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A Must Know – New Trends in Winning the War on Talent Management

  • By Andrea Schlapia
  • |
  • March 12, 2013

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Thriving in talent management is crucial to sustain a strong foundation for your firm. HR professionals and firm management must stay on top of new trends to prevent disengaged employees and costly turnover.

Consider some of the latest trends in winning the war on talent management.

Hiring For the Future

Growing your firm requires securing great team members from the beginning. Hiring high-quality talent gets your business off the ground and builds the foundation for future success.

In addition to hiring exceptional talent, employers are trending towards incorporating in-house skill development. According to CareerBuilder’s 2013 Hiring Forecast, 39% of employers plan to hire employees for positions within their organizations and train them for the skills required in their particular industry.

When businesses need to fill a role, they typically start with an external search. The gap in plunging forward to external resources is found when internal employees are the closest source of talent. Internal team members are familiar with the existing firm culture, the business, clients and existing team members. Studies have shown internally hired employees reach competency in a new role 50% faster than external hires.

Talent Matching

Hiring managers don’t have the time required to sort through employee talent profiles and candidate resumes in order to find the perfect fit. Talent matching is a critical tool filtering system, sending the top-matching candidates to the surface. Use of these systems will reduce time spent in decision making and reveal the best candidate based on multiple levels such as skill, knowledge, overall abilities and personality type.

Charles de Gulle, French General and Statesman, emphasized the value of a military leader when he said:

“Men are of no importance. What counts is who commands.”

Things are very different in today’s organizations. Every leader now has to acknowledge that employees are actually of the utmost importance in the organization’s pursuit of its goals.

Compensation – More Than $ Signs

Compensation trends in 2014 will more than likely flat line with the trends of 2013.  Slight increases across the board may be prevalent depending on where our job market lands by mid-year. Research provided by Business and Legal Resources, (BLR), and the Society for Human Resource Management, (SHRM), showed that 27.5% of employers planned to offer merit increases of 2.5% to 5%. SHRM reported information from Ashton Solutions, recounting a recommendation to increase budget ranges between 2.5% and 3.5%, depending on the industry and level of position.

Businesses are trending towards identifying “indispensible positions” versus other positions not considered “mission critical”. With that being said, firms should establish market driven compensation budgets based on current supply and demand.

Salary doesn’t stand alone in the compensation arena. Many businesses are engaging in and developing additional programs in an effort to attract and retain high-quality employees. Integration of leadership and skill development top the list of compensation add-ons, but other programs being considered by top hiring managers are incorporating budget allowances to reward top performers rather than the old school approach of passing along equivalent increases to all team members.

Water Fountain Gossip + Your Incentive Plan = Level of Employee Loyalty

Incentive plans can become a “touchy” subject; therefore, clear communication is vital to avoid “water-fountain gossip”.

Your incentive plan is a vital component within your salary package; the two are linked together as a whole. Business leaders and HR managers tend to forget the importance of communicating the link between the two components to team members. Bonuses should be addressed as a component of your overall compensation package.

Limited only by your imagination are the numerous ways to incorporate incentives. Bonus structures should be tied to measurable and achievable goals which are in direct alignment with the overall goals of your firm. Clearly communicating your bonus structure will result in higher levels of employee engagement, motivation and success.

Most business owners are in denial when it comes to what employees want and what it takes to retain them. A new study by MetLife found that employee loyalty has dropped steadily since 2008, but employers mistakenly believe it is on the rise. Solution – give employees what they really want. Determine incentives and benefits to engage your team by incorporating their desires within your incentive plan. Forward thinking firms are engaging in:

  • Health and Wellness Programs
  • Savings Incentive Matches
  • Paid Time Off
  • Flexible Work Schedules
  • Fun Factors

Complex programs don’t work. Your bonus and incentive plan needs to be easy for everyone to understand.  The key for a workable plan is to keep it simple and achievable.

Performance Reviews – Scrap Them!

Would it behoove you to consider throwing out performance reviews altogether with a replacement plan to create actual results?

In lieu of the dreaded annual performance review, Procter & Gamble utilizes what they refer to as the Work and Development Plan. The format lays out the work to be achieved in the upcoming year, how it links to the business plan, the strategies and timing for success and expected results.

Trending HR professionals are turning their backs on annual performance reviews, replacing them with a process of ongoing assessments and feedback. In regards to annual performance appraisals, Fred Nickols, a senior consultant with The Distance Consulting Company says, “But today, with the widespread emphasis on teamwork, shared leadership, and an ongoing struggle to find and retain qualified employees, it’s a model that is falling increasingly out of favor.”

A recent survey conducted jointly by the SHRM and Personnel Decisions International cited 32% of HR professionals are unsatisfied with their current employee review platform. Deficiencies in leadership development, coaching, 360-degree feedback and development planning were among the leading gaps in existing plans.

Scrapping your performance review plan by adopting an improved performance management system aligns the needs of your firm with the needs of your team members. The results, time spent wisely by managing team members rather than managing an annual flow of paper.

“I haven’t failed; I just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
−Thomas Edison-

(Also attributed to Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin; whoever coined the phrase, I’m sure they all had this positive attitude.)

 Question:  What challenges is your business facing in talent management? Let us know!  

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Author Bio

Andrea Schlapia, RCC™, HCS, sHRBP, is the Founder and CEO of Ironstone, which represents the culmination of her 20+ year career within the financial services industry. Her experience began as a financial advisor evolving into a consultant coach for advisors entering the field. This ignited her passion to support others through learning and development of best practices in order to achieve substantial results. To this end, she followed her desire into positions of senior-level practice management specialists for Dreyfus, Prudential, and DWS Investments prior to the realization of Ironstone.  Andrea’s focus is on practice management strategies to enhance and improve both business and personal life. Andrea identifies 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Through coaching sessions and speaking engagements, she captivates her audience with interactive, high-energy presentations which are built with “how-to” strategies resulting in real-world implementation for significant impact. Andrea has been featured in multiple publications and audio broadcasts as a specialist and distinguished spokeswoman in the financial industry.