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Talent management is the combination of processes that help businesses find, hire and keep quality employees in order to meet goals and needs. The talent management process covers key aspects of an employee’s life cycle, including recruitment, development, retention and evaluation, and is critical to having productive and engaged employees.

TALENT MANAGEMENT ISN’T JUST AN HR ISSUE, IT’S A BUSINESS ISSUE

Talent management has moved into the spotlight in recent years as company culture and employee experience are potential competitive advantages. Traditionally, talent management processes are used to determine whether a candidate is right for an immediate job opening. Now, it is about whether that candidate is a good fit for your business as a whole and the future. More challenging is figuring out how you can accomplish that for not just one employee, but every new hire.

WHAT ARE THE KEY ELEMENTS THAT MAKE UP A TALENT MANAGEMENT PROCESS?

Organizations can’t afford to hire employees that don’t fit their business or treat talent management as an afterthought. Talent management processes should be intentional and strategic, and support your business goals and mission. We outlined fundamental components below.

STRATEGIC GOAL ALIGNMENT
This is perhaps the most important part of talent management, and is the overarching idea that should guide how you integrate it into your overall business strategy. All talent management processes should align with overall organization goals. They should be planned and not be treated as an afterthought. Answer this question: what is your plan from getting your business from where it currently is, to where you want it to be? Employee engagement begins at hiring. Some critical questions you should answer are:

To connect talent management processes and business strategies, think about the type of people you have now, and the people you want and need for the future. What are their skill sets and levels? Where are your gaps in talent? Design a plan that is built to close those gaps.

RECRUITING
Recruiting is the process of attracting, finding and hiring talent critical to your business’s goals. Have you identified your most effective sources for finding quality employees? Have you evaluated why employees do or don’t decide to join your team?

ONBOARDING
Employee onboarding is the process of acclimating new hires to company culture and job functions and standards so they can be productive and begin to contribute successfully to your organization’s goals.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
Once employees are hired, performance management is the ongoing process of ensuring responsibilities and expectations are communicated effectively and putting practices are in place to optimize employee performance.

ASSESSMENT PLAN
Certainly part of a good performance management plan is having methods in place to measure progress, provide feedback, and assess value of employee work and contributions. Not all employee feedback practices are effective, so find a system that works for your business.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Career development is made up of three parts: coaching, career pathing, and succession management.

Career Development

COACHING – Businesses serious about talent management provide access to and opportunities for employees to build relationships with internal or external mentors that can help improve their professional performance. Training might also be included in this section. You should provide regular training sessions for managers and their employees.

CAREER PATHING – Career pathing involves analyzing whether your organization’s structure aids or hinders employees’ progress through the organization. How do you provide education and experiences to build skills needed to attain specific career and business goals? Have you identified the employees that provide the most value and potential? Are  you aware of their needs and are they being satisfied?.

SUCCESSION MANAGEMENT – It can save time and money to hire internally. It’s important to identify and develop internal personnel to fill key organizational positions. This requires a more personalized, individual approach. You need to determine your employees’ personal abilities, goals, and needs so you can aid in their growth within your organization.

RECOGNITION
Perhaps an undervalued aspect of talent management is recognizing employees for their good work. Recognition programs honor and motivate individuals and teams that successfully support each other and your business’s goals. Employees at every level of an organization should feel valued and important.

TALENT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Talent management software is useful as a support to your strategy, but shouldn’t be used in place of a plan. There is no complete talent management software solution currently available, so make sure that whatever you use works well with your own business and talent management processes.