Summary: Make Your Company a Talent Factory

The following is is quick summary of “Make Your Company a Talent Factory” by Douglas A. Ready and Jay A. Conger, published on June, 2007, Harvard Business Review, pages 68-77

Human resources executives from 40 companies around the world in 2005 indicated that they had an insufficient pipeline of high -potential employees to fill strategic management roles.


Placing the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time

Have a company-wide processes for assessment, recruiting, performance and career management, and leadership development

Use assessment tools:

  • psychometric tests,
  • individual interviews that probe people’s aspirations
  • 360-degree feedback

Establish a common measurement language across all the businesses and locations.

Create a system of talent pools that track and manage the careers of high-potentials within the firm

Gather talent from various countries, environments and backgrounds

Manage development of careers across business units and countries and use technology-based
talent management systems

Attitudes and mind-sets of the people responsible for career-management processes

Fostering commitment

  • hire at entry level and build from within
  • establish a college intern program

Building engagement

  • view job assignments through a career development lens
  • require that each unit have a talent implementation strategy
  • place talent management, succession planning, international moves, and senior-executive development on the agenda of business executive committees and the board

Ensuring accountability

  • hold all stake-holders (including talented employees themselves) accountable for doing their part to make systems and processes robust
  • have managers and executives understand that they will be held accountable for identifying and developing the firm’s current and future leaders
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