HR needs use its expertise to attract top talent into the profession

HR professionals are becoming increasingly proficient and creative at identifying and nurturing the gifted and talented people in their organisations. Talent management is one of the areas where HR departments offer true strategic input to the growth of the business and the achievement of corporate goals.

Given this expertise, why is it that many HR leaders are so slack in applying those principles to their very own departments?

What’s good enough for the business should be good enough for HR, too. But, like the proverbial cobbler’s children, some HR departments are running around in bare feet.

Apparently only 40% of organisations include HR in their talent management programmes, according to this week’s feature on HR talent management which analyses why HR people often don’t practise what they preach when it comes to attracting, developing and retaining talent in their own function.

Perhaps, unsurprisingly, organisations that do take HR seriously prioritise talent management for their HR people. Those that don’t have a clue what HR does or how it fits into the bigger picture often just don’t bother.

So what will it take for the business to take HR seriously? As ever, it comes down to commercial acumen to truly understanding what the business wants to achieve, to being politically savvy, and being brave enough to tell the board what they really need to know, rather than what they think they want to hear.

The kind of HR people with those skills don’t always come knocking on the door. You may have to grow your own (for example, through mentoring or secondment to operational roles) or go out and find them from other departments or organisations.

If the business is not taking HR seriously, then it really is down to the HR teams to ensure that it does. As Henley College’s Nick Holley argues, until HR learns how to articulate the value it adds to the business, then potential talent may continue to pass HR by.

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