People are the heart and soul of business. We know that but we have a problem. According to a survey by Glassdoor, globally 84% of employees would leave their current job, even without any real increase in pay, just to work at a company with a strong brand and reputation.
Sue Howse of Manpower Group Solutions, says “With factors such as compensation and type of work becoming more standardised across companies, job seekers are looking at employer brand and reputation as a key differentiator that can help distinguish one from another.”
I think that’s true, but I believe there’s more to it. Even the best brands won’t keep the people they’ve recruited if there is no talent pipeline. Let’s face it; very few people expect to stay in the same job. We want careers and promotion and to be have more impact in the world.
Let me share some ideas with you about how to keep your talent pipeline full and with high performers.
- Talent management must be part of your core business process. It’s not an afterthought. You can’t call recruitment a talent pipeline! The pipeline and the management of your talent are vital to your chances of achieving company goals. Sadly, most businesses don’t treat it that way. It’s time to change that attitude and include it in your core business plan along with your other essential strategies.
- Now, match your business goals with your pipeline. Look at the areas which are critical to your success and get specific about the skills, attitudes and talents you need in the organisation – and where you need them. That’s what you recruit against and develop towards.
- Identify your talent, not necessarily by skills and experience. Look for people who have the right attitudes and beliefs to support your company values. They can learn everything else.
- Design a development plan that goes beyond the training course. Talent development needs to involve coaching, mentoring, challenging, constant feedback, new opportunities to stretch themselves… You can’t get that in a training room. Formal training is only one element of ongoing talent development.
- Create groups for high-potential talent. Not only will it show your commitment to them, it will encourage them to work at their own development. Joining a group of high-potential talent will expose them to new areas of the organisation, and new people in various positions and levels. It will expand their awareness of the whole organisation and expose them to different problems and possibilities. This is important to broaden their perception and problem solving.
- Performance should be measured regularly, both formally and informally. As a business, you need the investment in your talent, but you also need it to map their progress overall. Equally as important, your people need it to know how they are progressing. Talented people have high expectations of themselves so they will expect you to assess them. It’s a marker on their career map.
- Map your talent flow. Is there a clear career path your talented people follow? When you monitor their development, pay attention to their movements within (or away from) your organisation. What is it telling you? Is there a career gap you haven’t covered? Is there a logical progression through your organisation that could be streamlined for career progress? Or are your talented people leaving you? If so, you need to find out why.
- Keep your development processes current and relevant. You need to be offering high quality development to keep your talent with you. A more effective development opportunity in another company will be irresistible to truly talented and driven performers.
- Build and maintain relationships with your talent. Not only will it build a feeling of connection with the company and with you as leader, it’s the opening to real conversation and trust.
The most important part of the whole talent management process is that it’s employer led. It comes from the top and it’s visibly valued by the organisation. Remember, your people are “going somewhere” in their careers. If they don’t think you’re able to help them, they will find somewhere that can.
What is your experience with talent pipelines? Does your business have one? I’d love to hear about your experiences.