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INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS TALENT MANAGEMENT ? Talent Management, as the name itself suggests is managing the ability, competency and power of employees within an organization. The concept is not restricted to recruiting the right candidate at the right time but it extends to exploring the hidden and unusual qualities of your employees and developing and nurturing them to get the desired results. Hiring the best talent from the industry may be a big concern for the organizations today but retaining them and most importantly, transitioning them according to the culture of the organization and getting the best out of them is a much bigger concern. Talent Management in organizations is not just limited to attracting the best people from the industry but it is a continuous process that involves sourcing, hiring, developing, retaining and promoting them while meeting the organizations requirements simultaneously. For instance, if an organization wants the best talent of its competitor to work with it, it needs to attract that person and offer him something that is far beyond his imagination to come and join and then stick to the organization. Only hiring him does not solve the purpose but getting the things done from him is the main task. Therefore, it can be said that talent management is a full-fledged process that not only controls the entry of an employee but also his or her exit. We all know that its people who take the organization to the next level. To achieve success in business, the most important thing is to recognize the talent that can accompany you in achieving your goal. Attracting them to work for you and strategically fitting them at a right place in your organization is the next step. It is to be remembered that placing a candidate at a wrong place can multiply your problems regardless of the qualifications, skills, abilities and competency of that person. How brilliant he or she may be, but placing them at a wrong place defeats your sole purpose. The process of talent management is incomplete if youre unable to fit the best talent of the industry at the place where he or she should be. Some organizations may find the whole process very unethical especially who are at the giving end (who loses their high-worth employee). But in this cut-throat competition where survival is a big question mark, the whole concept sounds fair. Every organization requires the best talent to survive and remain ahead in competition. Talent is the most important factor that drives an organization and takes it to a higher level, and therefore, can not be compromised at all. It wont be exaggerating saying talent management as a never-ending war for talent!

TALENT CHALLENGES
1. Attracting and retaining enough employees at all levels to meet the needs of organic and inorganic growth. 2. Creating a value proposition that appeals to multiple generations. With four generations in today's workplace, most companies are struggling to create an employee experience that appeals to individuals with diverse needs, preferences and assumptions. 3. Developing a robust leadership pipeline. One of the biggest potential threats to many corporations is a lack of a robust talent pool from which to select future leaders. 4. Hiring people for global leadership. It's relatively straightforward to identify and assess experts in specific functional or technical arenas, but much more difficult to determine whether those individuals have the people skills, leadership capabilities, business breadth, and global diversity sensibilities required for the nature of leadership today. Increasingly, the challenge of developing these broader skill sets falls to the corporations. 5. Transferring key knowledge and relationships. The looming retirement of a significant portion of the workforce challenges all companies, but particularly those who are dependant on the strength of tacit knowledge. 6. Stemming the exodus of Gen X'ers from corporate life. A big threat in many firms today is the exodus of mid-career talentpeople in whom the organization has invested heavily and in whom it has pinned it hopes for future leadership. 7. Redesigning talent management practices to attract and retain Gen Y's. The challenge of calibrating talent management practices and programs to attract and engage our young entrants is critically important to all firms and particularly so for firms that depend on a strong flow of top talent. 8. Creating a workplace that is open to Boomers in their "second careers." Age prejudice still exists, but smart companies are looking for ways to incorporate the talents of Boomers and even older workers in the workforce. In many cases, this requires rethinking roles and work relationships.

9. Enlisting executives who don't appreciate the challenge. Many talent executives complain that business leaders still believe that people are lined up outside the door because of the power of the company's brand. The challenge of enlisting the support of all executives for the transition from a talent culture that has traditionally operated with a "buy" strategy to one that places more emphasis on "build" is widely shared.

