Want to recruit and retain the best talent for your company? Make sure you have a plan in place. If you really want to take your talent sourcing to the next level, you’ll have to look beyond quick fixes like swapping around interview questions.
In this article, we will discuss how to create a successful, comprehensive talent management strategy that will elevate your recruitment and retention processes.
What is a Talent Management Strategy?
Recruitment, selection, onboarding, retention… what do these aspects all have in common? They’re all dictated by the talent management strategy. This area of the business is dedicated to sourcing and empowering a company’s talent. From the moment you find a new hire to the moment they become part of your company, your talent management strategy is in effect. When the strategy is clearly defined, loyal employees become easier to find and develop.
Why is a talent management strategy important?
Talent management is vital to the success and longevity of a company. Here are a few reasons why it’s always a good idea to revisit your talent management strategy:
- Organizational alignment – Without a strategy in place, your HR professionals might work on conflicting initiatives. For example, one HR manager may believe that recruiting C-level executives should be the priority, while another may focus on promoting employees from within. An unaligned team leads to inefficient allocation of time and resources. In one study, 85% of CEOs said talent management is as important or more important than other business initiatives.
- Better candidate selection – Talent management strategy is concerned with how you find and select employees. Based on one Recruiterbox statistic, 60% of candidates have quit an application because it took too long. With a strategy, hiring managers have a clearer understanding of how to carry out their recruitment according to the company goals.
- Greater employee engagement – Talent management strategy is crucial to an engaged and connected workforce. That involves ensuring your employees’ voices are heard, that their feedback is taken into account, and that they can continue to do their best work. In one study from TalentNow, 56% of marketers reported using data to improve employee retention, the top use for data in recruitment.
- Brighter career outcomes – Talent management isn’t only reserved for new hires— a strong strategy considers existing employees as well. Talent management ensures that your current team has the necessary resources to progress in their career path, such as salaries, benefits, equipment, etc.
What are the key components of a talent management strategy?
We covered the key components of talent management strategy in last week’s post, so this section will focus on the elements of each segment.
1. Attracting talent
Recruitment and hiring practices are some of the primary concerns for any business. For businesses to launch successfully, they need to select the right employees. Attracting talent involves:
- Scouting and recruiting talent – How will your company find new talent? Which channels will you use? What criteria will you require?
- Interviews – Which questions will you ask? How will the interview be structured?
- Candidate selection – Out of all the viable candidates, how will you select the best fit?
- Onboarding processes – How will you ensure that new hires are seamlessly integrated into the team?
2. Developing leadership
Identify the leaders in your team. These sharp problem-solvers understand how to best allocate the talent to the most important projects, without ever losing sight of the bigger picture. Developing leadership involves:
- Training talent – How can employees be empowered to work more effectively?
- Promotions – Which employees have grown in their position and have the potential to be promoted to a higher position?
- Performance management – How will you track the efforts and output of each employee?
3. Motivating the team
Motivation fuels the work of your team. Without it, they may be left feeling drained and uninspired. Motivation involves:
- Creating incentives – Besides pay, how will you reward your top-performing employees?
- Communicating culture – What aspects of the company culture will inspire employees to improve? How will you convey this to them?
4. Retaining talent
Even the best recruitment strategy would be for nothing if your company is unable to retain its best talent. Talent retention includes:
- Providing benefits – What kinds of benefits packages will you offer? How will you stay competitive?
- Pay increases – When should you give your employees a raise? By how much?
- Strategy reviews – How often do you revisit your strategy? How will you attempt to change it?
- Feedback – How will you collect feedback from your team? How will you implement their feedback?
What are the types of talent management strategies?
As we’ve seen, talent management encompasses various aspects of the business. It should come as no surprise that there are different types of talent management strategy, each with a unique focus. Let’s explore a few:
Cultural strategy is concerned with defining the character of a business. It’s how your hiring managers know which candidates to choose (cultural fit), how your current employees treat each other, and how your customers perceive your brand. A positive company culture creates a welcoming community, encourages diversity and inclusion, and offers wellness programs that protect employees.
Your culture is often defined by three parts: vision, mission statement, and core values:
- The vision is what your company aspires to be or where it wants to go.
