Talent Management is more than recruitment. Having a fully integrated talent management strategy is a key to long-term organizational success. As CIPD, the Professional Body for Human Resources and People Development, puts it; Talent Management is the strategic and systemic approach to attracting, identifying, development, engaging, retaining and deploying talent across an organization.
Talent here is defined in a collective sense and refers to individuals who contribute to organizational performance or have high potential to contribute to it in the future.
The first step to Talent Management is attracting high quality talent. Even before we get to the recruiting process, there are other aspects of attraction to consider. These include employer branding and reputation. Building a reputation as an employer of choice means that top talent will be reaching out for employment opportunities, reducing the cost and time required for recruitment. In the early stages of the relationship, it is important to consider how the candidate experience and the onboarding experience impact perception of the organization as a whole.
Identification of talent can take on two meanings here - recognizing the need for specific talents and the role to improve performance and the discovery of skills and interests already at the disposal of the employer. Identifying and filling talent gaps requires coordination between HR and managers as well as senior management to ensure hiring practices are integrated into strategic objectives. Discovering new ways to capitalize on the skills of current employees a clear understanding of organizational goals and empowerment of employees and managers alike to submit ideas freely on how to achieve those goals.
Development activities should take place both at the beginning and throughout the durations of the employee lifecycle. Once employees are brought up to speed and can contribute, it can be easy to allow development goals to fall down on the list of priorities. But when we view talent as an investment with potential for even higher performance in the futures, it’s clear that continued learning and development activities are important. In addition to traditional forms of development like external training and certification, consider coaching and mentoring from experienced team members as a means to develop skills. Adding cross-functional responsibilities or assignments is another low-cost means to develop skills internally and also share and maintain knowledge.
Employee Engagement is important to the long-term success of any business. Engaged employees are more likely to be high performers, promote the employer brand, and identify areas for operational improvement. The first step to engaging talent is to understand just how engaged employees currently are. This is often handled via an engagement survey. It's also important to devote attention to the employee experience. Taking this kind of holistic view of factors that affect employees can help identify and reduce areas of employee churn.
Retention and turnover are always hot topics in HR because no matter how hard you try, you will never achieve 100% retention over the long-term. What’s not impractical is to seek to understand to the best of our ability why employees choose to leave and set out to correct factors that fall under our control. While exit interviews or surveys are often the go-to in this regard, don’t discount the valuable information that can be gleaned from 360 feedback and performance appraisals. There are often signs of dissatisfaction before resignation and looking at the whole picture can help us be proactive instead of reactive. Rewards, engagement and development are also important considers for an integrated retention process.
Once we’ve attracted, developed and identified top talent it’s time to assign and move employees to positions and teams to maximize performance. Whether employees are taking their initial placements, promotions, lateral moves, or transfers, the deployment process should be streamlined to reduce downtime or role confusion. Accomplishing this also requires a detailed succession planning and career pathing processes to be completed so that employees and managers alike can understand and plan for success.
As you can see, recruitment is only the beginning of Talent Management; getting the most out of employees requiring a structured, proactive approach. The effort to set up such a system can reap real benefits however; Excellent talent management has been linked to a 15% increase in business performance.
Software is increasingly a central part of Talent Management, as online, digital management of employee and organizational performance can be integrated to see a comprehensive view of talent across the enterprise. Qualitative and quantitative measurements of performance and talent allocation can help provide deep analytic insights to identify areas to improve Talent management processes.