Inclusive Talent Practices: A New Paradigm

For many years, companies have focused on hiring the most talented individuals they could find. This approach was known as the ‘HiPo only’ (High Potentials) talent strategy, and it was based on the idea that finding the right people was the key to success. However, research has shown that this approach is no longer effective and is not inclusive for all employees. Instead, companies need to focus on developing an inclusive talent strategy that prioritises talent and career mobility and development of a skills-based organisation. 


Why the ‘HiPo only’ talent strategy is dead


The ‘HiPo only’ talent strategy was based on the idea that finding the most talented individuals was the key to success. However, this approach has been shown to be ineffective for a number of reasons. Firstly, it can be difficult to identify the most talented individuals, and those that are identified are not necessarily a good fit for the organisation’s culture or values. Secondly, it’s more costly for organisations to hire externally than looking within their own talent pool. And finally, focusing solely on individual talent ignores the importance of team dynamics and collaboration which can impact employee engagement. 


Talent mobility and career mobility


One of the key components of an inclusive talent strategy is talent and career mobility. This means that everyone is recognised as having talent and individuals are given an opportunity to move within the organisation and take on new roles. By providing these opportunities and shifting focus towards a more learning-orientated talent strategy individuals can develop new skills, broaden their experience and take on new challenges. This approach also helps to retain and nurture top talent by providing a clear path for career growth and development. 


What happens when we get this right


When companies get their talent strategy right, they’re able to attract and retain top talent, develop a culture of innovation and collaboration, and create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. By investing in talent and career mobility, companies can create a sense of purpose and belonging for their employees leading to increased engagement and productivity. 


What happens when we get this wrong


When companies get their talent strategy wrong, they risk losing top talent, creating a toxic work environment, and limiting their ability to innovate and grow. Focusing solely on individual talent can lead to a culture of competition and individualism, which can be detrimental to team dynamics and collaboration, which ultimately impacts your employee retention. 


What HR Technology can do to support an inclusive talent strategy


HR technology can play a critical role in supporting an inclusive talent strategy. By providing tools and resources that support talent and career mobility, companies can create a more agile and responsive workforce. For example, HR technology can be used to suggest clearly defined career paths within the organisation, what skills employees need to develop at each step and what opportunities there are to use these new skills, ensuring they are ready for the next challenge. 


Why focusing on developing a ‘skills-based organisation’ is the first step in developing your talent strategy


Developing a skills-based organisation is a great start to developing an inclusive talent strategy. By focusing on skills rather than specific roles or titles, companies can create a more agile and responsive workforce. This approach also helps to break down silos and promote cross-functional collaboration. 




At Vitro we believe developing an inclusive talent strategy is an essential next step for companies for the following reasons: 


  1. Recognising everyone has their own strengths and ensuring all opportunities are open to all helps the company provide a place where talented individuals want to work.
  2. By focusing on talent and career mobility, and developing a skills-based organisation, employees gain a sense of loyalty to the company.  They are more likely to stay which reduces the risk of costly recruitment and the impact on overall productivity. 
  3. Companies are better equipped to meet the challenges of today's rapidly changing business environment with their existing, truly diverse talented workforce. 
  4. By providing a transparent talent strategy process you empower your employees to share more of their skills as they can see a direct opportunity for personal development. 


How can Vitro help? 


Vitro have supported clients with the design of their talent strategy by enabling skills profiles across their organisation. Suggested updates to data to allow the machine learning technology to map a clearly defined career pathway and updated skills tagging against learning to provide the ability to search for talent by skill, opening up a much wider discussion on talent pools and inclusive talent strategies. If you feel any of these changes would support your inclusive talent strategy, let us help.

About the author


Jenny Cornforth


Jenny is the Head of Transformation Experience for Vitro. She is also an implementation consultant in her own right, which often focuses on solutions. She is there to support clients in solving problems such as process or functionality issues. 


Jenny is also a Project Manager. This dual approach to her role allows her to remain agile and goals-focused.




By Jenny Cornforth

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