28 Tips for a Better Talent Management Strategy

1. Build talent pipelines and recruitment strategies to key business groups
Business units love to engage and buy-in to recruitment strategies that are tied to their groups and units vs. the whole company where job requirements and competencies can get watered down to meet all requirements. Sourcing and recruiting to fill a specific pipeline for a position type vs numerous position types is key. Of course within human resources and recruiting it’s up to us to reduce costs and leverage overall sourcing and recruitment tactics.

2. Have a talent war room
Visually organize yourself so your entire team and clients know the game plan. In this way everyone knows what information you are looking to gather, key recruitment tactics and pitches, key competitor value propositions and how you compare against them.

3. Attack Defend and Disrupt
Developing an effective talent strategy is all about ensuring you are aggressive in pulling together your hiring strategies. Take no prisoners and go after the best talent available to you. But ensure you defend your talent by putting in place solid compensation plans, mentorship plans and a wide abundance of opportunities for them to grow into. Disrupt competitors and the market by constantly pushing the envelope and innovating new approaches to attracting and keeping talent.

4. Map by geography, skill set and key skill competitors
Have your recruitment numbers by location and key skill (job families work). Developing an effective recruitment strategy requires you do it locally by engaging recruiters that know the market and can effectively engage in that location with that audience. Map out all key sources for the best talent (schools, competitors, universities, feeder pools, etc.) Use a map to do this and preferably put this up in your war room.

5. Lock-in with the business strategy
Amazing how many recruitment groups build a recruitment strategy solely on job descriptions provided by the business. Many of these job descriptions, are old, outdated and talk about skills and competencies that are sometimes from the past not the future. There is also a lack of discussion around current products and or services and or of the vision where the business is headed. Ensure everything is current and build on the excitement of where the business and it’s people are going, not just a boring job description.

6. Workforce Planning is not a dirty word
Ensuring you develop a tight but modest workforce plan is key to ensuring your recruiters and business partners are working on what’s truly important vs. positions that will be cancelled or where there is no urgency to fill.

7. Develop a brand campaign that lasts at least 1-2 years
Ensure you develop your brand campaign hand in hand with corporate so that the message is consistent across the company. They are playing up the service and product side while you’re revving up the culture and why people want to work there. Make it fun and exciting and make sure you don’t change campaigns like a dirty shirt. No one will want to engage if the message keeps changing, believe in it, live it.

8. Launch projects to manage key recruitment projects (keep it simple)
Key recruitment drives are best-managed within a project. But keep it simple as this is not rocket science. All you want to do is ensure you know what your objectives are, how your going to measure it and communicate it and who your executive sponsor is. Ie: Hire 50 sales managers in 50 different states for new product launch, metric: hires per recruiter/hiring manager, hires to date, Communication update sent once a week to executive sponsor and all team recruiters and hiring managers. Include any major obstacles , recommendations, solutions that have been discussed and supported by executive sponsor.

9. Decide how you will deliver services, internal, outsource, self-help centre
How will you organize to deliver on the strategy, (centralized, decentralized, hybrid). Meld this to your strategy but also more specifically on how your business partners are organized to deliver their own services. Whichever way you choose to go ensure delivery is fast and effective and has solid ROI for your clients. Consult with your clients frequently to find out if you’re delivering the ROI you promised.

10. Identify the talent level and competencies required
Every company says they want the best talent but very few can recruit it. You should instead try to recruit the best talent your company can hire based on your reputation, your compensation strategy, competitiveness and attractiveness to candidates. In this way you will focus on that talent segment and not waste time trying to hire individuals who have no interest in coming to your company or whom you could not attract from a financial perspective.
Understanding what competencies you require will also determine how you screen candidates effectively and then get them through the selection process quickly. Will you use CRM technology, on-line testing or some other approaches.

11. Pick a few key colleges and universities and focus on developing strong relationships with them.
Pick key colleges and universities that will be your feeder pools for new developing talent. Focus your dollars and focus on developing great relationships with these schools and their principals. Have a recruiting ambassador as well as an executive ambassador work with the school. Leverage the schools for intellectual property development, research, communication initiatives and much more. If the school offers COOP placements, look to take advantage of these great programs.

