HRZone: Talent Economics – the Future of the Human Agenda

Sue Brooks, Cielo Executive Vice President, penned an article this week for online community HRZone. The editorial, Talent Economics – the Future of the Human Agenda, discusses how, although HR fully understands the need to strategically manage employees and ensure retention amidst growing voluntary turnover, communicating the business need to “organizational Boards” is still an unsolved challenge.

As Sue explains, the challenge for HR involves being able to illustrate the “the direct connection of specific initiatives to the bottom line.” The solution, Sue believes, lies in “Talent Economics,” a term coined by talent strategist and leadership coach, Gyan Nagpal.

Excerpts from the article:

While the department may be able to show some value in talent management, it is perhaps yet to provide a truly clear analysis which proves the exact return on investment. At our recent Cielo Talent Rising Summit, talent strategist and leadership coach, Gyan Nagpal suggested that the answer to this lies in what he calls “Talent Economics.”

In his book, Talent Economics: The Fine Line Between Winning and Losing the Global War for Talent, Nagpal outlines three key steps to achieving Talent Economics:

1. Deep diagnoses – the establishment of the organization’s current position in terms of talent – both internal and external – and commercial context, and then what it aims to achieve in the future.

2. Objective investment perspectives – HR must communicate clearly using numbers throughout.

3. The building of a coalition of leaders who genuinely understand talent imperatives.

It is clear that for any talent management strategy to work effectively, it must not simply be kept within the HR department, but owned by the senior management of a business. This means it must be clear, simple and communicated to company leaders in commercial terms.

The essentials of Nagpal’s talent management strategy are as follows:

1. Talent dynamics vary across companies, countries, disciplines and business units.

2. Employment drivers are changing by the day and are not always what they appear to be.

3. Skills shifts are being prompted by innovation rather than academia.

4. Talent strategies should not just be about how to attract more employees, but how to get the best commercial result out of your workforce.

5. Diagnostics need to be deep and relevant.

6. Talent management is the responsibility of senior management and not just human resources.

7. An organization’s people strategy must be constantly evolving to keep up with the business landscape.

8. Talent Economics must be as simple as possible so that leaders immediately grasp the return on investment.

The key thing for talent management professionals to communicate to their Boards is that this strategy is not just a “nice-to-have” that will be of some vague benefit in the future – it is an absolute business imperative.

For access to the full article and analysis, visit: