supply chain workforces. Workforce investment analysis determines the impact of variables such as work climate, employee satisfaction and retention on supply chain performance. Workforce forecasts to analyze turnover, succession planning, and business opportunity data and fill potential shortages of key supply chain capabilities. Talent value model, which uses analytics to determine what employees value and then create personalized performance incentives and development plans.Talentsupply chain, which covers how to make real-time decisions about talent-related demands.

Apart from this the organization needs to understand that talent supply chain is an integrated aspect that needs to thought and practiced as a collaborative model .It basically includes these important components-

* Offering development: The process of developing and deploying service lines as a means of differentiation

* Talent management: Processes used to ensure that the right set of employees are recruited, trained, retained, and given the resources to fulfill current and future client demands

Resource management: Activities focused on optimizing staffing decisions

Demand management: The fore casting and planning component of customer relationship management (CRM)

* Supplier management: The management of suppliers, subcontractors, and offshore resources means firms can flexibly meet client needs in local markets. This integrative model can be presented as-

Fig-1-Integrative model of talent supply chain

Thus, need is to look towards the talent supply chain with an integrative approach. Because talent supply chain is a function to reduce down the uncertainties and trying to predict and prepare the requirement of required people in future and thus shaping plans and process to build a strong inventory. This process   can be further developed by developing cross functional coneections, continuining learning and development and plotting a clear career path which will help in understanding both present and future needs that will help in taking a competitive advantage.

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