It is time to take a critical look at your talent and start asking the tough questions. Is the talent that you have today ready to meet your business needs of tomorrow? It is not an easy question and it is fairly subjective, but you have to do it. Most importantly, you have to do it with partnership from the business. A full scale talent assessment requires that you spend some time conducting a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis in conjunction with the business. This creates alignment with your business and its strategic direction.
From this analysis, you should learn the overall direction of your company, its market and your competitive set. You will also be able to build out a plan for what the critical skill sets are that will help your company stay competitive in that space. Once you have this in hand, it is time to start looking at the talent and the skills that are internal to your organization. If there is misalignment you will have some heavy, but vital, work in front of you.
A surface scan of your talent can give you a general idea of what your perceived internal knowledge, skills, and abilities gaps are. But the challenge that most organizations face, when it comes to talent management, is that our systems and the data that we have on our employees are incorrect, or incomplete. We may know what roles they have held since working with us, and from that we can make assumptions about their skill sets, but that picture is not always complete. Most organizations I have worked with did not have a clear view into what their employees have done prior to coming into the current organization.
This leaves a big gap, and potentially leaves us stuck in the middle between whether to hire from outside, or instead, looking for skills that are right in front of us within our organization. To prevent this from happening, consider building an internal skills database that allows you to see more clearly into what other skills your employees possess. It is our responsibility to overturn those rocks to search high and low. We owe it to our employees and to the organization. You never know what you may find, you may be pleasantly surprised.