5 steps to managing the talent process

September 27, 2016

Top enterprises know the importance of the talent management. The reason, according to Edward E Lawler, is straight forward. Talent management directly contributes to the bottom line.

Why does talent management have such an impact?

Today’s companies, more than ever, rely on their intangible assets to compete and succeed. Ocean Tomo points out that in 1975, less than 20% of the value of S&P 500 companies was made up of intangibles. Today, that figure is closer to 85%. It is a company’s intangible assets – its intellectual capital, its brand and above all its human capital – that give it the competitive edge over other companies. And it is an organization’s people which puts those intangible assets to work.

Talent management – getting the right people into the right jobs and helping them excel once there – is core to organizational success.

Five steps to success

Managing the talent process can be broken up into these steps:

  • Understand the requirement for a role – what are the characteristics that make top performers stand out? This is the basis for a role success profile.
  • Source the talent that matches closest to this success profile, focusing on behaviors for repeatable, predictable success. (Side note: this approach also boosts diversity.)
  • Develop your employees. After recruiting the best people, keep developing them. This need not mean, however, training – instead, create an environment where they can be self-direct learners.
  • Manage their performance – rather than traditional annual performance management reviews, adopt continuous performance management, an agile approach that keeps employees on track in this fast-changing business world.
  • Retain your people. Continuous performance management is one of the most important ways of retaining staff. Retention is most boosted, however, if you recruit well at the beginning of the process, enabling people to enjoy the work they are best suited for.

No cookie-cutter approach

These five steps need to be carefully and individually designed for each enterprise. They cannot be deployed with a checklist mentality. 50% of executives who rate their talent programs as excellent stated that they apply design thinking well, and self-identified high-performing companies are three to four times more likely than their competitors to be applying design thinking to their people practices

It is possible to see why such a rigorous approach is necessary. A recent survey found that 63% of all respondents are concerned about the scarcity of critical talent available in the external market. And hand-in-hand with identifying internal talent comes the need to match it to the right roles. According to Aberdeen Group, best-in-class organizations are 81.2% more likely to have a process which identifies the job roles are critical to organizational success.

The need for technology

Managing the talent process well requires appropriate technology. The complexities of an increasingly dispersed workforce demand that. And the technology must reach the standards employees have come to expect – the consumer-grade, mobile-enabled experience that they take for granted when they use technology at home.

As well as the technology front end promoting a great experience, the back end must do what enterprise systems have traditionally struggled to do – it must share data effectively, across territories and across a range of systems both in the cloud and on organizational servers. And will have to do this seamlessly. Sharing data enables powerful correlations to be made, and making it widely available enables managers and employees to take action based on it.

It is this ability to take meaningful action, based on solid data that is the core reason for talent management. It enables people not just to find the most suitable job for them, but to continue to improve their own performance within that role. With people lying at the core of an organization’s value, good talent management is clearly essential for success.

Even in the midst of economic uncertainty – which sometimes can prompt restructuring, downsizing and hiring freezes – continuing with the talent management process is an imperative if an organization aspires to retain and develop talent. There can be no time outs or downtime on this one.

Amy Ihlen, Sr. Director, Product Management

  • Talent Management
  • North America
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