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The Tangible Traits That Talent Managers Need

Dec 13, 2018
The Tangible Traits That Talent Managers Need

An organization is only as good as its people. As with all things that imply the words “strategic” and “leadership”, Talent Management necessitates certain individual traits to stand out.

Talent Management is an art. Considering the current “War for Talent”, you effectively have the Art of War on your hands. As with Sun Tzu’s seminal work, the emphasis is as important on the traits of the general as it is on the enemy. Here’s a look at the most important qualities that the modern strategic Talent Manager needs to visibly demonstrate in their organizations, even as digital disruption takes organizational talent management across newer frontiers. Amalgamated, they comprise the Talent Management Competency Model.

Self-Awareness – Knowing yourself and your enemy may sound cliché, but it is surprising how often this perspective gets buried in the middle of daily operations. Given the myriad situations that the Talent Manager has to deal with, recognizing one’s strength, weaknesses, capabilities and shortcomings can be difficult, but is the first step towards actively overcoming said shortcomings and enhancing capabilities.

Accountability Thinking – The foundation for Talent Management is strategic development of the workforce with growth and productivity targets. One of the most important elements of modern Talent Management is collaboration with leadership and keeping a competitive advantage. At the heart of it is the Accountability Thinking trait, which means that Talent Managers need to think of critical performance metrics and competitive advantages the same way as that of the CEO, just from a people perspective.

Resilience – The odds talent managers face as strategic design thinkers for the organization in all of their multifarious functions are incredible. Resilience in the face of adversity is a necessary trait for success.

Ability to Understand Dynamics – Evolution and disruptions are probably the only two constants in the modern enterprise. The ability to understand dynamics is a vital trait for the talent manager if they are to succeed. This extends to extra-organizational dynamics as well, like talent pools, competitive benchmarks and technologies.

Assertiveness and Compassion– Assertiveness and compassion are two pillars of interpersonal skills for the modern talent manager. Since the advent of automation and intelligent enterprise technologies, there has been a slow but steady shift of talent managers moving towards human interaction and negotiations. Being assertive towards their objectives is vital for success while at the same time, they need to maintain a delicate balancing act between being a pushover and a policy enforcer. Dealing with workplace dynamics like distributed workforces and millennial managers necessitates the need to listen and empathize.

Teach Others To Lead – In the age of digital transformation and automation, modern Talent Management requires the capability to create a success story, and then replicate it by establishing the traits, culture and skills in others. Growth is exponential; productivity is exceptional; ROI is multiplied. Need we say more?

Being a successful talent manager in the modern enterprise is difficult, especially for those who are looking to optimize and enhance their performance metrics. With the back to basics approach that people practices seem to be heading towards in the immediate and near future, traits and individual qualities will gain center stage in the career path of the people practices manager. The holistic approach to the entire business function of talent management has proven its worth to industry leaders who have paved the way for newer and more effective practices of talent management in a world where the next big disruption in human resources and talent management is always just around the corner. Welcome to the era where the importance of the development and validation of skills cannot be overstated.

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