How to develop your talent strategy

How to develop your talent strategy
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When it comes to building a profitable business, few things are more important than the workers that make up your organization. The right talent can build up your business, while ineffective and negative workers will tear it down. An effective talent strategy will help you put the best talent in place to make sure your business meets its goals.

When it comes to challenges post-COVID, finding and keeping the right people are more critical than ever. While many were forced to downsize their workforce, business is booming again, and organizations are now scrambling to find the right talent to fill these roles.

A recent survey found that over 90% of employers are hiring for new roles in 2021. However, it’s becoming more challenging to find talent for the job. Experts estimate that by 2030, more than 85 million jobs will go unfilled because of the lack of skilled workers. The increasing talent shortage has made it essential that organizations effectively recruit, hire, retain, and promote talent.

Read on to find out what you need to know about developing an effective talent strategy.

What is a talent strategy?

Talent strategy aims to have the right workers in a position that fits them at the right compensation. The main goal of a talent strategy is to create an engaged and enthusiastic workforce.

While creating an engaged workforce can be challenging, it is also one of the best ways to get an edge over the competition. In fact, research shows that an engaged workforce is 21% more profitable and has 41% lower absenteeism.

An effective talent strategy makes sure that you have a workforce that meets your needs and goals as a company. It also covers a range of issues to support talent in the organization: 

  • Identifying gaps in skills and positions

  • Hiring the right people to fill these gaps

  • Bringing new workers up to speed quickly

  • Engaging employees and providing them with all the tools they need to succeed

  • Retaining them and providing opportunities for growth

Here are some ways to develop a sound talent strategy for a stronger workforce and business.

Align with your overall strategy

Not every business has the same goals. Hiring managers need to align with leadership on the overall goals of the organization. Discuss what the priorities are for your company. Is it having outstanding customer service? Innovative technology or approach? Digitization? Operative superiority?

An effective organization does not operate in a silo. Your business strategy should inform and influence the overall talent strategy. Everyone should be working together across departments to make sure they find which roles will make the most difference in your company.

Clarifying the overall goals can help management understand the talent gaps and strengthen processes to help with the general direction of the company. Keep in mind that this should be an ongoing dialogue amongst leadership. Businesses change, evolve, and grow, so their direction will change too.

For example, while in the beginning, a company may have focused on acquiring new business, they may want to refocus on repeating customer business and increasing customer loyalty. That may mean that HR wants to focus on hiring customer service representatives instead of more salespeople.

As the company grows, HR will need to reassess and recalibrate its talent strategy. The aim is to support company goals, so there should be a clearly outlined business strategy in place too.

Pinpoint the crucial positions

When you have a strategy in place, it’s time to identify which roles are critical to achieving the overall business roles. These critical jobs can mean leadership, such as sales managers, executives, or key management roles. However, it can also mean other positions based on the strategy, such as: 

  • Software developers

  • Customer service representatives

  • Management strategists

  • IT specialists

It could also be geographical. For example, if you want to establish an international presence, you may be looking for roles in China, India, or Germany.

A workforce analysis can help you determine which job roles will have the largest impact on operations and determine which ones are the most critical. Honing in on who is pivotal will help HR allocate its resources to the right employees. They can also create the proper process to attract, develop, and retain the employees that will have the most significant impact.

Create success profiles

An effective talent strategy concentrates on hiring and retaining for the right positions and ensuring that they find the right people to fill these roles.

For example, a lean startup might want employees that are flexible, innovative, and can take the initiative. However, large companies with well-established processes might want someone who can follow the scripts and drive efficiency within the company

A successful profile will help hiring leaders identify the traits, competencies, and experiences that will make an employee succeed in their position. The profile, however, should approach the whole person. This means it takes more than one or two traits to make a successful employee. For example, if a candidate has the right skills and experience but lacks the enthusiasm or qualities that will make them successful, they likely will not make a great employee.

It’s essential to consider which parts of the profile are critical and which are “nice-to-have” extras. For example, is a college degree necessary for their role within the company, or is it a bonus that someone with enough experience can overcome?

Also, consider whether you want to hire from the outside or promote from within. There are certain instances where this will be decided for you. If your company is growing too quickly, your employees don’t have the right education or skills, or you need to fill a role that needs skills that are hard to develop internally, then you may have no choice but to hire from the outside.

That being said, there are many benefits to promoting from within. It can help boost morale and be more cost-effective than recruiting, hiring, and training someone who is not already in the organization. In fact, 63% of employees said a lack of career development would be enough for them to leave their current employer.

Plus, it saves time and risk. Research shows that 30% of job seekers leave a position within 90 days of starting. There are times when hiring from outside the organization is decided for you, but you should consider promoting from within when possible.

Go where the successful candidates are

While you may know what job roles are needed and the type of employee that will thrive, it’s also essential that you search for candidates in the right place.

The right recruitment process will help you find more suitable potential employees instead of endless resumes from those who have no idea what the job entails. Online recruitment can help you find the right people for the job.

However, you need to make sure that you’re attracting the right people online. Have a strong online brand so that potential workers get a sense of the type of environment your organization offers. Be sure to have a job portal directly on your website, so your candidates can see your branding.

Screen for the right talent

If you are in a fast-growing company and are under pressure to fill roles, you might be tempted to skip steps to get someone onboarded. However, a bad hire can be especially damaging to your company and can cause unnecessary expenses and lost time if you need to hire again. Plus, you could lose customers and hurt company culture with a bad hire.

In addition to making sure that you’re finding the right personality and traits, you need to ensure they have the proper skills to fill their position. Even with a college degree, they could lack the skills you need for an employee. A recent survey found that almost one in five college graduates found their educational experience did not give them the skills they needed in their first job after attaining their degree.

To ensure that a candidate has the proper education and skills to be a good fit for the position, skills testing needs to be a foundational aspect of the hiring process. It can help prevent troublesome hires in the future. Testing for personality and culture fit as well as skills can help you find the right people for both the position and the company.

Create the right strategy for your talent pool

Your talent strategy is a critical differentiating factor for your business. It is just as important as a marketing strategy or innovative technology in helping your company to stand out.

With the right people in the right place, you can create the business you want and reach more of your objectives. By aligning with your overall business goals, you can develop the most effective talent strategy to get the perfect people for your company.

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