Who owns Talent in your organization?

Who owns the talent in your organization? Who is the person responsible for making sure you have the right talent in the right seats to execute your strategy and achieve your vision?

Is it Human Resources?
Company Leader?
Leadership Team?

The answer to that question is essential for growing companies. If no one in your organization officially owns talent, how will you solve your people issues limiting your growth? (Listen to the #1 challenge growing companies face podcast)

This is a core reason why companies do not achieve their full revenue potential. They’re unable to get ahead of their people issues resulting in an overwhelming cost of talent because no one owns the responsibility.

How do I know this?

I experienced it myself. In my previous company, we developed a brilliant strategy and were creating exponential growth because of it. However, as we continued to experience people issues in supporting our growth, we realized no one owned the three distinct human resources responsibilities.

The 3 human resource responsibilities in an organization

Whether you’re a small to medium-sized business (SMB) or a 1,000+ person company, the challenge remains: someone in your organization needs to own talent. I put the talent or human resource responsibilities into three buckets.

Responsibility #1: Tactical Human Resources
This responsibility takes care of all tactical aspects of HR (e.g., compliance, employee information, benefits, handbook, attendance). Tactical HR ensures we are following all the state and federal laws regarding your employees. Every organization requires it at some level to operate legally.

Responsibility #2: Strategic Human Resources
This responsibility leads the development and execution of your talent planning processes (e.g., leadership development, team development, accurate hiring process).

When someone owns the Strategic HR responsibilities in your company, you build an employer of choice culture. Because when you have someone executing talent planning processes toward a strategic vision, you retain your employees, create a magnetic pull for top talent, and build deep bench strength.

Responsibility #3: Talent Planning
This responsibility puts a multi-year talent plan together that lays out all the talent action plans (e.g., next to hire, succession plans, development priorities) for the next three years to execute the strategy and achieve the company vision. When an organization owns this responsibility, they transform from reactive to proactive, avoiding the astronomical costs of talent issues (Listen to the Cost of Talent podcast).

When no one owns this responsibility, people issues burdened your organization, stunting growth. Unfortunately, most companies would fall under this category; reactive while executing one-off talent processes that are not coordinated through a larger Talent Plan tied to the company strategy.

The solution is to own the Talent planning responsibility to solve your people issues to accelerate growth.

Evolution of HR responsibilities as a company grows

Who owns each of the three human resources responsibilities in a company as it grows?

0-50 employees
In this size of an organization, there is typically no HR person on the team because they’re unable to afford one. So in most cases, these companies will outsource the tactical human resource responsibility.

Organizations with less than 50 employees often struggle with or do not see the need for strategic human resources and talent planning. Therefore, companies this size are often very reactive; people issues come at them versus solving them before they impact the business and limit company growth.

So, who is responsible for strategic human resources and talent planning in an organization with less than 50 employees? The company leader. Like at Stop The Vanilla, it’s me. I own the strategic HR and talent planning responsibilities and outsource the tactical HR responsibility.

Why does the leader own the strategic human resource responsibility? Because if they do not, who will? The leader is responsible for creating that employer of choice culture through talent processes like leadership or team development until the business can support adding the strategic HR role.

Why does the leader of the company own the talent planning responsibility? Because they own the strategic vision for the business with the help of others. In simple terms, where are we going? And your talent plan is tied to that strategic vision, so the leader owns the development and execution of the Talent Plan to achieve that vision.

Note: Recognize that the number of employees may vary when these changes occur based on whether you’re a manufacturer or a service company. If you’re a manufacturer, you may need a tactical HR person sooner than if you’re a service company.

50-150 employees
At this level, an organization can rationalize and afford a Tactical HR person. Hiring this person begins the creation and evolution of the HR department within the company. To excel in this role, the individual usually has a very detailed-oriented behavioral style (higher Steadiness & Compliance in DISC).

But again, who owns the Strategic HR and talent planning responsibilities in this size of organization? – the leader.

150-300+ employees
At this point, companies can now support and hire a strategic HR person. This person will take leadership on having all the talent strategies and processes in place to build an employer of choice culture. The behavioral style to excel in the strategic human resource responsibility is usually a more charismatic style (higher Dominance and Influence in DISC) – which is the opposite of the tactical HR position.

But at the end of the day, who owns Talent Planning—who is the Chief Talent Planner? The leader—who is responsible for the strategy and talent plan for their organization.

Don’t get me wrong, the strategic and tactical HR responsibilities will help with the development and execution of the talent plan. However, no matter how large your organization grows, the leader owns the talent planning responsibility in every organization. That’s usually a breakthrough learning for leaders of growing companies.

As a quick recap:

  • 0-50 people: Outsource Tactical HR, the leader owns Strategic HR and Talent Planning responsibilities
  • 50-150 people: Hire Tactical HR, the leader owns Strategic HR and Talent Planning responsibilities
  • 150-300+ people: Both Tactical and Strategic HR roles are in an organization, but the leader still owns talent planning responsibilities

The three steps to a Talent Plan

Let’s say you’re the leader and ready to own the talent planning responsibility for your organization; what’s next? In a future scoop/podcast, I will share how to complete the three simple steps to create a talent plan for your organization:

  • Develop 3-year* Strategic Vision (*we recommend 3-years, but could be 2-5 years)
  • Design 3-year Functional Organizational Structure
  • Create 3-year Talent Plan

The Single Scoop 🍨

The single scoop or main takeaway is that someone in your organization needs to own each of the three human resource responsibilities. Document and communicate who is responsible for each HR responsibility. But regardless of size, you, as the leader, own talent planning.

Always Remember, Those Who Talent Plan—PROFIT.

Join thousands of leaders and sign up for The Single Scoop

A bi-weekly email with the tips, practical steps, and processes to solve your people issues to accelerate growth through Talent Planning (in under 5 minutes).