Creating a Workforce Strategy for Talent Management

Creating a Workforce Strategy for Talent Management


Creating a Workforce Strategy for Talent Management

Having a strategy for talent management helps to save time, money, and effort in finding talent. Often people are unaware of the steps to build an effective workforce strategy.

We share with you the essential steps and the reasons to have them in place in order for you to get your workforce strategy right.

1) Identify your workforce current trends
Many HR departments blissfully spend time in fulfilling requests for job openings by departments without really understanding the trends within and outside the organization. The trends are important for apprising management about the direction in which the organization needs to move in order to get the needed talent. The current trends have real financial implications so they are very important to track. These trends also serve as benchmarks against which one can measure future success.

Specific trends that helpful to study are retirement, turnover, and employee satisfaction. Based on these trends one can design either retention or recruitment strategies to keep the talent pool filled up.

Another good idea is to develop recruitment goals at the beginning of the job search in order to increase the number of electronic resumes received, reduce the recruiting and hiring cost, improve the efficiency of the hiring process, and ensure new hire satisfaction and retention.

2) Determine what you do better than the competition
Department heads with the most clout are often allowed to hire people more people than they need even though the work they do is not a core competency of the organization. Talent should be matched to where the organization stands out the most and what it does the best. So, for instance, if an organization is really good at customer service and is known for this key factor, it would make more sense to hire, retain and develop talent within and directly- related to the success of this sector.

3) Define what talent is needed now and in the future
Once you have identified your key area of strength, you need to determine what type of talent you will need for your future success. Does your customer service department need better leadership? Does it need technologically-savvy personnel? Are you going to hire more support staff in Training to help improve the capabilities of the customer service personnel? Once you have a good idea of the talent needed for the present and the future, you can start looking within and outside the organization for those that fit the job requirements.

4) Identify internal candidates and develop them
You should have a clear vision what a successful employee looks like. Therefore, a competency-based job description is often very helpful as this identifies what the individual is expected to be capable of doing and can also direct the training efforts in a better direction.
Direct your efforts for high-potentials in the areas of career development, succession planning and defining career paths so that you can retain this talent and keep them motivated.

5) Determine the internal promotion strategies
Training and development are just one piece of the piece of the puzzle. In order for people to be attracted to your organization, you need to have a clear policy of how people will advance within their roles.

An example of a well-defined promotion criteria could be that a new entrant can be eligible for promotion after one year and would need to have completed an x number of training courses, improved performance within area by x % ,and received a 90% positive 360 degree feedback rating.

The defined criteria for promotion (time and experience needed to be eligible) also helps identify those people who can be moved into the new roles.

6) Identify the talent shortage and recruit to fill gaps
In many cases, a promotion is not possible and the position will need to be opened up for hiring. The organization needs to pinpoint which positions need to be recruited for and give reasons why it is doing so.

One of the ways an organization can recruit from outside is through an Employee Referral Program. Such a Program can add value and credibility to an external recruitment strategy by letting employees know when there are recruitment opportunities and providing easy access to promotional material. A key advantage is that it builds a pool of ready candidates and involves everyone in seeking great talent. Good employees display corporate values that attract new talent with similar values. Employees are rewarded and recognized for referrals and that is a big incentive to stay as well.

Organizations need to realize that in the race to talent there are no shortcuts and they must try to be leaders and find unique ways to attract external talent as well as encourage people to apply for positions within the organization. Goals need to be measurable so organizations can improve themselves and remain the center of attraction in the eyes of an increased number of interested candidates.

Image: tang90246/dollarphotoclub

About the author: Nancy Zentis, PhD. is the CEO and Founder of the Institute of Organization Development. You can reach her at

Additional information:

We cover Talent Management in-depth in our Talent Management Certification Program (TMCP).


Get updates and learn from the best


1 2 3 5 6