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CEOs 'disillusioned' about talent

calum di lieto | recruitment grapevine | 21 september 2015

According to PA Consulting’s The Future is Fluid, 66% of CEOs believe that all or most employees will be defined as ‘talent’ in the future. 

However, Lesley Uren, Talent Practice Head at the consultancy firm, believes this shouldn’t be the case. She says that talent has gone from being defined as an organisation’s future leaders to being defined as everyone – and neither are correct.

Speaking exclusively to Executive Grapevine she says: “Talent isn’t necessarily your high-potential future leaders. I know a lot of organisations take this approach, that it’s the top 250, but actually what you need to do as an organisation is really understand the source of competitive advantage. Therefore you need to understand who the people are that will generate the most value for you as an organisation.

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“My suspicion is that Chief Executives have started to say ‘talent is everybody’ because they’ve been disillusioned about this focus on future leaders. But they haven’t made the jump to actually needing to segment and to decide who it is that creates the greatest value. So their response is: Well if it’s not just future leaders, it must be everybody.”

But Uren argues that “you can’t invest equally in everybody. You don’t have the capacity, the money or the time.” And so she believes that when it comes to nurturing talent “it’s all about differentiation. It’s all about looking at people who are going to create the greatest value for you in the market place,” and then investing “disproportionally” while ensuring that the base level of care and nurturing is there for all employees.

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