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What’s the future of talent development and acquisition?

Chris Keeling, Founder and CEO - Jobtrain

With an average of 44% of roles being filled by internal applicants, and with Working from Home here to stay, we feel now is the time to explore the impact this will have on the role of Resourcing.

The role, and challenge, for most resourcing functions is to attract, engage, assess and hire key people.  This follows a familiar process of receiving a need to hire request, advertising the role, and then managing the candidate flow.  However, what is often overlooked in such an analysis is the career development of the existing employees.

So how would working from home (WFH) actually impact on such behaviour?  Well, one key change this past year is the realisation, from both employers as well as employees, that location may be less important.  Indeed, some large entities have decided to close offices and allow employees to work from home in the long term. But there may be a side-effect to such a decision:

  • Is there a risk that employees feel “out of sight, out of mind” and that they are less well positioned to influence their career path internally?
  • With location being less binding than it may have been, are employees now able (and willing) to apply their skills in a broader geographical area?
  • With the ability to feel less location bound, do employees also feel less commitment to their current employer? Or will they feel the opportunity to grow within their organisation now they have increased flexibility?

It is these three issues that really should provide focus for HR and Resourcing and leads us to suggest that perhaps Talent Development and Acquisition may be a more pertinent function for the future?

So let’s start by looking at how well the following three key areas are addressed in terms of Talent Development and Acquisition:

  • Talent Pools
  • Personal/career assessments
  • Redeployee programmes

Talent Pools:
All too often these can be seen as areas where candidates who have been unsuccessful in applying for a post can be kept.  They are seen as short-term holding pens of good candidates who you can go back to should another role arise or if the first choice candidate doesn’t join!

But really they could be used in a far more effective way.  How good would it be if the talent pools were actually populated with your own employees?  If such talent pools were linked to what people wanted to do with their careers and the progress that they were making to achieve those goals.

Personal Assessments
Following on from above, how do employees feel their skills, preferences and options are considered by their employer?  Personal Assessments I feel need to go beyond the review of a person’s goals and their achievements.  They really need to give the employee the chance to discuss their own aspirations and for such aspirations to be actively managed:

So here is a suggestion:  we have all heard for many years that organisations should advertise posts internally and allow people to apply.  But how about going a stage further?  Why not discuss what career paths your employees would like to follow – do they want to be a Supervisor?  A Team Leader? Maybe move to a different Accounts Department? Or manage different projects?

As well as discussing what they could do to show they have the required skills/experience, why not ensure that ALL employees register such interests on your Internal Talent System?  Here they could define the type of role they want, the grade they are seeking, the locations they would consider…effectively setting up Job Alerts so they are automatically notified of any such position, no matter where it arose in the organisation.

Furthermore, the Resourcing Team can search this Internal Talent System to assess what the range and depth of talent exists across the organisation, and this should set the platform for broader talent planning within the business.

Now that location may be less of an issue, the potential that this process will have could be profound – on ensuring you don’t lose talent that you would rather keep – as well as engendering a greater sense of belonging – loyalty – amongst employees.

Redeployee Programmes
It is a thin wall that separates developing your workforce talent, from preserving it when organisational changes impact.

Managing Redeployees fairly whilst ensuring their needs are also met, has been a challenge for many organisations for many, many years.

But if the above approaches were adopted for Personal Assessments and Talent Pools, then it is only a simple, short step to address redeployment challenges.

Once any new role becomes available – anywhere across the country – the first step is to alert the redeployees and to look for matches.  Those matches can be made by job type, by grade, by location, by department – you decide.  The beauty of it is that it is done instantly and by the system, thereby reducing chances of human error and any accusation of bias.

Given the number of roles that are currently filled internally (44%) and the cost of hiring a replacement (estimated to be up to £30,000 by Oxford Economics) then surely this is not just good practice – it is the future of managing Talent Development and Acquisition in the new world we are entering?

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