It is vitally important to recruit and retain top talent. The best way to start is with the end in mind. Developing a strategy from this perspective has a higher probability to result in a more successful campaign for your organization.

In my 25-plus years of recruiting and talent acquisition, I’ve worked with more than a few hiring managers who were fixated on the here and now when it comes to hiring. Believe me, I understand where they are coming from: You have a critical opening, a project due at the end of the month, or a customer teetering on the brink of leaving for a competitor — just find someone, anyone, who can help as soon as possible. But that sort of short-term thinking only increases the probability of painful issues down the line. It can lead to things like unexpected turnover, significant costs related to developing staff with outdated or limited skills, or the dreaded reduction in force.

            We all have responsibilities, deadlines, and customers breathing down are necks at times, and it is tough to take a moment to look up from the tasks at hand and consider the Big Picture. But now more than ever, it’s crucial to make that time to sit down with your Talent Management professionals (HR Generalist, Organizational Design Specialist and Talent Acquisition Specialist) and develop a solid Talent Plan for your area of responsibility. The talent pool has dried up to the point where you not only need to attract the right talent, but you also have to develop your own talent pipeline that will align with your organization today, one year, three years, and even five years down the road. Oh, and by the way — it’s not enough to just form this plan, implement it, and forget it. It should be reviewed on a regular basis for needed adjustments and enhancements to ensure is always in line with your organizational priorities and values.

The first question managers always ask is “Where do I start with this plan?” My answer: Get the Talent Management professionals together and begin collecting the information you will need to get insight into the future. Just a few of the questions you will want to develop with the Talent Management professionals include:

  1. Where do you see your organization going over the next year? Three years?  Five years?
  2. What strategies and initiatives will you need to pursue going forward?
  3. What type of technology or process changes will come as your organization moves forward?
  4. What is the timing of these changes?
  5. What are the growth and development plans for your staff today, and where might they be in the future?

From these questions and many others, you’ll begin to paint a picture of the future of your organization. You then need to look into that future at the impact to your organization, your current staff, and how they both will need to evolve. This is the foundation of the process of Workforce Planning — understanding where you are going and what the organization and workforce will need to look like in the future.

Once you have a good understanding of what lies ahead, then you can start focusing in on individual role needs, your current staff, and do gap analysis to determine the following:

  1. General Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Behaviors, and Experiences (KSABE) your staff will need for the future.
  2. Specific KSABE developmental needs for your staff, either on an individual basis or across the whole team.
  3. Specific hiring needs for the future related either to new roles or anticipated turnover within your organization (Succession Planning).
  4. The anticipated timing of turnover of current staff members either related to internal moves, promotions, or terminations.
  5. The anticipated timing for the development and/or hiring of these KSABEs.

From these and potentially other items, you can pull together your Talent Plan for your organization, and when openings come about, you now have a better understanding of the “end.” You will also be better positioned to ensure that your new hires will fit well now — and in the future.

If you need help with acquiring and managing talent, please contact our experts.