Talent Management – just another example of HR jargon?
We in the HR fraternity don’t do ourselves many favours with all of the jargon that we introduce to describe activities that CEO’s view simply as a case of good people management.
A case in point is that term -Talent Management (TM). Plainly put it’s a business plan about the people that an organisation needs to achieve its strategy, plans and, in the current climate, growth therefore it covers internal employees and possible candidates too.
“If you get TM right you have the right people, with the right skills available at the right time to fill roles or improve performance so that your business you can achieve it’s goals”
For that reason, Talent Management (TM) tends to sit at the more strategic end of the HR continuum and companies who put their weight behind it see quick and positive results in innovation and productivity and have the ability to swiftly take on new contracts.
Traditionalist TM aims to:
“source, attract, select, develop, engage, retain, reward, promote and progress employees through the organisation”.
Forget the theory, there are 6 practical steps that you can take in your business to provide a steady flow of talent. I can’t give you all of my ideas as you would have to hire me for that, but if you begin adding some of these to the traditional purple stuff above it will help build a steady flow of talent to slot into roles as they become available and make sure that current talent is working to full potential.
- Use Competencies
I know I bang on about this a lot but the key to implementing your Talent approach/supply is to identify your company’s unique competences. A well thought through model is a bit of a pain to develop but it will impact all of the purple stuff above and become the foundation of talent, staffing and development activity. What are the critical 3 or 4 behaviours or skills that will mean your business achieves its goals?
- Use Contractors and Interims
Fill short-term specialist gaps with specialists! Contractors are relatively easily obtained and good ones are experienced to fit in quickly bringing lots of past experience to your business. Where there’s a changing need for staff and skills this is a very useful option. It makes workforce reductions easy to manage and can be used to manage fluctuations in resource needs.
- Use workforce optimisation software for flexible work patterns
Flexible working patterns are an effective response to the large amount of individual differences that exist in the workforce. Everyone has different career objectives, work-life balance and career choice and the profile of employees is becoming increasingly diverse. Get yourself into a position where you can offer your best talent flexible work patterns and you’ll reap the number one benefit of workplace diversity which is – competitive advantage!
- Build a useful employer brand
Large and small employers need a brand that attracts the right individuals – a brand that fits their purpose, identity and future intent will help potential employees decide whether there’s a fit between them and the organisation.
Top tip – get your self a sharp and snappy Recruitment video that encapsulates your unique culture – no more than 2 minutes in duration. Put it on You Tube.
- Train Leaders to become Talent Managers
Large business or small, carry out simple but formal executive discussions about emerging talent requirements and key roles. A few years back I suggested this to the MD of a small, but growing business a few years ago. At the time he dismissed the idea because the business was too small. He admits to me now that it is an important activity for his executive team because they need to know which of their existing talent has the wherewithal to work in the new outlets they are opening and what skills they need to buy in. Large business or small, talent still matters if you want to beat the competition
- Target Key Talent
Finally, don’t be afraid to put your weight behind roles which are vital to the achievement of strategic goals. Spend time on them…recognise the skills that are pivotal in your particular business. Bill Gates recognized that very I and said “one great programmer is worth 1000 good programmers”
He’s got a point you know.
Ruth Gawthorpe is the owner of the Change Directors: an HR & business change specialist who has a focus on driving productivity and growth through people and would like to share her lessons learned with you.