Talent Optimization

Talent Management

Five steps to accelerate the talent management process.

By Emily He

The most vital asset of any business is its people. While some companies focus their efforts on the adoption of the latest technologies, it’s important to remember that technology paired with human expertise is what delivers the biggest benefits.

For HR professionals today, the job is no longer about hiring employees. Today’s HR leaders are tasked with developing a holistic approach to talent management, making sure that every person—whether they’re a job candidate, new employee, or intern—has a good experience with the company, starting with their first digital interactions. As the market for top talent continues to be competitive, companies must shift their thinking about the workforce.

Today’s organizations are striving to become places where their employees love to work. By putting people at the center of their careers and giving them the power to learn, share, and contribute the way they do in their personal lives—through the use of digital tools and interactions they’re comfortable with—a company can create a meaningful work experience that not only helps with retention but also productivity.

Here are five areas where HR leaders can focus to improve candidate and employee experiences and optimize short- and long-term talent management strategies that benefit both employees and the overall business.

1. Attract the right talent. One of the biggest challenges for a hiring manager or recruiter is sourcing the right talent. When an employee is a mismatch for a job, there’s not only a loss of productivity but also a loss of time spent in the hiring and training processes. However, embedded intelligence, artificial intelligence (AI), and other emerging technologies are greatly improving recruiting.

For candidates, these new technologies can assist by identifying and presenting similar job listings based on the candidate’s experience and skill set, or by responding with more information specific to the position under consideration. Likewise, hiring managers can use the technologies to identify best-fit candidates, understand their best sources for recruiting, and leverage recommendations to help narrow the list to the one ideal candidate. Chatbots can further accelerate the recruiting process by answering questions posed by candidates during the job search, and can become digital assistants for the busy recruiting department.

The benefits of emerging technologies carry through to new hires and existing employees as well. A combination of HR expertise and technology can help businesses gain a better understanding of each employee throughout their entire talent lifecycle. They can make it easier for employees to access training programs and other resources relevant to their roles and career goals, and to identify other potential roles within the organization that might be a good fit.

2. Engage new talent. The onboarding of new employees, albeit a critical task, is often a neglected one. Employees join a company full of hope and excitement but are often greeted by confusion and a checklist of administrative tasks on the first day. HR teams able to rethink the onboarding process and create a positive new employee experience can help turn new hires into engaged, productive employees, as well as company ambassadors.

For example, organizations can assign pre-hire and new hire tasks that occur in stages. This might include sending new hires relevant company videos to watch as well as tax and benefits forms to complete prior to reporting on their first day. HR might also forward them information about their new team, schedule a pre-first-day lunch, and gift them some company swag while also taking care of things such as the configuration of a laptop and the ordering of an employee badge. This gives new employees a sense of belonging right away, welcomes them into the organization’s culture, and helps them establish relationships with their new colleagues.

3. Develop talent. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers 2017 CEO Survey, 77 percent of CEOs see the availability of key skills as the biggest asset threat to their business. In today’s changing workforce, millennials, baby boomers, and Generation X are all working side by side. Soon, there could be as many as five generations of talent working together.

With this kind of diversity and generational nuance, HR’s training teams cannot rely on a one-size-fits-all type of curriculum and hope that it appeals to every audience type. In recognizing that each employee learns in different ways, organizations must maintain a consistent flow of programs so that skills are constantly being refined. They must consider how the learning programs are being offered and the pace at which they’re being delivered. New learning systems now provide employees and subject-matter experts access to channels to create and publish high-quality content socially, as well as to see pertinent and engaging content created and recommended by others. Employees can watch their own authored content earn likes and shares, and potentially even go viral. All of this helps them build credibility and a good reputation throughout the company.

4. Retain talented workers. To keep employees motivated and engaged, organizations need to provide opportunities for them to enhance their skills and show them where those additional skills will lead them on their career paths. In the past, nurturing of employees was mostly focused on top performers only. Organizations are now finding ways to help the majority of employees improve their performance and career growth potential by providing continuous feedback, ongoing career conversations, and 360-degree reviews that include input from managers, peers, and partners. At the same time, employees are empowered to take charge of their own careers by setting clear and measurable goals, collaborating with other team members to achieve those goals, and developing career plans that account for existing growth and career opportunities within the company. Together, these measures create more incentives for employees to stay put.

Building and maintaining a strong reputation within and outside the organization is becoming increasingly important for employees. Regardless of career stage, employees strive to make their expertise known to both their peers as well as decision-makers inside and outside the company. HCM solutions can not only help managers know their employees better, they can help them discover and channel hidden skills within the workforce so they contribute to organizational performance. Understanding an employee’s reputation enables employers to better gauge skill sets within the organization.

Assisting employees in attaining a good work-life balance can lead to further productivity and engagement increases. Integrating novel mobile and social technologies into the organization to manage fun competitions can relieve stress and contribute to business goals. Offering effective wellness programs is another way for employers to address the well-being of their employees and cause them to feel more engaged, productive, and inspired.

5. Plan for talent changes. The rapid pace of change driven by technology is transforming businesses, enabling the move from traditional hierarchical structures to flatter networks of teams. Organizations need to be nimble and more flexible when it comes to talent planning. In the past, HR managers and recruiters struggled with anticipating future talent needs and could not make plans to address them. Hiring and retention planning was mainly reactive. Today, managers need a clear view of their talent. Forecasting talent changes, planning for succession, and sourcing new talent should be constants for HR managers. With advanced dashboards, management can get a complete picture of the employee landscape, determine the best fit for an upcoming role or initiative, and make sure the best people are assigned to the most strategic projects.

To execute on an effective talent strategy, organizations should consider a talent management solution that encompasses the full talent lifecycle—including everyone from a new hire to an internal candidate eyeing a new role. Using data to better understand people has become a business-critical requirement. Underlying all of these talent processes are the embedded analytics, which help leaders define success by highlighting the organization’s talent capabilities.

Keeping the focus on people and their needs and supporting them with the right HR expertise is what will lead businesses to success. Happy employees lead to happy customers—and that’s always good for business.


Emily He is a senior vice president of marketing for human capital management for Oracle.

Posted November 15, 2018 in Talent Acquisition

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