Editors Note: This is a guest post written by Sean Conrad of Halogen Software. His opinions are his own.
When you’re trying to sell yourself as an employer to a prospective employee, it’s common to tout things like your compensation and benefits packages, your workplace culture, your vacation policy, perks like free coffee, pizza days, etc. But have you ever thought of bragging about your talent management practices? After all, studies consistently show that one of the elements employees most value is help in managing their careers.
If you have a robust talent management programme, it can be an enticing carrot to dangle in front of high potential candidates.
So how can a good talent management programme make you more attractive as an employer?
By ensuring employees get the direction, feedback and development they want and need
Employees thrive when they understand exactly what is expected of them and are held accountable for it.
When managers and employees partner to set performance goals that are specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART), employees are set up for success. When managers observe employee progress and provide useful feedback and development along the way, employees learn what they need to continue to do, and where and how they need to change. They can then improve and increase their performance, taking steps toward achieving their career goals. Everyone wins.
By rewarding good performance
High performers want to know that their efforts will be recognised and rewarded. A good talent management process supports pay for performance by providing the tools to effectively and efficiently link compensation to fair and objective performance evaluations. It also helps organisations research and develop a compensation strategy that can compete in the marketplace for talent. This news gets around.
By ensuring fairness, transparency and alignment
Everyone wants to be treated with respect, honesty and fairness and to understand how their work fits into the larger picture and supports the strategy of the organisation.
An integrated talent management programme provides the structure for linking individual goals to departmental and organisational goals through the objective-setting process. It provides the means to evaluate performance fairly and objectively through aligned and consistent performance measures. It provides tools to support pay-for-performance efforts so employees know their efforts will be rewarded. All these measures and tools can be made available to employees so they can understand exactly what is expected of them, how they will be evaluated and how they can succeed.
By supporting career development and progression
In an open talent management process, all employees can access information from job descriptions and competency models that will identify the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for positions along their desired career path. A formal development process ensures that attention and resources are provided to help them develop these competencies through training, on the job development and stretch assignments.
A succession planning process identifies, retains and develops high potential employees for key and future leadership positions. Employees and potential employees can see that this is a place where they can grow and achieve their full potential.
By fostering good manager/employee relationships
It is often said that employees join good organisations but leave poor managers.
In a good talent management programme managers are equipped and held accountable to coach their employees to their best performance. An integrated talent management programme provides the tools managers need to evaluate employees fairly, identify and develop core competencies in their employees, identify and develop high potential candidates, and take steps to improve retention. Managers can partner with their employees to achieve their goals and are themselves held accountable for good leadership practices.
By building a strong organisational culture
All the elements of the talent management practices described above contribute to an organisational culture that places high value on its employees. But you can also strengthen your organisational culture by embedding the skills, behaviours, attitudes and practices that support it into talent management processes (job descriptions, competencies, goals and objectives, performance evaluation and selection tools). This will ensure that your culture is strong and is aligned with your strategy. Candidates will see your culture clearly and be able to decide if they fit in. Interviewers can screen for those who will enhance your culture and thrive in it.
Good talent management practices are valuable assets in the war for talent. Check out your practices to assess their strengths in the areas described above. If you find them wanting, taking steps to improve them will bring benefits far beyond helping in your recruitment efforts. Once you are satisfied that you have something to brag about, include information about your talent management programmes in recruiting efforts and make sure that hiring managers and HR are prepared to describe them to the candidates they are interviewing. You will also have the benefit of satisfied employees who will reinforce your recruiting efforts by recommending your organisation as a great place to work.
Sean Conrad works and writes for Halogen Software, a leading provider of software tools that support talent management best-practices. You can read more of his thoughts on the Halogen Exploring Talent Management Blog.