Where’s the Innovation in Making Better Talent Decisions?

April 30th, 2014
Written by: Dana Papke

Team TPO was buzzing this week about the article in the Washington Post’s Capital Business section by Tom Monahan, CEO of CEB. Monahan minces no words in his view that the secret to company improvement, in many cases, is talent–so why aren’t companies more innovative in the talent area? Here’s an excerpt:

You’d assume that (companies’) “growth stalls” can be attributed to things such as geopolitical sea changes or the rise of a key competitor. But, the remarkable thing is that people issues play a key role in nearly 50 percent of growth stalls (and they are an influencing factor in even more). These are factors completely within a company’s control and related to their own people.

He goes on to say,

(I)f managing talent is so important to maintaining growth, then corporate executives should already have developed the insights, data and tools to ensure they are making fully informed and precise decisions about this critical asset, right? The truth is most hiring managers are probably using more powerful tools to manage their fantasy sports team.

We couldn’t agree more with Monahan’s very elegant and forceful argument—which happens to describe the strategy behind TPO’s innovative Onboarding Productivity Measurement Toolkit. TPO’s Onboarding Toolkit is a uniquely data-driven approach to bringing on new employees that reduces their time to productivity and helps identify bad hires sooner.

Here’s how the innovation came about: TPO saw that the very basic orientation process in most small and medium-size organizations was little more than a welcome meeting—a 401(k) enrollment form and a mug with the company logo. This resulted in a very subjective and inconsistent series of outcomes after the new employees’ first 90 – 120 days. Were the organization’s expectations being met? Were the employee’s? Did anyone care to ask?

We recognized an opportunity to quantify the process at key steps along the way—to open up two-way communications, set expectations early on and ensure commitments are being met—both the employer and the new hire. This eliminates what one of our clients calls “the 90 day gotcha meeting,” in which one or both parties are shocked to hear that things aren’t going well. That’s 90 days of wasted productivity that the right Onboarding process can all but eliminate.

Kudos to Tom Monahan for (a) shining a light on the need for more organizations to recognize that effectively managing talent is often the key to solving their big challenges; and (b) his call to action for innovative approaches to using insights, data and tools to make the best decisions possible.


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