Hiring internally is a cost and time-effective way to recruit, yet many companies fail to move employees through the organization. We spoke with Brandon Curry, director of global talent management at Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation, about the approach his company has begun utilizing to make career succession and development planning more integrated with business management, rather than a stand-alone HR task. As a result, the company has seen more internal hires and a greater focus on developing employees to follow their ideal career path. Here, Curry shares his insights on how the company changed its talent processes and several tips for companies looking to do the same.
How does your company approach talent reviews?
We’ve adopted leadership team-based reviews, so the decisions that are made become the leadership team’s decision. Our bottom up approach drives a level of ownership, accountability and visibility to an individual manager’s peers and their manager around how are they doing at managing their talent.
Many organizations identify succession candidates solely based on managers’ ratings of employees’ performance and some competencies identified as HR’s criteria. In these cases, the leaders may have some confidence in the criteria because they trust the criteria concepts, but if it’s not a team decision, then they don’t necessarily all feel accountable for the decision. What we’re trying to do is bring the best of both perspectives together, where we have strong criteria and a strong process that engages the leadership teams. The goal is to ensure that when people are broadened to new roles and are onboarded into the organization, that they have support from their peers and their leader for continued development. The process also brings out quality developmental feedback on how individuals are impacting the organization and reveals areas where we lack the bench-strength desired to execute and grow in the future.
What was the process like before it became team-driven?
In the past it wasn’t nearly as inclusive. Previously, leaders from the top two levels of the organization prepared a succession report as an HR process, and each business or functional leader reviewed it with the CEO, HR leader and me. There wasn’t much visibility on who were the key talents across groups and we lacked the diverse perspectives and options for how to deploy talent. As a result of that, it reinforced silos, and we didn’t have many cross-moves for development purposes.
What results have you seen from the new succession planning process?
We now have a broader talent pool, and the talent in the organization sees more opportunity because they see more people moving across the organization. We’re able to identify better leads internally before we look outside. When a position becomes open in the organization, employees are able to search for opportunities in the system. We also receive requests from hiring managers and HR Managers to search internally such as, "We have this number of candidates identified as successors, who else do you have in mind?" We’re able to go into the system and do searches based on career preferences — who has identified that role as their next logical position and, based on succession plans, who is ready to move into that role.
We’re also seeing improved development planning because of increased visibility. If an employee has a development gap for a planned career change, it’s much more visible now because we have this series of discussions during which managers have to present this information to their peers and their manager.
Talent Management is clearly a priority for our leaders as they have a growing demand for resources to operate and grow their businesses. As the process becomes more socialized within the organization, it will become more of a cultural element and less of a tool. Succession planning and talent management is now considered a legitimate business conversation.
What advice do you have for companies that are having trouble making talent management part of the business discussion?
Start with the end in mind and think about basic objectives. At Federal-Mogul, we want critical positions to be filled internally and that drives a lot of our development action. Too often, in the past, we identified a need too late with not enough time to develop an internal candidate, requiring us to hire someone from the outside. This can cause resentment from employees who are not developed and given the opportunity and, ultimately, may leave the company. That’s a major objective of our process: that we’re good stewards of our talent.
Another piece of advice is to keep it simple. We have made leadership team-based reviews a recurring event on the calendar, so it’s integrated with our business process of budgeting, business planning and quarterly reviews.
Finally, make your leaders the owners. We enable line managers to take ownership, accountable for doing the work and presenting it, and human resources is supportive by providing them counsel, tools and resources. Previously, HR performed this function for or to the organization; now business leaders own it and HR facilitates this process.
Brandon will be one of the featured client speakers at next month’s Converge Live Minneapolis, scheduled for Tuesday, September 10 at the W Minneapolis – The Foshay. Hosted by Cornerstone, these complimentary, one-day events provide a valuable opportunity for learning and HR executives to network with peers in the region and gain inspiration for fostering a work environment where employees have the resources to grow, develop and perform at their very best. To register, go here.
Want to keep learning? Explore our products, customer stories, and the latest industry insights.
Talent Mobility: The Best Candidate for Your Job Opening Already Works for You
We’ve heard all about it for several years now: the world of work has changed. In the coming decade, Baby Boomers will retire and the much-ballyhooed millennials will make up the majority of the workforce.
Ten Ways to Improve Your Internal Mobility Programs
Attracting talent is challenging, and once you have brought an ideal candidate on board, the last thing you want is for them to leave.
3 Benefits of internal career mobility
Bringing in fresh, new talent every so often is important, but the next time you need to fill an open position at your organization, consider looking internally—it will pay off. Filling open positions with internal candidates via internal career mobility not only saves employers money (job listings are pricey, as is lost productivity), but also shaves time off of new hire onboarding and involves less variability. Internal career mobility can also go a long way in giving current employees the opportunity to grow and move into new roles, whether laterally or upward, because the promise of mobility incentivizes workers to commit to learning and personal development opportunities. Overall, internal career mobility is a win-win for companies and their workers because: