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Create a Winning Talent Management Strategy – Don’t Make it an Afterthought

Posted: 08 March 2018

In these fast-paced, cutthroat times, one of the only competitive advantages organisations have today is their ability to source, train and retain talent across all levels. The relationship between talent and overall company success is undeniable, and having a strong talent management strategy is what drives this forward.

We all know the people who make the company are the company, yet time after time organisations fork out big bucks to attract talent that they are unable to motivate, develop or even keep a hold of.

Talent Management and its associated disciplines are widely adopted by recruiters today, covering areas as diverse as:

● Career management and development,
● HR planning,
● Promotional and succession planning,
● Talent audits and surveys and 
● Talent pools.

As with all strategy-based endeavours, Talent Management is a long-term, continual commitment. It’s a series of checkpoints, encompassing the candidate experience and employee journey, and can be broken down into four key elements:

1. Attract
2. Train
3. Retain
4. Measure

Delivering against strategy – Goal alignment

Any new strategy will only thrive when it works alongside all other strategies and business aims. Your talent strategy should align with the wider organisational goals, being linked to their long-term objectives and priorities.
Development of this is a process of current assessment and future prediction. You need to be asking yourself some key questions:

● How does the supply of talent affect your overall corporate goals?
● How do you predict recruitment trends; can you implement internal opportunities for development or will you source externally?
● Have you established a management strategy for these eventualities, taking into account funding, exposure and resources required?

Aligning corporate and talent strategy is a matter of understanding not only what your future goals are but how your present status will determine these.  The talent you are predicting or wishing to bag have to be as curious and confident in your offerings as you are theirs, so don’t sacrifice your reputation and continued stability for a weakly-rooted stab at the ‘top talent’. 

See the bigger picture, assess what you have and implement a workable strategy that takes into account both the present and the future recruitment landscape. After all, this strategy is about retaining and developing the talent you already have, not just sourcing new blood.

Talent Management Checkpoints – Implement from day one

1. Attract

Competition for quality candidates is tough so more organisations are empowering candidates with the tools and info they need to make the best decision for themselves: a reversed psychology that often works for companies who brand build with boldness and commitment.

The best way to attract and develop a pool of prospective employees is to build a community of talent. More than networking, these environments foster a free flow of engagement and ideas. Employers can interact directly with potential candidates, crafting mini-brand ambassadors as they go. A hub of opportunities and lines of enquiry, these communities are self-fuelling, feeding off the constant stream of communication. Managed by recruiters, hiring managers or applicants themselves, these spaces are the perfect platform for social recruiting and save handsomely on recruitment costs.

Candidates not only get the info they need recruitment-wise, but they plug into the organisation's cultural and social identity.

2. Train

Syncing business objectives with talent strategy means companies are armed with a greater understanding of the role talent and their employees play in their success. Training and developing inhouse talent is a viable process and is met with enthusiasm and adequate planning as the years roll in. Identifying potential and formulating the brand alongside it is a failsafe way of uniting corporate priorities. Bleeding down from the executives to HR, this development should be implemented by all members of a company on every level, not just the ‘top talent’. Organisations are made of people; one department runs well and that has a knock on effect.

Offering advanced training programmes, internships and partnering with larger companies to offer opportunities for development are key. Design these to accommodate the modern working climate and be employee-driven, not corporate driven. Publicise these objectives and opportunities at every given possibility and invite inhouse and external parties to pitch ideas and request nurturing.

Talent development roadmaps are a great way of outlining your commitment to the theory, practical steps and promises that your training offers.

3. Retain

This can be the trickiest stop in the employee journey. Often recruiters and companies wash their hands of contact and review when the deal is done, but this is perhaps the most integral stage of securing talent for years to come.

Craft an expert onboarding process. Integration and preservation are vital in allowing employees to lay down roots and seek out further development in their new position. Start as you mean to go on, welcome and simply take interest. Often the littlest effort is the most memorable so be personal, offer feedback and interact in any means possible.

Talent audits and reviews provide value on a regular basis, partnering potential with performance. Potential isn’t just present at hiring, it develops under leadership or even stress. Gunning for the ‘top talent’ only will damage your retention stats, alienating workforces and departments often to your own detriment.

4. Measure

Know where you are so you know where to go. Measuring the success of your talent management and strategy is an investment in its future effectiveness.

Studying and undertaking employee surveys, audits and plans will equip you with the knowledge and experience you need to implement bigger and better plans for the future. Technology makes this review period much easier, and encourages regular logging and assessment of data and communications. Tools such as Cachinko, HRIS and HRMS are great management tools.

Talent Management will adapt effectively to the changing landscape of recruitment, branding and marketing. As long as candidates push recruiters and organisations to offer more and see the potential role they can play in the present and future successes of such, they will in turn respond. Social recruiting champions an engagement and interaction that redefines talent attraction and retention. The disciple of talent management has become a three dimensional concept that is the backbone of the recruitment process.

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