TALENT MANAGEMENT

Our new blog series focuses on finding (and keeping) the right employees for your business. This fifth post in the series focuses on developing a Talent Management Plan for your company.

We have said for many years that a plan is not a plan unless it is written. In part what we mean is just having ideas in your head and acting on the spur of the moment is not very efficient, systematic, or wise. Committing what you are thinking to writing is a first step.

Authors will tell you once they start writing and see their thinking in print, their voice becomes more focused. New ideas come to them, they are better able to see the bigger picture, and needed revisions and edits become more apparent. In business the same is true. Writing down your plan forces critical thinking and in the long run can result in far better implementation. Once the plan is written, the important part is to follow it and make amendments along the way as you evaluate what is working and what is not.

Written plans do not need to be complicated, overly lengthy, or hard to navigate. Nor do they need to be form driven. We prefer to identify the components the plan will include, a simple narrative of the actions needed for implementation, and clear guidelines on measurement and evaluation.

In this post, we will consider a Talent Management Plan for your entire company, and in our next post, we will consider Individual Development Plans for employees. Here are several focus areas to consider for a good talent management plan for your company.

Recruitment

Today, recruiting talent goes far beyond placing advertisements in the local newspaper. A company’s recruitment and hiring practices need to be legal and fair. Recruiting talent begins with branding; creating brand recognition in the market place and promoting the company as a place to work.

To start, the company website should have a section on Human Resources. In the HR section (and in the about us section) state the values and mission of your company. Make sure that the website includes language indicating that you are an “Equal Opportunity Employer” and that nothing in a job posting or job description should be construed as an offer or guarantee of employment.

In the website, the HR section should identify jobs within the company and describe the company’s application and hiring process. In the HR section, key competencies and employee attributes you are seeking in new hires should be described. Job descriptions should be written by a HR professional working with the manager or owner.

Special consideration should be given to the key competencies or skills you will require for specific positions within your company. Be very clear on job requirements like academic degrees, certifications, and performance expectations, and do not use language that states or suggests a preference for a particular gender, race, age or other such quality.

The company should have procedures for internal job postings.

As a part of the recruitment process, consider incentives for your employees to make referrals for job prospects.

To be competitive, a company should have a social media recruitment strategy along with traditional recruitment sources such as local colleges, universities, and job fairs. As a part of any talent recruitment, the company should identify talented people who work for other companies who may be a good fit for the company.

Hiring

Every company should have written procedures for applying and hiring. What are the standard steps your HR department will follow to assist Owners and Managers with the hiring process?

Application forms and processes need to be developed by an HR professional and reviewed by a lawyer. In developing your hiring practices it is critical to be sure that any inappropriate practices and questions are removed.

If there are a large number of applicants for a position, it will be important to develop a screening process for job applicants. Screening could include a phone screen. As with all interviews, a phone interview must have a standard script of questions to ask the applicant and the person doing the screening needs to be trained in the process.

We recommend developing a general set of questions that can be asked of every applicant who is interviewed. Questions that address the core values and competencies you are looking for in all employees. Then for each specific job, develop a second set of questions for the specific position within your company.

Most job interviews are completed on site. Most likely, the applicant will be interviewed by a manager, senior employees, and in many cases the owner(s). As a matter of good practice, a candidate should never be interviewed alone.  Also, it is important to separate the hiring interview with making an offer.

Develop standard procedures for on-site interviews. Never interview a candidate using a blank tablet. Meaning the interviewer is winging it and has no written questions prepared. Develop a written list of interview questions. Write them out so that everyone is on the same page. Have a note taker who is different from the interviewer.

Consider developing work samples for specific positions where possible. For example, have an examiner examine a file; have a processor work a file; or have the person applying for a receptionist position, answer staged phone calls.

After each interview, summarize and review the results of interview. Have a method for evaluating each candidate’s responses and a method to compare and rate or rank candidates.

Talent Management

Executive and Management staff need a process for evaluating the effectiveness of the recruitment and hiring practices. Metrics like on the job performance, length of service, employee turn-over and retention; employee satisfaction or engagement will be important measures of your HR and management practices. In addition, the length of time to fill a position, the size of the applicant pool, and the cost of each hire will be essential measures.

Once hired, results from employee orientation, on-boarding, and training programs should be related to first year performance and job satisfaction.

Within the existing talent in the company, managers and owners will need a process for identifying those with management\supervisory potential as well as potential for technical advancement.

For those employees demonstrating the potential, it will be important to develop a plan for these individuals to receive technical training and exposure to management and executive staff throughout the company.

For all employees emphasis should be placed on job and career goals developed in the company’s employee review process.

If you would like more information about recruitment, hiring or talent management procedures for your company please contact Chris Hanson or Roger Lubeck through this website or from www.cbaltd.biz

The articles in this blog are co-written by Chris Hanson and Roger Lubeck at CBA, Ltd. CBA’s books on Management, Leadership and Sales, Finding the Right Path and Finding the Right Strategy can be ordered directly via this website or through Amazon.

To learn more about CBA’s consulting services, contact us directly or explore our website.