Sunday, July 29, 2007

Managing Internal talent

Career planning and talent management in organizations are subject to various challenges today. Organizations may not always be able to attract and develop talent internally; especially it’s difficult to keep pace with the kind of growth organizations have seen in the last decade. At times home grown talent is often over looked in favour of outside talent in the name of fresh blood and out of box approach. This often leads to unhappy senior and middle management as they feel left out due to the fact that they have grown internally. Interestingly Jerry Yang co-founder of Yahoo who has recently taken over as the CEO faces this challenge as well.

"Being an insider is comforting to the organization as current employees see one of their own in charge," says Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli. "Insiders also know a lot, especially about the culture of the organization and what is important to preserve. Founders, in particular, have an advantage in that they remind employees of what were, in Yahoo's case, more glorious days."

Experts at Wharton say that Yang's biggest priorities should be boosting employee morale and finding key insiders to promote into leadership roles. Yang has said that recruiting talent -- internally or externally-- is one of his biggest goals. Yang should play to his strengths, including his knowledge of Yahoo's inner workings. Since Yang already knows the internal landscape, he's in the best position to identify future leaders from within. Wharton management professor Keith Weigelt agrees. "I would look for talent internally first rather than recruiting it," he says. "If you look externally first, people inside wonder, 'What's wrong with our people?' He has to mine Yahoo and then find the most talented employees."
Sometimes in the hurry to quick fix a problem organizations end up hiring outsiders hoping they will start afresh and bring a new perspective and fix deep rooted cultural issues which the organization has developed over the years. When organizations face crisis employees need some familiar face which represents the culture and values, it’s a kind of reassurance to them which helps to keep motivated and positive.Crisis situations demands a deeper understanding of the softer issues and a historical perspective of organisation ability to respond to challenges ensures that the decision maker is aware and appreciates the rationale for decisions taken, which may appear strange to external stakeholders but are made keeping in mind the organizational culture and dynamics .

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