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How can talent management systems aid recruitment and retention?

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‘Talent management’ has been edging its way into the limelight with the ever increasing pressure for companies to combat recruitment and retention issues. Eudie Thompson of Zynap argues that talent management software renders an answer to recruitment and retention and explains how a talent management system can be effectively used.

Every year, UK companies fail to take the issue of New Year employee churn seriously, which is costing hundreds of millions of pounds in terms of lost productivity and recruitment. As highlighted in recent surveys, UK plc has a staggering lack of strategic visibility when it comes to identifying and acting upon employee needs and fails to engage employees at an individual level to help develop their careers. It is because of this that 4 million employees plan to change jobs every New Year causing companies to perennially lose some of their most talented individuals.

The impact on productivity, financial resources and time when losing a knowledge worker is considerable not only to the immediate running of the business but also with regards to replacing the lost knowledge. Optimistic predictions suggest the UK economy is on an upturn, which will have a positive impact on employment figures, yet this still leaves HR managers with the problem of finding suitably talented individuals. The overall recruitment pool may be healthily full, but the availability of talented workers is low. Therefore, 2004 needs to be the year when companies finally wake up and focus on the issue of recruiting, and more importantly retaining talent.

HR professionals and senior management have to be equipped with the knowledge that will allow them to more competently manage their talent-base, and overall organisation. To gain this knowledge they need IT systems that will provide a strategic view of the organisation’s talent. Enterprise talent management software, which is already being used by several of the world’s largest employers, does this by addressing the following issues.

Isolated employees

Naturally, employees will become unmotivated when managers disregard their needs. As a preventative measure, it is important that organisations implement an enterprise talent management system that helps identify and nurture a company’s star performers. By coupling these two issues, senior management can use stored information to identify appropriate internal candidates for specific projects or job openings; and encouraging employees to develop their careers internally simultaneously stops them looking externally to progress their careers. Using enterprise talent management software not only benefits the organisation in terms of recruitment and training savings, but also the employee.

The employee can use the system as a medium to map out and ‘voice’ their desired career direction. Management can then use this as a reference for matching opportunities with the most suitable internal candidate.


Relationship between the organisation and the employee

Organisations need to recognise and actively connect with employees to help them progress their careers. Enterprise talent management systems have the ability to store personnel data, log training and career development, and crucially allow employees to divulge their career intentions. In essence, this log of employee information is a working CV that is continually updated throughout the individual’s career. It enables both the employee and the employer to easily navigate an individual’s skill set and helps plan career development within the company. An additional use for this function is that it allows managers to refer to an employee’s development for reviews.


Strategic overview

Senior management are given a significant advantage when it comes to making strategic decisions with the ability to instantaneously measure the quality of their workforce. Creating a real-time executive dashboard can be a simple and effective way for managers to assess the talent temperature; parameters and permissions can be set depending on the manager’s position. Having a single HR system that benefits employees on all different levels of the hierarchy, and addresses different business needs is invaluable. Being able to link career opportunities with employees that have suitable credentials also becomes part of the overall succession plan in case an individual leaves; meaning the company has an up-to-date contingency structure.

Having the skills and abilities of the workforce on tap allows middle management to plan projects and devise a workflow engine so that they are maximising the workforce’s time effectively.

The talent overview function ensures managers can assess individual teams, departments and the overall organisation to be in line with corporate and legal diversity guidelines. This same function can be applied to different employee credentials so that managers can measure different aspects of the organisation.


2004 – The year of talent

Talent management is not an issue that organisations can sit back and wait to implement. It is a serious ongoing problem that is highlighted every New Year. As the competition for talented workers becomes even more intense, now is the time for companies to bite before they get bitten.

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