What should your talent management strategy look like?

Talent management
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Cynthia Stuckey
Managing Director
AchieveForum
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Over the last 10 years there’s been an epic shift in talent management strategies.

The silo view of each HR core function (i.e. workforce planning, learning and development, recruiting and hiring etc.) is slowly disappearing to be replaced by a holistic, integrated set of HR and talent management systems.  But why?

Companies worldwide are fighting against a growing number of challenges - skill shortages, increased competition, changes in demographics/external labour market, under-utilisation of expertise of existing workforce, lower engagement. It must therefore be all about your employees – how you plan, manage and unify the talent that’s available to you and which you plan to acquire.

Having a united lens gives organisations a unified view of talent capabilities and gaps at all levels, while improving goal alignment and work priorities to the overall business strategies. It enables this because the way an employee’s career and performance is managed, and how their overall development occurs, is mapped out and integrated into the business requirements along with their personal desires as an employee.  

Having this system gives you a more personalised understanding of your workforce, structuring your talent management system to meet the employee as well as the business requirements - this then makes you more responsive to employee demands and expectations, and improves employee productivity, innovation and engagement, which in turn., makes you more appealing to new talent.  

Talent management strategies: rethinking them

While few organisations have achieved this nirvana of integrated HR processes and systems, many are working towards this by reinventing the talent and HR functions, capabilities, and structures.

Many companies have re-organised and now have Heads of Talent overseeing many of the HR functions – these people redefine the end-to-end processes to gain the benefit of what others have seen in these more integrated systems.

With that said, the real challenge today is no longer whether this integration has occurred but rather whether it has produced the business outcomes intended. If not, what can be done to shift the talent management strategies and efforts to drive the necessary outcomes?

Driving competitive advantage through our people

The fact is organisations today aren’t just faced with a real talent shortage, but also a lack of engagement and innovation among many employees. This new “talent eco-system” is influencing how we approach our talent strategies and our people.

Only when we begin to see the complete eco-system and we develop systems to manage the people within it will organisations achieve their desired business outcomes. It’s about driving competitive advantage through our people and incorporating a number of key elements into our integrated talent management strategies.

The key elements to an integrated Talent Management strategy

Attracting, acquiring and securing talent

Technology and the existence of social media makes establishing and managing your employment brand and reputation extremely different compared to say 10 years ago.

You have job networks, alumni, channel partners and existing staff all influencing your ability to attract, acquire and secure talent. You will need to manage and oversee all these influencers on your brand and reputation as well as listen, read and learn from them.

Have clear systems and processes to address what you are reading and hearing so you can prevent, adjust and improve perspectives and views.

Workforce planning

You will still need to understand the type of skills and capabilities required across the business from a functional, geographic and level/type of talent, but today’s planning needs to look at work differently.

Specifically looking at how will we get the work done and what organisational structure will they be working within.

Organisations need flexibility in how roles work together across functions and regional boundaries.

There’s been a shift in the way organisations operate structurally; such as more by teams and project-led, so they can be more agile and responsive to the competition - organisations need flexibility in how roles work together across functions and regional boundaries.

Workforce planning needs to focus on people and consider:

  • how to develop and manage technical vs. professional career development
  • how to reward and promote talent differently for those that are high-performing vs. high potential
  • what you need to understand about your talent in the planning phase such as what motivates them, what will their work look like, what skills do we need today vs. the future?

All this will be necessary to inform planning in the future.

Analytics

Use these as part of your strategy to understand what motivates employees, what culture they thrive in, what their engagement drivers are and you leverage this to align with customer expectations and need to stay competitive.

Our research found that the four key engagement drivers are:

  • appreciation
  • having great relationships at work and with your boss
  • gaining recognition
  • having a good work-life balance

Such insight enables you to reward and compensate employees according to what motivates them as well as deeper insight like who is mobile, who is at risk, who is ready for a promotion etc.

Developing and managing your talent

The concept of developing talent through learning and leadership development has been around for decades, but this approach needs to be re-addressed by evaluating how you are managing performance and development, leveraging your existing pools of talent differently, and developing talent partnerships to leverage the contingent workforce.

Also, what does career progression look like in the new world of organisational structures and work, what rewards best align to your employee base today and the future and how does work-life balance work globally in a fair and meaningful manner?    

The new definition of talent

Defining talent must become more inclusive and broader. There will be multiple talent pools or groups in the future and not just those labeled high potential or leadership.  

New talent systems

Many organisations have started to realise the world is full of employees who are part of a larger movement towards contingent workforces.

How you leverage this talent into your organisation will matter. Establish strategies and plans for new talent networks, and for contractor labour, suppliers and partners with a new view towards how they make you more competitive.

How you contract, reward, communicate, onboard and integrate them into the overall people strategy in a pro-active and measurable approach will become increasingly important.  

Finally, remember to…

Think about employees as your customer – someone you desire to have a relationship with.

Show how you will invest in them as a partner, and how the mutual benefits of your relationship will add increasing value to the organisation.

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01st Feb 2017 11:43

Nice article. Thanks.

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