Managing Talent for Performance, Productivity, and Profitability

Hiring Chaos 210All too often managers rush the hiring process just to get a warm body in a seat to reduce the workload on current talent. Then the fun begins. All too often when rushing the hiring process, the new hire turns out to be a poor fit for the position, a mismatch for your culture, or they have a bad attitude. Oh, and since one time saving trick was neglecting checking backgrounds you find the individual has a gift for exaggeration in the interview and on their resume and does not have the skills required to do the job. Failing to take time to administer an assessment, you now discover that that this person is missing some important attributes and they come in late, leave early, need to take time off right away for some “personal” events that need their attention more than the job. Wait, what do you mean you do not think this is fun? No fun indeed. What is the cure for this hiring dilemma?

In two words, talent management. Talent management does not begin with the hiring process. Talent management requires a commitment from the top level to hiring, training, coaching, and developing talent that meets the organization’s business vision. This requires strategy and then executing that strategy.

The Strategy Begins

Talent management begins with your strategic planning process. It is OK to have bold plans, just be sure to incorporate how these plans will be executed and that you include a plan for hiring the right talent to execute those plans. The overarching strategy for accomplishing this mission is to ensure that your vision has been driven throughout the organization. Hiring managers with different ideas about your goals and the type of talent to achieve those goals will only result in chaos.

Recruiting Strategy

Everyone needs to have a commitment to hiring top talent. This means that your organizational culture cannot be one of cutting corners or hunting for warms bodies wherever you find them. A recruiting strategy involves looking for new talent as they graduate from college at any level, or a technical or trade program. At the other end of the spectrum is to consider hiring more seasoned workers for jobs, as coaches or mentors, or capturing their knowledge in think tank or master mind groups. Another strategy is to keep your eye on companies that are laying off good people in your industry. Of course, there may always be talent right in your own back yard so to speak. Who internally has the knowledge, skills, and talents you need?  Creating recruiting committees that focus on each area of recruiting would have greater impact for return on your recruit investment.

The Bus Strategy

You often read about having the right talent on the bus and in the right seat on the bus. But is a better way to restructure the bus, rotate its tires, or repaint it? Maybe you have good talent in two or three different areas. However, the job you have open requires all three of these types of talent. Does the job need restructuring to fit the talent? Try looking at both talent-based and work-based solutions and ask which would help your workers be more productive? These talented people might also form a good team. The talent market is changing, the way work is completed is changing, and some ways we work will never go back to exactly the way we were. Therefore, it is imperative to accommodate these changes as we need to be successful.

Rapid Deployment Strategy

While the beginning of this article warns of hiring too quicky, on the other hand, it is imperative to fill openings or deploy talent as rapidly as possible. The manager or department lacking talented and productive workers affects all workers and all departments and especially your customers. This speaks to having a culture where everyone commits to talent management. Does your organization keep a log of talented applicants from past openings? Maybe they weren’t right then, but they may be just what you need now. Keeping a record of internal talent is a strategic idea. Who has expressed a desire to move, realize a promotion, or has a need to utilize newly acquired knowledge or talent? Using this strategy will allow the organization to stay ahead of the competition by having better talent in place faster and without cutting the corners from the first paragraph.

Development Strategy

A big part of talent management is retention. Retaining top talent is an obvious bottom line builder as it saves time and money. Further, gathering metrics around this is easy as exit interviews can produce a plethora of information to help build a better culture. The other reasons may or may not be as obvious.

The two newest generations, the millennials and generation Z, both seek development opportunities, and both are large with Gen Z being the largest. What is the point? Developmental opportunities, career building, and self-improvement are “perks” these generations look for in their job search. The more developmental opportunities, the more likely they are to stay with your organization. Further, the organization profits from higher performance. Since they will be in your workforce for a long while, developmental programs can build long term retention.

Benefits of Talent Management

Just as the title of this article suggest, talent management offers a big payoff in terms of performance, productivity, and profitability. Therefore, including talent management strategies in your strategic planning is simply good business.

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