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Developing your talent management strategy

20 April 2022

Story by
HR World

TalentManagement

Talent management strategies lead straight to a business’s bottom line.

Prioritising developing talent can lead to company growth and increased profits through investment in people. Use the word talent, because that’s what they are. Talent with skills and knowledge that businesses can leverage to their success and achieve their goals. People are at the centre of a company, and it’s down to them whether it succeeds or fails. 

Put a high premium on talent. Businesses have focused on talent in recent years, valuing the wellbeing and development of staff more than ever before. Talent is now part of business decisions. Consider talent management strategies such as Google’s 20% work programme aimed at blowing up previous ideas of talent management. It has completely changed the concept of work and what that looks like for employees. Google’s approach has been adopted and adapted by companies all over the world. 

But first things first, what is talent management?

What is Talent Management?

Talent management starts right at the beginning of the hiring process. Working with team leaders to create or identify vacant roles, then sourcing and selecting the right person for the job, ensuring continuous development of the person so their skills remain up-to-date, and developing retention strategies so the companies meets its long-term goals. 

It also goes beyond this process. Talent management is just that, managing and looking after people. Johns Hopkins University Human Resources has defined talent management as the HR process that is integrated within a company to attract, engage, motivate and retain the best employees for a company.

Deloitte has defined talent management as a commitment made by the business to source, recruit, retain and continue training and skilling up the right talent available in their industry. Included in this are the global demographic shifts, growing skill gaps and Gen Z’s entry to market, a highly technology-driven and focused group that is used to being agile and adaptive. 

The core of talent management is recruiting the right people for the job and developing them into long-term and effective staff. 

What is a Talent Management Strategy?

Thought and planning is needed before launching talent management. Ensuring that it matches the long-term business goals as well as the current needs and requirements of the business is essential. Start by developing a talent management strategy and gain an edge over competitors. 

A talent management strategy looks beyond the main parts of talent management, the hiring process and employee performance. It can develop inclusive talent systems, align with growth goals and feed into relationships across the business. 

An excellent and fully developed talent management strategy when implemented will attract top performers from the job market, and retain them. It’s even possible to employ them at a better rate than the competition if they are employed against specific business requirements. 

Talent management strategies should always be aligned with business goals, to support the requirements as the company works towards them. The present shouldn’t be neglected either. Current needs may be different to where the business is growing towards and employees are on this journey as well. 

Start at the beginning. Understand what employees’ aims and aspirations are, and see where they fit into the long-term business objectives. See where they can be developed and skilled up so that their potential is maximised. 

Here are key areas of a talent management strategy:

Sourcing and recruiting talent: The true costs of recruiting the wrong talent is much more than the initial hiring process. Bringing the wrong person in can have a significant impact on the company. As well as the talent not working effectively, they can affect a team’s morale and reduce overall productivity. 

A talent recruitment strategy should focus on more than the role and skills needed. The person and how they will contribute to the team is very important. Have rigorous procedures in place when recruiting. Get creative and find new ways to source and bring in talent to the business. 

The 12th ManpowerGroup Talent Shortage research discovered that almost three quarters (72.8%) of employers are having trouble finding skilled talent. 45% of employers are concerned about finding potential staff with the necessary talents.

Use the data available to assess the skills required as part of the business growth. Confirm how many people will be needed to deliver required tasks and projects. Create projections for the future. This will protect against the company struggling with skills and competency gaps long-term. It also ensures the hiring process is effective. 

Developing talent:

Matching the aims and aspirations of talent against the current goals, short-term and long-term goals of the company is essential. Employ people who have the skills needed now and can be developed for the future. 

A talent management strategy should place the person in the right job at the time. There are skills, knowledge and competency gaps to fill and the talent should match these needs. Plan out each talent’s potential career with the business and support them to fulfil requirements. 

There are a number of talent management strategies to consider; choose the right one for the company. Hire or build is one for example. Should the company build from within, utilising talent available rather than hire externally and soak up the costs? This strategy can boost morale within the company and increase brand loyalty. 

Employees who feel listened to, valued and have training according to their future plans will be an engaged workforce. A motivated staff that has job satisfaction maximises their productivity and increases a company’s output. 

It has been proven that putting effort into talent improves a business’s performance. Almost two-thirds of respondents from the McKinsey Global Survey agreed that their investment in talent management improved overall company performance due to rapid allocation of talent, compared with just 29% of their slower-moving peers.

Retaining talent

The cost of recruiting the wrong person is much higher than expected and can have a significant financial impact. Employee Benefits News conducted research and found that the average cost of losing talent is 33% of annual revenue.

