Talent Management Program

Talent management refers to the process of developing and integrating new workers, developing and retaining current workers, and attracting highly skilled workers for a company.

Organizations have put Talent Management Programs into practice to solve employee retention and succession planning problems. Talent management is a process that emerged in the 1990s. It continues to be adopted as more companies come to realize that their employees' talents and skills drive their business success.

Why Have a Talent Management Program?
For all organizations, having enough leaders with the right technical competency is the critical issue. In order to retain top talent it is important for them to be engaged and offered professional growth opportunities.

Because the role and responsibilities of management are crucial to the success of any organization, it is essential to fill those positions with the best talent and fit. The Talent Management Program creates a pipeline of qualified candidates to prevent a gap in competent leadership. Gaps can be caused by:

  • A workforce on the cusp of retirement
  • The common practice of frequent job changes
  • An unexpected and unplanned event

Many companies today put tremendous effort into attracting employees, but spend little time on retaining and developing talent. The cost of recruiting and replacing a manager from outside is equal to one year of the annual salary of the position (~$180,000). That is in addition to the time it takes, 6 to 12 months, to recruit and on-board the right candidate.

What Comprises a Talent Management Program?
A talent management system must be related to the business plan and strategy. To be most effective, it needs to be systemized and implemented in daily processes throughout the company as a whole.

It can be very detailed or simple. A TM Program can and should be tailored to meet the needs of the organization so that it adds value.

Companies that focus on developing their talent integrate plans, processes and metrics to track and manage their employee talent. These include:

  • Identification of high potential employees within the company
  • Succession Planning
  • Sourcing, attracting, recruiting and on-boarding qualified candidates
  • Managing and defining competitive salaries
  • Training and development opportunities
  • Performance management processes
  • Retention programs
  • Promotion and transitioning

Leading edge thinking says that all training and employee development needs to be directly related to business results, not just behavioral competencies.

Talent Review Meetings
Talent Review meetings facilitate the ability to develop a clear talent management strategy and increase awareness of available talent and successors. Regularly conducted Talent Review meetings can be used to prepare for business changes, including employee turnover, retirement of key employees or changing company needs.

Once a TM Program is in place, it is recommended that in any size company, Talent Review meetings should be done at least annually. This provides an opportunity to be proactive about the current talent status and future successor needs in the organization.

What to Focus On
Attracting and retaining employees cannot be left strictly to the human resources department to attract and retain employees, but needs to be done at all levels. The business strategy must include assignments and incentives for managers to develop their subordinates.

Companies that excel in leadership development, address leadership at three levels: Organization, Team, and Individuals

To have the best outcomes with a TM Program, it is important to focus on these six primary areas:

  1. CEO and senior leaders make leadership development a top priority.
  2. Leaders at all levels are accountable for creating a work climate that motivates employees to perform at their best.
  3. Leadership teams receive training and coaching to help them work together more effectively.
  4. Mid-career managers receive job-shadowing and mentoring opportunities.
  5. High-potentials employees receive objective 360-degree assessments and feedback on their leadership ability early on.
  6. Mid-level managers get enough time to take part in leadership development activities early in their careers.

Steps to Create a Talent Management Program
The steps to create a comprehensive Talent Management Program include:

  • Get Management Commitment and a Champion
  • Review Company Business Plan
  • Establish A Systematic Program
  • Identify Included Positions
  • Develop Talent Needs
  • Profile Employees
  • Match Employees to Needs
  • Identify Gaps/Potentials
  • Set Development Goals
  • Implement Development Program
  • Measure Progress and Adjust

Given the reality of management turnover, a Talent Management Program should be considered as important as milestone reporting or budget reviews. Without systemized plans and processes to retain and replace employees, the organization is left vulnerable to the loss of key leaders. This in turn can have a devastating impact at all levels of the business and can affect all stakeholders.

With a systemized and tailored Talent Management Program in place, organizations are more stable. They have a process in place to deal with the inevitable turnover and are preparing qualified employees to replace key leaders.