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News Article

National Growth Subject to Adequate Talent Development Roadmap

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 13:32

Although talent development is normally seen as an individual activity and the responsibility of companies or universities, there is also an overall vision that drives a country’s growth strategy, said Gustavo Linares, HR Director of UNDP Mexico and moderator of the last panel at Mexico Talent Forum 2019, held at the Marquis Reforma hotel in Mexico City.

Each country has different objectives in terms of growth and talent development, according to Joao Nunes, Executive Director of Michael Page. In the Netherlands, for example, companies favor contract flexibility and an objective-oriented work strategy. In China, each city has strategic objectives focused on the mass market and the final customer. “In Mexico, there is currently a transition in how we view talent. The country was ideal for companies to start their industrial operations but it has gradually evolved to offer knowledge and specialization in higher value activities,” said Nunes.

Mexico’s strategy under the López Obrador administration is to establish clear and defined policies to promote the internationalization of all municipalities in the country and Alberto Uribe, Director General of Political Coordination at the SRE, said the government must pay attention to city and regional development for the country to grow. “Mexico should grow at the same rhythm as the companies that generate the national talent,” he said.

For this strategy to be successful, the country needs specialists who can address the needs of the global industry, said Margriet Leemhuis, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Mexico. “Flexibility and diversity are crucial factors,” she said. The country, however, is still not ready to meet industry needs, according to Nunes. “The important thing is not to determine if the talent exists in the country, because it does. The real question is whether this talent is adequate for the needs of the country and so far, it is not,” said Nunes.

Talent evolves with the country and industry and the private sector plays a key role in identifying and developing the right capabilities for the country. Nevertheless, the government must be more active in establishing relationships with the private sector to make this happen, said Uribe. “The government is also a source of opportunities for talent,” added Leemhuis, who gave the example of an internship program organized by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

When looking for talent, though, companies must improve their approach, said Nunes. “Companies are too focused on attracting the best talent but they should learn to differentiate between a good-looking CV and the best candidate according to the needs of the company and the skills needed to fill a position.” Talent retention depends on defining the role of the company in its industry to then create adequate talent development plans. “If this is not well-defined, companies cannot hire the best person,” said Nunes.