This is a guest post from strategist and broadcaster, Matt Alder, about his new book ‘Exceptional Talent’.
The world of work is changing.
For the HR profession the technological developments, behavioural changes and shifts in expectations and preferences that are impacting how businesses operate and grow, present unique challenges.
In an increasing noisy digital world, promoting an employer brand to top talent is increasingly difficult and is being exacerbated by skill shortages in many sectors.
The Employee Experience is now a competitive advantage meaning that HR teams need to balance the needs of the business today with potential changes in the future, helping to create an environment and culture in which people want to work and feel empowered and supported to give their best.
“HR teams need to balance the needs of the business today with potential changes in the future”
It is very clear that developing an effective talent strategy should be a priority for every business.
Over the last 18 months we have been researching these challenges and the way that forward thinking companies are adapting and innovating their talent strategies. The findings have just been published in our new book “Exceptional Talent”.
As well as containing many practical tips and case studies, the book identifies two broad areas of focus which we believe will help companies attract, retain and develop the talent they need in these challenging times.
“Every business needs to find and hire the talent that is right for them”
Firstly we explore the nature of talent itself. Talent is probably the most misused and overused word in the labour market. The usual definition is of a person that is high potential, or ticks all the boxes on a checklist of skills, achievements and previous experience.
Our argument is that this is wrong, and the description needs to be broader. To meet the challenges posed, and make the most of opportunities created, every business needs to find and hire the talent that is right for them. That is, people with a spirit of curiosity and flexibility, who possess the skills, attitude, capabilities and potential to help organisations grow and evolve.
Secondly we explore the talent lifecycle, redefining it as an ongoing journey.
This new talent journey has six key stages:
- Attention – How companies stand out from a cacophony of digital noise and distraction to connect and build employer brand awareness with the talent they need.
- Attraction – Recruitment marketing activity that drives interest into working for the business and then converts this interest into applications
- Acquisition – An effective interview and selection process that eliminates bias and focuses on assessing the skills, capability and potential the business needs
- On-boarding – Seamless integration of new hires into the business and its culture, with expectations set, and regular feedback given
- Development – How the business supports employees in their development, sets goals, reviews performance and offers career opportunities
- Retention – Creating a compelling employee experience in order to be a place where people want to work and to ensure that they become advocates for the business.
“To succeed, companies need to look at their talent strategy much more holistically and modernise their thinking”
Historically, these were a series of events that HR did to people at set times, but we believe they should now be one ongoing cycle – with each stage blending in with the next.
Ditch the silos
Rather than thinking and operating in silos we believe that to succeed, companies need to look at their talent strategy much more holistically and modernise their thinking to develop more effective approaches to talent. We hope our book will give you the insight and tools you need to do just this.