Candidate experienceEmployer branding

Talent Management: a guide for beginners + interview

6 Mins read

Talent management is not only a buzzword nowadays, but a crucial part of the human resources field. In our first episode of the #insideHR educational series for HR professionals, Mick talked with Aneta Bochenek, Talent Manager at Meritum Cloud, about her responsibilities. Based on this inspiring interview, we decided to prepare a guide on talent management to explain what it is and how to make the most of it in your company. Keep on reading to learn more! 

What is Talent Management?

Talent management is a constant process that involves attracting and retaining high-quality employees, developing their skills, and continuously motivating them to improve their performance.

The term was coined by McKinsey & Company in 1997, yet it’s still getting recognition among HR professionals. Even though HR departments take care of some parts of this process, it can’t be confused with talent management. It requires a strategy and correlation with long-term business goals. McKinsey & Company conducted research to find out that organizations with talent management strategies in place notice higher returns to their stakeholders. 

In Meritum Cloud, talent management includes attracting people to the company, recruiting, onboarding, getting people into work and managing the development of their talents, and retaining employees. 

How to get from being a recruiter to a talent manager?

It’s a transition. You need to go out of your comfort zone and find things that actually aren’t in your responsibilities. As a recruiter, you have recruitment projects that need to be completed, and then you move to the next project. You could work on employer branding or new technologies that you can use, but it was all about recruitment. As a talent manager, recruitment is still a strong part of my duties. I still need to find people, talk to them, prepare an offer, talk to hiring managers, and pass the feedback on. But in my role, I also take care of equipment, updating systems, gathering documentation, etc.

You need to keep in mind that you’ll be working with people you recruit. You’re building your team. Working externally doesn’t always give you inside knowledge of the corporate culture. 

Being a talent manager enables you to focus on the bigger picture, make sure your team is satisfied with a job, and enable professionals to develop in a direction aligned with business needs. 

Does your company need a talent manager?

If you don’t have great needs to build a team, you can outsource recruitments and HR administration to an external agency. On the other hand, if a company is quite busy, new businesses are coming, new people coming all the time, people leaving (because it also happens), a talent manager could look after your employees. It should be considered case by case. 

The benefits of talent management for a business

Regardless of managing all the HR and recruitment processes in-house or outsourcing some tasks, the talent management strategy is crucial to know in which direction your team should develop and what talents will be vital for your organization. Even if you decide to outsource some parts of the HR administration, you still need a clear vision of your team to find the best people for your company. 

Talent planning helps companies to maximize the value of employees by:

  • improving business performance – hire professionals that will enhance your team 
  • staying competitive – help your employees in developing desired skills and staying up to date with the latest trends in your industry
  • driving innovation – inspire your team, give them tools and time to improve themselves so that they can suggest new solutions to existing problems
  • building productive teams – focus on hiring not only creative and skilled individuals but on forming the most productive team
  • improving employee retention – people that feel valued for a company will be more motivated to their jobs and less likely to look for other opportunities
  • enhancing employer branding – having inspiring professionals on board and creating an excellent workplace will help you attract talented candidates in the future.

Talent management strategy in 6 steps

To effectively manage any part of a business, you need a solid plan. Recruiting the right people and developing their skills, as well as keeping them happy and satisfied with your company, is quite a challenge. You can face it with a thoroughly prepared strategy. Follow these steps:

Identify talents that will help you achieve your organization’s goals

Analyze your business strategy. Use the well-known interview question: where do you see yourself in 5 years? But this time, consider it from your company’s point of view. What and when do you want to achieve? What new markets do you want to expand to? What your products or services will look like? What will be your unique value proposition? What skills are essential to meet your goals? 

Don’t fall into the wishful-thinking trap. Your firm can’t be good at everything. Therefore, you should specialize and be the best in your niche. Focus on the core of your business to get recognition in the market and stand out from your close competitors. 

Talent planning isn’t only about strategizing recruitments over the next few years, but it should also include training plans. If you built a strong team, it could be more beneficial to redesign some of their skills and focus on emerging technologies rather than creating a team from scratch.

Create a hiring plan 

Map the knowledge assets of your organization and create a plan for the future based on real needs and goals. Analyze your team’s performance and identify the most valuable skills. Prioritize your hirings according to your business strategy and determine critical hirings. You can create a timeline to visualize when you need to fill the skills gaps. Estimate the number of future hires and plan the recruitment processes. 

Improve candidate experience

Effective recruitments come along with an excellent candidate experience. While your goal is to hire the best people, you should keep in mind that your processes need to be adjusted to the candidates’ needs. The recruitment process itself mirrors the company’s approach to people, so you might want to take it seriously and deliver the best possible experiences. 

Create a comprehensive job description, including responsibilities and specific requirements, but also the company culture details, your mission, work methodologies, etc. Moreover, set up deadlines so that candidates know how long they should wait for the response and avoid ghosting candidates. Also, make the application process easy and intuitive. A great idea is creating a dedicated application form and, thus, increase conversion. 

Create a long-term employer branding strategy to attract just the right candidates and build a friendly working environment. Use social media and your employees’ testimonials to show you care about the most and how you appreciate your team. 

Invest in the right software

Use tools to automate repetitive tasks and focus on the employees. Identify your needs; they may differ depending on the size of your company, hiring plan, etc. A must-have for effective recruitments is an applicant tracking system. It enables storing all applications in one place, designing intuitive processes, sending automatic emails, and much more. 

Try out Traffit for free and find out if it suits your needs when it comes to recruitment.

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Retain valuable employees

Think about the advantages of working for your company. Do your employees have good reasons to stay in their positions for the next year? Do you enable personal development and give them autonomy so that they can improve their skills and feel valuable for a firm? 

The internal mobility program can help you fill department gaps without external recruitments. It also creates an opportunity for cross-collaboration so that your employees can use various skills across different projects.  

Enable the upskilling of your employees and track their performance. Monitor improvements and discuss the outcome altogether. Be transparent on your company’s goals and plans so that people know what changes are ahead of them and how they can prepare for the upcoming challenges. 

Be proactive and talk to your team members before it’s too late. Keep employee satisfaction high by compensating for the engagement with the relevant benefits. Provide perks that are desired by your employees – simply ask what that could be. 

Identify the crucial talent management metrics

Every strategy requires measurement. What does success look like for you when it comes to managing talents? Define SMART goals so that you can track them properly. For example, you can use an easy-to-measure employee net promoter score (eNPS) that shows how happy your team members are. You should also monitor metrics such as time to hire, talent mobility, cost per hire, training speed, and exit interviews. 

Where to start optimizing talent management: easy-to-implement tips 

Aneta shared with us some handy tips. Check out how to begin managing talents in your organization:

  • Definitely review what you have in place, whether it actually responds to your company’s needs. Take a closer look at your system’s features, like if it gives your relevant analytics. 
  • Share knowledge because in every company, you have brilliant people at something, and their insights might be helpful.
  • Automate as much as you can and enable your team to focus on more advanced tasks instead of scheduling meetings manually, etc. 

Happy recruiting!