The talent challenge – making it a boardroom issue

By on July 11, 2013

 Is your organisation linking talent management to the bottom line, asks Jerry Collier. 

HR as a profession is all too often excluded from the boardroom, routinely seen as a cost centre rather than as a valuable business unit which is capable of contributing directly to profit, generating process efficiencies or driving cost savings. We know people are the foundation for success, and that great employees are the driver for what organisations achieve, yet too often they are regarded as their biggest expense.

Through our long term strategic partnering with over 45 multinational organisations in 60 countries, and consulting with hundreds more, we know the critical importance of aligning your talent strategy with an organisation’s overall business aims.

Measurement of outcomes is fully achievable and vital in quantifying the on-going success of talent programmes. The board should demand that everyone responsible for the management of talent reports demonstrable results.  HR’s challenge therefore will increasingly be to become more accomplished at speaking the language of decision-makers and making a business case for best practice in attracting, securing and retaining talent.  To do this, HR leaders need to be clear about the business outcomes they deliver.

By linking the quality of the workforce directly with business aims, organisations stand to attract the brightest newcomers and nurture existing talent; saving cost by reducing the frequency of recruitment transactions and building competitive advantage. By way of example, for clients who partner with us, we bring in experienced talent experts who assume responsibility for staff recruitment and employee satisfaction programmes. We are able to draw on a wide range of proven sources to deliver the candidates who are not only the highest performers, but who will also stand the test of time. Employee turnover is dramatically reduced, while customer satisfaction ratings increase.

It’s important also to remember that employees are fundamental to a brand’s success, and that each applicant represents a potential customer. A smart-thinking talent specialist will actively help to improve an organisation’s employer brand image by adopting a consistent approach to recruitment, enhancing communications between the employer and candidates, and often acting as the face of the employer in the marketplace.

Revealingly, we’ve noticed an increasing trend in HR professionals turning to the lessons learned in commercial marketing, applying brand management techniques to talent.  The downside of not doing so is plain to see.  Research reveals that when applicants form negative opinions during the recruitment process, 76% are less likely to take up a position with the company, 82% are less likely to recommend the company to others and 64% are less likely to buy the company’s product or service.
Traditional recruitment is undeniably expensive and adopting centralised, streamlined recruitment processes, which increase efficiency and generate significant cost savings, is a fundamental part of the HR team’s job. Processes need to be rapid and precise, but an organisation needs to go further than that to strategically plan their workforce, to improve their employer brand and actively retain and develop their people.

In the hunt for the most suitable candidate, running a tight ship can deliver untold benefits in recruiting the right people and siphoning cost from every stage of the recruitment cycle.  Similarly, effective consultancy around nurturing talent and managing contingency workforces increases productivity and performance. The importance of having the right people in place in all areas and at all levels of the business cannot be underestimated.

Alexander Mann Solutions is a global provider of talent management services, providing a full range of consultancy and outsourcing to help clients attract, engage and retain top talent.

** Jerry Collier – Global director, client development

As Alexander Mann Solutions’ Global Director of Client Development, Jerry is responsible for driving the Innovation Agenda across the business and heads Alexander Mann Solutions’ Retail Banking and Financial Services sector.

With over 16 years’ experience within the talent management industry, Jerry joined Alexander Mann Solutions in 1997 and has been instrumental to growing the business from 2 clients to over 60, today.

Jerry has successfully fostered engagement with a number of blue-chip global clients and focuses largely on the design and measurement of talent managements services that enable clients to attract, recruit and retain top talent; efficiently and effectively.

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