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The Effective Talent Management Executive – 7 Keys to Success

Guidance for talent management executives

Peter Drucker - educator, author, and management consultant - is known as a leading management thinker of his time. One of his most famous books, The Effective Executive published in 1967, focuses on the ability to “get the right things done.”

Though nearly 50 years old, his lessons remain valuable for today’s talent management executives. Here are seven points he stresses for managing your two most important resources: talent and time.

1.  Ask “What needs to be done?”

In other words, prioritize. As the demands and responsibilities of HR grow, along with the pace of business, budgeting time and resources is more critical than ever. To be effective, you can’t lose track of priorities.

For instance, empower your recruiters to focus on….recruiting. It may sound basic, but with all their new responsibilities they can easily lose sight of their primary mission: finding great talent for your organization.

Asking “what needs to be done” should be an iterative process – something you revisit annually – for instance as part of the review process for your employees and the company.  This reinforces and reinvigorates the team’s focus.

2. Ask “What is right for the enterprise?”

Talent management begins with company strategy and overall goals. What type of team does the organization need to meet these goals? Certain companies are now integrating talent management into their business planning processes to ensure alignment. In this way, resource needs and goals can be developed and established alongside the financial and business goals of the company.

3. Develop an action plan

One of the most effective action planning processes still used today is the Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act.

Start by recognizing an opportunity – and then create your plan, involving your team and other stakeholders in the planning process.  Test the changes you’ve made. Review and analyze the results and then modify your actions accordingly before putting them into play.  A well-developed plan helps you and your team focus on the principal items on your to-do list.

4. Take responsibility for decisions

The ultimate responsibility for talent management rests with you, but involve stakeholders from the CEO down in your decision-making process. Make your process transparent and defensible. For instance, bring in senior leaders to actively participate in the process to make recruiting, succession planning, leadership development, and employee retention key company-wide focus areas. This kind of organizational support can make all the difference.

5. Take responsibility for communicating

You can’t have effective talent management without effective communication. From keeping job candidates in the loop during the recruiting process, to transparent review and compensation policies, ongoing communication enhances employee retention.

On the other hand, keeping employees in the dark can have a devastating effect on company morale and ultimately performance. People can deal with almost anything if you are open and honest with them. This is especially true when it comes to managing the expectations of your workforce.

6. Focus on opportunities, not problems

A Talent Management poll by PeopleFluent revealed that over half of respondents stayed awake at night worrying about the skills of their leadership and employees, retaining premier talent, and sustaining employee interest. Almost three quarters felt developing a talent pipeline was a struggle.

These are just a few talent management problems you face. The effective executive can convert these problems into opportunities. Dealing with them head on forces you to constantly improve your efforts. One of the best ways to do this is by leveraging technology via a robust recruitment and talent management system. These systems tackle major pain points highlighted in the survey results, including applicant tracking, social recruiting, onboarding, and integration.

7. Measure and fix

For an effective executive, adaptability is as much a part of life as change. For your processes and policies to work well, measure and analyze your talent management results to inform next steps. Top recruiting metrics include new growth vs. attrition rates, quality of hires, recruiting sources, effectiveness ratios, and satisfaction ratings. Consider what metrics are important to your organization, then use them to improve your team’s performance.

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