, as defined by Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod, is shorthand for a key employee who possesses "a sharp strategic mind, leadership ability, communications skills, the ability to attract and inspire people, entrepreneurial instincts, functional skills, and the ability to deliver results." It's also, they contend in The War for Talent
, an overarching personnel characteristic that companies of all kinds will require throughout their organizations in order to survive the competitive recruiting era that we appear to be entering. Michaels, Handfield-Jones, and Axelrod, authors of a 1997 McKinsey Quarterly article that uncovered a definitive connection between top performers and superior corporate achievement, spent the intervening years studying 13,000 executives in 27 companies to identify the programs and behaviors that help today's foremost firms attract and retain the best kinds of employees. The authors outline five common "imperatives" that they found these companies employed to strengthen their talent pools ("Embrace a Talent Mindset," "Craft a Winning Employee Value Proposition," "Rebuild Your Recruiting Strategy," "Weave Development into Your Organization," and "Differentiate and Affirm Your People") and construct a practical framework for making it happen in your company. --Howard Rothman
From Publishers Weekly
The consulting firm McKinsey & Co. coined the phrase "War for Talent" several years ago when its surveys revealed a diminishing talent pool. The basic McKinsey principle asserts that employers must adopt innovative recruitment techniques, and the authors offer many examples from companies like the Limited, Enron and Amgen. Among their suggestions: offer mentoring programs; encourage employees to switch departments; and with senior hires, look for "leadership style and values" consistent with "the company's culture." Employers will find this book useful if somewhat dry. McKinsey's name along with extensive publicity will help initial sales, but the boilerplate content may not maintain them.
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