By: Lauren Dellarocco
For any company to gain a competitive advantage in the market, having a team of high-performing, talented team members is critical. Now, more than ever, the importance of implementing an effective talent management strategy should not be underestimated.
Recent research shows that on average, 543,000 new businesses are started each year. This comes out to an astounding 6.5 million new businesses emerging each month!
With every new business that arises, more competition hits the market. This market-flooding means there’s more competition when appealing to consumers, but also more competition when appealing to new employees. This talent pool competition is what we call the “war for talent.”
Companies require a powerful talent management strategy to hire employees with the best talent and notable skills. Staying on top of the market by acquiring and retaining a proficient talent pool of employees is crucial for a company’s success.
What is Talent Acquisition Strategy?
Talent management strategy, or talent acquisition strategy, is the comprehensive process by which companies and organizations acquire and retain the best-suited talent pool for their specific business objectives, work culture, and work environment. Effective talent management strategies create teams with motivated, high performing employees.
Because each company differs from the next in its work culture, market, industry, and business objectives, each company requires a talent strategy customized to its differences.
Company talent strategies include every aspect of a business strategy, from workforce planning and the recruitment process, to onboarding, performance management, and employee retention.
To ensure that employees are high performing, it is up to a company’s HR leaders and managers to understand that a well-executed talent strategy is central to producing the best possible product or service.
Talent Management Process Overview
The talent management process begins with a group of talented prospective employees, and ends with a successful and prosperous company of happy employees exhibiting top talent in the area.
Phase 1: Identify business objectives and goals.
- Before deciding who to hire, it’s important to determine why you need to hire. What are the talent needs, business priorities, objects, and goals that require new talent? Where are the gaps in the company that need to be filled?
Phase 2: Employees collaborate during workforce planning.
- Department leaders, including HR professionals, marketing professionals, project managers, and leaders in the finance department, come together to develop a plan of how many employees to hire, which departments have new roles available, who to hire, and when to hire. (See tip #5 for more on workforce planning.)
Phase 3: Recruit the right talent.
- Post jobs to different recruiting platforms and encourage employees to refer people they know. Find prospective employees who meet the business goals, required skillsets, and experiences of the talent needs at hand.
Phase 4: Onboard new employees.
- Develop an effective onboarding process and new employee orientation to prepare new employees for success, communicate expectations with them, and integrate them with the work culture.
Phase 5: Commit to ongoing performance management.
- Create a strategy for managing employees’ performance. An effective and ongoing performance management process will lead to high employee engagement, high employee retention, and fruitful overall work productivity.
5 Tips to Develop an Effective Talent Management Strategy
Tip 1: Determine the company’s business objectives through both a granular and broad scope.
What is the company’s overarching objective? What is its mission statement and vision statement? What deliverables or milestones drive the objective? What skills and competencies are needed to reach the objective?
Identify the current goals and future goals of the business to guide the talent management process and seek employees who will fulfill those goals.
Understand what skills, experiences, and personalities will drive the company’s purpose effectively and efficiently. Hiring a group of people who don’t meet the basic needs of a company will stunt the process, require more money for training, and consume time that could be spent furthering projects.
Tip 2: Consider the current employees and identify any holes in the talent pool.
Which areas of the company need to improve? Once you determine the specific business objectives at hand, it’s time to identify where the holes are. In which areas are goals not being met? Which departments or aspects of the company are underproducing?
Determine where the company can improve, and align those holes with the prospective talent pool. If a company is lacking in sales, it’s time to consider a new employee or group of employees who are profound in the sales department. With a concern in the sales department, hiring a new employee who has excellent project management skills would not benefit the company in its area of need. This new employee may be a high performer, but his/her skills could be redundant as there’s already an effective project management team.
Hiring employees who possess the same talents and skills as current employees is an inefficient talent management practice for a company seeking to produce better results. Create a strategic priority of the specific roles and skills that are needed to see positive results as quickly as possible.
Considering whether the talent pool fits the business objectives and goals after new employees are hired will only require more time, money, and energy to train new employees or find more employees who answer the company’s needs.
