Jan: Welcome to a third podcast in our Perfect Match series on talent management with Ans de Vos who has been talking already in the first podcast about career inertia and why people are sometimes reluctant to change jobs. In the second one, we talked more about the developmental approach, (rather) than a skills-based approach for career management and organisation.
Ans: Thank you.
Jan: Talking more about talent management and maybe straightaway a statement. When it comes to talent management, it's crucial to recognise that all HR functions, from attracting to onboarding, are interconnected and should be viewed as integral pieces of a greater talent ecosystem.
What are your thoughts?
Ans: I think that the more that as HR you have the opportunity to optimise the capacity of what you do in different functional domains, through technology or just by scale effects or just greater expertise on what an optimal onboarding track is or whatever… The more the danger also exists that you start optimising each subcomponent, but that you suboptimise the total impact that you create upon people. Because you might lose track of how the different parts of the system are interconnected.
Jan: So, we're drawing back to the idea like we have to look at the entire lifecycle and focus the processes on that, instead of trying to optimise the subprocesses from hired to retired, let's call it that. So, I would imagine that it means that we have to connect better. If we do the recruitment process right, if we do the onboarding right, we can optimise that, we can use ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems), whatever. We should not forget to connect with our career management processes, our culture on those developmental processes.
That’s what you're saying?
Ans: For me, the psychological contract is still the guiding idea behind all this. Asking ourselves what is the kind of employment relationship that we want to engage in with people? And how consistently are we turning that into practice through the different HR functional domains that we have in our organisation and how we shape those.
Jan: If you talk about psychological contract, it's not that HR, in particular, is owner of the psychological contract. I would imagine that leadership, management, first line management, is very much in charge of that and making that happen.
Ans: Definitely. And I think there it will be important to ensure that from an HR perspective, you not only pay attention to the interconnection between the different steps in the employee lifecycle and everything you offer there, but you also focus on getting the line manager on board into this whole process.
Bowen and Ostroff called this already quite a while ago the HR system strength. When you have a strong HR system that really succeeds in having people behaving in a way that is in line with, as an organisation, what you expect is needed for successful performance in the job, but also that reflects the organisational culture. Then you really need HR practices that are distinct, that set themselves apart, and that are relevant for the company and the kind of business that you're in. But you also need a system where there is consistency, where what you promised in the recruitment campaign is also reflective of how people experience that in a day-to-day basis. And you need consensus, to have important people in the organisation signalling the psychological contract to people. What does it really mean to work here? You need consensus. And there I see indeed that for line managers to be on the same page as what HR intends to have in place is not always so obvious.
Jan: I also think that in addition to that, it's a huge challenge for people in first line management. Once they've found this particular person that wants to work for them, has been doing a great job, it's particularly hard to let them go again. And that is also part of the psychological contract, that people move through the organisation.
Thank you so much for this third podcast in our series. I'm looking forward to the next one. Thank you, Ans.
Ans: Thank you.