While it is trite to say that the life of companies is transforming profoundly across the world, it is more difficult to clearly perceive how the current transformations will modify managerial practices.

Talent Management

Excerpts from “Talent Management” 2nd edition
Ed. Dunod, Authors: Cécile Dejoux, Maurice Thévenet

Demographic upheavals, changing mentalities, new economic balances in a multipolar world, climate changes, here is the list of in-depth changes whose real importance historians in a few decades will say. However, the stakes are there, in terms of human resources management, real, still exacerbated by the brutality of the crisis. Faced with the necessary adjustments and transformations, no one can see in the social function of the company the only armed arm of painful restructuring. Rather, the social function is to honor the present and prepare for the future. Would the notion of talent make it possible to better face these challenges?

The term talent is positive. To say that someone is talented is first and foremost a compliment. It is rare that the use of derision and the second degree make it synonymous with incomprehensible and unmanageable originality. Talent seems to be a quality that is highly valued. Education standards have used the term to highlight the wealth of each child and sometimes to excuse their lack of performance in a more traditional education system. We often mix the personal characteristic and the person who holds it, but talent evokes at least three aspects with strong positive content in terms of values.

Talent has a vocation, to be presented, to produce something. It is not just a jealously guarded personal characteristic, but an outwardly creative potential. Unlike some definitions of competence or potential, talent does not go without its concrete translation.

Talent also refers to the person who has this rare combination of rare skills. In fact, when we talk about talent management, it is a lot of people we are talking about. HRDs are able to put names, Managers can spot the individual when he presents himself, the good coach can spot in a football school the professional potential for success. It is not always very clear when hearing about talents whether the characteristic is reserved for those who have expressed them or for others who have the potential.

Talent as a category of people in an organization joins one of the common practices of the function consisting in segmenting populations according to identifying characteristics and in the perspective of specific management modalities. People are diverse, unique, but their day-to-day management needs to classify them and place them in categories that require specific attention or management methods. This is the case for young graduates, seniors, engineers, experts, etc.

The quantity of these segments is infinite and the “talents” can constitute a new one.

If talents constitute a segment of the population to which we could associate a manager, the “talent director”, what could be the missions? He would be responsible for detecting them externally but also internally, he would ensure their development so that the potential is realized.

The talent manager would also be responsible for retaining a talent and continuing to motivate it to develop a potential that never ends. Finally, this new manager should promote talent, recognize it in the noble sense of the term, ensure that it is “presented”: hidden talents are not very useful for an organization, nor are misunderstood geniuses.

And Generation Y and their favorite fields:

The first area is that of the Internet, which has become a way of life for this generation. The second concerns their perception of work. And Generation Y wants their work to be a virtue, a pleasure and not a constraint, the third area is that of morality. Young people want to give meaning to their professional commitment.

Of course, talents and organizations are at the heart of a business-partner approach because they constitute the most spectacular part of the contribution of people to the success of the strategy from an individual angle with the talents and collective with the people. organizations.

Human Resources management brings together practices that attempt to influence the behavior of work groups in order to produce results.

In this definition we will notice the “attempt”. There is nothing harder than influencing behaviors, as sales or family relationships testify on a daily basis. Viewed in this way, Human Resources management does not only include terms of remuneration or performance evaluation, but also the important issue of work organization.

Organization is the art of getting people to work together so that collective action produces results. Obviously, these organizations take the form of organizational charts, more and more complex, moreover, but in the end an organization is never more than the people who constitute it with their skills, their motivations, their strategies or their representations.

Ultimately, it is always this skill combined with the will of the people that makes organizations effective. Better still, when we add to these hybrid organizational forms the imperative of having to transform very often, hardly the previous integrated organization, the human dimension becomes even more crucial. It is therefore completely understandable that Human Resources are reinvesting in the field of work organization when it is no longer enough to present the requirements of new organizational forms for them to be necessarily effective.
The organizational perspective

As we have stated, the raison d’être of the organization is to produce goods and services acceptable to an environment. There is no management of Human Resources unless we expect this production from a collective work. It is for this reason that the problems of Human Resources management are eliminated by subcontracting or outsourcing. The organization is created with reference to this collective work to be accomplished and the management of human resources consists in allowing permanent adjustment between activities and people.

From this organizational perspective, two levels of concern are possible:

The level of individuals. The organization contracts with individuals it pays. People who work should be assigned tasks and made a contribution. The engineers of the organization are interested in the personal characteristics necessary to contribute to this collective work. This is the first level of the organization’s expectations of people;
The collective level. Collective work is not just a stack of individual actions. It is necessary to ensure the combination and the good coordination between these individual actions. This has a technical aspect of complementarity and arrangement of individual contributions. It also includes a more discreet aspect of equity between the various individual contracts, between the relationship between contribution and remuneration of different individuals.


Excerpts from “Talent Management” 2nd edition
Ed. Dunod, Authors: Cécile Dejoux, Maurice Thévenet



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