Talent management has proven critical to nearly every organization’s performance and retention. A McKinsey survey found that the vast majority of businesses — 99% of respondents — say they are more likely to outperform their competitors thanks to a talent management system. The processes involved in talent management — recruitment, training and onboarding, performance reviews, promotions, upskilling, career pathing, succession planning, and more — help employees feel valued. They also assist the organization in its growth.
Traditionally, talent management has been left to human resources (HR). But information technology (IT) has been increasingly playing an instrumental role in this crucial realm.
What’s wrong with traditional talent management?
Traditional talent management is a bit of a misnomer since the term has only been part of our vernacular for about 25 years. It was first used by McKinsey in a report in the late 1990s. The world of work has changed considerably in the past quarter of a century. Employers need to refine the strategies of the past to meet the challenges of the present.
Gorana Sandric, the founder of Sandric Consulting Group, identifies several core problems in traditional talent management processes and strategies:
- Lack of reliability
- Lack of flexibility
- Insufficient connectivity with the business reality
- No long-term perspective
- Too much reliance on centralized bureaucratic processes
- Limited impact on the employee experience
- Insufficient leadership skills in talent development
Additionally, given the changing workforce dynamics and ways of working, it is increasingly clear that talent management strategies must help employees gain relevant, future-proof skills. They must also be evidence-based, inclusive, and community-driven — building a cohesive workforce that is fully engaged with their organization.
How to fix it
Talent management does, of course, require oversight and facilitation from HR and management. But IT is also proving instrumental in cultivating a professional, capable, responsible, reliable, and engaged workforce. These strategies incorporate the efforts of these departments and professionals, leveraging technology to make them more effective.
1. Develop internal pipelines.
It probably comes as no surprise that developing internal talent is key to retention, engagement, and growth in a company. Not only will this promote loyalty in employees, but it will also save organizations money and play an instrumental role in improving the overall brand and image. But too often, businesses focus on recruiting external talent, as opposed to building up the talent they already have.
By creating internal systems that use tools like artificial intelligence (AI), businesses can identify the top performers within their organizations and focus on developing their talent further. They can also tailor training according to the skills employees have and need to gain. This will prove critical to building strong pipelines that help employees grow as professionals — in turn, fueling the growth of the entire organization.
In turn, this will allow them to adapt to changing markets and trends. Tapping into existing talent could also allow them to realize the full capacity of their team and encourage your workers to reach their true potential — a potential they may not have even discovered themselves.
2. Leverage a talent management system.
A talent management system (TMS) is a comprehensive platform that incorporates a wide range of powerful tools and technologies, all with the aim of managing professional growth within your organization. It can therefore assist with a number of processes, including:
- Performance reviews
- Education and training
- Career pathing
- Employee data storage
- Succession planning
This fully integrated software acts as a bridge between HR, leadership, and IT. It contains valuable insights and information and serves as a hub for employees, including the tools they need to leverage throughout their career journeys at the company. Usually, talent management systems are cloud-based, meaning employees and managers can access them from practically any location with an internet connection.
A TMS offers many benefits to employers. They can review critical information about their people, overseeing the entirety of their progression within the company. For instance, they can look at past performance reviews and track the progression of their skills and growth. They can also identify the most promising players and target them for leadership positions.
3. Use analytics.
The vast majority of today’s technological systems generate a wealth of data, and talent management systems — along with other software involved in talent management — are no different. So, by using these tools, employers will have access to an enormous amount of information about the candidate’s experience, employee engagement, employee skills, and much more.
When HR and management comb this user data and push it through an analytics solution, they will be better equipped to identify weak spots in their talent management strategies and develop plans to improve them. They can also identify areas with potential. Ultimately, they will have more information and evidence as to what’s working and where they need to improve their overall candidate and employee experience.
The future of talent management
At a time when the very nature of work is evolving and talented professionals across industries have a multitude of options and work styles available to them, businesses of all types must build strong talent management strategies in order to retain employees and thrive as organizations. This will improve their brands, cut costs, and allow them to scale efficiently and effectively.
No longer are the strategies of the past sufficient. Talent management can’t be solely the responsibility of HR — it must involve all departments, especially IT. Technology will prove critical to onboarding, retaining, cultivating, and nurturing an engaged, quality workforce.