Talent Strategy

5 Steps to Developing a Winning Talent Strategy

Jeremy Erard SDI News

Regardless of what type of business or industry you are in, you are likely already experiencing significant challenges associated with talent.  There is no question that the talent landscape is changing dramatically, and to stay competitive you need to evolve the way you find and develop talent – or your talent strategy.

Developing a solid talent strategy requires the following steps:

  1. Define Performance: This is more than a job description.  Truly defining performance expectations for each job role will help you understand what skills, knowledge, and capabilities are required in your talent decisions moving forward.
  2. Develop Talent Profiles: Once performance has been defined and the required skills, knowledge, and capabilities are clear, you need to profile what constitutes a high performing individual in your organization.  Oftentimes this expands beyond skills and experience to include personality traits, characteristics, etc. These are often quantified using various available assessment tools or by creating a custom assessment to be used in the hiring process.
  3. Standardize the Recruiting and Acquisition Process: With a clear view of what you need and a strong idea of what those individuals look like, it is time to develop a recruiting and talent acquisition process that gives your organization the strongest opportunity to identify the right candidates.  The process should be designed in a way that quickly moves the right individuals into the organization while simultaneously screening out those that are not likely a strong fit.
  4. Plan Ongoing Development: As you overlay defined performance requirements on top of individual talent, you will notice consistencies in the “gaps”.  These are the areas that your organization must be able to consistently train and develop talent in to achieve desired performance.
  5. Retain Your Best People: If only it were this simple.  In reality, retention is about constantly optimizing the previous 4 steps and keeping the lines of communication open regarding future needs of your current talent and aligning them with the needs of the organization.  Focusing on retention provides more opportunity to capitalize on the investments you made in acquiring and developing talent, and brings stability to your organization.

Sounds easy, right?  Obviously not.  However, it is possible.  In the next few blogs, I will attempt to dive a bit deeper into each one of the 5 steps to developing a winning talent strategy.

In the meantime, think about how you are currently addressing talent challenges and what will need to be done to stay ahead of the curve.  Change isn’t coming, it is already here.

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About the Author

Jeremy Erard

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Partner | A Grand Rapids, MI native with an entrepreneurial background spanning over 15 years, Jeremy has led the creation of several start-up companies and strategic business units that represent in excess of $200 million in annual revenue. Jeremy has worked with various clients across many industries to develop strategies and implement solutions that enable them to achieve profitable and sustainable growth, and secure and develop the critical talent necessary for future success.