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HR Leadership: Proving the Value of the Talent Function Though largely invisible to the C-Suite, employee churn can be a huge hit to the bottom line. Armed with data, HR managers can stem that tide and show their contribution to overall profitability.

By Meghan M. Biro Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Success for a business of any size hinges on its people and their ability to make things happen. Top talent is expensive -- and wasted if it doesn't move your business forward.

Human resources leaders need to understand how the talent function can impact an entire organization and why human capital is a company's most valuable asset. But if they can't prove that significance to the rest of the leadership team, they'll struggle to get the support they need.

A well-rounded recruitment program isn't a bonus; it's a crucial part of meeting goals. Here's a look at how HR leadership can prove the value of strategic recruitment and some of the tactics that can give your plan a bigger impact.

Prove the value of HR-driven talent recruitment.

Before HR can start discussing the importance of good recruitment practices, it needs to show the value of having HR strategically involved in talent recruitment -- not just getting candidates through the door but guiding teams across the organization to the resources they need. Talent accounts for an average of 70 percent of a business's total operating costs. More than that, employee turnover can cost a company from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Despite these costs -- or maybe because of them -- many C-suite executives don't see the connection between recruiting practices and turning a profit. Illustrating this can help show the value of good recruiting, bridging the gap between what HR does and what executives need to see to make decisions that can improve the HR department's ability to hire and keep qualified talent.

Related: Keep Your Talent: 5 Employee Retention Strategies for Long-Term Success

Here are a few ways to prove your case:

Use data to predict the future.

Businesses today must embrace change or risk falling behind competitors. A proactive recruitment program can improve a company's ability to recognize potential obstacles and identify the appropriate candidates. Predictive analytics use big data to help identify internal strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities so management can make strategic talent-based decisions.

Build a case for support that starts after the onboarding process.

Once you find the right talent, you want to hold onto them -- and that takes more than a smart recruitment process. Ongoing training, mentorship, and education doesn't just help with retention; it can directly support money-making activities such as marketing, production, and sales.

Highlight the value of a positive corporate culture.

Attracting and losing talent comes at a cost -- not just financial, but also the impact on productivity and morale. An engaged, supported, and motivated workforce improves employee satisfaction and results. HR can only do so much to create the thriving and productive corporate culture current, and potential employees are looking for; it has to be consistent across the organization.

Related: Why Company Culture Is More Important Than Ever

Show how HR can match talent with critical business programs.

When it comes to talent, the C-suite's final consideration is its effect on profitability and revenue. If HR can't directly answer that question -- with supporting information -- it will be harder to get buy-in for initiatives. You need to be able to match business initiatives with the right people to show the impact strategic talent management can have.

HR tactics that drive talent recruitment.

Once the HR department proves it has its finger on the pulse of the organization's talent needs, its leaders will have a framework within which to ask for additional resources. But first, make sure your talent recruitment strategy is already poised to win. CareerBuilder recently published a recruitment guide to help identify gaps, improve what you're doing, and check the health of your talent pipeline.

How can you strengthen an already solid strategy? Here are some tactics that can give your efforts an edge.

Market the company.

Just as consumer marketing promotes a product, a well-developed recruiting strategy should include a plan for your talent brand. People want to know the who, what, and where about companies they might want to work for. Making a positive impression means taking an active role in how people perceive your business.

Use gamification to improve talent pools.

From the PlayStation to the workplace, people have a competitive streak -- which is why game theory is making its way into everything from health apps to the recruiting process. Creating a talent pipeline can speed up the hiring process and, if you incorporate activities and gamification principles, you can boost interaction and potentially cut recruiting costs.

Related: Gamification Tapped by Some Employers to Recruit Candidates

Invest in benefits and perks to encourage top talent.

Companies that go above and beyond to create an engaging and rewarding work environment can effectively secure and retain talented individuals. Benefits packages, training and education opportunities, and perks such as happy hours and flexible schedules make a company look more inviting.

Focus on managerial training and leadership programs.

Skilled people will often leave a job because they have problems with management. While focusing on leadership and managerial training programs may not seem like they're part of a talent strategy, but they can have a direct impact: Unhappy employees talk, and can influence their network or otherwise hurt recruiting efforts.

Cement the HR talent function as a vital business strategy.

HR leaders who understand what they need to prove a strong talent recruitment function, and how it affects not just overall goals but also the bottom line, can more readily secure funding and approval from the C-suite -- just what's needed to bring good talent strategy to life.

Meghan M. Biro

Entrepreneur | CEO | Speaker | Author | HR and Tech Evangelist

Meghan M. Biro is a talent management leader, career strategist and digital media catalyst. As founder and CEO of TalentCulture Consulting Group, Meghan has worked with hundreds of companies -- from early-stage ventures to global brands like Microsoft, IBM and Google -- helping them recruit and empower stellar talent. 

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