IMPORTANCE OF TALENT MANAGEMENT


The reality for many business today is that a large majority of its key executives will probably retire in the next 5-10 years. While this may not have been an issues 10 or 15 years ago, pressure have been such that businesses have had to reorganise and resize themselves to a point where the talent pool that would have been ready to step up into key roles are either not ready or not there. To address this issue, companies need to integrate their talent and succession planning with their strategic business plans and view talent management as a long-term, continuous process. Following proposals are suggested :1. Think strategically. Talent management requires a strategic perspective. What are the things that might impact your organisation in the future? Will it grow and acquire other businesses, or is the market shrinking and therefore a different leadership approach may be needed? What type of managers and business leaders will be needed in the future? 2. Understand key roles. Which functions and roles in the organisation drive the majority of the businesss value? Think broadly, and not just about traditional leadership roles, specialist technical roles such as product development may be as equally important. Once this is complete it is a straightforward task to examine the age profiles of those currently in the key roles. How many of these could retire in the next 5-10 years? How many of these roles have ready now successors? 3. Identify the requirements of the key roles. Effective talent management requires clarity on technical and behavioural requirements for the roles as well as specific experience, such as international or specific market experience. All key roles should have the necessary components and characteristics for superior performance clearly defined. These requirements can then be used as a basis to assess people, either internally via a promotion or externally via recruitment. 4. Understand who your talent is. Use assessment centres to identify talent internally.

5. Agree your succession strategy. Once the organisation knows who is likely to retire, and who the potential talent is, objective decisions can be made about how the key roles will be filled in the future. Does the business need to actively recruit and bring in new blood or can all the key roles be filled from within? Should the strategy be a balance of recruiting externally as well as promoting internally? 6. Define career paths for internal promotions Once your succession strategy is clear, establishing career paths and the ability to describe the requirements for pursuing the path becomes easier. Creating effective career paths requires two components, knowing the requirements for the next level and creating clear plan of how to gain the necessary skills, behaviours and experience. 7. Link talent management with performance management. Talent management and succession planning should become a part of the organisations performance management and career development processes. Regular performance discussions are important to collect evidence of how potential successors have performed. In addition, the discussions also provide the opportunity for managers to coach talent to ensure ongoing development and readiness. 8. Provide ongoing development. Managers need to support the ongoing development of their talent to ensure that make the necessary progress. 9. Monitor readiness and prepare a succession plan. Senior managers should meet at least annually to initially agree who the potential successors are for the key roles and to subsequently monitor their progress. Who is ready now to move to their next role? Is their evidence to suggest that any of the successors will not make the grade? If not what needs to be done? 10. Ensure ownership . Succession planning needs to be owned by line managers and needs to be actively led by the Chief Executive or owner of the business for it to be successful.

APPLE INC.
Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products are the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Its software includes the OS X and iOS operating system; the iTunes media browser; and the iLife and iWork creativity and production suites. Apple is the world's third-largest mobile phone maker after Samsung and Nokia. Established on April 1, 1976 in Cupertino, California, and incorporated January 3, 1977, the company was named Apple Computer, Inc. for its first 30 years. The word "Computer" was removed from its name on January 9, 2007, as its traditional focus on personal computers shifted towards consumer electronics. Fortune magazine named Apple the most admired company in the United States in 2008, and in the world from 2008 to 2012. However, the company has received widespread criticism for its contractors' labor practices, and for Apple's own environmental and business practices. As of July 2011, Apple has 364 retail stores in thirteen countries as well as an online store, Apple Store. It is the largest publicly traded company in the world by market capitalization. The company is the largest technology company in the world by revenue and profit, more than Google and Microsoft combined. As of September 24, 2011, the company had 60,400 permanent full-time employees and 2,900 temporary full-time employees worldwide; its worldwide annual revenue in 2010 totalled $65 billion, growing to $108 billion in 2011. On August 20, 2012, Apple surpassed Microsoft to become the largest public company in history by market capitalization, in nominal terms.

TALENT MANAGEMENT IN APPLE INC.


Apple became the most valuable corporation in the world based on market capitalization, surpassing every firm in the technology industry and every other industry! As a consumer products company, its prolonged growth spurt is even more amazing because it has continued through economic times when consumers are reluctant to spend what little they have. Considering that Apple was near bankruptcy in 1997, its story is both extraordinary and noteworthy. The extraordinary valuation is not a result of 30+ years of stellar performance. Apple has failed at many things. Its success isnt the result of access to special equipment, manufacturing capability, or a great location, but rather superior leadership, access to great talent, and unusual talent management approaches. Almost everyone in business is aware of Apples amazing product success and the extraordinary leadership of Steve Jobs. Some authors have described the firms approach to HR, but few have analyzed the firm close enough to identify why the approaches work. Interviews with HR leaders convince that there are lessons to be learned from this company. After researching and analyzing Apples approach to talent management, here is a list of the key differentiators.

