Seventy-five percent say improving talent management processes will be a leading challenge for
boosting strategic effectiveness during that period.
The best way to solve the problem is to get ahead
of it by building a bigger and better talent pipeline.
Instead of waiting until positions are vacated or
created and then struggling to staff them, organizations need to be proactive and show some creativity. With tech industry employees staying in the
same position for an average of just 18 months,
Ms. Kassler notes, PMOs or project directors looking to fill roles can’t afford to be reactive. “If you
don’t know where your next people will come from,
you’re going to end up hurt,” she says.
The risks of a weak pipeline are significant: Inad-
equately staffed projects can lead to delays in deliv-
ery, decreased quality and extra costs. “Ensuring
that both deadlines and budget are met requires a
strong pipeline,” says Darpana Vallabh, PMP, proj-
ect manager, FirstRand Bank Ltd., Johannesburg,
South Africa. If a key practitioner on a project leaves
unexpectedly, a long delay in finding a replacement
could easily lead to problems, she says.
So what’s an organization to do? In a job seeker’s
market, out-of-the-box strategies like social media
recruiting, people analytics and individualized training can help talent-strapped organizations redesign
their pipeline—and gain the competitive edge.
FINDING THE RIGHT FIT
The first step toward a stronger talent pipeline is
attracting the right people to the organization. That
can mean wooing young go-getters before they even
hit the job market, says Päivi Castren, Helsinki,
Finland-based executive vice president of human
resources, Wärtsilä, a PMI Global Executive Council member. “We have used a trainee program to
recruit fresh graduates to the company from business schools and technical universities,” she says.
These career starters complete a yearlong program
during which they work in different project areas
across the company. At least one of the rotations
must be abroad. “More than 90 percent of these
young professionals still work in our company,” Ms.
Recruiting isn’t just about finding young talent,
of course. It can be even harder for organizations
to pull in experienced practitioners to immediately
manage major projects. “We’re in the market to
hire some senior-level project managers right now,
and I’ve had recruiters tell me it’s the toughest
position they’ve ever had to recruit for,” says David
Roy, Houston, Texas, USA-based vice president of
project delivery, Columbia Pipeline Group, a unit
of NiSource Inc., a PMI Global Executive Council
member. “The supply doesn’t meet the demand,
particularly in the energy industry.”
“If you don’t know where your
Reviews and Revisions
next people will come from,
you’re going to end up hurt.”
—Amanda Kassler, PMP, Security Service Federal Credit
Union, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Organizations re-appraise talent management strategies as a whole in
light of corporate strategic requirements, but how often they do so varies.
Source: Rally the Talent to Win: Transforming Strategy into Reality, an
Economist Intelligence Unit research program sponsored by PMI, 2014
every six months or
on an ongoing basis