The War for Talent
by Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and
How Strong Is Your Talent
The Answer Will Determine Your Company's Long-Term Success
In 1997, a groundbreaking McKinsey study exposed the "war for talent" as
a strategic business challenge and a critical driver of corporate performance.
Then, when the dot-com bubble burst and the economy cooled, many assumed the
war for talent was over. It's not.
Now the authors of the original study reveal that, because of enduring economic
and social forces, the war for talent will persist for the next two decades.
McKinsey & Company consultants Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth
Axelrod argue that winning the war for leadership talent is about much more
than frenzied recruiting tactics. It's about the timeless principles of attracting,
developing, and retaining highly talented managers -- applied in bold new
ways. And it's about recognizing the strategic importance of human capital
because of the enormous value that better talent creates.
Fortified by five years of in-depth research on how companies manage leadership
talent -- including surveys of 13,000 executives at more than 120 companies
and case studies of 27 leading companies -- the authors propose a fundamentally
new approach to talent management.
They describe how to:
- Create a winning EVP (employee value proposition) that will make your
company uniquely attractive to talent
- Move beyond recruiting hype to build a long-term recruiting strategy
- Use job experiences, coaching, and mentoring to cultivate the potential
- Strengthen your talent pool by investing in A players, developing B players,
and acting decisively on C players
Central to this approach is a pervasive talent mindset -- a deep conviction
shared by leaders throughout the company that competitive advantage comes
from having better talent at all levels.
Using practical examples from companies such as GE, The Home Depot, PerkinElmer,
Amgen, and Enron, the authors outline five imperatives that every leader --
from CEO to unit manager -- must act on to build a stronger talent pool. Written
by recognized authorities on the topic, this is the definitive strategic guide
on how to win the war for talent.
Author Ed Michaels is a recently retired Director of McKinsey & Company
in Atlanta. Helen Handfield-Jones is a Senior Practice Expert with McKinsey
& Company in Toronto. Beth Axelrod is a Principal of McKinsey & Company in
War for Talent
by Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod
Published by Harvard Business School Press
See also Refresher Reviews and Recommended
Reading in The CEO Refresher Archives