AGILITY ALLOWS FOR INNOVATION INTO COMPLETELY NEW AREAS


Many firms develop the capability to dominate their industry. Procter & Gamble, Intel, and Toyota are excellent examples. Apple is in a different league, however, because it has demonstrated the ability to shift into and dominate completely new industries every few years. For most of its history, Apple was a computer company (and its name used to be Apple Computer), but in the last decade Apple tackled the music industry with the iPod device and iTunes distribution channel. Next Apple conquered and dominated the smartphone industry with the iPhone and App Store. Most recently Apple challenged the PC as we know it and is in the process of disrupting the publishing industry. This ability to successfully shift from one industry to another in a few short years is known as agility. Even wildly successful firms like Google, Facebook, Toyota, or Procter & Gamble cannot come close to matching Apples agility track record. A great deal of Apples agility comes from the direction and vision of its senior leadership and its corporate culture, which reinforces the need to get ready for the next big thing. While Apple looks for agility in talent, the real key to Apples agility occurs post onboarding. At Apple, there is a cultural expectation that after succeeding in one task, you will immediately move on to something completely different. You know that you will have to retool and learn quickly. The expectation of radical change eliminates resistance and sends a message that employees cant

rest on their laurels. That means that they must mentally prepare for (and even look forward to) the next extraordinary challenge, even though you will get almost no career path help in determining which is the next best challenge for you. Apple employees work in numerous disconnected team silos, competing against one another with little or no foresight into the purpose or intended use date of their work. The rapidly shifting work load means than an employee bored with their work wont be for long because the work and the focus will change, a major attraction factor that brings in recruits desiring the challenge of radical change. Looking at the big picture, Apples ability to move into and dominate completely unrelated industries is only possible because of its extraordinary talent, the way that it manages it, and its approach to building an image that attracts the new skills needed to successfully move into completely new product areas. A LEAN TALENT MANAGEMENT APPROACH CONTRIBUTES TO EXTRAORDINARY PRODUCTIVITY Most firms strive to have a productive workforce. One of the best ways to measure workforce productivity is revenue per employee. Apple produces what can only be considered extraordinary revenue per employee; $2 million. A second measure of workforce productivity is profit per employee: nearly $478,000 for Apple (unbelievable considering it has a retail workforce). For years, the leadership of Apple has followed the philosophy that having less is more, meaning that by purposely understaffing and operating with reduced funding, you can make the team more productive and innovative. Innovation at most firms is expensive because you must pay for a lot of trial and error. The lean approach, however, can improve innovation because with everything being tried, there simply isnt enough time or money for major misses and re-dos. Unrealistic deadlines at Apple mean that you have to get project problems solved early on, because there isnt time to redo things over and over. Being lean forces the team to be more cohesive. Even providing a lean schedule forces everyone to be productive because they know there is no room for slippage. At Apple, the lean approach means that even with its huge cash resources, every employee must adopt the mentality of leanness. BUILD AND REINFORCE A PERFORMANCE CULTURE Any business analysis of Apple will reveal its laser focus on producing industry-leading results. While some feel the performance emphasis comes solely from Steve Jobs, the performance culture is continually reinforced by operational processes and practices. For example, having stock as a primary motivator forces employees to focus on the performance of the company and its stock. The rewards and recognition programs at Apple dont include a component for effort or

