YOU are familiar with human resource (HR) management. Such people help companies manage and support employees. Talent management is relatively new. It is a set of integrated HR processes that helps to attract, develop, motivate, and retain top-performing employees.
It pays attention to the suitability of a person for the role and asks if he/she is beneficial for the company as a whole, and for future positions they may assume in the company. So, talent management is a company-wide strategy for hiring, training, and retaining top-performing staff.
While HR focusses on hiring, firing, training, and retaining employees, with talent management many of such duties are put on the shoulders of front-line managers to lead, develop, and retain the chosen employees. While HR management has many duties that include payroll, vacation and medical leave, benefits, liaison with the union, and others, talent management is singularly-focussed on assisting and improving the top talent in the company.
Talent management is strategic, developing company-wide long-term plans related to the firm’s business goals. Studies have shown that the many chances to grow and develop their professional and personal skills are main motivators for employees to sign up for the job and to stay on for a long time.
Smaller companies do not have such programmes so the larger and richer companies easily manage to hire the best people. The resignation rates are lower as the strategy provides good reasons for employees to stay.
Some employers feel that if they develop the employee to a high level of expertise, these people may be poached by a competitor. To prevent them from joining another company, the benefits must be very attractive and loyalty to the company must be built up over time. If the talented employee is attracted by a higher pay packet, then it is best not to retain him/her. Besides dollars, there are other factors that make someone happy to continue working in the company.
During the recruitment process, managers must take care to study the candidates. Even when pressed for time, buying “a pig in a poke” leads to much wastage later. The job descriptions must be well-written. In the final interviews, select candidates who fit in with your organisation’s culture.
Some interviewees are actors out to impress. The manager should be experienced to see through this and gauge the person inside the showman. Listen to the tone of voice, use of language, and passion for the job. Don’t be distracted by the person’s articulation skills.
Later, when the person is selected to be talent managed, the manager must be mentor and coach to ensure that he/she is engaged with the job. A word of praise from time to time when deserved will help greatly. Create a culture of trust between yourself and the employee. Provide consistent feedback on how they can improve.
Hold regular meetings with your employees to discuss the areas they are keen to improve. Many managers are so busy that they leave this to the end of year appraisal; it may be too little and too late.
Besides training, give more attention to rewards and recognition. Everyone wants to be recognised for the good work done and if management shows appreciation, it goes a long way. You may want to set aside a special budget for special rewards such as a surprise gift or an expensive dinner.
Plan the career path for the talented employee but don’t make promises you cannot keep. Promotion is never a guarantee and employees must be aware of this.
Talent management is a full-time job. Your satisfaction will be in seeing that your efforts will produce the next generation of leaders for the company.