Top Talent Management Practices

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Much of your company’s value flows from the skills, experience, and performance of your workforce. Recruiting highly-qualified candidates is an important aspect to the overall talent development but your talent strategies shouldn’t stop there. Once recruits become a part of your organization, getting the best from them, identifying and retaining top performers, encouraging learning and development, and keeping employees engaged are all important aspects to ensure the best utilization of talent. A talent management strategy is an important tool that allows you to effectively achieve results and gain a competitive advantage by leveraging your people.

We believe the following are some of the top talent management practices that will help you make the most of the talent you have and hire.

Plan ahead

It is critical to plan ahead before you recruit by developing a workforce plan and staffing plan. These don’t have to be elaborate or complicated plans, in fact it is helpful to design them to the uniqueness of your own business or industry model.  Here are four essential ingredients to effectively plan ahead: 

  1. identify your talent requirements going forward;
  2. identify the talent potential internally;
  3. identify the talent shortfall (difference between 1 and 2); and
  4. plan for when/how any gaps will be filled. 

This will help to save you and your organization many dollars and put in place a strong and productive team for when you need it most.

Gain insight into your workforce

More than 70% of business costs are typically employee related. Having solid data pertaining to head count, turn over, cost per hire, revenue per full-time employee and performance metrics is vital to making intelligent planning and hiring decisions. It is imperative to know what your employees are thinking, and their level of engagement with their jobs and the organization.

Know your talent management strengths and challenges

It is important that your management team is aware of your talent management strategies. We suggest that you review them as a team annually, this will help to identify the best opportunities for attracting and retaining talented people. This will also help your current team to feel empowered and invested in your organizational goals. We suggest when establishing your talent strategy priorities to focus on the top two or three each year so that you can manage attainable goals.

Build a leadership pipeline

A succession plan is the key to building the leadership pipeline. This can be done through identifying, engaging, and retaining top performers and high potentials. To avoid business disruptions during critical points and increase your ability to retain your best talent, build a talent pool from internal and external sources by linking the recruiting and succession planning processes. Then implement a retention strategy for your top performers and offer actionable career development paths.

Recruit the right people

Identifying your recruitment needs in advance is imperative to prevent simply recruiting “warm bodies” on short notice.  Being proactive and taking the time to hire the RIGHT people will pay dividends in the retention, productivity, and performance of employees.  As well, your selection process should include three critical assessment criteria – cultural fit (behaviors), expertise (competencies to succeed), and capacity to be developed for both the current position and future potential.

Extend your reach with social recruiting

Use the same principles that your organization uses for marketing your product or service when advertising for talent.  Often, your best candidates are not actively looking for a job. Post open positions to major social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter so your organization gets in front of millions of high-quality passive job seekers with the right skills, experience, and certifications.


Guest author, Dana Walton, is an associate at Future Focus. She has expertise in Marketing, Event Management, Social Media Marketing, Market Research, and Fund Raising.

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