The Importance of Front-Line Talent Management

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Darren Ferko

Darren Ferko

Talent management is an increasingly important part of business operations, with more time and energy being dedicated to its planning and implementation. But what are the real-life benefits of talent management programs in an operational environment? Are they anything more than a “feel-good” exercise? An ever-increasing pool of data suggests not only that they are beneficial, but are linked to the ongoing success of an organization.

NCO-Talent-Management-InfographicTalent management, not unlike workforce management or financial management, is not a static practice; it is dynamic and ever-changing, requiring regular review and modification to keep pace with both the job market and current business conditions. For example, in the ARM industry, the focus for both managers and front-line representatives has shifted over the past few years from a mentality of “it’s all about collecting money” to one of treating customers with the utmost respect, showing consumer empathy, and creating an exceptional customer experience.

The talent management process, which involves ongoing assessments and adjustments to maximize results, can be an invaluable asset in helping to make such a tectonic change within an organization. Generally, the more deeply such a program is integrated into an overall operational strategy, the greater the reward. A focus on talent management forces companies to become aware of, and to assess, their workforce talent. It can also help in the identification of both current and future talent needs, allowing for better operational alignment with near- and long-term goals.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) surveyed executives in multiple countries, spanning over one dozen industries, in an effort to understand practices that improved workforce performance. The results were conclusive: the most important practice, according to the survey respondents, was a formal talent management process 1. Such processes can lead to increases in employee retention, decreases in average handle time (AHT), and a reduction in absenteeism, all of which have a significant impact on your bottom line.

The Hackett Group, a strategic advisory firm, has found a direct relationship between excellent talent management and increased business performance. Their findings show that companies with top-quartile talent management bested competitors without such programs in EBITDA, net profit margin, return on assets, and improvement on equity, all by statistically significant margins 2.

Additionally, companies with talent management processes in place are four times more likely to rank in FORTUNE Magazine’s annual “Most Admired Companies” list 3.

Talent management is not a panacea. However, a well run, well integrated and properly resourced talent management program can help you capitalize on your strengths and increase your success. What are your talent management success stories? How has (or how could) talent management help your business in 2013?

The Talent Management process can also be utilized to address the ever-changing needs of business. For example, in the collection business, customer service representative and manager talent requirements have changed from “it’s all about collecting money” to treating customers with respect, showing consumer empathy, and creating an exceptional customer experience. Through a refocused Talent Management process you can better manage that requirement.

Darren Ferko, Expert Global Solutions’ Director of Talent Management has supported organizational development and talent management for nearly 20 years, the last 8 of which have been with EGS. As Director of Talent Management, Darren assesses talent within EGS, supports the development of leaders and strategically positions them to best meet the needs of the organization.

References:

1 – “Talent Management: Driver for Organizational Success,” Nancy R. Lockwood, SPHR, GPHR, M.A., 2006 SHRM Research Quarterly, 2006

2 – “Talent Management: Buzzword or Holy Grail?” Stephen Joyce, Jean Herreman, Kel Kelly, The Hackett Group, 2007

3 – “FORTUNE Most Admired Companies,” Hay Group, 2009

 

 

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Posted in ARM insights from NCO, BPO, Collection jobs, Debt Collection, Opinion .

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