Editor’s letter: Talent wars & myths

Anyone who reckons we don’t have war for talent at the moment is buying in to an urban myth of damaging proportions. Talent management is one of the single most important challenges that business leaders face today. So with that in mind, we’re taking the unusual step of dedicating the lion’s share of the articles in this issue to this one topic. Spread throughout the magazine are articles on how to recruit, manage, motivate, lead, inspire, reward and retain the very best person for each and every job.
As HR2GO’s Julia Stones said at HRINZ conference in Wellington earlier this year, those people who look for talented individuals know the war has just been masked by the GFC. NZ Inc, she says, clearly needs to harness the skills of talented individuals to safeguard NZ on global stage.
So in this month’s cover story (“Why diversity really matters” page 28) we examine the idea that tapping in to the creative energies of all people in NZ will make material difference to our wealth and future as nation. Business has long embraced the mantra, so are we making any headway?
Yes and no, according to our research. There’s still much progress to be made in improving the fate meted out to many new migrants to Kiwiland who struggle to find work that fully utilises their skills. Women’s acceptance into boardrooms in meaningful numbers has stalled. And the “access economy”, which utilises the skills and resources of NZ’s many people with disabilities, remains largely untapped.
Our experts share their practical solutions. In “The future of talent” (page 36), for example, four business leaders explain how they manage the talent pipeline in their own organisations. And in his piece on remuneration (page 42), Strategic Pay’s Jarrod Moyle uses his firm’s latest HR metrics survey to benchmark everything from recruitment and training, to sick days, absenteeism and staff turnover.
Meanwhile (page 44), Angela Neighbours, from executive development and coaching company ilume International, talks about how transformational thinking can help executives focus on what’s truly valuable for both themselves and their organisations. It’s not for the faint-hearted, she warns.
And Marjolein Lips-Wiersma shares her insights on the meaning of work – or why we all get out of bed and bounce, rather than crawl, into work each morning. It’s the stuff that makes workplaces zing.
Finally, nailing all this stuff to personal outcomes, our professional development guide (page 48) outlines practical ways in which each and every individual can forward their own prospects and wage their very own war on talent. That should put some zing into everyone’s career.

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