As part of my series of articles about recruitment, I want to talk to you today about Total Talent Management, what it is and why it is important to you, even if you only employ a handful of people.
I have been helping companies to successfully recruit the right people for many years now. Recruitment, like nearly everything else in the HR industry, has changed enormously over the years and “talent management” is about the whole process from attracting and recruiting people to retaining them within the organisation.
So what is “Total Talent Management”?
This is about how you get the job done, whether it is by permanent employees – recruited through traditional methods – or whether the goal is achieved some other way. So it covers a wide range of things – from temporary workers or contractors, through to robots or technological solutions.
Whatever way you want to get your job done, you need to think about how to achieve that and include it in your Recruitment Strategy (sometimes renamed Total Talent Strategy).
Total Talent Management – the short explanation
A total talent solution moves away from the traditional recruitment of staff to get the job done and looks instead at the desired outcome and how this can best be achieved. This could comprise one, some, or all, of the following list. And this is not comprehensive, other things could occur to you when you start to think about this in depth.
- part-time workers
- temporary agency staff
- temporary staff on a fixed term, fixed task or even zero hours contract (contact us if you need a fuller explanation of these terms)
- work shadowing
- voluntary workers (where appropriate)
- undertaking work experience, either as a student or as part of a back to work scheme for (women) returners (not just women -although they may be the majority – but this encompasses anybody who has been out of the workplace for a while)
- seasonal workers
- students on a gap year
- self-employed contractors
- internal deployments or promotions;
- job sharing
- remote workers
- virtual workers
- some other technological solution
- outsourcing the work
- a joint venture collaboration with a competitor
This means that when you are thinking about “recruitment” you no longer need to think only about traditional permanent workers who work a standard 9 – 5 day. If your particular business is very traditional and only supports the standard recruitment model, then you may find that it becomes ever more difficult to recruit enough people to get the job done.
As with everything in the world of work, this requires adaptability and flexibility by you as the manager and by your staff.
What are the barriers to implementing Total Talent Management?
There may be a resistance from some managers to moving away from the more traditional ways of recruiting permanent staff and buying in temporary help.
Another issue is that you need to understand who you already have working for you and how the job is done. This may sound simple (and it probably is for a smaller organisation), but many organisations keep separate records of who they employ on a full time basis and those for whom they have a temporary arrangement. It is also important to understand the skills you need to get a specific piece of work done and how that skill is best achieved. Your Total Management Strategy and strategic decisions can only be completed when you think about the whole picture.
Other things to think about
You may need to look at producing a business case for all stakeholders so they can clearly see – and embrace – the benefits of implementing this kind of strategy.
If you have more than a few employees and you are considering more than one or two of the solutions outlined in the list above, then you may need to consider your record keeping and look at a technological solution to data recording.
If this seems complex and you feel you have more pressing business priorities, then the danger is that you will put off doing anything about this. Recruitment is often only done as a reaction to a specific problem and is not always top of your agenda. The danger of that is that you will find it ever more difficult and expensive to recruit the right people at the right time to get the work done. Some time spent up front on producing a Recruitment Strategy would be time very well spent and will be a saving in the longer term.
What are the benefits of a Total Talent Management Strategy?
In this time of increasing difficulty in recruiting people, clearly the biggest benefit of this new way of looking at the whole talent package is that you will find it easier to find the right solution to getting your job done.
You will find there is a cost benefit as well. You will get the best solution for the particular work problem you have and you will find your skills gap disappears and you will not have a surplus of unwanted skills. If you only have an occasional need for a niche skill, then you only need to procure it on occasion, rather than “hanging on” to that permanent employee who has one specific skill but is difficult to employ purposefully for the rest of the time.
Enhance your reputation
Your reputation with your clients will improve as they find you are able to produce what they need when they need it. And not just your clients – your reputation as a good employer will also be enhanced as people understand that you only employ the people you need when you need them.
As your organisation grows and you find there is a change in the type of skills you need, then you can spot those gaps and fill them, either through traditional recruitment or temporary talent. Alternatively you might reskill or upskill your existing employees, or even explore any tasks which might become automated. Likewise, if you find you have an excess of a particular skill, you will be better placed to re-arrange your talent so that productivity is not flattened by surplus skills.
You will find greater productivity in your workforce as the permanent employees are used properly to complete jobs they are skilled, competent and willing to do. Additionally, those “one-off” or occasional jobs will also get done at the right time and cost.
If you have read this far, I hope that you will already be thinking of the advantages of a Total Talent Management Strategy for your business. If you embrace Total Talent Management, you will find you become more competitive and find it easier to solve your recruitment dilemmas.