Friday, September 23, 2011

Talent Management?

Okay, so I'm from the entertainment industry. Well, not so much lately but I used to be. And when I hear the term "Talent Management," I either think of someone who's a manager for an actor or a singer or a band, or I think of what I used to do as an animation director, and what I still do as a director in community theater.

But there's another definition of talent management out there at the moment, and in my opinion (which is something I get to express here), it does not bode well for the employment situation, either for job seeker or for potential employers.

I just applied for a position in a nursing care company that has a facility near me, for an activities assistant. Now, this is nothing I have actual experience at, but I do have what people in the Employment Security office like to refer to as "transferable skills." As a director I've had to be outgoing and patient. I've spent a lot of time with elderly people in my own family and at the theater. And I have a solid experience entertaining people and helping others attain their best potential. Maybe not a perfect fit, but worth a try.

But I never get the chance to tell anyone about my transferable skills because the online application has no place for a cover letter. So I get no chance to tell them what I might be able to offer them that doesn't show in my work history. And they miss out on the chance to maybe have someone with a very special and useful background join their organization.

And all of this is managed by an outside company. The Talent Management Systems division of a major job-search company.

But by outsourcing the hiring and management of employees, these companies further distance themselves from the people who actually make their companies work. Yes, we as job seekers lose. But so do the employers.

Look, Human Resources people and corporate managers, we are more than our resumes, and more than the fill-in-the-blanks online applications you force us to use. Continue this process long enough, and you have doomed your company to a staff of qualified, but mundane, people. When you hire curricula vitae via computer, you make yourself middle-of-the-road.

And middle-of-the-road in business will someday mean obsolete.

Just think on that for awhile.

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