One of the greatest challenges facing companies across the world is how to attract and develop a strong pipeline of talent throughout their business. The concept of talent management is difficult for employers to tackle; defining what Ďtalentí means to an individual business is often the first hurdle which must be overcome. Once this has been established, employers then have to decide upon a strategy that will ensure the successful attraction of new talent, alongside a process of managing, supporting and developing the selected individuals in their role.

Throughout my career Iíve faced these challenges in varying degrees and on vastly differing scales; from developing a UK wide resourcing strategy in my role as Head of Resourcing for AXA, to leading talent acquisition in over 20 countries during my time at CH2M Hill as International Talent Acquisition Director. Most recently I find myself working for the Royal Bank of Scotland, where I have seen our entire resourcing function forced to adapt and transform in order to overcome the damage we faced as a result of the near collapse and government rescue of RBS.

Our brand image was dented and consequently our customers lost faith in the services we could provide, which meant we had to focus on channelling our efforts into our Customer Services and inspire confidence and loyalty back into our valued customers. Our resourcing function had to re-organise to accommodate this new culture - an example of the ever-changing nature of talent management.

My experiences have given me a unique and truly global insight into the issues concerning talent management, which is why Iím delighted to have been invited to lead the RSG Debate on this subject. I was particularly keen to discuss the issue with other leading HR professionals in order to gain an insight into their approach, the difficulties they have encountered and whether there is any common ground between our views on strategy and solution. The outcome of our discussion lies in this paper, alongside relevant research that has been conducted into the area by RSG.

- David Mason, Global COO Resourcing, RBS



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