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5 ways to increase effectiveness in talent management

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Mark Hordes is principal at Mark Hordes Management Consultants LLC, a Houston-based consulting firm focused on talent and organization management.

For 20 years, I’ve been on the forefront of cultural talent management efforts for numerous global projects. As the industry has changed over the years, I’ve learned a few key lessons that always ring true when managing a workforce. Here are some of those lessons I learned to help you and your organization.
1. A human-run HR department is a thing of the past, or is it?

Over the past several years, most companies still had an HR department. This function handles recruiting, hiring, firing, payroll, benefits, job orientations, succession planning, high potential planning and other functions. Yet lately many of these responsibilities have been carved out and segmented across and throughout the entire enterprise. People in this role may now be called digital talent management leaders, enterprise people specialists, chief people officer, sourcing catalysts, life balance coordinators, human capital managers, people social media resources leads and, of course, resources HR managers.

Perhaps we have diluted the HR function from its original definition and it has lost a great deal of discipline for the fundamentals of talent management by becoming 90 percent automated.

While its true you may need recruiting analytics and automation systems for processing resumes, but how well do you know your new recruits and new hires, with this system and how do you match the best resource with your requirements and needs? It makes a difference to do a few things in this process that are personal to bring the “personal” back into HR department.

2. Talent management is more than a trend

Talent management has become a multifaceted job, depended upon how broadly you want to define it. You face an added element when you deal with both full-time employees and contractors. A comprehensive program can include recruiting, on-boarding new hires, digital management, predictive analytics and contractors, training, performance management and tracking (especially important with part-time contractors), competency skills inventories, workforce scheduling and resource planning, succession planning, compensation, benefits and, in some cases, union relations and job profiling.

The concept of having an integrated talent management process makes sense and should be managed as such. View this as similar to process management (as in a manufacturing setting) and process-centric organizations.

To meet the challenge of today’s competitive business climate, it helps organizations to have a talent management and high potential process that is reviewed yearly and revitalized as market conditions change.

3. Knowledge management is a critical element of your talent management program

Many of organizations are building cross-functional, best practice project teams, and informal networks to meet the challenge of streamlining HR processes, compliance and regulations and standardizing performance management systems.

This is being implemented through the establishment of human resources and talent management “Centers of Excellence” that maintain oversight across the entire organization and services organizational designs as well as to serve as advocates for change and monitor standardization and knowledge sharing and quality.

This concept has been extended to joint venture partners, hospitals and suppliers as well. Strategic planning meetings support these activities to realize the HR vision and enhance communications with the business. They also help in standardizing HR roles and ignite teamwork.
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Knowledge management directly involves the cross-functional, best practice project teams and is rapidly becoming the key driver that supports talent management programs. Tap into this new model for capturing critical information of your most talented employees (some of which may be leaving soon).

4. Consider company culture in recruiting

While behavior-based interviewing strives to avoid a quality candidate who just doesn’t fit in with the company, sometimes people are just darn good actors and can fool anyone. There are no easy answers here, other than perhaps involving as many people as possible in the interview process to get varying points of view. Engaging others can support finding a perfect fit for your company and steer clear the agony of managing a misfit.

5. Compliments and making people feel confident

The next time your employees or co-workers perform in a special way or makes a value-add suggestion, send them a handwritten note thanking and congratulating them.

Personal notes may feel like a thing of the past, but a note can go a long way.

Mark Hordes is principal at Mark Hordes Management Consultants LLC, a Houston-based consulting firm focused on talent and organization management.

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