trying only final results. Rather than celebrating numerous product milestones, only the final product unveiling is worthy of a major celebration. A performance culture requires significant differentiation based on performance, and its clear that in this culture, the top performers and those who are working on mission-critical products are treated significantly differently. In fact, current and former employees frequently complained about the special treatment given to those designated as the top 100 most important employees. Treating top performers differently may cause some employees to be disgruntled, but treating all employees exactly the same will frustrate your high-impact top performers and cause them to leave. Functions receive different funding also, based on their potential impact. Overhead functions that dont directly produce product (i.e. HR) are often underfunded compared to product producing functions like engineering and product design. Although there is certainly politics at Apple (where marketing seems to rule), having a degree from a prestigious school or past success on other products wont get you far in the highly competitive culture at Apple. Jobs has no degree at all. The internal competition is fierce (even though they dont know what other teams are doing) to develop or contribute to the most-talked about feature for the next WOW product. RATHER THAN A WORK/LIFE BALANCE, EMPHASIZE THE WORK Numerous HR functions proudly and prominently push work/life balance. Like them, Apple is proud of its long-established culture. You wont find the term balance anywhere on the career site; instead, Apple makes it clear it is looking for extremely hard-working and committed individuals. On the website, for example, it proudly states: This isnt your cushy corporate nineto-fiver. It reinforces the hard work message several times, including Making it all happen can be hard work. And you could probably find an easier job someplace else. But thats not the point, is it? And: We also have a shared obsession with getting every last detail right. So leave your neckties, bring your ideas. If you dont care about getting every precise detail perfect, great work, and a lot of it, Apple makes it crystal clear that this is not the place for you.

TALENT MANAGEMENT LESSONS TO LEARN AND COPY

You should not be surprised to learn that the firm that made the term think different a brand uses talent management approaches that are well outside the norm.

Career paths reduce self-reliance and cross-pollination In most organizations, HR helps to speed up employee career progression. The underlying premise is that retention rates will increase if career progression is made easy. The Apple approach is quite different; it wants employees to take full responsibility for their career movement. The concept of having employees own their career began years ago when Kevin Sullivan was the VP of HR. Apple doesnt fully support career path help because it doesnt want its employees to develop a sense of entitlement and think that they have a right to continuous promotion. Apple believes career paths weaken employee self-reliance and indirectly decrease crossdepartmental collaboration and learning. Absent a career path, employees actively seek out information about jobs in other functions and business units. In a company where creativity and innovation are king, you dont want anything reducing your employees curiosity and the crosspollination between diverse functions and units. Automatically moving employees up to the next functional job may also severely narrow the range ofinternal movement within the organization, which could reduce the level of diverse thinking in some groups. Create and manage a culture of innovation most firms have a culture with a singular focus on one attribute like performance, quality, customer service, or cost-containment. Apple is unique in that it has two dominant cultural attributes that exist side-by-side. The first is performance, with the second being innovation; the latter may actually be the strongest of the two. The dual emphasis works at Apple because the firm operates in the consumer technology field, where there is a universal expectation for disruptive performance. Producing $2 million-plus in revenue per employee certainly establishes Apple as a performer, but it is its industry-dominating product innovation that differentiates it from competitors like HP, Sony, Microsoft, and IBM. Three factors drive the innovation attribute, including the expectation of continuous innovation, extreme secrecy within the product development process, and continuous brainstorming/challenge meetings (even at play just days before a product launch).

I expect a pony Apples culture of innovation is unique because the goal is to produce a pony, not a real horse but instead something so desirable that everyone wants it and considers it gorgeous. Simple evolution doesnt cut it only extraordinary industry-leading innovation that results in WOW products does. To accomplish that, Apple doesnt do what most consumers assume it does. Instead of developing completely new industry technologies, Apple takes existing technologies and then bundles numerous small developments on top to produce what appears to the public as giant step forward. It takes a powerful culture and group of managers to delay taking great work public faster, but Apple knows that numerous small releases dont produce the same media and consumer buzz.

The expectation of innovation permeates the culture The expectation of innovation is driven by Apples history of innovation, its leaders (who forbid the use of thats not possible), and the peer pressure among employees to be among the contributors to the final product that the customer sees. In order to generate this expectation of innovation, it doesnt rely on posters or motivational slogans (although they have those too around here, changing the world just comes with the job description). Instead, every communication, process, product launch event, and even advertising slogans (Think Different, Imagine the Possibilities, Heres to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. Etc.) make it crystalclear that innovation is at the heart of Apples success. Innovation has driven Apples past and current successes, and it will continue to drive future success. Secrecy drives internal competition The second critical driver of innovation is the product development process. This innovation process is unique in that it doesnt rely on a formal ideation type model; instead, it has been described as an iteration process energized by peer competition and Apples famous secret approach to teams. Apple does many things using small development teams, as many firms do, but doesnt rely on a single team to design each product element. Multiple teams may be assigned to the same area (or they may accidentally wander into the same area). The approach has been called 10 to 3 to 1 because 10 teams may work on a product area independently. When work is ready for review a formal peer review, it will whittle 10 mockups to three and eventually down to one. It is an approach that is unique to Apple. Outsiders may consider it expensive and slow, but they cant argue it isnt effective. Apple is well known for its obsession with secrecy in order to heighten the impact during a product release. Secrecy is also the most unique element in its innovation process. In order to maintain secrecy, development and design teams are intentionally siloed. As a result of these

