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How to Achieve Talent Management Excellence in Your Organization

Organizations can attract and retain talent by following a few human capital management best practices.

Talent management excellence, the practice of successfully attracting and retaining talent, is a key priority for business leaders worldwide. In surveys by the Hackett Group and the Economist Intelligence Unit, business leaders identified talent retention and development as one of their top three priorities, and they identified insufficient leadership talent and insufficient talent across the organization as the top two challenges for human resources.

But several obstacles typically prevent HR organizations from achieving talent management excellence and becoming partners with business leaders and top executives.

1. Fragmented HR processes: 

Areas such as hiring, onboarding, performance management, learning management, and compensation and rewards are often compartmentalized, with no one looking at the overall view. As a result, decisions aren’t optimized for the overall organization, and no one is making correlations across processes—for example, the impact of training or recruiting sources on performance.

2. No focus on identifying and grooming the next managers and leaders: HR organizations don’t spend enough time identifying and grooming the next set of managers and leaders, often because of a lack of time and tools.

3. Siloed HR policies: Programs and processes designed with specific employee groups in mind may not be suitable for smaller but equally significant employee groups that have different needs. For example, an automobile company may design HR policies for employees on the manufacturing floor, the bulk of the employee base. However, smaller employee groups, such as engineers, may have distinct yet unfilled needs, including collaboration platforms and project resourcing tools.

4. Lack of web-based and mobile access: Traditional HR systems may not allow web-based and mobile employee access, limiting the use of self-service functionalities and impacting the productivity of employees as well as the HR team.

Many of these obstacles result from shortcomings in the systems and technology tools that support HR processes. As a result, HR teams spend a lot of time on data entry, basic transactions, and basic employee queries, and they’re unable to spot trends across HR process areas. Hence, they can’t do business consultation, design effective policies, and drive continuous improvement.

Best Practices for Talent Management Excellence

Fortunately, following a few best practices can give HR teams the capabilities they need to effectively attract and retain talent.

1. Integrated human capital management processes and systems, along with integrated analytics: Integration across HCM processes and systems ensures that HR teams handling different processes benefit from automatic data transfer and collaboration, providing time to assess key performance metrics and identify corrective actions. Integrated analytics helps HR executives get a view on performance metrics quickly, so that they can spend more time identifying root causes (for instance, compensation or lack of training) of performance issues and looking for patterns across data.

2. Structured processes for identifying and developing future managers and leaders: HR organizations need to establish processes for identifying future leaders by analyzing their performance with respect to current roles, skills with respect to future roles, and overall potential for success. In addition, they need to groom and develop these future leaders through individual training and development programs.

3. Support for differentiated HR strategies and policies for departments with distinct needs: As mentioned earlier, each organization has different groups of employees with needs that differ from larger employee groups. Innovation and development teams need collaboration platforms, project resource management tools, and tracking of technical skills of employees. Similarly, sales teams need mobile-based access to HR systems. HR teams must ensure that these needs are being met.

By incorporating these best practices, organizations can achieve several benefits. HR teams will become more productive and become true business partners. They will be able to define programs and policies for attracting and retaining the best talent. They will be able to identify and develop the next set of leaders. HR organizations will have a real, positive impact on business outcomes.

Originally published on March 23, 2015 

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Comments ( 1 )
  • Ruth Torres Friday, February 5, 2016
    I agree with the article, all true, effective systems, data, know the business and support units, operate as a cohesive team- all important. But I would also focus on increased professionalism of recruiters and shortening the hiring cycle. This doesn't take investment in software it takes a commitment to be respectful to candidates MOVING the process. I am seeing the time to fill expanding dramatically and the failure of recruiters to maintain communications and expectations through the process is dismal. Even if the candidate is not a right fit for that position, you may lose them for a future good fit because of the poor impression left. A hiring time frame to extend an offer of 3-4 weeks from the point a candidate applies is reasonable. 3-4 months is not. If you want to take your time, at least make candidates aware of it.
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