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Talent management is crucial and, when effectively done, enables a company to achieve its strategy and realize its full value. One of the most visible failures and difficult components of talent management is something supply management professionals understand well - balancing supply and demand. On one side, having too many employees eventually leads to layoffs and restructurings, resulting in low morale, a loss of trust and, sometimes, reputational damage. Conversely, having too little talent or not employing people with the necessary skills prohibits companies from achieving their mission and increasing their competitive advantage through innovation and creativity. These mismatches are among the biggest challenges that employers face. Over the past generation, many employers have lurched from surpluses of talent, to shortfalls and back again. Something is wrong with this picture.
Most employers, especially in the United States, are not effectively anticipating talent needs or developing plans to address talent management. Instead, they rely on outside hiring. The second most typical strategy, common among the oldest companies, relies on complex bureaucratic models from the 1950s, when business was highly predictable. These models fail now because they are inaccurate, unresponsive, inflexible and costly in the face of uncertainty.
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