12. Mentor recruiters to become better recruiters themselves.
This is key to ensure everyone’s on the same page and that skills are transferred across the organization. Have a recruiter on boarding program from day one and pair up recruiters on that day with a veteran. Meet with them to see how it’s going and what suggestions they may have on the recruiting program.

13. Make everyone a brand ambassador to attract talent
Give everyone a fact sheet about what it means to be part of your company, what your company stands for and more. Everyone should be selling what your company stands for and directing them to buy its products and services but also to apply for employment.

14. Kick off an employee referral program
The #1 best source for hiring the best talent for your company. Not only is it cost-effective but employees remain with the company longer. Just make sure you have the program well-defined from the start specifically with company standards.

15. Simplify recruiting processes and policies
Survey candidates, new employees and managers on what they think of the current recruitment process and policies. Are they effective, fast and or fun? Make sure you keep things simple and focused on hiring candidates quickly and effectively. Everything else if fluff.

16. Decide on the right mix of Recruiting programs
Where will your hires come from: ie: 50% experienced hires, 20% New grads, 10% contractors, 10% COOP. It’s key to determine this so you can channel your dollars and resources appropriately. By doing this you can also measure your progress and get executive support for the programs based on shifting business needs.

17. Candidate attraction and sourcing techniques
Make sure your leveraging your employees skills and suggestions. Use all the technology available understanding that although some technology can speed up the recruitment process many actually slow down the sourcing/identification process. Picking up a phone and engaging with potential clients is still the key. So make sure you hire recruiters that have this skill set.

18. Make your career website tacky
Simplify, reduce the number of clicks for candidates to access your jobs and to leave you a resume. Make it a place candidates can come for more than jobs but also to find out what it means to be a part of this company.

19. Recruiting technology that meets your strategic needs
Technology should meet the needs of your recruiting strategy, it should not drive your recruiting strategy. Don’t get bogged down with an ATS that cuts and slices every which way but prevents you from making changes to your talent strategy. Ensure technology is flexible and does not become a boat anchor on your budget limiting your future options.

20. Kill The Form
Eliminate the candidate application form. Do you know how many candidates skip your website if this is here. Answer: A ton. Use CRM to screen quickly, engage candidates via email once they have left their email coordinates on your site.

21. Speed up the time to hire
Some companies take months to make a hire. Get real, make it two to three weeks. Be rigorous by recoming time wasters and getting hiring managers to meet candidates quickly and to give feedback asap.

22. Hire based on skill not only on work experience
Do not overlook candidates that may not have a ton of work experience, look at their skills and how they may grow into the role. Some of the gems may be rough but with a little polishing, they will shine and remember your role in finding and grooming them.

23. Throw out barrier requirements and look to the skills required.
Sometimes you have to toss out the college degree or the professional designation and hire someone who has all the tools and more. Great candidates may have the experience but not the accreditation, who cares if they can make your company shine and make it money (unless legally required of course).

24. Hire from unusual sources
Look to get top talent from new sources, ie: a failed start-up or new highly trained immigrants. Skip traditional career fairs and go to other types of business events where you can engage with candidates on a different level. Always look to new venues to hire talent, it will always surprise you how effective some are.

25. Launch a unique skill contest
Be innovative and work with your business to develop a unique engineering or product/service focused skill contest where you can create a buzz that will attract talent that normally may not have surfaced.

26. Nix the ATS
Forgot that complex maze of Applicant Tracking Systems, forms and procedures and actually engage and talk to real people. The old techniques of recruiting are still the most effective ones. Pick up a phone, meet promising people and engage.

27. Axe the Losers to Hire more Winners
If you want to increase your companies potential axe some of those low potentials or individuals that cause more destruction within your company than produce value. Then you have available capital to make some better hires to help your business.

28. Get the right culture fit
Try group interaction interviews for certain types of hire. Invite a group of potential employees to interview with a number of recruiters and staff at the same time. How they interact together vs compete will tell a lot about them and how they will fit in your current company culture.

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