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Retaining talent in a global knowledge culture

Børsen | susanne tholstrup | 3 november 2016

PA’s Frank Madsen, a talent management expert, is quoted in an article in Børsen about MBAs and the role they play when it comes to retaining talent. According to Frank, MBAs have lost their significance, compared to earlier, and been replaced by new forms of learning methods.

Frank says: “At PA, we are well aware that many of our talented people are only on loan. Many of them are a kind of nomad with an extensive network on social media, and they may not stay long in one working place. I believe this is a widespread phenomenon in knowledge-based companies, so we need to ensure we are visible in the social media landscape and have a strong global mindset.”

According to Frank, companies can no longer afford to spend years and years making new colleagues efficient. Therefore, other measures must be taken: “We make sure to inform our new colleagues about PA’s two important missions: we help companies get better at what they do, and our colleagues get the fastest accelerating personal and professional development. But we realise that our colleagues are different, which is why we discuss with our new joiners what we can do to optimise their new career at PA. They get a mentor, who ensures a good start, and we introduce our new talent to our global, virtual academy that provides them with new knowledge and training.”

Frank adds that the entire concept of learning is changing within some of the largest clients that PA works for. Old-school learning methods are replaced with knowledge search within social networks: “The most importance competence is the ability to navigate within a global knowledge culture – you no longer need to have all the answers yourself,” says Frank.

Frank believes that the concept of loyalty among new talents has changed, meaning that companies need to be prepared to let their talents go sooner than expected: “Younger talent is loyal to their network, and that’s why we have redefined our concept of loyalty. We know that some colleagues may leave us sooner than expected, but they may also return to us.”

Frank believes that this new approach to talent management has had an impact of the significant growth of PA in Denmark, with the hiring of 41 new consultants and growth in turnover of 31 per cent.

Frank concludes: “We have succeeded in creating a future scenario that attracts the talents who want to accelerate their development.”

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