Talent Management: It’s Not Just for HR Anymore

globe-logo-design003While there are a variety of definitions for talent management, I consider it to be an organization’s commitment to recruiting, retaining and developing the most talented individuals available. Embedded within this very simplistic definition is, of course, an understanding that we must plan and implement HR strategies that strive to increase business value and ensure that our organization achieves its goals and objectives.

While opinions may vary, and practices differ, it’s my belief that talent management includes everything along the continuum of the employee life cycle. In other words, ‘managing talent’ means there is seamless continuity and connectivity amongst talent acquisition, on boarding, cultural socialization/assimilation, performance management, staff development, succession planning and off boarding/release.

The factors that impact an employee’s successful tenure operate in neither isolation nor solitude. Think about it.

Traditionally, of course, the components of talent management have been owned and managed by human resources departments; HR professionals often have oversight of recruiting processes, conduct employee on boarding activities, and develop and roll-out performance appraisal systems. And while it makes sense for one organizational function to have primary responsibility, the efforts to attract, select, develop, retain and promote valuable employees must be shared across the organization with all leaders and managers having an investment in success.

Just as with any desired business outcome – increased revenue, improved customer satisfaction, or higher productivity for example – the hiring of quality employees and optimizing performance will only be achieved when there are clearly articulated collective goals and mutual responsibility.

So what can we do to promote a talent mindset amongst leaders, managers and other staff members? For even though the term/phrase originally registered on our collective consciousness 15+ years ago thanks to McKinsey & Co.’s “War for Talent” studies, there are numerous organizations where talent and people initiatives remain firmly – and solely – in the domain of HR.

And we need to change that; whether you believe there is a war or not.

Instilling a talent mindset in managers and leaders can begin with a journey of a few easy steps:

  • Empower managers to take an ongoing role in building candidate pipelines and encourage them to be active participants in any candidate networks or communities. Strengthen their efforts to seek out employee referrals and applaud them when they tap into their own professional networks to source and attract candidates.
  • Fully involve managers and supervisors in the onboarding of new employees. Keep in mind that onboarding is not an event or a day of ‘new employee orientation;’ this is an experience that begins when an applicant accepts a job offer and extends well past the first day of employment.
  • Ensure managers provide clarity around job role and performance expectations not just for new employees but for all staff members on a continuous basis. This is not a once-per-year process; managers must regularly verify that employees have alignment between their individual objectives and organizational goals and strategies.
  • Provide support so that managers have the ability to incorporate ongoing feedback and communication to employees regarding current performance and future planning. HR professionals should ensure that managers are trained to identify when and how frequently feedback should occur. HR teams can also provide access to suitable technology to make feedback and recognition easier than ever.

By establishing talent standards and defining talent management as a competency it’s possible for organizations to incorporate a new mindset across the scope of the enterprise. HR professionals must ensure talent management is inclusive – and not just something on the HR agenda – by continuously discussing talent with everyone in the organization and making sure it’s incorporated into the DNA of the culture.

Allowing leaders, managers, and employees to be active participants in the recruitment, retention and development of employees is crucial for the success of any talent management program.

It’s not just for HR anymore.

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this post was originally published on LinkedIn

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