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If you own a small or medium-sized business, you know the headaches that come with finding the right talent to join your team. Talent management is about putting the right people with the right skills in the right position at the right time.

To keep pace with the reality of a rapidly changing 21st century business environment, the talent management practices of the 20th century could probably use a bit of facelift.

Here are three elements a modern talent-management plan should include.

Performance Management

One of Monster’s clients, a technology company, scrapped its old way of managing performance in favour of a new perspective. The previous model assigned rankings to each employee based solely on an assessment of their performance; one of the criticisms of a model like this is that it encourages too much competition amongst employees rather than competition with other companies. Finding a good balance between fostering healthy competition and encouraging employee growth is important.

As an extension of performance management, your company could plan regularly scheduled performance reviews—perhaps two or three times a year—to nurture employees’ development. This empowers your staff and reveals ways that your company can be more agile. It will also allow you to reinforce alignment with management goals, reward your employees with higher compensation, and present them with more challenging objectives to benefit the organization.

Learning Management

Learning management can be as easy as creating and managing personalized learning programs. These programs can help employees contribute more fully to the company by attaining higher individual competencies for current and future roles.

Some of Monster’s clients are creating personalized learning maps that enable employees to develop specific core skill competencies. These could prove useful for employees in their current role, and also serve as a motivational tool as they move forward in their career.

The aforementioned technology company recently made sweeping changes to the way it fosters continued employee growth. Management created personalized roadmaps to success, complete with specific measurements that apply to their unique corporate cultures.

For businesses considering implementing a learning management system, I’d suggest looking at each employee’s growth individually. The system should be clearly measurable and consistently communicated to employees at every level, while being manageable for the size of the organization.

Social networking

Having a social presence should be a given for most businesses today, no matter the size. Implementing a social networking strategy can increase efficiencies and productivity, and encourages more effective on-boarding, greater workplace collaboration, improved employee performance and better communication across the employee base.

You may want to automate and integrate your social networking capabilities to achieve real-time access to people and information that can give your organization a competitive edge. Integration also helps to avoid the danger of “siloing” people and applications through manual processes.

Companies may also consider enterprise social networking solutions. Implementing an organization-wide platform can help increase collaboration for companies of any size. If your business has more than one location, or a highly mobile workforce, employees can share knowledge and take advantage of expertise between offices.

• • • • •

For businesses, talent management is an ongoing process. If you’re stuck and wondering where to start, using even one of the ideas above can at least get the wheels in motion.

Pressure from your competitors and rapid changes in the Canadian marketplace will continually create change and demand your constant attention over the long-term… you just have to make sure you stay ahead of the curve.

As Director of Marketing for Monster Canada, Sheryl Boswell focuses on both employer- and seeker-centric strategies to fulfill one simple mission: connect people to jobs. Her goal is to impart knowledge of the ever-evolving recruitment landscape in which to help SMBs source, attract and retain top talent.

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What’s your approach to talent management? Share your thoughts and strategies using the comments section below.

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