Talent Management

by Rachel Brushfield

Excellence in managing talent

To be truly excellent at managing talent, consider the following suggestions:

  • Research your competitors’ talent management strategy; think about what makes them attractive to the talent you would like to win over and what you can change about your department
  • Be aware of your own values and beliefs – and therefore your bias – when recruiting talent
  • Don’t recruit clones of yourself or the talent pool in your team, or your company will become static rather than diverse
  • Ensure that the questions you ask at interview relate to the talent competencies you are looking for
  • Talent recruitment is increasingly multinational, so take steps to examine your own beliefs or prejudices about such things as gender, age or race
  • Don’t play safe – it will not help the long-term success of your company or position if you recruit staff who can’t ever make you feel challenged and threatened
  • Ensure you communicate about talent honestly, yet politically, as it can be a sensitive subject
  • Invest time in defining the talent competencies for your team or department and the impact of long-term market trends or changes to the business
  • Develop your coaching and mentoring skills to help talent to think for themselves
  • Ask for the advice and support of those among your peers who also manage talent
  • Even if you are not appraised on the amount of time you devote to talent and their success in being promoted, make yourself accountable
  • Be a good advert – invest time in developing yourself
  • Read best practice – what are other companies doing that you could copy or do better?
  • Share information about talent competencies with your team and encourage them to talent spot when they are networking and socialising – offer them a financial incentive, remembering that this could save a large amount on recruitment
  • If you work for a large company, consider how you can reshape your department or give specific responsibilities to talent who would otherwise leave to join a small/medium business that can offer them the greater responsibilities for which they are hungry
  • Speak with your industry body or association about talent trends, shortages and initiatives, so you can learn from their expertise and knowledge.

Ask yourself these self-reflective questions:

  • How could I improve the way in which I manage talent?
  • How could I work closer with Human Resources (HR) about talent, for our mutual benefit?
  • How could I personally learn from the talent in my team?
  • How could the rest of my team benefit from the skills and qualities of the talent in my team?
  • How can I attract talent to my team/department, both internally and externally?