Stop Solving The Wrong Talent Management Problems

Almost every organization has talent management problems that directly increase their costs or reduce revenues, whether they know it or not. Use the diagnostic below to evaluate your progress in reducing these threats to performance. It will help you answer:

  • Which of our talent-related risks poses the biggest threat to our organization’s performance objectives?

  • Does our executive team agree on what our firm’s priorities should be for closing our skills gap in the future?

  • How do we know if the organization is making progress in reducing these risks?

First, here are seven of the most common talent-related problems that directly effect your performance.

1. Bad Hires

Whether I’m speaking to executives in Michigan, Texas or Pennsylvania, the high costs of hiring mistakes are always at the top of the list.

2. Unproductive New Hires

One software company we worked with found it took 15 months for new technical consultants to become productive. With more young staff being hired into complex, knowledge-intensive roles today, the high cost of ineffective onboarding processes becomes a much more serious concern.

3. Inadequate Employee Development

One of the most frequent complaints I hear from executives is that their organization isn’t doing enough to develop the talent they need to support faster growth.

4. Unwanted Turnover

The slowing of Baby Boomer retirements since the recession means more high potential mid-careers are leaving when they see promotion opportunities blocked. In addition, losing high performing Gen-Ys is an ongoing concern in some industries.

5. Poor Performance Management

In research for our recent book The Executive Guide to High Impact Talent Management, the willingness to tolerate poor performance was surprisingly widespread, even though executives recognize its high cost for the company. “There is a financial risk in not managing poor performance, but we don’t hold people accountable for this,” said one exasperated high-tech leader.


One continually overlooked threat to organizational growth today is the incredibly thin pipeline of leadership talent. With more Boomers inevitably retiring, companies are consistently under investing in the development of the experienced leadership talent today. Competition for the shrinking pool of experienced leaders is going to be brutal in the next decade.


In complex, knowledge intensive industries like aerospace, healthcare, manufacturing and energy, the loss of key capabilities due to retirements and mid-career turnover is often a threat to performance that is going unaddressed.

How is your organization doing on these seven talent-related risks? Below is a diagnostic to use with your colleagues that can launch a discussion about:

  • Which of these problems are we facing? What is the evidence they are hurting our performance?

  • What should our priorities be?

  • What measures can we use to ensure we’re making progress to mitigate performance impacts in these areas?



How Important is This Problem
to Our Organization Today?

1- No Problem to 7 Critical to Success 

How Well Are We Doing On Addressing This Threat?

1- Very Poorly7- Well Under Control

1. Bad Hires    
  2. Unproductive New Hires- Poor Onboarding    
 3. Inadequate Employee Development    

4. Unwanted 

5. Poor Performance Management    
6. Inadequate Leadership Development    
7. Loss of Critical Knowledge