Talent Frameworks – A Talent Management Panacea

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Emerging organizational development trends; upcoming new disciplines, job functions & job roles; new talent requirements driven by business dynamics & competition; & other external influences like regulatory changes require organizations to be on their toes. Across the globe, organizations are realizing the importance of Competency Frameworks to build workforce/talent in order to keep pace with the rapidly changing environment. Yet, developing a competency-based skills framework is often avoided because it is deemed too hard, too time consuming and too expensive.

In the absence of a competency framework that is benchmarked against global standards, all bets are off. For example, often good individual contributors in a function are promoted to manage that area of activity. Say, the star marketing person may be appointed marketing manager. This may seem an excellent idea to some, but it might backfire if that good performer is not adept at managing and motivating his/her colleagues. Supporting line managers with the increasing complexities of the people management roles has become a requisite for organizations to be able to grab business opportunities. This awareness needs to be backed by a well-integrated competency framework to facilitate the entire process.

Another problem that organisations face is to be able to accurately assess individual’s suitability or potential for different roles. The best way would be to use a combined assessment of knowledge, experience and competencies. Measurement of clearly defined competencies drastically reduces the probability of interviewers making hasty decisions or them assessing participants based on characteristics that are remotely connected to the job. Candidates’ assessment against specific competencies serve as a marker of their strengths and weaknesses, facilitating the identification of development areas should they be recruited/promoted. Role relevant competencies must be embedded in the structure of the selection process. This is only possible if organizations have a competency framework in place.

The IBM Kenexa Talent Frameworks is a ready-to-use skills infrastructure allowing organizations to focus on iteration and validation in aligning this to the organization, rather than developing content from ground zero. The IBM Kenexa Talent Frameworks provides an open data architecture of key data elements including: job descriptions and responsibilities, behavioral-based proficiency statements, core competencies and functional technical skills along with skill-specific Coaching Tips, SMART Goals, Interview Questions and Learning References.

A god example of this is in the real case of a leading manufacturing firm. The organization was struggling to keep up with the external changes. They realized that talent was the key driver of this change. Though they did have leadership competencies defined, the firm had not defined any technical competencies for the manufacturing and plant roles. The development gap identified was to benchmark the HR practices around a scientific talent framework.

IBM Kenexa Talent Frameworks for manufacturing industry was the viable solution to meet this specific requirement of the firm. To make the solution framework more impactful organization wide, Inspire One® / IBM offered an enablement workshop to familiarize the senior HRBP team with the functionality and applicability of the framework. This built the confidence of the team to use the framework effectively.

How did the firm benefit from IBM Kenexa Talent Frameworks?

Being able to leverage the architecture and content in the IBM Job Competency Library enabled the firm to:

  • Start immediately
  • Access the deepest, most applicable job specific competency templates available
  • Avoid having to become competency development experts
  • Demonstrate success early
  • Evolve the competency framework as the business evolves

As it did in this can Talent framework can be used to relieve organizations of the burden of drafting a competency framework & at the same time eases other processes like recruitment, career planning, effective performance management etc.In a dynamic global climate where that 90% of organizations do not feel that they have the requisite skills for the future, a solution like Talent Frameworks can help organizations with taking agile and proactive responses to change.

In a dynamic global climate where that 90% of organizations do not feel that they have the requisite skills for the future, a solution like Talent Frameworks can help organizations with taking agile and proactive responses to change.


  1. IBM Kenexa Talent Frameworks data sheet


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