Talent generates money for every business: they bring innovation, sales leads and customer satisfaction. In fact, it’s possible to see the cost of attrition related to employee development and investment in their wellbeing. 

Start by repositioning HR’s viewpoint. Consider what the business looks like from the talent’s point of view. What does it deliver or offer? Is there a clear career path? Do employees feel valued? What does success look like to them? Every person is different and so are their aims and aspirations. 

Choose a talent retention strategy that considers all of the above, putting employees at the centre. Even the best retention strategy will not stop talent from leaving; there are always unavoidable reasons. It is possible to control exits to a degree through careful planning. 

There is a wealth of data at HR’s fingertips about employees and with careful analysis it can inform ongoing strategies. Establish why employees have left the company previously. Then work to see how it can be controlled. 

Creating a talent management strategy

As mentioned above, developing talent with long-term goals in mind is essential for an effective talent management strategy. 

Include strategic initiatives when developing a talent management:

Make talent a core part of the strategy for the business: Business value is created by talent, so it makes sense to align the two strands. 

Ensure that employees know their value to the company to motivate them. Put in place measures to ensure they maximise their potential with the business. Consider how to create mobility with business decisions for staff. Ensure their aspirations are met, for example, PWC says that 80% of millennials want to work abroad.

Ensure talent goals are business goals: Solidify business objectives and goals with management and let staff know. Combine the needs and requirements of your talent with your long-term goals. 

Most importantly, make sure your talent knows that they have been heard and their personal goals have been taken into consideration. 

Make issues management part of your strategy: Without a doubt, talent management comes with hurdles and challenges. Planning is essential to understand what you might face and to anticipate when developing the talent management strategy. 

This could include changing how things have been done, upgrading technology, widening the location of the talent pool, or increasing the benefits package. This could mean a culture shift, such as upskilling internally rather than bringing in new talent or vice versa. 

Create a talent management strategy around company culture: There is a high chance that a culture shift will take place when the talent management strategy is implemented. Make it a positive thing. It can provide opportunities for the company. 

Developing talent management processes: Use your talent management strategy to find vacant roles, source and recruit new people, ensure the knowledge and skills are in place to match the requirements for the job. Finally, use initiatives to retain the employees so that long-term goals are met. 

Bring in training, upskilling, flexibility, apprentices and more, and see the talent flourish under a successful strategy.

Increase internal brand awareness: Each individual employee is an influencer. They have a unique audience interested in their knowledge and generally have a presence online. Encourage them to share posts on social media, write articles and even take part in webinars.

SHRM found that 84% of organisations are currently using social media for recruitment and employer branding and 9% of those who don’t use it yet are planning to.

Employee referrals are great sources for new hires: Look internally when recruiting for a role. There is a network in place through employees that can be tapped into. Happy staff will share this with their network and will be much more likely to refer someone to HR. 

It’s an important area to consider. HR Technologist discovered that referred talent is 55% faster to hire, compared with talent sourced through career sites.

Futureproof the talent management strategy: Change is coming. The Future of Jobs report by the World Economic Forum states that machines will carry out half of all work tasks in the coming years.

With the ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’, technological transformation will displace millions of jobs. Millions of new jobs will be created that require people’s skills like creativity, imagination, and social intelligence.

65% of primary school age children will be applying for jobs that don’t exist yet

Two paths to choose from: The first is for companies that fire and recruit en masse. This is the hardest route to take due to the resources required for recruiting. 

The second, and easier choice, is to work with current staff to retain them for the long-term. Always consider the future of the company and the industry, and plan for how to support talent to meet business goals. 

Who you hire: Diversity and inclusion within your talent must be part of your talent management strategy. Diversity Inc’s Top Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Trends For 2022 include:

  • AI and Tech in is being fine tuned to weed out biases and provide a solution that can help highlight when it’s present in your organisation’s hiring process.
  • The need for inclusive executives and executive-recruiting practices is fairly obvious. In 2022, however, inclusivity should permeate the entire company — leadership and the workforce. That means managers, directors, all the way down to the entry levels of the business.

Human resource management is changing and evolving in response to a fast-past industry. Companies with a talent management strategy in place are more likely to out-perform those that don’t. McKinsey Global Survey confirms the positive effects of talent management on business output.

Talent management can no longer be services provided at a basic level. The requirement for strategic talent management is essential to compete with others and help the business grow.

It is a process with employee experience at its core. This is a network and flexible system for employees, built around the relationship between staff and the company.

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