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Talent management in the new normal: The best practices In a business landscape, only a limited number of companies recognise talent as a source of opportunity and business driver.

By John Stanly

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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We are all aware that talent is a valuable and profitable resource. Talent not only refers to specific skill sets, but also includes intelligence, creativity, and performance, and the level of success an individual possessesin a particular field of work. While being talented is easy, nurturing it and ensuring that you can derive value out of it is not. For instance, you have a knack for art, but you have no idea how to enhance it, such that you stand out from the crowd. It takes regular practice, guidance, and support to bring the best value out of your talent.

In a business landscape, only a limited number of companies recognise talent as a source of opportunity and business driver. This is one of the reasons why only 10–20% of the companies provide adequate training and support to their current talent pool.

Retaining and nurturing existing talent pool is essential to bring out the best possible outcomes for an organisation. This is why a talent management group is essential,whether it'san internal human resource (HR)or an external HR outsourcing service.

In the list given below, we discussthe best practices that talent management professionals can apply to maximise the result.

Talent management strategies should align with business strategies and goals

Acquiring new talent and nurturing the existing ones works best when you have a definite goal in mind. Business strategies and goals directly affect the quality and the quantity of the talent you pursue. The success of a business dependson whetheryou have the right talentin the right place, and at theright time.

So, what is meant by a good business strategy? Well, it is simple. A good business strategy is one where the organisation mentions its goals, its needs, and the type of product or services it offers in the most detailed way possible.

For example, a global medicine manufacturer has various goals. One of those is to increase sales in an extended region. The first step is to get the sales team to consult various physicians about the drug — whether it is recommended for public use or not and whether there are any kinds of sideeffects and such. Another team might look at production and distribution techniques. Yet another team could focus on revenue and other related costs. All of these demandspecific talents in place.

Communication and transparency are the keys to successful talent management strategies

Inside a corporate unit, HR professionals and senior management control and regulate talent management. So, when anorganisation hires anHR outsourcing service, the scenario is expected to change. Listening isn't enough; the outsourcing HR team should be allowed to actively participate in discussions regarding talent management. Talent managers are expected to know about the processes and operations within the organisation. Their role is to serve as partners, guides, or advisors during topics on a talent search.

How is this done? HROs work alongside line managers and develop business plans that could integrate talent plans on various factors. These include advice on setting business goals and how to achieve them with the talent on board. Whenever a performance gap is identified, talent management professionals offer various solutions to help the organisation fillit.

Putting the right people in the right jobs

Why does selection get higher priority than development? The answer is simple. If you are given a dollar and asked to either develop a certain skill or hire an expert, most would prefer the latter. You cannot develop everything. There are several elements to a successful profile whose development is challenging. Training people for specific roles is the easy part, but companies often flounder when it comes to improving their judgment, learning agility, or adaptability. Lack of motivation or a poor fit for a particular job are two of the factors that cannot be developed easily. This hinders the overall productivity of the organisation. And, hence, hiring based on the right skills is more effective than developing those skills.

Talent management professionals are made aware of the candidates that are hired into the organisation. As a part of the HR team, they are expected to know the strengths and weaknesses of their employees. Determining whether a candidate is right for a particular type of job before or during the hiring process can save a lot of time and manpower.

Taking care of the 5 realisation factors

Almost every leadership in an organisation follows these 5 realisation factors to determine the best talent that they can procure.

  • Measurement: Management is impossible if there is no way to measure productivity or accountability. Having a definite measuring unit provides clarity towards the objectives set by the organisation. This, in turn, helps in effective strategy building as well as skill acquisition as mentioned in the previous section.
  • Accountability:Role clarity is important in every organisation. An individual should be well-educated about their tasks and responsibilities to deliver the maximum performance.
  • Skillset: Specific skills can be developed over time. Providing the right mentoring, support, and training helps individuals to develop their skills. Most HR outsourcing services provide training and support to all of their talents to improve productivity and performance.
  • Communication: Sharing information and transparency between different departments of anorganisation can help things run smoothly. Since there is no hindrance to information, different sections of an organisation can share their objectives and track progress easily.
  • Alignment: When working inside an organisation, there are different units responsible for different jobs. Good sync between each of these units can improve results drastically. Problem-solving issues will no longer become a hindrance to the productivity of the organisation.

There is no democracy in talent management

The operations inside an organisation aren't democratic in their functioning. An organisation'sresources shouldn't bedivided equally among the different sections. Some sections require more resources than others, and if adequate resources are not directed towards them, productivity goes down.

