TPM as a Supply Chain Solution
TPM draws on the insights, strategies, and tools of supply chain management. Talent pipelines can best be seen as talent supply chains in which employers, working through employer collaboratives, play the role of end-customers in a series of customer-supplier relationships with preferred providers (see image 1 above).
Comprehensive End-to-End Talent Pipelines
TPM promotes a comprehensive approach to building talent pipelines based on a value stream map. The value stream map includes the internal side of the talent pipeline—the upskilling of current employees—as well as the external side of the pipeline—involving new hires. Internal and external pipelines should be coordinated so that no matter where you start your TPM process you have an end-to-end approach for new hires and upskilled workers (see image 2 below).
Upskilling Current Employees
We define upskilling as adding to the skills of current employees of collaborative members
to prepare them for success in the following:
• New, Emerging, and Changing Job Roles due to changing technologies and changes in how work is organized and carried out within companies and across their industries. This may involve the retraining of workers who must transition to new jobs because their current jobs are transforming.
• Career Pathways providing career advancement opportunities within and outside their companies.
Students and Workers as Learners
Learners are those individuals—both students and workers—who receive education and training services, as well as wrap-around support services. Learners are also inclusive of opportunity populations, who traditionally have been underrepresented in the workforce, meaning they do not reflect the working-age population in their communities.
Education and Workforce Partners as Providers
Providers are any public or private organization that delivers education and workforce training, or any other type of talent services, to employers, learners, and job-seekers. These services include career guidance, education, training, recruiting, and job placement as well as wraparound support services. Providers can be public employment agencies (including but not limited to social services and community development), private employment and staffing agencies, high schools, community colleges, universities, proprietary schools, or community-based nonprofit organizations.
Employers as End-Customers
Employers must take on the role of end-customers in the talent supply chain and must actively orchestrate and manage their talent pipelines to meet as well as possible their workforce needs and to create shared value for providers, learners, and employers.
Employers Form Collaboratives
Employer collaboratives are partnerships organized by employers so that they may address shared workforce needs, such as critical jobs or functions within their respective industry, with management support provided through a new or existing employer-led organization.
Employers Designate Preferred Providers
In the TPM process, employers organize and manage flexible and responsive talent pipelines in partnership with their designated preferred providers, which are identified as primary sources of talent and talent services for critical jobs within an industry or company. Preferred providers could provide services for both upskilling current workers and recruiting and preparing new hires. Providers are designated by employers based on their proven capabilities and performance, or because they meet the employer’s criteria to be a new provider of talent or talent services.
TPM Creates Shared Value, Competitiveness, and Accountability:
While TPM may be authentically employer led, it is a process that produces shared value, competitiveness, and accountability with preferred and trusted talent sourcing providers as well as learners. In TPM, as in supply chains, all partners are responsible for managing time, quality, and cost in delivering a career pathway that produces a return on investment for learners and employers. TPM is a team sport.
Focused on Employer Return on Investment:
It cannot be stated enough that the number one differentiator for TPM is the ability to perform well in a cost-benefit analysis and produce a measurable employer return on investment that keeps employers engaged. Employer return on investment has often been the missing piece in public-private partnerships. Employer return on investment is not a replacement for supply-side inputs and outputs like program enrollment or completion, or even job placement and earnings. However, none of those metrics address the key drivers of cost for employers, such as the inefficiency and costs associated with having unfilled jobs. TPM unlocks a new value proposition for employer partners in many types of education and workforce partnerships.
The Talent Pipeline Process
The process utilizes these six key strategies: