Why Employees Must be the Focus of Talent Management Frameworks

The war for talent means that HR leaders need to keep employees in their focus, in order to successfully achieve organizational goals.

The era of the top-down, hierarchical approach to talent management is passé. The war for talent has meant that employees and candidates are now the focus, with HR professionals and senior management looking to create a positive employee experience.

Instead of looking to maximize the output from employees, HR leaders are directing their efforts toward attracting, developing, and retaining the best people through a great employee experience. A huge majority of leaders believe the employee experience is important, to achieve organizational goals and keep employees engaged.

What changes are needed in talent management?

The employee must be at the center of the talent management framework, to facilitate a smooth, seamless flow of information and data from one process of talent management to another. Career discussions, learning outcomes, development plans, and performance reviews should lead to a transparent system of rewards and recognition along with ample opportunities for development and internal mobility. And technology is key support at every stage of the employee journey, driving efficiency and making the experience seamless.

Recruitment and onboarding

For a talent management professional looking to get the best talent on board, the recruitment and onboarding experience needs to treat the candidate as a consumer. This could be the difference between a candidate turning to the organization or to its competitor.

Research has shown the lack of technology to be a big turnoff for candidates from different generations of the workforce. Along with this, attracting the best talent requires attention to:

  • Employer branding: Nearly 75% of candidates look up a company before even applying for a role, and those with strong employer brands pull in a 50% higher number of qualified candidates at half the cost per hire.
  • Employee value proposition: The talent management framework must ensure a culture, mission, and values that align with the values of incoming candidates.

Culture and wellbeing

For an HR leader, it is important to remember that the organizational culture is reflected in every part of its talent management process. The right culture makes people feel comfortable, inspired, supported, and recognized, along with giving them chances to learn and develop themselves. This, in turn, influences business outcomes favorably, which is why it must be driven from the top. People need to be developed for current and future roles, along with flexibility in when, where and how they do their work.

Performance management and rewards

Employees must be kept engaged beyond just the recruitment and onboarding stage, which is where flexible reward and recognition systems come into the picture. Talent management professionals must implement continuous feedback mechanisms that provide guidance on future career and development paths. These keep people connected to organizational goals and also help the organization to remain flexible in response to the dynamism of the market.

Often, the feedback mechanism becomes continuous and dynamic, but rewards do not keep pace. The talent management framework should accordingly incorporate tailored rewards, higher frequency, and a transparent, fair process so that the employee experience stays supreme.

Internal talent mobility

Getting the best people is scarcely the end of the story for HR leaders. The fast pace of the economy requires constant tweaking of organizational goals and a correspondingly quick shift of people between roles, at different levels of the organization. There is often a choice to be made between:

  • Buying people: Pulling in the required talent from the market
  • Building the workforce: developing internal skills and competencies by keeping the current workforce mobile between roles

Learning and career development

Talent management professionals must invest in creating learning opportunities for both the current as well as future workforce. To encourage employees to take these up, they must demonstrate a clear correlation between employee needs and organizational goals. The organization needs to inculcate a culture of continuous learning, which links up with the development of employee careers and internal mobility.

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