Dr. Mark Melia discusses talent management, competency frameworks and capability building in an interview with Elearning Letter.
1/ The notion of talent has become widespread in the world of work. Are talent and competencies synonyms?
Yes, indeed there is a lot of talk of talent and competencies in the world of work at present. Much of this is due to a recognition that companies are simply the people in them and its those people which make all the difference. Finding the right people and keeping them is one of the top concerns voiced by CEOs today. Talent management is about tackling these concerns. Finding the right people for the right roles and putting the structures in place to allow people to perform at their very best. Competency frameworks are an excellent foundation for a talent management strategy. Competency frameworks can provide a lingua franca for the different component of talent management. This is a critical enabler as it empowers HR to have a common language around talent. For example, competency frameworks can be used to define skill gaps within teams and how to address these issues by developing people within the business or recruiting talent externally.
2/ There are now platforms for “talent management”. What are their essential features? What are the possibilities of integration between training and various HR processes that are supported by these “talent management systems”?
With the recognition of the importance of talent management we are seeing a range of tools coming out to support HR in managing talent. Platforms are aiding talent managers to be more targeted in their talent strategy and data driven in their decision-making. As the needs of the talent manager get more sophisticated their needs from platforms have become more specific. This has resulted in a plethora of smaller niche products that focus on specific talent management needs, from pulse feedback tools to measure employee engagement to personality testing tools. As well as the smaller players many of the big LMS and HR system vendors have released some talent add-ons to their base functionality. Successful usage of these tools depends on how well they are integrated into HR’s talent policies and strategies and the existing HR technology eco-system. It is not enough just to deploy the latest talent management tool and expect results. Thought must be given to the place the tool has in the talent strategy from an organisational development perspective. Training is one of the critical pieces of the talent management puzzle. When training is integrated into the talent management processes it allows employees to understand what they need to do to develop and how they can offer more value to the organisation. Training also makes people feel invested in and increases engagement, a key talent management metric.
3/ How is Aura different?
Aura has been designed in collaboration with HR managers for HR managers. The principle idea is to help employee’s self-service their development needs as much as possible in a way that links directly into the company’s talent strategy. Through Aura employees can assess their proficiencies in competencies key to the needs of the organisation and their role. This is a highly sophisticated assessment that can consider performance feedback from managers, direct reports, peers and other nominated individual within the business. This assessment gives employees an insight into their strengths and weaknesses which facilitates a coaching conversation between a manager and an employee. At the centre of the Aura platform is learning and development. This ensures that focused interventions can be defined, delivered and tracked through Aura.
Aura has been designed to embrace the people aspect of talent management to provide space for meaningful, coaching conversations between managers and their team members. Aura gives both of them the information and the vocabulary to have a discussion focused on performance and capability building.
Aura considers a person’s growth and progression giving the employee an understanding of growth opportunities within the organisation and also how to realise them. On the flip side the Aura tool helps HR managers to easily identify talent and candidates for roles and develop them using talent pools.
There is plenty more to chat about the role of competencies in HR and talent management processes, so if you are interested in this topic and would like to share your feedback and experience, feel free to contact me.