Talent Management in a Hot Market

Talent Management is a Top Priority

Talent management – the strategy behind recruiting, developing, and maintaining employees, especially top-performers – has been a top priority for companies for decades. Covid upended workforce norms and talent management is now priority #1. With personnel in the driver’s seat, it’s a “hot” market.

Great Resignation Continues

As the pandemic evolved into an endemic, people reassessed their lives, their goals, and their jobs. From employees lacking qualified childcare or eldercare options, to those dissatisfied with work conditions and compensation, to those evaluating their purpose and life priorities, employees walked out. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey (February 2022),“low pay, a lack of opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work are the top reasons why Americans quit their jobs last year.” And the Great Resignation shows little sign of abating:  A Jan/Feb 2022 Global Microsoft Corp. Work Trend Index survey reports 43% of employees are contemplating quitting their jobs.

Across the Globe, Hyper-Focused on Talent

With so many companies facing heightened employee turnover, Chief People Officers (CPO’s) and Chief Human Resource Officers (CHRO’s) have moved front and center in board rooms and leadership meetings. CPO’s and CHRO’s play an essential role as companies struggle to navigate hybrid/in-person/on Zoom, maintain culture and productivity, handle challenges around disease uncertainties, and address employees’ evolving needs and wants. Leaders increasingly need to devise new short- and long-term strategies for hiring, DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion), training, evaluation, succession, and more. And these strategies need to be nuanced further for high-performing talent.

For Current Employees – Engage, Communicate, Nurture, Compensate, Reward

Retention is critical, especially for top performers. Strong organizations are updating strategies in consideration of the specific issues relevant to employees today. With turnover rampant, finding new talent is a top priority. But don’t lose sight of the employees already in the room.

Engage. Figure out how to leverage employee positivity. At the same time, listen for different perspectives and listen objectively to fully understand the critiques. Check-in more frequently. Today, internal communications is more important than ever, to understand what employees want to hear – what topics are important to them and where they want more information. In today’s tight labor market, marketing to employees takes on new meaning.

Communicate. Communicate openly – even about resignations. Often, corporate communications give short shrift to announcements about departing employees. Plan how and what you intend to communicate when people leave. Conduct exit interviews to uncover hidden challenges. Demonstrate appreciation for each person’s contributions. Positive communication maintains positive culture.

Nurture. Employees hired pre-Covid, may need training to develop new skillsets. For example, how to lead a virtual team; how to make room for all voices in large Zoom meetings; how to respect privacy while wanting everyone to have cameras on; and the list goes on. Encourage mentoring, particularly with fewer in-person encounters between junior and senior people in the hybrid workplace. High-performing talent will likely be anticipating their next roles, so be proactive in sharing career path options. Training, upskilling, and career planning shows employees they can advance internally, discouraging them from looking outside.

Compensate and Reward. Review and update your compensation philosophy. Conduct a complete organizational assessment of salaries, benefits, and tiers. Account for new hires to ensure current employees, especially highly-valued current employees, are rewarded and feel appreciated when new employees are brought on board.

Recruit Differently, Hire For Potential

Beyond slowing attrition rates, companies need to take a more sophisticated approach to their talent pipeline. Managing talent effectively starts with recruiting well – reassessing job requirements, reaching a broader candidate pool, searching beyond traditional geographies and backgrounds, considering diversity, equity, and inclusion. Skills that were deemed essential five years ago may no longer be relevant today and likewise, in today’s hybrid-world, other skills may rise to the highest level of priority.

Focus on the future is essential. Many  companies are hiring today for skills needed tomorrow, looking beyond a candidate’s industry experience. With so much in flux, recruiting for potential is important. “Forward-looking organizations are looking to create or build their talent operating models faster than ever before,” shares Luminita Potorac-Roman,Managing Partner of IMSA Search Global Partners Romania.“ The visionary perspective assesses a candidate’s talent and skills, planning around star performers, not pigeon-holing individuals based on roles and geographies.”

About IMSA Search Global Partners: With 50+ offices in 25+ countries on 6 continents, our 300+ Executive Search experts span the globe to identify the right candidates to successfully lead teams and organizations locally, regionally, and globally.