An HR’s Guide to Talent Management

  

Talent management is a growing focus among organizations. As companies are becoming increasingly reliant on talent for growth, talent management is moving up on the list of priorities of human resources departments. Companies today understand talent management is a key strategic function to achieve organizational goals. Unlike few years ago, talent management isn’t limited to recruiting, instead it has incorporated many other functions. From an administrative function, it has turned into a strategic function. To stay in the game, talent management professionals need to stay ahead of the curve. In this post, we will explore what is talent management and how companies are approaching their talent management initiatives in 2019.

What is talent management?

In a nutshell, talent management is a strategy to hire, train, retain, and develop employees. From a strategic point of view – it would mean to attract, train, and develop employees, to achieve organizational goals. Considering this, talent management turns out to be a combined effort of managers and HRs, instead of just HR. Taking this into consideration, hr professionals need to up their game. 

Often, a solid talent management strategy addresses-- recruitment, training, and retention of productive and engaged employees. This, however, has changed over the last few years. And companies are taking different approaches. To understand these approaches, let’s know these four areas in detail below --

  1. Recruitment—This is a primary area of talent management strategy. After all, an organization needs talent before it can engage in any other talent-related function. As part of recruitment strategy, companies engaging in attracting talent which can later be converted in employees.
  2. Performance management— Performance is a key component as better performance of employees leads to better growth and faster achievement of strategic goals set forth by an organization.
  3. Learning & development­— Continuous learning and development leads to better engagement of employees, which further leads them to stay longer with the company.
  4. Retention—As part of retention, engaged and high performing employees are kept as long as possible. This increases productivity and successful achievement of goals.

How is talent management changing?

Even though, the areas addressed by a talent management strategy remains the same as above, HR leaders have found newer (specifically technological) ways to go about improving these areas. Here are some ways in which companies are doing so -- 

  1. Putting analytics in talent management --Talent analytics is becoming more mainstream across industries. More often than not, talent and leadership profiles are based on gut feeling, rather than scientific evidence. Past performance, personality characteristics, etc. can help us judge the right talent for a job. This, fortunately, can be done with people analytics, and companies are using tools and technologies to ascertain and find right talent. 
  1. Splitting performance management-- Managers are often not good coaches. To address this issue, HR leaders are splitting performance management into two objectives. First, output and goal setting. Second, personal development. First objective centers around achieving business goals, while second centers around making employees better. Top-down approach is necessary for goal setting. While for the second, companies organize coaching sessions for managers to become good coaches for their subordinates. A few companies, are propelling managers to record their training in HR workflows.  
  1. Moving from standardization to personalization -- HR has always been focused on standardized processes catering to every employee in the same way. However, this has to change. As every employee is unique and demand a different reward altogether. Training programs, benefits, coaching programs and mentoring are often provided to a group, instead of an individual. Companies are taking approaches to change this and take a more actively personalized approach.
  2. More transparency -- HR leaders are becoming more transparent with hr policies and hiring. Top-down approaches tend to be secret. Companies are rather engaging in candidates by openly publishing opportunities, which leads to interesting candidates applying for the role.
  3. Internal mobility is seen as an additional benefit -- Human resources are hugely reliant on internal workforce. As it normally goes in hr teams, internal is better than external. However, this is changing talent acquisition is now gaining a broader scope and human resources are looking at broadening their acquisitions scope, are not simply relying on hiring and fulfilling positions from internal teams.
  4. Millennial workforce -- The number of millennials is increasing in the workforce and their demands and behavior in the workforce is very different from the last gen employees. HR professionals are aligning their policies accordingly

In a nutshell, talent management leaders are recognizing the need for reforms in talent management strategy and are taking advantage of technology, millennials’ behavior and interest, to come up with better approaches to engage talent and achieve organization goals. Talent management strategies are, like yesteryear, aren’t hard-and-fast, but flexible to incorporate changes. Like the way it should have always been.  

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