What talent management strategies to adopt?

talent management

At a time when skills are becoming strategic for service companies, talent management seems essential to ensure the sustainability of your business.

Here’s how to address them by reviewing the fundamentals of talent management:

What is talent management?

According to Armstrong, the “talents” of your company are the people who own it:

“Specific talents, skills or competencies that enable them to effectively carry out their mandates.”

And it is these talents that give your company a competitive advantage over your competitor, with key market skills.

They generally represent 3% of your workforce, with three main characteristics:

  • They achieve better than average results
  • They inspire others to do the same.
  • They are consistent with the company’s culture, mission and values

If we look at the processes related to talent management, 4 main steps will have to be taken in order to consolidate your competitive advantage.

1. How to identify talents?

Acquiring talent is a good thing, but it is also necessary to know on which criteria to select and identify them.

  • Technical skills: the ability to apply technical skills and expertise to a particular field or function.
  • Relational skills: ability to work in a team and understand, communicate, motivate and lead a team.
  • Conceptual skills: ability to analyze complex situations, have a holistic view and be able to make the right decision at the right time.

Once these skills have been identified for your company and your sector of activity, they will have to be weighted according to their importance in meeting the particular needs of the person sought, depending on the level of management.

2.  How to acquire talents?

The second point to consider when looking at talent development is to work on your brand as an employer:

  • The employer brand can be defined as: “all the functional, economic or psychological benefits that an employee may have to work for you.
  • There are several elements to consider when considering your value proposition, such as corporate culture, functional or symbolic benefits.
  • Like a market you want to conquer, the goal will be to find your key selling point, which differentiates you from your competitors in the job market.

Two types of talent acquisition, one by looking inside the organization, and the other by looking for your talents in the job market.

Internally:

It is often the easiest and least risky way to find talent. If your corporate culture is sufficiently well established, you will have little work to do to ensure that your candidates are aligned with the company’s values.

However, avoid falling into a potential lack of diversity by only using talents from your organization.

Performance evaluation will also be simpler and you can focus on the personality, values and attitude of the candidates.

Externally:

If this method is more risky and costly, potentially counterproductive on the morals of your employees, it can be formidable if the talents are well identified.

The key here will be to ensure that your candidates meet all the requirements in terms of skills and knowledge or experience, while having access to a much larger pool of candidates.

3. How to develop your talents?

Once your talents have been identified and their key competencies measured, it will be necessary to create internal programs to test and measure them.

All that remains are to determine what your needs are, what the objectives of the training are, and how it will be applied (location, content, method, recurrence). You will then be able to set up the training and measure its results.

You will need to develop programs to train your talents on the three key skills (technical, relational and conceptual) that we identified earlier.

To help this development, you will have two options: to establish it inside or outside the company.

  1. Inside the company:

This option is most often chosen by small and medium-sized companies, taking advantage of internal resources to organize workshops. Generally, we talk about training or apprenticeship workshops, job rotation for more cross-functionality or internal coaching with a mentoring system.

More rarely, talents can also be assigned to specific projects, with the aim of developing certain key skills.

The advantage of this method is above all its cost. It will also be easier for you to carry out training in line with your activity, but with less input from outside vision, which can separate the development of your talents.

  1. Outside the company:

Most often chosen by large companies, the implementation of training and development outside your organization can take several forms. Several options are available to you, between the use of exclusive or inter-company seminars with the possibility of customizing a program or applying standardized methods.

On manager profiles it is possible to mention the Executive MBA (Master of Business Administration) programs, which allow your talents to acquire recognition and theoretical skills in positions where leadership is needed.

Finally, in special cases it is also possible to use external coaching. One example may be in the case of an expatriation, in order to address all the issues related to a cultural change.

The advantage of this external development is above all to have access to expertise outside the company. You will allow your talents to gain perspective, and to take advantage of an external network to acquire new skills.

Of course, this will lead to more costs in managing your talent, with potential content standardization when using external actors.

Know how to distribute and adapt your training according to the profiles, and make the most of each one!

4. How to manage your talents?

Once these processes are in place, you will be able to track your talents and ensure that you create a sustainable situation. To keep control of your key resources, you will need to measure the level of commitment and the propensity of your talents to stay in your company.

You will be able to identify 4 different profiles with 4 strategies to adopt:

For a low level of commitment and a low propensity to stay

These are the profiles least suited to your organization, and training and development investments should be limited. Make sure you have understood the reasons for this low commitment and low loyalty, it can sometimes be a misunderstanding!

Attrition rates will be higher on these profiles, so you will need to anticipate and prepare for their departure.

For a low level of commitment and a high propensity to stay

For this type of profile, know how to understand the reasons for this low level of commitment: is it a lack of coherence in waiting for objectives and the level of remuneration? Is this a poorly adapted position?

Once the problem has been identified and the solution implemented, you will be able to make these employees real ambassadors for your organization.

For a high level of commitment and a low propensity to stay

We must react as soon as possible to this type of profile, by working with them to build a real career plan in which your organization will have its full place. They are generally junior profiles, with a strong willingness and propensity to achieve their objectives.

For a strong level of commitment and a strong propensity to stay

These are your champions, and the talents on which you will have to invest the most. They will be your leaders of tomorrow and will bring added value to your organization.

Know how to set up substantial budgets to give your talent development policy the means to be effective. The goal here will be to emphasize training and coaching on conceptual or leadership skills.

To go further

Talent management must also go hand in hand with technological advances.

1) Involve your management in talent management

This is an essential point, since talent management is closely linked to the company’s medium- and long-term strategy.

However, involving your management does not mean that information must come from above. Only the impulse and the guideline must be established by the decision-makers, the identification, monitoring and development of your talents must remain the responsibility of your managers.

The objective here is to have a “bottom-up” vision, and there is nothing like a collaborative tool to circulate information correctly.

2) Your HR department must be a catalyst

In the same spirit as the first point, it is your managers in the field who will be able to identify and develop your talents. Even if this management must involve your Human Resources department, it is only to a support and catalyst function that it must be limited.

A human resources management solution will again help you create synergies in information sharing, particularly in terms of skills management, individual objectives and performance.

3) Apply agile methodologies to your talent management

As we have seen, talent development is a matter of tailor-made solutions. The best method to apply comes from project management: it is the agile method.

In short, you must be committed to continuous improvement, to properly identify your company’s needs and to ensure that your talents are consistent with your corporate culture.

4) Take advantage of innovations

By implementing tools that make your daily work easier, you will allow your talents to work on the right projects, at the right time, on the right budget.

Whether in the monitoring of your activity, or in the right quantitative and qualitative measure of your talent performance, a tool like Basaas will help you keep a close eye on your talents.

5) A change of mindset for your organization

Nowadays, we are witnessing a change in the status of your decision-makers, and in the relationship to hierarchy and decision-making. To be part of a continuous improvement approach, your leaders must foster this process, and even more so when it comes to talent development.

So, according to Carol Dweck, you have to move from a mindset of “I know everything” to “I have everything to learn”, that’s the essence of continuous improvement. To be able to measure and develop your talents, you will need continuous efforts that a digital tool can help you monitor.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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