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Shining a Spotlight on Talent Management

The term talent management is no longer one bandied about by HR professionals, not is it just jargon. It has become a matter of increasing importance in today’s business landscape, with employees, prospective employees and even clients interested in an organization’s talent management strategies. Talent management covers the entire lifecycle of the employee, from recruitment, on boarding, to training, performance management, retention, succession planning, right until the moment the employee retires of leaves the company.

Ideally, employees should be able to see their place in the larger picture, and know what impact their role has. When employees feel a buy-in is when they will be most active and engaged. To this end, it makes sense to have your talent management strategies aligned to your company’s goals, mission and vision. When you are encouraging and training employees in keeping with your organization’s business goals and strategies, it’s a win-win.

Talent management starts even before an employee joins your ranks
Make sure you are following practices to encourage talent right from the start. When posting job openings, have clear and well-defined job descriptions so the expectations from the prospective employee, as well as the requisite skills-set, is clearly stated. Pick candidates who will be a good fit with the organization’s culture and ethics. Make sure your pay scale meets industry standards and is commensurate with the candidate’s experience and education. Once the candidate is on board, training and on-boarding should happen quickly – nothing worse than an employee languishing with nothing to do and without getting the full picture about the company – this will lower morale immediately.

Apart from the expected hierarchy of managers and super bosses, implementing a mentoring program and assigning mentors to employees is a great talent management and retention move.  This will work for both parties – the mentor and the mentee. The former gets the chance to share the experience and wisdom they have garnered and injects something new into their work day. For mentees, they are getting to interact with a senior professional and learn from them.

Shed light on the path
Another good way to retain talent is to have career planning for employees. If the career development path and opportunities are open and accessible for employees, it helps them know how they can grow within the organization and what they need to do to achieve their own personal career goals. Make sure to post job openings internally, and give employees the chance to see what other options are present within the company. In fact, hiring internally is always more cost effective and involves less training, so candidates are job ready faster.

Providing feedback on a regular basis, both from teammates and managers, is a critical aspect of effective talent management, as it improves engagement and offers employees the chance to do better, while proving that management is aware of what is going on. It is important to keep feedback mechanisms and review processes standardized across the organization, so all employees feel valued and evaluated on similar criteria. One way to achieve this is by having an internal talent management resource, who owns the process.

Alongside feedback comes training. In order to effectively implement a talent management program in your organization, having the appropriate support from the Learning and Development or training team is critical. You have to engage in training needs analysis, identify the training needs and offer training programs for your employees.

Conducting exit interviews when employees leave, and not just by their HR representative, is another aspect that will aid in talent management. It helps to know why valued and successful employees make the decision to leave, and also to understand why disgruntled employees felt that way, in order to improve retention in the future.

Better talent means better business performance and better results. That’s the reason talent management has come to the forefront in organizations today. Gone are the days when employees stayed at the same job for the length and breadth of their careers. They are on the lookout for more exciting opportunities where they can learn more. Feeling undervalued or unappreciated by their bosses is one big reason that employees leave an organization. Talent management strategies can address such factors as they improve the overall employee engagement and satisfaction levels.

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