Your workforce is your organisation’s greatest asset. An effective talent management process will allow your company to attract and retain talented individuals, while supporting and nurturing talent in your existing workforce. In doing so, you can enrich every aspect of the businesses operations and significantly cut costs in training and recruitment.
Why is a talent management process important?
A talent management process which allows your organisation to recruit, hire, retrain and develop the most sought-after employees will positively impact your business at every level. The steps you take to attract new employees will also increase satisfaction and engagement among your existing employees. In contrast, poor talent management can lead to a ‘sinking ship’ situation where the best and brightest in the industry want nothing to do with your organisation, overall productivity is low, growth grinds to a halt, and money is wasted due to a hire turnover of staff. Talent management is not just about finding the right person to fulfil a role; it is an all-encompassing business strategy.
Reviewing your approach to talent management is important, because:
- Talented potential employees want to see that your company can offer them the opportunity for career progression.
- Your existing workforce may be rich in untapped talent. Your employees will perform at their best when you nurture their skills and help them to move up into superior roles.
- When performance is high and staff turnover is low, your company saves money on training and recruitment.
Avoiding a poor approach to talent management
In many traditional talent management systems, contingent workers such as freelancers, agency workers and contractors are not managed by HR in the same way as the employed workforce. This often means that many tasks, projects and roles are not being fulfilled as efficiently as they could be, value is being lost and costs are unnecessarily high. The major flaw in most talent management strategies is that they do not cover the entire workforce; some even limit talent development processes to a select few employees who have been identified as top performers.
When every employee, worker and role is not factored into a talent development strategy, it is inevitable that countless opportunities for progression will be missed across the entire organisation. This would limit your ability to attract valuable new talent who view the opportunity for career progression as essential to any job role. It would also lead to dejection and poor performance among your existing workforce, and as a result, high staff turnover at the lowest levels of the company and increased recruitment costs.
Though there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to talent management, you should aim to develop a business-wide, employee-centred strategy which:
- Prioritises succession planning for talented employees
- Identifies the best use of employee skills and experience
- Demonstrates these values to prospective employees
Considering an integrated approach to talent management may be the best way to achieve this.
What is integrated talent management?
Integrated talent management is the concept of a flexible system which seeks to unify the management of full-time employees and contingent workers, bringing everything in-house and under the control of the HR department. It would also involve a more integrated approach to managing core tasks – such as workforce planning, training and recruitment – within the HR department itself. When these functions are planned and orchestrated holistically rather than independently, greater improvement in efficiency, growth and cost-reduction can be achieved.
As a relatively new concept in the HR world, integrated talent management has been experimented with and implemented in a variety of different ways – there has not yet been established a conclusively ‘correct’ approach. Though at its core, the goal of taking an integrated approach to talent management is to make information about job opportunities, employees, and their career paths, available throughout the entire organisation.
Benefits of an integrated talent management process
Research strongly indicates that integrated talent management improves access to talent, use of talent and quality of talent. By collectively managing all the human capital your company has access to, you can make sure the right skills, experience and knowledge end up in the right place to ensure business outcomes are met.
While making radical changes to your current talent management system may seem like a costly undertaking, adopting an integrated approach will ultimately pay for itself and continue saving the company money on recruitment and training for a long time to come. One economics research group predicts that integrated talent management could reduce hiring and training costs by 10% to 12%.
Improving your organisation’s ability to attract and retain talented employees is perhaps the greatest advantage of adopting an integrated talent management approach. With a comprehensive view of talent gaps across the entire organisation and your individual employees’ personal workplace satisfaction and goals, you can reduce the number of employees ‘jumping ship’ while also enticing new talent into the fold. Overall, integrated talent management could give your organisation the edge in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace.
Developing a talent management strategy
Rather than adding additional talent management duties to your existing HR managers’ roles, consider creating a role for a dedicated talent advisor who will work alongside your hiring management team to make sure human resources are being used effectively. The talent advisor would develop and oversee the implementation of an integrated talent management strategy. They would then collaborate with HR managers to ensure recruitment, talent development and resource delegation processes run effectively.
Too many organisations forget that talent management processes exist to serve an end goal: your overall business objective. Your talent management strategy must be based on your business goals. Consider specific short-term and long-term targets and work backwards from that point. You can then begin to consider how these goals will be achieved, what talent is needed to achieve them, and where your talent pool is currently lacking. You can then address your entire talent management strategy in relation to the following areas:
Attracting and securing new talent
Establishing an attractive and clearly defined ‘employment brand’ should be at the heart of this strategy. Your social media image, employment networks, partners and existing workforce will all affect the company’s ability to attract and secure new talented employees. Develop a plan to manage the organisation’s image in the business and recruitment communities.
Refine your hiring practices to ensure effective recruitment. When seeking to fill talent gaps, it is easier and more cost effective to hire the right person for a job, than it is to develop talent in an existing employee who does not have the right attributes or motivation to progress. Using your ultimate business objectives, develop a clear picture of the ‘right person’ for the role (whether that role is bottom-rung or senior management) and alter recruitment strategies to better identify and secure them.
Managing talent in your workforce
The two main considerations here are:
- Developing talent in your employees; and
- Effectively utilising that talent
When planning talent development schemes, do not waste resources by seeking to foster talent in all employees equally. Focus your efforts on potential leaders and employees who generate value for the company. While all high performers should be given the means to progress, not all employees are destined to be high performers. Develop a system to identify these individuals and direct resources wisely. Consider all forms of talent that are beneficial to the company – not just leadership and sales roles.
The successful completion of any business task is heavily reliant on having the right people for the job. Base internal promotion and assignment plans around the skills, experience and personal attributes that the ‘right person’ for a project must-have. This description of the hypothetical ideal person for the role is known as a ‘success profile’. Use competency-based applications to find the best match for your success profile among your existing workforce.
Making use of analytics
Analytics can improve all areas of your organisation’s talent management strategy. Without analytical data it is practically impossible to determine what works, what does not work and where improvements can be made. Collecting and analysing employee engagement data is particularly important, as understanding what drives an employee to perform well makes it possible to implement effective performance-improving strategies across the entire organisation. Analytical systems can also be used to identify candidates who closely match the success profile for an open role.
Think about new technologies that will allow your organisation to collect data, make predictions and manage the workforce. If your company currently deals with temporary workers through a vendor management system and full-time staff through an applicant tracking system, you are likely missing out on valuable insights that could be gained by comparing the performance data housed in these separate systems. You may consider factoring in an analytics platform linked to both systems, which can combine and analyse data from the total workforce to provide predictions relating to cost-saving and best use of talent.
DavidsonMorris’ professional HR consultants bring expertise in workforce planning and development, including talent management strategies and processes. For advice on how to improve your approach to identifying, attracting, developing, engaging and retaining key talent, speak to us.
Talent management process FAQs
What is talent management?
Talent management encompasses the process of recruiting, onboarding and developing an individual to support the achievement of corporate goals. A holistic approach to the talent management process can see greater returns and business outcomes, where employees feel engaged and motivated to perform.
What are the key components of talent management?
Talent management processes bring together strategic workforce planning with effective implementation in areas such as talent acquisition and retention, performance management, learning and development, remuneration and reward and career progression.
How can DavidsonMorris support your talent management process?
DavidsonMorris' specialist HR consultants bring extensive experience in developing and implementing progressive strategies to improve workforce performance and management. Our specialists have expertise in building and enhancing talent management processes that align to the organisation's wider strategic priorities and goals.
Last updated: 30th January 2020