Corporate Boards’ involvement in Talent Management
Highly influential Boards such as those at GE and Google have always kept talent development in mind when looking at long-term strategy. The Boards of these companies have relevant expertise, but most importantly they have access to several key line managers (the succession pipeline) who provide the raw data needed to construct a long-term strategy. HireLabs study of a recent McKinsey survey has revealed a few very interesting facts about how more and more Boards are actively pushing for greater involvement in talent development.
Of 586 corporate directors of Fortune 1000 companies surveyed, they indicated that they spend only 11% of their time on Talent Management. Furthermore the survey also indicated that more half of those surveyed want a increased involvement in Talent Management. This is not surprising as noted by a HireLabs study on the psychology of a member of the Board, which discovered that an individual who accepts a seat in the Board wants to use their experience to shape the company. “I accepted a seat at the Board so that I can influence the management to become an industry leader” states a Board member at an oil company.”
Of the little time that Boards spend on Talent Management, a majority of it goes towards determining compensation and reward structures, but this is not why they accepted their position. The survey indicated Board members want to focus on developing leadership and succession pipeline. The most effective way to ensure that a valuable pipeline is to control quality of the new recruits. But the question that arises is: how do you do quality control of new recruits?
The quality of talent can be controlled by refining the existing selection and recruitment process. Boards who are taking Talent Management seriously should consider the use of Talent Assessment tools as a part of the recruitment process. Once the company has identified a long-term strategy, the company can assess the existing talent pipeline and see if they have the talent needed to fulfill the long-term strategy. Once the company knows what is missing, they can simply hire/acquire it.
Seasoned Board members subscribe to the philosophy that a company is only as good as its talent. Those Board members who want to influence the growth trajectory of their companies should encourage the use of Talent Assessment tools as a means of solidify their succession pipeline.