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Improving Talent Management Strategies

A majority of business leaders polled said they believe that identifying the right talent is critical to success, but more than half of respondents said there is a shortage of talent in their industry, according to survey results released Feb. 6, 2013, by HR services provider NorthgateArinso (NGA).

Of more than 1,100 businesspeople surveyed for NGA’s annual global talent management survey, 88 percent said they believe that “securing the right people at the right place at the right time” was critical to delivering their organization’s vision. And 85 percent said success would depend on “identifying and retaining top talents.” Unfortunately, 51 percent also believe that their industry suffers from a lack of suitable candidates.

Similar results from previous surveys conducted in the past two years suggest that not enough is being done to address talent management issues across industries globally, the survey noted. In 2011 the identification and retention of top talent were considered critical to 88 percent of respondents, while 51 percent identified a shortage of talent. In addition, two-thirds of respondents (67 percent) surveyed in 2012 said they believed that their business’s talent management strategy would benefit from more resources.

“There is a real worry that there is a lack of readily available talent and that, potentially, this will impact on a business’s ability to deliver its strategic vision," said NGA Vice President of Strategic Marketing Michael Custers in a statement about the results. “These concerns demonstrate clearly the need to ensure that talent management and HR planning aligns to the wider business strategy. Our findings suggest that more could be done to improve this.”

In fact, half of those surveyed believed that HR strategy could be better aligned with company strategy. Yet 34 percent said their company did not have any talent management program.

“Business leaders should ensure that they have a talent management program in place across the entire employee life cycle,” said Custers. “They should ensure that this program is linked directly to the wider business strategy. And then they should ensure that they have the means in place to deliver the strategy, by installing efficient HR processes, smart HR technologies and solid HR services.”

NGA offers three tips to HR practitioners to improve their talent management processes:

Consolidate the technologies being used to help integrate processes. The survey found that more than half of businesses are using between two and five technology tools to manage talent management processes. Having a dispersed network of talent management tools decreases HR data quality, complicates the integration of HR processes, and negatively affects reporting and analytical results.

Articulate a strategy and assign experts to execute it. Only 66.5 percent of respondents said their company has a talent management strategy, and 40 percent said their company combines it with HR duties. Having dedicated experts develop an integrated strategy across various talent management processes will help solve the problem of retaining and identifying talent.

Free up time, resources to dedicate to talent strategy. Businesses should consider automating or outsourcing tactical day-to-day tasks to enable HR teams to focus on implementing talent management processes that will ensure the business has the people it needs to meet its wider objectives.

Related Resources

Customize, Align Talent Strategies with Business Objectives, SHRM Online Staffing Management, Feb. 21, 2013.

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