- The mission statement defines what it does right now.
- Finally, the core values state the principles and philosophy of your brand. Every business should know, be able to answer, and clearly communicate these three pieces to the organization and to your customers.
In relation to the key components of talent management strategy, performance management is most closely linked to motivation and leadership development. In other words, performance management tracks and analyzes the efforts of each individual. This type of management makes sure that the business continues to operate at its highest potential.
Performance may measure the financial aspects of a business, but in relation to each individual, it also tracks productivity, such as the number of tasks they completed on a given day, week, or month.
Organizational management is centered around how the company is structured. In other words, what are the various departments of the business, and who are the leaders and subordinates?
Organizational management also concerns itself with the professional development and progression of each individual. When an employee has stayed with your company for several years, it’s important that they are rewarded with some sort of promotion for their hard work. Organizational management is also important in succession planning, which involves lining up an immediate replacement in the event a high-level leader leaves the company.
Examples of talent management strategies
Interested in learning from companies with successful and robust talent management strategies? Let’s take a look at a few case studies.
University of California
Talent management is crucial in academic studies. The University of California’s human resources division prepared a comprehensive presentation that outlines the scope of their talent management strategy between 2015 and 2019. In it, they start by defining a value continuum from the high-priority, time-sensitive tasks to their tactical goals, to their overall vision for their future. For each category (employee relations, benefits packages, etc.), the University of California defines a strategic theme, mission, the objective of each strategy, and future implications.
The Southern Ontario-based county starts its talent management strategy deck with an executive summary, followed by a definition of a talent management strategy. Peterborough County goes as far as including various statistics and chart data to demonstrate the importance of talent management. Their strategy is similar to University of California’s. It starts with the strategic objectives which inform the strategy. It then informs recruitment selection, workforce planning, organizational design, and more.
Looking for other examples of effective strategies? SkillsHub lists five examples along with their strategic decks so you can have a better idea of how to formulate your own business’s strategy.
Talent management tools
While it’s perfectly acceptable to recruit without software, using a reputable recruitment platform can make the process easier, particularly if you have an organization with over 100 people. These tools can assist with tracking applications, video interviews, human capital management, or general recruitment. Here are a few examples:
- Applicant Tracking – Bullhorn, Greenhouse, SAP SuccessFactors, iCIMS, Jobvite, Workable, Workday
- Video Interviews – ConveyIQ, HireVue, Spark Hire, Wepow
- General Recruitment CRMs – Avature, Jibe, SmashFly, Talemetry, Yello
Employee engagement platforms
The other side of talent management tools is focused on keeping employees connected to the company. These other tools are known as employee engagement platforms and feedback assessment software. These use data to analyze the performance of your teams, collect feedback, and deliver you real-time insights on improving your business.
- Employee engagement platforms – Beekeeper, Glint, SurveyMonkey Engage, Qualtrics, Peakon
- HR Software – BambooHR, Zenefits, Namely
These options only scratch the surface when it comes to available technology. Other, more advanced options can use artificial intelligence to give you insights on the best candidate, but you have to be careful not to rely too heavily on AI, which can be just as biased as a human being. For other options on talent management tools, check out Ideal’s helpful infographic.
Tools for internal branding
Your company may also need software to brand your documents with your logo, design newsletters or blogs, or create flyers for networking events. We won’t go in-depth about your options (there are far too many to mention), but we highly recommend Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, as well as Canva.
You would be surprised how even the biggest and best companies fail to have a robust talent management strategy. They believe that they can cruise by without one, making important decisions on the fly. Yet foregoing a strategy can only result in a directionless company with high turnover and low employee engagement.
Talent management strategy is a large concept to tackle, especially in a single post. There are several moving parts that can be difficult to address, particularly if your business only has a handful of individuals. But by analyzing the various parts of a strategy, you can begin to understand how your business may adapt and create its own strategy. The more you work at it, the more you’ll start to see a change in professionalism and productivity of your own team. That alone will put your talent management ahead of some of the world’s leading brands.
Looking to read more blog posts about talent management and running a business? Check out Novel Coworking’s blog.