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communication barriers, team leaders may not be initially aware of how many teams theyre competing against and what those other teams are working on. The level of open collaboration that you might find at other firms like Google is not possible under this process, but neither is early-stage groupthink. Once possible feature solutions move forward to peer review, the organization benefits from broader scope best-practice sharing and collaboration. While it may seem counterintuitive, Apple has turned team silos that would be a negative factor at most firms into a positive force. Paired design meetings force free-thinking to continue until the end of the design Another element of the design and innovation process is the holding of weekly paired design meetings. Every design team is expected to hold two meetings each week. The first is a traditional production meeting where small refinements are discussed and made. The second is a go crazy meeting, in which everyone brainstorms and uses free-thinking to scope out parameters. Most organizations stop these brainstorming meetings once the design parameters are clear, but Apple continues them long into the development cycle to guarantee that completely new ideas will constantly raise the innovation bar. The talent management lessons to learn in the area of innovation include the concept that intense competition may produce innovation faster than any formal ideation process. In addition, peer vetting of ideas, delaying collaboration until toward the end of the development process, and requiring the continuous use of brainstorming processes may result in bolder innovations and higher levels of risk-taking. Tying economic rewards to overall company success can reduce selfish behavior You wont find anyone who will publicly argue that Apple pays well with regard to base compensation. Economic rewards at Apple are significant, but largely tied to the companys valuation. The primary monetary motivator at Apple is the opportunity for wealth creation as a result of stock ownership. Most employees at Apple get periodic stock grants to reward their contribution. By putting the focus on the stock, they send every employee a clear message that individual accomplishments are important only if they directly contribute to the overall success of the company. This approach, coupled with the firms famous product focus, keeps everyone focused on product success rather than individual results and individual rewards. Individual rewards are provided based on performance and consist of stock grants and cash bonuses up to 30% of base salary. Apples retail employees also have stock opportunities. They are paid on an hourly basis and do not receive a sales commission. Benefits and even pay play a secondary role in recruiting and retention at Apple, the primary long-term attraction and retention factors are stock growth and exciting work. Because of the importance of these two factors, its message on benefits is clear. If youre

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doing the best work of your life and having a major impact on the world, do you really need sushi in the cafeteria? (It has that also.) Although most talent competitors to Apple spend huge amounts of money on benefits, Apples offerings are spartan when compared to Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. While Apples health plan is well-funded, and it has good food and an on-campus gym, neither the food nor the gym is free. One perk that does excite potential applicants (especially in retail) is the employee discount on Apple products which is given to every employee. These discounts further support and reinforce Apples companywide emphasis on the product. Your corporate jobs website should boldly inspire because the primary goal of most corporate career/jobs websites is simply to provide company and job information to potential candidates, most corporate job pages are chock-full full of information. Apples website is lean on information but strong on inspiration. As a result, after exploring the site, the potential applicant comes away inspired rather than with a pile of information about the company. There are two categories of inspirational messages on the site, and each one is bold. The first group of corporate messages makes it clear that Apple is anti-corporate. In fact, the first bold headline you see is corporate jobs, without the corporate part. They also highlight what they are proud not to have including endless meetings, being bureaucratic, having executive perks and managers wearing suits. Instead they boldly tell you dont expect business as usual. The second category of inspiration on the website concentrates on openness, innovation, and changing the world. Key phrases include open minds, collaboration, and of course innovation. You will also find the phrase theres plenty of open space and open minds (obviously perfect sentence structure isnt a high priority either). Finally, they promise to give you a license to change the world and be inspired. Its focus on inspiration is so strong that for a tech firm, there is a surprising lack of technologyspeak on the page. You will not find blogs, videos, or any mention of Apples availability on Twitter or Facebook easily. When it comes to mobile access, the site will render fine on the latest smartphones, but receives a 1.51/5.0 with regard to meeting mobile standards. If you visit the site, you might even find links that dont work and features that load very slowly. What you will find is inspiration loads of it. Ill leave you with this introductory statement from its career site: Theres the typical job. Punch in, push paper, punch out, repeat. Then theres a career at Apple. Where youre encouraged to defy routine. To explore the far reaches of the possible. To travel uncharted paths. And to be a part of something far bigger than yourself. Because around here, changing the world just comes with the job description.

