Recruit for the Future: Why is Talent Management so Important?

The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the nature of the workforce. Employees now look for more than good remuneration and incentives from their employer. They desire learning and development opportunities and worthwhile engagement in their employment, along with a need to find meaning, purpose, and alignment with their values in a supportive, healthy, and inclusive environment. As a result, Talent Management has become a hot topic.  

What is Talent Management? 

 In her BetterUp article, Allaya Cooks-Campbell defines Talent Management as:  

The processes, infrastructure, and strategies that govern the entire employee lifecycle. It ensures that each process is thoughtfully designed, supportive of, and integrated with the overall company growth strategy. Talent management provides people with what they need to have an optimal experience at every stage of their employment.’  

It is imperative to acknowledge your employees as whole people with lives, pressures, interests, and responsibilities outside their work environment. When they are supported as such, your staff will become more engaged, productive, and likely to stay with your company.  

Learning and Organisational Development teams must play a significant role in defining new Talent Management strategies. In conjunction with business leaders, they are directly responsible for an employee’s overall experience through the entire employment lifecycle – initial recruitment, hiring, onboarding, development, retention, and exit. Exploring each of these phases of the employee experience and creating clear and effective strategies will enable you to encourage and ensure growth and development for individuals and your team.  

The workforce is currently experiencing a period of transition and transformation  

The last two years have made many people take a step back and really think about what they want from their employment, and what is truly important in their lives. Employees may have taken career breaks to care for their loved ones, or decided to follow different career paths due to changes in the workplace, the pressures of home schooling and financial difficulty, or their revised perceptions about work. This has created the demand for organisations to develop new approaches to attract and retain talent, and to create clear future-forward opportunities for their people.   

Future of Work and Talent Management 

The Future of Work will see dramatic changes around how you engage your employees and how they expect to be treated. Developing HR strategies tailored to the individual is an ideal way to embrace these changes and attract the best talent to your organisation. It is the only way to stay competitive. Leaders need to evolve and adapt to remain relevant and to succeed into the future.   

The New Hybrid Workplace  

The changing scene of the pandemic has created a situation where working from home is the new normal. Even as restrictions lift, it is common for organisations and team members to embrace the opportunity of a hybrid working environment, involving the home and office. This, in turn, has forced a shifting of work/life boundaries’, as explored in Mark C. Perna’s recent Forbes contribution.

‘Employees are dealing with the uncertainty and anxiety of a global pandemic, while simultaneously caring for family members and managing back-to-back meetings without breaks. “No wonder our mental health has suffered,” says Juliette Meunier (EY Americas Technology People Advisory Services Leader).’

Learning and Organisational Development teams must rethink the traditional work structure, and explore new ways of working that empower and support the needs and expectations of their talent. When employers look to hire staff, the current and future capabilities and desires of new recruits are now crucial considerations, as is the awareness that within the workplace, ‘skills and outcomes will supersede roles and job functions’ (Meunier). Acknowledgement of their talent’s mental and physical health is important and necessary, as is the opportunity to attract and retain a diverse workforce’ within the new parameters of this altered working environment.  

An effective way to approach and manage the challenges brought about by the pandemic is to develop a clear and measurable Talent Management strategy that embraces a culture of learning within your organisation. 

Talent Management Strategy 

Effective Talent Management brings employee potential to the fore. A well-developed strategy allows for this to be achieved across the organisation – for existing staff as well as newly recruited talent. McKinsey and Co’s The future of the workforce: Investing in talent to prepare for uncertainty’ explores the effects of the shifting workplace on organisations and talent, and the need for a successful Talent Management strategy: 

‘Respondents at companies with very effective talent management are six times more likely to report higher total return to shareholders (TRS) than competitors, versus those at companies with very ineffective talent management.’  

Cooks-Campbell states that a strong Talent Management strategy: 

  • Boosts company morale and employee engagement  
  • Improves retention and employee satisfaction 
  • Helps develop future leaders and career plans 
  • Manages performance and helps to close skill gaps 
  • Positions current employees for career advancement in new roles 
  • Accounts for career development, attrition, and succession planning 

While this will vary for each organisation, in creating a Talent Management strategy, you will not only further explore and define your company’s vision, brand and future goals, you will also determine how your workforce can help you achieve these goals while being fulfilled and supported in their roles. 

Learning Culture as part of your Talent Management Strategy 

Creating a learning culture is an approach that can increase employee engagement and increase your ability to attract and retain your talent. 

In an informative article, the Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL), explains the four components crucial to the cultivation of a learning culture: 

  1. Attract and develop agile learners
  2. Create an environment that supports psychological safety
  3. Encourage better conversations and feedback throughout the organisation
  4. Make learning an organisational priority

Developing a Talent Management Strategy for your organisation takes time and research, and often requires incremental application. By using scalable metrics to assess the impact of your strategy and learning culture, you can ensure they are implemented and adapted with the best interests of your business and employees in mind.  

Whether we were ready for it or not, the Future of Work is here. Yes, it was triggered by socio-economic developments and accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but its important that HR teams adapt to lead in such futures. To stay abreast of this transformation, you must consider your talent and create a culture that attracts, develops, and retains the right people for the right roles at the right time. 

It is the responsibility of Leaders and Learning and Development teams to translate what you’ve learnt during the pandemic into a cohesive Talent Management strategy that is future-fit for your organisation. 

Are you ready to create a Talent Management Strategy in your organisation?  

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