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Realigning the HR function to manage talent

Another piece of research by McKinsey demonstrates a gap between perceptions of HR and line managers about talent.

As always, the biggest gaps say the most. In this survey HR is perceived not to have the capability to develop talent strategies aligned with business objectives. I think this is a real indictment of HR.

There is an interesting difference of opinion about where responsibility for talent management should lie. My view is that this works best when it is a joint responsibility, with HR developing strategies in consultation with the needs of the business and then providing coaching and support to managers to put the strategies into practice.

Sadly views are closer about HR lacking authority/respect to influence the way people are managed. So yet again this demonstrates the declining influence of the HR function.

The interesting thing for me is why there is this gap. It may be that operational requirements limit the ability of HR teams to put in the work to focus on the more strategic elements, but the cost of this is clear.

My theory is that many HR practitioners need to be needed. This need is met by focusing on operational issues and holding managers’ hands rather than coaching them to deal with issues as and when they occur. What do you think?


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