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INTERNAL BRAND ENCOURAGES FIGHTING THE STATUS QUO Steve Jobs and the management team at Apple have worked tirelessly to build a unique internal brand image at Apple that positions employees (at least mentally) as revolutionaries and rebels. Many years ago the organization influenced this internal brand by challenging employees to think how much more exciting it would be to be a pirate, rather than someone who followed the formal protocol of the regular Navy. It even flew a pirate flag over its corporate headquarters. The tradition of being revolutionaries is upheld even today with many supportive slogans including Part career, part revolution. Apple is well known for using T-shirts, parties, and celebrations to build cohesion and to reinforce the internal brand as a ragtag group of revolutionaries. By getting employees to view their role as attacking the status quo, it helps to spur continuous and disruptive innovation. It has been successful in maintaining that internal brand image despite the fact that the top-down approach and intense secrecy run counter to its hatred of bureaucracy and all things too corporate. The external image further supports the internal brand. YOU CAN HAVE A STRONG EXTERNAL EMPLOYER BRAND WITHOUT AN EMPLOYER BRANDING PROGRAM Many among us dream of working at Apple, but unlike Google and Facebook, its pretty difficult to find out what its actually like to work there. A quick search on the Internet reveals that apart from a few alumni, most who have roamed the halls are pretty tight-lipped about their experience. While that silence is probably largely driven by Apples widespread use and vigilantly enforced non-disclosure agreements, even the corporation itself is relatively mum. You wont find a great deal of employment advertising or find the Apple name on any one of a dozen or more best-company-to-work-for lists covering the technology sector, even though competitors like Google, Microsoft, and Intel are regularly listed. Despite the silence, most would agree that Apple has a great employer brand image; Universum ranks Apple No. 10 among global engineering companies. The lesson to be learned is simple: use management practices that support your desired brand and elaborate brand management work will be unnecessary. Get your potential applicants to admire your firm for who and what the firm does by being the admirable firm. YOUR PRODUCT BRAND SHOULD SERVE DOUBLE-DUTY AS YOUR EMPLOYER BRAND Instead of spending millions on building an employer brand, Apple lets its product brand do all the talking. Apple works hard on building and maintaining its product brand, which is ranked as the #1 global brand according to BrandZ ranking. Although product brand messages are

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intended primarily for customers, the messaging which emphasizes innovation and thinking differently also hasa major impact on potential applicants and employees. The logic is that if your organization lives up to its product promises, then it is natural to expect that the companys jobs would also live up to the firms brand promise. In their minds, potential applicants make the connection between great products and a great place to work. In addition, because Apples products are talked about by everyone, there is a lot of brand association power lauded on those who work at Apple. This public awareness and admiration can, coupled with a strong employee referral program, make generating a high volume of quality applicants easy. That same attention and curiosity will also enhance a firms retention rates because your employees will realize that the public sees them as collectively changing the world. Having employees believe that they are likely doing the best work of their lives is a powerful situation that most companies cant easily mimic. BEING A MOST-ADMIRED FIRM MAY BE ENOUGH Apple does receive some notoriety in the press as the worlds most admired firm. In fact, Apple has been No. 1 for four years running on the list. That is an amazing feat. Apple dominates this list by being ranked first in eight out of the nine possible ranking factors. Those eight categories include factors that impress potential applicants, including people management, quality of management team, innovativeness, and social responsibility. The most admired list is based on the perceptions of business people and executives, something that Apple excels at managing. Having your firm admired garners enormous publicity in addition to increasing employee pride, engagement, and retention. The lesson to be learned by other firms is that if you dont offer great benefits (which Apple doesnt) you can get the same or even larger impact if you manage the perceptions of executives at other firms. We want our people to be on the leading edge, so that everyone wants them and then we must treat them right so they will stay, no matter what offers come along! TIM COOK AGGRESSIVELY RECRUIT THE BEST FROM OTHER FIRMS The pirate-raiding mentality at Apple certainly carries over into recruiting. Apple has a long history of recruiting away top talent from other firms. In fact, the development of its iPod probably wouldnt have occurred if it wasnt for importing external talent from firms that didnt appreciate the value of this new technology. Steve Jobs himself has been known to get directly involved in recruiting top talent. Apple has a top-grading type philosophy in that it targets top performers. Jay Elliot, its former VP of HR, cites one of Apples core principles as: Always hire the best A people. As soon as you hire a B, they start bringing in Bs and Cs.

