Summary of Misplaced Talent

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Seasoned consultant Joe Ungemah provides a concise, practical guide to modern talent management. As he covers recruiting, “employer branding,” competencies, capabilities, engagement, learning, change management, succession planning, performance and metrics, an integrated, holistic model of people management emerges. And, he explains why workforce initiatives often fail. Some of Ungemah’s data sources seem dated, but his refreshing emphasis on building and maintaining healthy, balanced relationships between employers and employees – as opposed to a single-minded focus on results and revenue – is rare and useful. getAbstract recommends his insights to CEOs, HR professionals, entrepreneurs managing start-ups, and anyone who makes people-related decisions or who advises on talent management.

About the Author

Joe Ungemah, a former Corporate Executive Board consultant and registered psychologist, consults for organizations in his role as director of talent management at Towers Watson.



“Healthy Employment Relationships”

Many organizations fail to build healthy employee relationships. They focus on short-term financial and performance goals, and neglect talent management. This results in “misplaced talent” – good people get stuck in the wrong jobs and the wrong people get leadership jobs. “Practitioners” – that is “anyone who makes or influences decisions about employees” – must strive to implement best practices, the right technologies, and data-driven decision-making and systems to bring talent management to bear on the core of their organization’s business and to drive better relationships between organizations and their employees.


Frameworks and taxonomies provide a common language for talent management, and enable fair, consistent decisions. Begin building frameworks by using “job analysis” – examining each position in the organization. Interview and observe employees at work and document the “five key ingredients” of each job: what incumbents do; what high performers do differently; core job skills; the necessary experience; and what drives people to do the work. Or, create a company “competency framework” you can plug ...

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