Posted by: Canadian HR Solutions Inc. | June 20, 2011

The War for Talent is On

It is no secret that companies are finding it harder to fill critical jobs these days.  They are struggling to land top recruits in emerging markets, for instance, and haven’t prepared existing employees to step seamlessly into management roles.

To meet the challenge companies must rethink how they hire, train and reward their employees, placing those tasks at the heart of their business plans.  In doing so, they have an opportunity to address all these separate problems with a unified plan, rather than waste time and resources addressing each of the issues individually.

Successful companies understand and exploit capabilities that let them provide value to their customers.  Your talent management initiatives should focus on building those capabilities among your employees.

Talent Management is everyone’s job.  This commitment should extend throughout the company and be characterised by enterprise-wide talent practices facilitating high levels of employee engagement and widespread accountability from senior leaders to front line managers.

Global excellence needs local effectiveness.  If a company wants a rich and diverse flow of talent in its core operation it must begin with well-crafted and efficient hiring and development practices in its local branches.  If your company can effectively recruit and nurture employees at the local level and then feed them into the core operation, diversity will happen naturally, without the need for special outreach efforts.

Support matters.  Even a company’s highest potential employees may need help in taking on the challenges they will face with new assignments.  Provide them with frequent coaching and feedback, connect them with each another so that they can share best practices.    Offer executive-education opportunities that will supplement their skills and perspectives.

Establish a set of metrics for talent development, linking them to your company’s strategic objectives whenever possible.  For instance, measure how well the company retains key employees and high-potential ones.  And, frequently assess those that are in line to fill critical assignments.

by Caroline Cole, Practice Leader, Canadian HR Solutions, Inc.

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