Surviving the War on Talent: Introduction.

Ever heard the phrase

‘Our people are our greatest asset!’

If you have, you’ll probably see the ‘wisdom’ in it. Most organisational assets hinge on the people available to enact them. However, what happens if an organisations human capital pool consists of sub-optimal specimen? Are they still the organisations ‘greatest asset?’ Surely not.  This need but lack of talent, has created what Michaels (2001) has termed ‘The War on Talent.’

The war on talent refers to an increasingly competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining talented employees. Simply put, Human Resource and Management professionals understand that for organisations to be competitive and effective, they require prime, efficient and functional people [talent]. Individuals who identify as talent in organisations are usually star performers. These are people who can leave their jobs today and will have 3 job offers the very next day offering to pay them more because the skills the posses are unique and cannot be easily duplicated. Regardless of their field they are significant in the organisation and affect it’s competitive advantage.

However, only a limited number of these individuals appear to check all the boxes in regards to what is required;

  1. Educational Background
  2. Relevant Work Experience
  3. Appropriate Traits, Behaviors and Mannerisms

This then creates a struggle for the available talent, thus ‘The War on Talent’.

Two questions are then raised;

  1. For the Human Resource Professional and Management; How do I ensure that I am recruiting individuals who will ultimately contribute to my organisations success?
  2. For everyone else: How do I ensure that I win the War on Talent and become one of the converted, and selected few?

I recently completed my masters course in Research Methods, so I figured I could bring some of that to my writing. Instead of following the typical path that my past articles traditionally have, this article will be divided into several series, examining the lives and careers of those who are not only surviving the war on talent but actually thriving on it. At the end of the series a rudimentary content analysis will be carried out and utilized to answer the two questions posed above.

Join me in my next article, where we shall begin to explore the life of formidable individuals.