Talent management is an organization’s efforts to recruit the right talent in the right roles aimed at building a more competent workforce. This includes streamlining recruiting, hiring, training and retaining activities within an organization in order to fulfill company goals.

Talent is a precious resource, and managing it is not an easy task. Limited number of organizations look at talent as a source of opportunity and a driver of business goals. Research has even proved that only 1 in 5 employers provide sufficient and necessary training and development opportunities for the existing talent pool.

Retaining and nurturing the existing talent pool becomes critical in meeting business goals. Attrition is not only expensive, but finding a replacement is time consuming. A study by Glassdoor Economic Research in 2015 suggests that the average recruitment process takes up to 23 days, having risen 76% of what it used to be just 4 years ago. These figures would only rise with more millennial’s entering the workplace. In the US, the number of days to make an average hire increased to 52 days costing nearly $4000.

Below are the key processes that form a part of Talent Management

  • Recruitment and hiring
  • Creation of job description
  • Resume screening
  • Online and face to face interviews
  • Background screening and employer credit check
  • Releasing the offer letter
  • Employee onboarding process and introduction to company culture
  • Assigning a mentor
  • Setting Goals, KPA’s and KRA’s
  • Training and development
  • Employee recognition programs
  • Employee benefits and incentives plan
  • Conducting performance appraisals
  • Career development and skill upgradation programs
  • Grievance management and retrieval of feedback
  • Promotions, crossboarding, and onsite opportunities
  • Succession planning

Here are 5 best practices that will help manage your talent pool effectively.

  • Get to know your real talent. And keep them.

Many organizations find it a challenging task to identify their talent pool. High performers usually make up for 5% of the total employee count, and perform 400% more than the average performer. High performers are often rewarded and recognized, but as only as 15% of them, make up for the high – potential category. Most organizations fail to provide the added fillip for High Potentials that ensure that they stay motivated, challenged, and most importantly loyal.

  • The Company culture

Organizations often fail to clearly identify their culture, and communicate it. They identify certain cultural characteristics in a broad and vague manner. The launch of the company identity and cultural traits is done with much pomp and show. But its execution and reinforcement often fall flat. Studies have shown a a strong link between financial performance and company culture strength. Companies often underestimate the business impact of this connection. For example, a CEB survey found out that only an 11% premium is needed to appeal to candidates when they felt the employee value proposition was attractive. While a 21% increase in compensation is needed to draw candidates when the EVP was unattractive.

Get down to outlining what the company culture should look like. Work with your employees and managers to develop a plan of action, getting everyone on board in the process. Both managers and employees need to understand how they can individually contribute to improve the work culture. The best companies collect information and test data to implement and actively manage a differentiated and competitive employee value proposition.

  • What’s in it for them

Approach the talent management dilemma with one big question, whats in it for them? Most often, companies are driven by what’s in it for the company outlook. Strategies and ideas are formulated on costs and expenses. But change the perspective. Look at the entire process of talent management, from the employee point of view. And things fall in place. Be it career opportunities, training, proactively invest in your talent pool. Provide challenging projects to high potentials to hone their skills, build teams and talent pools, show and provide paths for growth and development.

  • Satisfaction

Many employees experienced change or anticipate change at their organization, which focuses on the need to employ measures of engagement and satisfaction. Upto 19% organizations don’t conduct surveys to monitor and gauge levels of engagement. Organizations that are best in class, proactively build their engagement capital. An employee’s level of satisfaction and engagement directly correlates to his willingness to go the extra mile and his loyalty. Most engagement surveys build their surveys from a present and future experiential context. While measuring engagement, it is important to look at it from a past, present, and future perspective.

It is critical that these surveys indicate whether employees understand their role and its connection to the business and company goal. 61% of senior executives admit that they’re struggling to bridge the gap between their ideas and day-to-day implementation.

  • Recognize, Appreciate, Reward. And Feedback

Let’s not wait till the end of the year to provide feedback. Let’s not recognize them just once a year. Let’s not wait for a wait for an annual survey to gather peer feedback. Make feedback and recognition and rewards a culture. Incorporate it in daily dialogue. Include it in part of weekly meetings. Focus on the positive, when it comes to feedback. Employees are far more engaged, whose managers focus on their strengths, as against those who have managers that focus on the negatives. Gallup survey indicates that when a manager looks only to the negatives, nearly 71% are actively disengaged.

Managers often get dragged down by their own tasks. They are often too focused on achieving their goals, that the miss the journey and their team. Pay attention to your team. Your goals often depend on them. Communicate and listen to them. Build up your team through peer to peer recognition. It’s often the team and the manager that keeps the employee in the company, not so much the financial rewards.