Talent management: how to find, develop and retain the best employees




Finding, developing and retaining the best employees usually isn’t a recruitment or salary issue these days. The most successful companies are adopting talent management as part of a wider business strategy. Dedicated tactics should be employed across all stages of the hiring and retention process, and utilising the following tips will give you the best chance of staying ahead of your competition.

What is talent management?

A talent management definition would include expert methods of finding, developing and retaining the best employees. Talent management should form an integral part of any business plan. Employees can make or break a business, so investing in them is just as important as deciding on a product/service range, business persona or price point.

How to find the best talent

The first part of a talent management process should go far beyond basic recruitment, which is primarily geared towards filling gaps or a particular skill set. Finding the best talent begins with your business growth plan, then includes sourcing potential candidates, the hiring process, the interview stage and onboarding. The following tips will boost every level of the process.

Work on an employer branding strategy

All businesses should work on their ‘face’ – the way customers or clients perceive them. In order to find the best talent, they should also have an employer branding strategy; the way they wish to be perceived by potential employees.
In the modern age, it’s not enough to offer financial renumeration as your only method of capturing the best talent. An employer branding strategy needs to demonstrate your philosophy and show your company to be a great place to work.

Choose talent acquisition over recruitment

Often confused, talent acquisition and recruitment are different from one another. The latter is merely about filling vacancies. The former sees potential employees as an essential part of a business growth plan and focuses on all the cogs related to identifying, attracting and acquiring the best talent. Refining your talent acquisition strategy should involve more than the creation of job roles, ads and application management. To hire the very best talent, capable of realising a business’ ambitions and enhancing your organisation in the long run, companies must go further.

Survey your existing employees

Business leaders and managers will have their own perception of their company, but given their roles, it’ll likely be different from the majority of employees. Get a better feel for how your company is perceived by surveying your existing employees and allow for complete honesty by making it anonymous. Your findings can also help refine your employer branding strategy.

Developing the best talent

The second stage of any talent management strategy is to develop the amazing employees you’ve hired. There’s no point letting them stagnate – those with ambition and a brain in need of stimulus will simply look elsewhere if not continually stretched and engaged.

Upskill your employees

Upskilling your workforce is key to future business success. It’ll help to increase levels of job satisfaction, as employees won’t be repeating the same tasks over and over. Upskilling will also allow your workforce to keep up with the latest industry developments and be empowered to do their jobs to the best of their ability. A Gartner study found that 58% of employees need new skills merely to do their jobs successfully.

Start an employee referral program

An employee referral program encourages employees to become talent spotters, receiving a bonus for any recommendations who are hired. Statistics show this to be an effective method of recruitment, as over 45% of employees referred by colleagues stay for more than four years. Compare this to employees found on job boards – just 25% stay longer than two years.
When an employee referral program works, it’s not purely about hiring new employees. It’ll show you that your existing staff are happy in their roles and keen to advertise their own organisation as a great place to work.

Talent retention

Talent retention is the final piece of the puzzle and one that’s easy to overlook, given the busy nature of day-to-day work. Treat it just as seriously as finding and developing your employees. You’ll save time and money from not having to go through the hiring process again, and good retention rates emit a strong message to future candidates that your business is worth working for!

Research your competitors

Stay relevant. What pleased your employees last year might quickly grow out of date. Have a look at what your competitors are doing to keep their employees happy. Study the tactics used by massively successful businesses and see what you can learn. Ask your employees for feedback on a regular basis in order to gauge levels of job satisfaction. You want your employees to enjoy coming to work on a daily basis; otherwise, there’s a far greater chance that they’ll jump ship.

Introduce employee perks

Perks can include discounts on other brands, bonuses or reward schemes. They may also include pensions, equal and inclusive leave policies and more creative options for remote work. Whatever perks you may decide upon, don’t introduce them without surveying your employees first. Find out what they need and devise incentives around these. There’s no point introducing reduced gym membership if nobody will utilise the offer.

Be flexible

Traditional workplace rules, such as in-house working and 9-5 hours, are outdated. Younger workers want to be able to work flexibly, and a failure to take this requirement on board will likely harm your talent retention rates. Millennials will soon make up the majority of the workforce, and they’re far more inclined to focus on the quality of their work over the quantity of it. Look into offering remote work combined with flexible hours before your competitors get there first. Don’t assume a candidate with less years of experience is less qualified. Assess and reward ability.
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Investing time and resources into talent management is essential for any business that wants to succeed. Unless you wish to remain a one-person start-up, you’re going to need the skills of others, and finding, developing and retaining the best employees will help you compete.

At Elements, we’re highly-experienced in overseeing the whole process, from sourcing to retention, across multiple industries. Utilise our talent acquisition specialists to better support your talent strategy and benefit from the collective knowledge and expertise we have acquired over the past decade.

We build innovative talent solutions.

To discuss your Talent Acquisition needs, get in touch with us today

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Elements are the pioneers and leaders of Embedded Talent Consultancy. Our consultants are embedded within some of the world’s best-known organisations, solving their toughest and most complex hiring challenges.

In addition to our work with leading brands, including Spotify, IKEA and TikTok, we have helped scale SME's and Start-ups, including Zendesk and Stitch & Story.