Free HR briefing paper: The new realities of talent management



This Briefing Paper explores the practicalities of Talent Management, a people management strategy that covers the entire employee lifecycle from workforce needs analysis to succession planning. Focusing heavily on performance management, it encompasses the core people management disciplines of workforce planning, recruitment, and employee development.

The paper looks at practical ways to implement a Talent Management strategy in current economic conditions, based on the belief that:

Poor employee measurement practices prevent organisations from accurately identifying their weak and strong performers, hindering their efforts to reshape their workforce for today’s tough economic conditions and prepare for longer-term recovery.

While employee development programmes, recruitment campaigns and jobs inevitably come under the axe during an economic downturn, pressure for effective Talent Management practices takes on greater urgency as organisations look to generate maximum value from their employee and contractor base.

Tough economic conditions force organisations to seek quick wins from their people management initiatives, which typically translates into a practical rather than purist approach to Talent Management. Executing a Talent Management strategy tends to be an iterative process, and there are opportunities for organisations to generate short-term returns while working towards longer-term strategic goals.

Much of the benefit of Talent Management comes from taking a more integrated, inter-departmental approach to setting objectives, incentives and rewards. While this puts demands on the supporting IT infrastructure, for many, the corporate mindset shift is as significant as the practicalities of improving data and process management.

Many organisations already have the bulk of the technology infrastructure required to support a Talent Management strategy in place – some of it ‘shelfware’ that’s been purchased but not used. With an HR Management System as the core platform, the supporting infrastructure can be expanded through better use of this existing capability and tactical investment. Hosted services – a form of IT outsourcing – also provides a credible option for specialist software requirements.

Many of the principles of customer relationship management – applied in sales, marketing and customer service – can be applied to Talent Management, particularly Talent Acquisition. High-quality candidates remain in big demand even in a downturn, and will be lured through a combination of strong marketing and effective process management.

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