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Apples recruiting approach is evolving because it has recently imported a team of recruiting leaders from Electronic Arts, but historically, despite the aggressive philosophy, its recruiting methods were pedestrian. It uses job boards and has an employee referral program that has paid up to $5,000, but its candidate experience is far from perfect. Glassdoor users rate Apple interviews 3.0/5.0 with regard to difficulty. Its college recruiting effort isnt exceptional, with the exception of using recent college hires to help recruit the new crop. The key lesson for other firms to learn is that you can generate huge volumes of high-quality applicants if your firm is highly admired and if potential employees believe that they will be working on leading-edge products that everyone will be talking about. In the retail group, there are two notable recruiting practices. The first has been the naming of the Genius Bar, where technical support is provided. Many applicants and employees in the retail area seem to be willing to put up with the relative drudgery of retail work simply for the opportunity to someday work their way up to becoming certified as a genius. The second is the use of employee referral cards that are well-designed and powerful. They reinforce the companywide focus that originated with Steve Jobs on recruiting the best from other firms. Recruiters and employees who witness great customer service at other retail and customer service outlets hand the card to those few individuals who provide impressive service. The front of the referral cards say Youre amazing. We should talk. The back praises the individual and their work with a near perfect narrative Your customer service just now was exceptional. I work for the Apple store and youre exactly the kind of person wed like to talk to. If youre happy where you are, Id never ask you to leave. But if youre thinking about a change, give me a call. This could be the start of something great.

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In 13 years Apple has transformed itself from an organization of the verge of collapse to the worlds most valuable firm, amassing a phenomenal innovation record in the process. While Apples approach wouldnt work for every firm, there are lessons to be learned that can influence program design regardless of industry, firm size, or location. Make your employees own their learning, training and development Because Apple frequently produces new products requiring expertise in completely different industries (i.e. computers, music devices, media sales, and telephony), its employee skill set requirements change faster than at almost any other tech firm. While there is plenty of training available, there is no formal attempt to give every employee a learning plan. Just as with career progression, employee training and learning are primarily owned by employees. The firm expects employees to be self-reliant. Its retail salesforce for example receives no training on how to sell, a practice that is certainly unconventional in the retail environment. The lesson is simple: providing target competencies and prescribing training can weaken employee self-reliance, an attribute problematic in a fast-changing environment. Employee ownership of development encourages employees to continuously learn in order to develop the skills that will be required for new opportunities. Make managers undisputed kings Apple is not a democracy. Most direction and major decisions are made by senior management. Twenty percent time like that found at Google doesnt exist. While in some organizations HR is powerful when it comes to people management issues, at Apple, Steve Jobs has a well-earned reputation for deemphasizing the power of HR. Although Apple was the first firm to develop an HR 411 line, most of the talent management innovations at Apple emanate from outside of the HR function. There is a concerted effort to avoid having decisions made by committees. Putting the above factors together, it is clear that at Apple, managers are the undisputed kings. The resulting decrease in overhead function interference, coupled with the increased authority and accountability, helps to attract and retain managers that prefer control. Unfortunately, concentrating the authority has resulted in having some managers being accused of micromanagement and abusing team members. Having a product focus drives focus, cooperation, and integration Apple is notably famous in the business press for its product-focused approach (versus a functional or regional focus). Everything from strategy to budgets to organizational design and talent management functions are designed around the product. One of the primary goals of talent management is to ensure that the workforce is focused on the strategic elements that drive company success. That focus can be distracted with selfish or self-serving behavior that instead shifts the emphasis to the individual, a business function, a particular business unit or even a

