Talent on Demand: Managing Talent in an Age of Uncertainty
4 By Peter Cappelli, Harvard Business Press, 260 pp., $35
The subtitle is about as good as a recap gets. Peter Cappelli debunks myths such as our belief that we can predict the future, either in terms of business needs or the talent needed to meet those unknown needs. Meantime, the talent you work hard to develop ends up getting lured away by competitors.
Cappelli offers four strategies to help organizations access the talent they need when they need it. First is the buy-versus-build decision, that of weighing the cost of development against the cost of uncertainty. The second strategy supports more accurate forecasting, employing approaches for maximizing ROI on talent development, and creating an in-house job market to lessen the temptation of greener pastures elsewhere. Along the way, for managers, there is a movement from the view of the "chess master" mentality: We need to think differently about how to match candidates with development opportunities, and then with jobs—if we want to keep our talent from leaving. The C-suite must balance "the trade-off between the interests of local managers in holding individual candidates longer—something that increases the risk of their leaving the employer altogether—against the broader interests of developing talent." For trainers, there is food for thought on moving beyond identifying competency requirements to developing systems for teaching them. It's a good all-around resource for those looking for something new in talent management thinking.