The same can be said for talent management. There are two major groups of talent available in the market: the first group is that of high potential achievers who act as leaders inside the organisation and drive the business strategies towards fulfilling organisational objectives. The next group consists of individuals who provide value to the organisation. As an engineer is expected to manage the technical department,professionals from the marketing division are expected to handle the promotional activities.

In the same way, there are two types of organisations — one that provides leadership to drive the organisation's operations and the other type that believes in adding value. So, now you know how to distribute the organisation's resources among the two groups based on the type of the organisation.

Regular performance insights

Feedbacks and insights provide opportunities to review an individual's progress. Whether a candidate has improved from their past experiences or not, and whether their skills are improving at a progressive rate or not. What are their current challenges? And, how well are they coping up with their current objectives? Such information provides valuable assessment to discuss skillsets, career aspirations, and development plans, which helps in bridging performance gaps.

Appraisals shouldn't be conducted annually; the organisation must take the initiative to provide appraisals regularly,preferably either monthly or quarterly. To maximise performance, talent management units must provide mentoring, coaching, and support quarterly as well asquality feedback, mentioning the details where they need to improve themselves.

The need for talent management in an organisation

The COVID-19 pandemic has been responsible for a rapid transformation in the way businesses are being conducted globally. This dynamic evolution has pushed organisations globally to invest in their existing employee base more than before. These investments are mainly focused on nurturing talent for new skills that are defining businesses across the world. Cloud management, automated processes, and such are the new, in-demand trends in talent management worldwide.

Organisations everywhere are investing their resources and capabilities to navigate through these times. They are continuously evolving and adapting to new techniques and evolving new skill sets,whichcan optimise the current resources to the maximum. Interestingly, these days, skills are favoured over hierarchy.

The role of HR outsourcing in talent management

Of late, most corporate units have been hiring external services, such as HR outsourcing to deliver more efficiency. As organisations expand, it is an obvious challenge for the internal HR team to investigate a wide variety of aspects. The idea is to observe the HR policies of the organisation to ensure that other areas of the HR domain remain intact, such as key areas of talent search, acquisition, goal setting, productivity, support system, engagement, and so on. All these aspects should be transparent,with respect to all the departments inside an organisation, as well as maintain necessary professional standards.

This is the major reason why organisations feel the need for an extra handon deck. And, filling up the vacuum is one of the main tasks of HR outsourcing services.

Levels of HR outsourcing in talent management

The level of functions that can be transferred to an HR outsourcing service depends from one organisation to another. This level of responsibility and risk-sharing can be categorised into several different types. First, the partial transfer. In this type of responsibility sharing, it is often seen that the parent organisation hires an outsourcing service for a limited number of functions. For example, in talent management, the parent organisation shares only a part of the job, such as the talent acquisition part, and leaves the rest to the internal HR team.

The next level is known as a full transfer. In this type of responsibility sharing, the parent organisation hires an HR team through an outsourcing service. The organisation provides full access to the resource to function at maximum efficiency,though this is regulated by senior management. For instance, in talent management, all stages are handled by anHR outsourcing service, and then, the results are reported back to the senior management.

HR outsourcing and its efficiency in talent management

The level of efficiency that an outsourcing HR firm can deliver depends on how much resources it can use. For instance, if the level of outsourcing is partial, then the firmhas limited resources to use and has access to only a few operations. In such cases, the efficiency can be a little low since there is limited sharing, and the firm has to abide by the regulations of the parent HR team. The firmmight not be able to work freely on its terms as there is constant pressure from above.

But in the case of a full responsibility transfer, the efficiency is noted to be maximum most of the time. This is because the external HR team has all the resources to itself and can work without much regulations from the parent organisation. The HR teamworks on its terms and they don't have to worry about limiting terms and conditions. Their operation is a lot more independent and delivers as per expectations.

In a real-world example, in the case of talent management, the partial transfer HR firm must work on talent acquisition only. They are governed by a specific set of requirements that every talent needs to fulfil, which hinders flexibility. Whereas in a full transfer HR firm, the whole talent management division falls under them, and they are aware of the goals and strategies of the organisation. So, all they must do is reach out to a wider area, search for the talent that meets the requirement or individuals possessing related skills andhire them. All that is required is time for talent to nurture their skills and deliver the maximum output.

John Stanly

Start-up mentor

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