Can talent management be a target?
After ten years of experience around the world with the main Italian companies to map and evaluate the competence of their human resources, we try to explain why meritocratic management in the company is not only possible, but that the commitment of time and the organizational effort involved is money well spent.
Managing the “talent”, that is the competence and the ability to do things, is one of the objectives of any organization that wants to grow stronger and progress in its development path.Talent management means not only acquiring valid people and positioning them correctly within your organization (onboarding), but above all identifying the most competent people within your organization and enhancing them (talent recognition), so that they can transfer their skills to others and act as a point of reference.Financial recognition (talent rewarding) and creation of a career path (career management) are also fundamental tools to ensure that the best ones remain in the company and do not abandon it in search of greater recognition (talent retemption).
In small organizations this activity is usually carried out through the personal judgment of the owner or human resources manager, who knows and interacts directly with all employees.In larger organizations, however, it must necessarily be based on an organized system, which various human resources managers must share among themselves, so that the evaluation activity (talent review) is not left behind to the personal will of the bosses and, above all, that there are common criteria at the basis of the evaluations made by different evaluators.
The first time that Exagogica was involved in a major evaluation campaign was between 2013 and 2014, when the talent review system developed by us was used in the Fiat plant in Kragujevac to evaluate the approximately 3,000 workers. who had been hired the year before and which, at the end of the 12 months of probation provided for by Serbian legislation, had to be confirmed or not.To prevent the personal sympathies of their bosses from determining the contractual fate of workers, the Fiat group defined a job description with a precise description of the skills required of each production figure and asked the bosses to evaluate how much each worker reached the level of each operational competence. specifically required by his work.
The evaluations were carried out within a month and monitored closely.I remember, in the last days of the evaluation period, the “War room” of HR specialists who viewed in real time the data that flowed from the production heads and verified their completeness and reliability. It was not the first time that the Fiat group used an information system of this type to carry out an assessment of human resources.In previous years, in fact, the PD online system (People Development online) had been used by Fiat Powertrain for the workers of all Italian mechanical plants.Unlike the case of Kragujevac, however, the skills assessment process was carried out only on a part of the working population, with the aim of determining the training needs and under the aegis of Quality managers (for the purposes of ISO -TS 16949) and World Class Manufacturing (as part of the reactive activities of the first steps of the People Development pillar).
Kragujevac’s experience marked a break because, for the first time among the companies that adhered to the WCM Consortium, this type of evaluation was used not for training development purposes, but also for contractual management purposes.
Kragujevac’s experience was so positive that the Fiat group decided to extend gradually the methodology and use of Kragujevac’s system (renamed PD online on the basis of the previous experience of Powertrain) to all bodywork plants, this time under the responsibility of the HR function and no longer of the WCM team alone.
The PD online system thus first extended to the entire working population in Europe, even outside the organization of the factories and, subsequently to a large part of the employee population, also here first in Operations and then, subsequently, in almost all other sectors of the group.From 2014 onwards, the skills management and assessment software provided by Exagogica has been used in numerous manufacturing companies in talent review activities around the world, so much so that it has been translated and distributed in Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Polish, Chinese.
Our system, thanks to the ability to manage complex and multi-level job descriptions, multilingualism and the management of time series, was in fact subsequently adopted by multinational companies such as Ariston Thermo and Marelli, which made it a fundamental tool for the spread of its standard organization in the over 80 plants that the group has all over the world.
The most important use that the model provided by Exagogica has found over the years is certainly the assessment of the skills of R&D personnel. In fact, the evaluation of the engineers engaged in research and development has always posed a double problem.On the one hand, the difficulty of carrying out the assessment by objectives, normally used for Operations personnel, on an annual basis, since research programs often have different times and do not overlap with fiscal years.On the other hand, the need to carry out evaluations on competences that cannot be recognized as constitutive of a specific organizational position, but which vary according to the participation in the different working groups of which the researcher belongs.
To meet this need, in 2017 Exagogica developed an alternative approach for the definition of professional requirements in the assessment of skills, based no longer on a fixed job description, but on the expression of the fundamental skills required by team leaders for participation in a working group.This model, combined with a continuous assessment system managed on a monthly basis, has allowed the Marelli research center in Manesar to manage not only the talent review of its 600 researchers, but also the training plans for a total of over 28,000 hours per year.
The experience conducted with the Manesar research center has led to a significant strengthening of the Talent review system offered by Exagogica and its complete integration with the Training management solution.The solution provided for the Marelli group, called Skill2B, currently performs the functions of job descriptions, knowledge base, training needs analysis, development management and talent management.
Even now that Marelli has been acquired by CalsonicKansei, a Japanese group controlled by a US fund, the Skill2B system has also been adopted by the purchasing company, which has requested its localization in Japanese.
Thanks to the evolution achieved in years of employment for large global groups, “Panoptikon Talent Review” is today a solid and complete solution for the management of Talent Reviews based on skills assessment.
Alessandro Obino, CEO Exagogica
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