Tip 3: Implement processes of performance management to facilitate employee engagement and growth.
Imagine working at a company where employees are constantly flying under the radar. There are no scheduled check-ins, performance reviews, constructive feedback, milestones or future plans of talent development. Team members in this type of work environment are likely to be disengaged, disinterested, unhappy, lacking in motivation, and not performing to their fullest potential.
Hiring a group of high-potential employees is not the end-all be-all in a talent management strategy. It’s crucial to continue investing in employees and providing opportunities for them to develop their skills further.
Many successful companies implement a talent management software to aid in the performance management process and effectively increase engagement, accountability, and commitment from all employees.
Even the highest performers in a company require regular performance management to consistently operate at the top of their game.
According to a 2016 Gallup study, “59% of millennials say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job.” Considering millennials comprise almost a quarter of the U.S. population, this statistic is significant for all contemporary companies.
Performance management practices keep employees engaged and achieving goals that will enable them to learn and develop in their career. When employees are provided with positive feedback, constructive evaluation, and approaching goals and opportunities for growth, they’re likely to remain with a company and see how their achievements contribute to the big picture.
Tip 4: Continue to develop talent through succession planning.
Although a talent acquisition strategy is paramount in a company, succession planning is also an important practice for HR leaders to implement.
Succession planning is the process by which a company plans for the next leaders to emerge as current leaders’ company life cycles come to a head, and they leave or retire. In this process, prospective leaders are trained, and the company works to develop these forthcoming leaders’ skills while current leaders are still in place. This process invests in a company’s human capital to ensure that vital roles aren’t left unfilled should anything unexpected occur.
It’s an excellent idea to invest in current employees while acquiring new employees to maintain a talent pool that is already well-versed, familiar, and acquainted with the company, work culture, business objectives, and team members.
A 2015 study by Software Advice determined that 62% of employees are “significantly more engaged” at work if their company has a succession plan. Succession plans show that companies value their employees, and want to see employees succeed and grow. These processes show that a company sees the value of investing in its employees.
Tip 5: Develop a thorough, collaborative process of workforce planning.
Effective workforce planning requires a collaborative effort between departments. This process includes the pre-planning that goes into the talent acquisition strategy, such as the budget available to hire new employees, the timing of projects and deliverables, and the specific talents needed to accomplish the goals at hand.
The workforce planning process is vital for a company to remain successful and on-track with fulfilling its objectives. If there isn’t a collaborative effort in this planning process, it’s likely that crucial factors are missed and budgets and costs are overrun.
For instance, leaders in the human resources department must meet with leaders of the financial services department to understand the budget available for acquiring new talent. The finance department has a clear understanding of how much money may be allotted to the talent acquisition process and how many new employees the company can hire. Similarly, the marketing and project management departments should collaborate in workforce planning as well. It’s important to consider deadlines, upcoming projects, future goals, and required talents that are needed to achieve business goals.
If a talent management strategy does not consider workforce planning before hiring new employees, it’s possible that profit margins will decrease, deadlines are missed, goals and milestones are not met, and money, time, and energy are used inefficiently.
For your company to see a positive shift in its talent pool, it’s time to create an effective talent management strategy that ensures growth and a positive ROI.
As with the implementation of any new process in an already-established work environment, ensuring buy-in from leaders, stakeholders, and employers is an important piece. To address hesitations and encourage team members to be on-board with the adoption of a new strategy:
- Communicate the value of refining the talent management process.
- Educate team members on the details and specifics of what they can expect to experience with this change.
- Encourage team members who are on-board with the changes to share their knowledge and perspective with other employees.
- Directly identify and address specific concerns team members may have to provide solutions, justifications and details that curb any hesitations.
A personalized core values communication journey can assist this process of ensuring all employees are on-board with changes to company processes and are knowledgeable of business objectives and company values.
Implementing an effective talent management process is imperative for attracting talented employees who will bring the necessary skills and experiences needed within a company. A talent management strategy also assists in employee retention and further development of employees’ skills.
Without a proper talent strategy in place, a company can plateau at its current level of operation and miss out on profits, business growth, the acquisition of new clients or customers, and critical talent in the workforce.