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region. Although deciding to have a product focus is normally a business decision, it turns out that Apples strong product focus also has significant positive impacts on talent management. This laser focus on producing a product makes it easy for everyone to prioritize and focus their efforts. A product focus is so powerful because its easy for employees to understand that final products can never be produced without everyone being on the same page. A product focus increases coordination, cooperation, and integration between the different functions and teams because everyone knows that you cant produce a best-selling product without smooth handoffs and a lack of silos and roadblocks. With a singular focus on producing product, there is simply less confusion about what is important, what should be measured, what should be rewarded, and what precisely is defined as success. A product focus increases the feeling of were all in this together for a single clear purpose: the product. Apple purposely offers only a relative handful of products, so employee focus isnt dispersed among hundreds of products as it is at other firms. By releasing products only when it can have a major market impact, Apple essentially guarantees that every employee can brag that they contributed to an industry-dominating product that everyone is aware of. This focus on product helps to contribute to employees feeling that they are changing the world. This focus may also reduce the chance that employees will notice that the day-to-day work environment with its politics and the required secrecy may be less than perfect. And because Apple is no longer a small firm, with nearly 50,000 employees, a unifying and inspiring theme is required to maintain cohesion and a single sense of purpose. Find a passionate and inspirational leader Although Steve Jobs is no longer the CEO, no analysis of Apple would be complete without mentioning his importance in the firms success and the design of its talent management approach. He influenced nearly every aspect of the talent management approach. Not only is he one of the highest-rated CEOs by the public (he is ranked number three on the glassdoor.com list) but as a role model, he has had a huge impact on innovation, productivity, retention, and recruiting. His value is indisputable. The day after he resigned, Apples stock value fell by as much as $17.7 billion. It is too early to tell whether the new CEO, Tim Cook, who is markedly less inspirational, will be able to maintain the momentum that Jobs created. He has already shifted some executives and changed the companys philanthropy approach by instituting a matching gift program for charitable donations. Other miscellaneous talent management issues Apple executives are certainly in high demand at other firms that seek to be equally as innovative (for example, the head of the retail operation recently left to become CEO at JC Penney). Despite this demand, Apple certainly doesnt have any significant turnover problems. You can, however, find plenty of negative comments about Apple on sites like glassdoor.com. Some describe

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Apples approach toward employees as a bit arrogant, and employees are certainly pushed to their limits. If you dont bleed six colors, you simply wont enjoy your experience at Apple for long. Although originally the firm emphasized employee recognition, it is not easy for those outside the firm to connect recent product successes to a single individual or team. Apple is a team environment. Although many teams are forced to operate in isolation, that actually helps to build team cohesion. The competition between the different development teams is also intense, but that also helps to further strengthen cohesion. Like most engineering organizations, its decision-making model is certainly focused on data. Apple management likes to control all aspects of its products, but despite that, it is one of the best at using outsourcing to cover areas like manufacturing, which it has determined is not a core corporate competency.

FINAL THOUGHTS (CONCLUSION)


Although Apple clearly produces extraordinary results, its approach to talent management is totally different than that of Google and Facebook, which also produce industry-dominating results. As Apple has grown larger, its rigor around sustainable innovation has grown as well, a feat that proves impossible for most organizations including the likes of HP, Microsoft, and Yahoo. The three big picture learnings : 1. Focus on the work it is managements responsibilty to do whatever is necessary to keep work exciting and compelling. 2. Strive for continuous innovation Apples emphasis on being different is so strong that it cant be overlooked by any employee or applicant. It delivers industry-dominating innovation levels because everyone is expected to. 3. Deliver on your brand Apple works hard to make sure that potential applicants, employees, and even competitors admire its products, the firm, and how it operates. These three factors are not easy to copy, but they are certainly worth emulating. If a firm can bring them and the results that they produce to the firm, there is no doubt that the firm will succeed.

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WEBLIOGRAPHY

www.google.com www.wikipedia.org www.apple.com/in

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Human Resource Management- Michael Vaz

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