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OD problems present "brilliant" talent management opportunities, says Hanover Housing Group L&D manager

Employers should look inside their organisation and find the biggest problem they have as it will present “brilliant talent management opportunities”, according to Andy Lancaster, learning and development manager at Hanover Housing Group.

Speaking yesterday at the annual CIPD HRD conference in London, Lancaster explained "finding the problem" can be used to develop staff - something he put into practice at Hanover Housing Group.

Lancaster said: "When you work in flat or smaller organisations, it makes opportunities and momentum for talent development challenging. So at Hannover House we saw we could create a culture of learning and development by growing our own 'developers'.

"We realised we could get people from all across the organisation to solve complex problems. We recognised software companies that provide systems we wanted to use often had no trainers, so we came up with an initiative to create internal trainers in seven weeks, who could then train other employees to use these million-pound products."

"We found that work experience is the best talent development we could offer our employees.

The feedback he received from the staff who took part in the training initiative "exceeded expectations". Almost half of staff rated the training received as 'excellent' and 60% believed 'it would improve customer contact a lot'.

Lancaster added: "Complex projects are a brilliant way of getting your employees involved and engaged in the business."

Also speaking at the event was head of HR at BBC Technology, Nick Pascazio, who talked about the challenges in getting female talent into the engineering sector.

He also spoke about the importance for the BBC to remain "innovative in its recruitment strategy" to combat the "Google effect".

"The BBC knows it can no longer compete with the likes of Google so we have to be a bit more innovative with our offering inside our organisation," Pascazio said.

"We want young talent to think that if they join the BBC they can get skills and opportunities they can't get anywhere else."

He added: "If you want your talent to really thrive you need to put them in a place where the conversation happens."