Talent management is the ability and commitment of an organisation to recruit, retain, and develop the most superior and highly talented employees available in the job market, while taking into account widening skill gaps, demographic shifts and effects of several generations present in the market today.
“Hire hard...Manage easily!” - Collins, J. (2001). Good to great
With changing times, organisations have increased their focus towards the well being and personal growth of their human capital. However, for every other brand, creating an image as the "employer of choice" remains to be a consistent challenge. Such a gap is owing to the lack of understanding on the change in desires and aspirations of employees. The factors contributing to such changes include market competition, disruptive technologies, infinite employment opportunities and many more. Therefore, an organisation should have a clear, targeted, and a well defined talent strategy in order to be successful with its objectives. It should have fully developed and integrated talent activities aligned to the brand's vision and mission. The emerging focus towards the new era of talent management is a major step towards managing human capital. Talent management is the ability and commitment of an organisation to recruit, retain, and develop the most superior and highly talented employees available in the job market, while taking into account widening skill gaps, demographic shifts and effects of several generations present in the market today. Today, the big question haunting every organisation is - how to create a well-defined talent strategy? Few important elements which can provide us with the roadmap for an effective talent management exercise are: -
1. Strategic Talent Planning
Talent planning implies an understanding of the organisational goals, competition and demand prediction within the organisation, with complete knowledge of the current environment. Organisations should be able to showcase their uniqueness to prospective employees to make them an employer of choice. The talent hunt should be carried out from multiple sources to get the right candidate on board. For instance, employee referrals form a good source since it creates an internal network within the organisation with an intrinsic accountability of the employee hired, over the employee who has referred him/her. After sourcing, screening and assessing candidates are the next steps forward. Also, introduction of standard tests and methods of assessment can help get better candidates rather than depending on hiring managers alone.
2. Recruiting the best talent
Building a great team is high on the priority list for nearly every company. Attracting the right talent to your organisation is a challenge that must be met head-on by way of making use of innovative ways. The key is to showcase "What's in it for you? If you wish to be part of this organisation." This gives recruiting the façade of a marketing effort, and in reality, best recruiting techniques have their roots in the most effective marketing tactics. Beyond the traditional and inherent hiring processes that involve multiple screening levels by way of assessments and interviews, it also becomes pertinent to envisage certain innovative means to recruit the best possible talent in a job market, which at times, is candidate friendly. Researching social media profiles have become standard tools to evaluate talent, and screening if candidate resumes can form one part of the process, and the vetting of the candidate profiles can be done on platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media profiles, since they provide accurate information on the candidate's social behaviour, his network and his orientation on various issues and aspects. For an organisation, it is important to market its compensation package beyond salary. While pay checks are important, it does not remain as the only thing to influence the right talent. Flexible conditions and work hours, a stimulating work environment that provides room for innovation etc. makes work exciting by providing a harmonious balance between work and life. The option of remote working to accommodate personal commitments, paid time off, sabbatical leave to pursue other interests, fitness benefits, allowing participation in communityservice/volunteer work, eco-friendly approach etc. attracts strong talent and goes a long way.
3. Fair performance management system
An effective performance management system does play an imperative role for the effective management of individual and team performance. It ensures that proper feedback is given to employees when required, and ensures that they stand aligned with the organisational goals. When performance is assessed in a fair manner, there is an enhanced level of satisfaction among the employees, thus, making them to put their best efforts for driving growth.
4. Employee Learning and Development
In order to create an environment of sustainable growth, the learning and development strategy of the organisation should aim to develop the workforce's skills and competencies. The right training and development can greatly enhance employee engagement by nurturing talent, and helping people to learn newer things and improve their performance. Since the skills of today are bound to become obsolete tomorrow, learning and thereby development becomes a continuous process. Hence, organisations should make this an enduring activity, and thus keep upgrading the content of the training material. With the workplaces encompassing a workforce of various generations, organisations must be innovative in their ways of employee learning, as with the right tools that matches employee preferences. Adapting mobile solutions makes the process of learning all the more exciting and easy for the employees, since handheld devices have become the order of the day. This, in addition, overrides the issue of delegating time exclusively for such an activity, since employees are already bogged down with busy schedules.
Roadmap For Effective Talent Management
◆ Strategic talent planning
◆ Recruiting the best talent
◆ Career planning and flexibility
◆ Compensation and reward management
◆ Succession planning of all critical talent
◆ Evaluation and talent retention
5. Career planning and flexibility
For any organisation to be achieve success, it is pertinent that employees' personal goals are aligned with organisation's business objectives. This is what career planning aims to achieve. If an organisation provides enough opportunities for an employee to grow and explore within the organisation, then the employee might not want to pursue other avenues outside. If employee turnover needs to be reduced, organisations need to execute good career planning for all employees. In addition to career planning, flexibility at work is another important aspect that organisations need to consider in order to manage talent and reduce high employee turnover. This makes employees feel valued.
6. Compensation and reward management
Performance rewards and success actually matter more than the very achievement. This makes rewards as the extra budget that the organisation is willing to pay employees for their good performance. The best compensation and reward management system ensures that the organisation pays employees well enough to keep them motivated to give their best to the organisation. Employees also seek parity in compensation when they work the same number of hours, the same type of job roles, and a similar work experience. The top talent in any organisation has the skills that other employees strive for, and they desire to get paid for their contribution to the organisation aptly. Hence, organisations should take special care to drive employee satisfaction, especially for the high performers to avoid high turnover rate. However, rewards constitute only one part to motivate individuals and incentivize good performance, and are not the be all and end all that everyone likes to believe. Hence, a proper reward system in organisations aligned with the correct strategic fit between internal motivation and external rewards, and, only when they are in balance can organisations grow in a healthy manner.
7. Succession planning of all critical talent
According to a survey by SHRM, 60% of the organisations do not have any succession planning of their critical talent. Succession planning is the process of identifying the critical and top talent in the organisation, followed by the identification of the prospective talent that can replace the critical talent in case the latter quits the organisation. Succession planning has lost its charm in the contemporary world as employees look at it as just another 'plan' which does not have much significance as scenarios and conditions are really dynamic in organisations. As a result, plans keep changing. Hence, the focus should be to make it more of a succession development for all critical employees and make them realize that the organisation is interested in developing their abilities continuously in order to take them from one level to the next. This keeps the employees motivated and highly engaged. Developing procedure manuals for essential tasks carried out by key positions including step-by-step guidelines and adequate preparation time yields desired results.
"Succession planning is the process of identifying the critical and top talent in the organisation, followed by the identification of the prospective talent that can replace the critical talent in case the latter quits the organisation. Succession planning has lost its charm in the contemporary world as employees look at it as just another 'plan' which does not have much significance as scenarios and conditions are really dynamic in organisations."
Organisations today employ several ways and tools to evaluate an employee's longevity in the organisation. With the average span of an employee reducing to less than 5 years, employers need to constantly engage with their employees in order to find out their current level of engagement with the organisation. This, in turn, determines, whether the organisation is at high, low or medium risk of losing the employee to a competitor. Tools such as Employee Risk Reduction (ERR) and Early Warning System (EWS) are now used by various organisations to gauge the risk levels of losing employees. What is required is a high level of trust and engagement between the immediate supervisor and employee in order to understand the risk levels of losing an employee. There are examples where by way of making use of such practices have helped organisations curtail attrition to below 15% which is a worthy IT industry standard. For an organisation to stay relevant and ahead of its competition in today's dynamic and ever-evolving industry environment, employers need to drive business ambitions keeping talent at its core. Talent management no longer remains as a choice anymore it is a necessity!
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