The War for Talent: Finding and Keeping Good People

Nicos M Stylianou

The War for Talent: Finding and Keeping Good People

Your organisations’ success is determined by the performance of your people. Successful organisations are those that are winning the war for talent and who are able to link tools, systems, people and processes together. This will result to higher productivity levels, employees working at their peak, aligned with the culture and corporate objectives.

According to McKinsey talent is the sum of person’s abilities, his or hers intrinsic gifts, skills, knowledge, experience, intelligence, judgment, attitude, character, as well as his or hers ability to learn and grow.

Talent Management (TM) is the ability, competency and power of employees within an organisation. It is not about employees, is about the individual employee! It’s all about employee selection, development and allocation. It’s also about balancing individual passion and the organisation’s needs while allowing room for learning and development that is key for success in Talent Management.

Every company wants to have the best and brightest employees. This is the reason companies must have TM plans. Training and retraining costs money thus TM can reduce these costs and lead to higher productivity levels. TM is the investment that will pay dividends over the course of its use.

The Talent Management Model
a. Workforce Strategy (Plan): In step 1 we must identify the organisational requirements i.e. What are the business objectives and the competitive challenges? What is the organisational culture?
b. Job analysis and assessments (Plan and Analyse): Then we need compare what are the positions requirements and the current employees we have. An analysis must be conducted thus the clear needs will be identified.
c. Selection Systems (Attract and Acquire): We must ensure that we have the appropriate Selection systems in place, to attract and acquire the most suitable persons.
d. Performance management system (Assess): Having the correct performance management system is imperative in this model. This will enable the organisation to identify the areas of improvement.
e. Employee development and retention systems (Develop & Retain): Learning and development plans are a necessity in order to engage and retain top talent. Three important factors are taken into consideration, Alignment, Capabilities and Engagement.

Some useful techniques and good practices
a. Own people facts: For the best guidance on what blend of skills and personality traits fit your organisation optimally, look no further than the team members who are top performers. Measure their performance, analyse their backgrounds (from degrees to hobbies to life experiences). Use this information to create a profile you can use to identify and evaluate new candidates.
b. Smart guys??: Despite the growing emphasis on EQ (especially within our circles!), exceptional ability and capacity to solve tough problems is crucial. In a collaborative environment, people skills still count, but the true impact comes when EQ is accompanied by smarts and an intrinsic drive to seek out the answer.
c. Speed up the time of recruitment and hire from unusual sources: Some companies take months to make a hire. Get real, make it two to three weeks as time really matters. Also, look to get top talent from new sources, skip traditional career fairs. Go to business events and gatherings where you can engage with candidates on a different level (like the CyHRMA gatherings). It will always surprise you how effective some will be.
d. Create an employee referral program: An excellent source to find the best talent for your company. Not only a cost saving solution but employees tend to remain with the company longer (well-structured prog ram needed though and ability to identify the ‘correct’ referrals).
e. Engaging prospects: In order to retain talent, set clear expectations and provide constant, transparent feedback. You could announce promotions and terminations (and their reasons) to all. Also, in some companies, every now and then top level management sends out an email to employees asking them to report unsatisfactory performance by managers. All these, will enable you to keep more talent by ensuring everyone has a voice and impact, as well as providing early warning signs regarding those may be about to leave.
f. Misfits out: Just one difficult employee can destroy team cohesion and drive others out of the door. Similarly, ineffective managers can make work life a daily hell for dedicated employees. In both cases, it’s better to address the problem at the source.
g. Develop talent: Developing talents has never been as important as it is today. New employees thirst for development and often choose organisations that make development commitments. The best organisations have found ways to connect with these high flyers, growing their knowledge and skills and accelerating their development and thus enhanced business results.

In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, organisations must make effective workforce decisions. Success and prosperity directly correlate to attracting and retaining quality talent, thus having the right professionals with the right responsibilities at the right time is critical.