Finding the Right Talents –A Challenge for HR Managers?

The modern day business world has experienced a tremendous growth due to the spread of technology and globalisation. The business environment is now a level playing field for firms in terms of information, availability of finance and technology. Hence, the increased competition among firms has brought about the dependence of an enterprise on the human resources (HR). Human capital has become the key differentiator and competitive advantage among firms. Companies are now compelled to source for talents who will make a difference in the organisation. This has posed a major challenge for the human resource of the modern day.

Findings from the annual global “Talent Management Survey 2013” by NorthgateArinso (NGA), a global Human Resources service provider, revealed that 87% of business people believe that talent identification will be critical to the success of their companies in the next three years, and more than half (51%) believe their industry suffers from a lack of suitable candidates. Of more than 1,100 business people surveyed, 88% reported believe that "securing the right people at the right place at the right time" is critical to delivering their organisations' vision. 85% said success depends on "identifying and retaining top talents." Half of those surveyed believed that HR strategy could be better aligned to company strategy. More than one-third (34%) said their company does not have a talent management programme at all. The results suggest that not enough is being done to address talent management issues across industries globally.

In spite of the high availability of labour, human resource professionals are constantly faced with the challenge of finding the right people for the available job opportunities as well as managing the talents.

Talent Management
It is much easier to retain existing talents in an organisation than trying to hire and train new employees. Thus, talents management brings about initiatives that encourage growth and stability of an organisation. To buttress this, a recent survey carried out by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that talent management is a top priority for 76% of the organisations surveyed. Broadly speaking, effective talent management practices create a workplace culture that makes individuals want to join the organisation, aligns employees with the mission and vision of the organisation, fosters an environment where employees’ ideas are listened to and valued, provides current employees with adequate training to allow them do their jobs well and places the right people in the right jobs. HR managers also use talent management practices and policies to create a talent pool of internal candidates for future positions. Specifically, such practices and policies encourage career growth and developmental opportunities, empower employees to make decisions that affect their work and provide organisations with a competitive advantage by finding the best talent with the needed skills and competences.

The survey further showed that even though about 53% of organisations have specific talent management initiatives, many organisations still battle with the challenge of being able to attract and retain talents.

The major areas that are needed for improvement include:
•    Building a reserve at every level for successors
•    Being able to identify gaps in current employee and candidate competency levels
As HR professionals work hard with their organisations to stay ahead of their competitors, organisational resources should be concentrated on talent management initiatives.

Make the Job Real and Attainable
The ambiguity and unachievable qualifications and job experiences mentioned in job adverts could easily turn job hunters away without giving a try at all and this include the sort after talents that the adverts try to attract in the first place. The adverts should be the type that has reasonable requirements and can easily attract talented job hunters.

Diversity Practices in Work Places
An organisation that practices or implores a diversified culture as a management tool has an advantage of attracting different kinds of people. The dimensions of workplace diversity include:
•    Age
•    Ethnicity
•    Gender
•    Physical abilities
•    Race
•    Sexual orientation
•    Geographical location
•    Educational background
•    Income
•    Marital status
•    Religious beliefs
•    Parental status, and
•    Experience
This allows for new and diverse ideas with different perspectives, and this creates strong connections within the community through a diverse client base.

Organisations leverage diversity in many ways and talent management is one of the top areas of which the HR professionals could make use of diversity policies and programmes to attract, develop, and retain diverse talents. In a survey report carried out on workplace diversity by the SHRM, it shows that 75% of firms surveyed have diversity policies or practices, and 72% of employees believe that their organisations where they work are very committed to diversity.

In addition, more than one third of Human Resource professionals have linked their incentive pay or compensation to the organisation’s diversity, while two thirds of employees prefer working for an organisation that is committed to diversity. Majority of organizations, about 93%, are inclusive of diverse cultures and values and 92% of senior managers believe that diversity is very important. The data below shows that diversity as a business strategy is very essential to human resource professionals for talent management.      

Incentives and Rewards
The role of incentives and rewards in the workplace is a strategic way in which the Human Resources professionals can achieve their goal of retaining key talents in their organisation. Compensation packages help to motive top-performing employees to attain a higher level of performance. It boosts morale and this even attracts new employees to the organisation and of course, the overall image of the organisation is heightened. This reward could be monetary or non-monetary which entails recognising the employees publicly for their outstanding performances.

Many employers offer rewards and incentives through employee assistance programmes. These programmes help workers maintain a balance between work and home life by supporting workers' mental and physical well-being. Employee assistance programmes also offer discounts to join fitness centers to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle. Some programmes help working parents find daycare and other activities for their children. The purpose of these programmes is to support workers with their home responsibilities so they can remain focused on their jobs while they are at work.

Making Sure Employees Fits into Organisational Values/Culture
The modern day human resource professional is faced with the challenge of making sure employees fit into the value and culture of the organisation. And as such, the resource management tries to train employees to develop their skills in order to fit into the required organisational policies and values, or perhaps hire new employees who already have the required skills. In doing this, there are usually difficulties or challenges encountered. A research carried out by Cornell University’s Centre for Advanced Human Resource Studies shows that organisations that have good strategies of being able to attract employees who possess personal values and are able to fit into the organisational culture, policies and values tend to record 7.5% higher revenue growth, 6.1% higher profit growth and 17.1% low turnover in comparison to organisations that do not make use of this strategy.

However, the following ways can help HR managers recruit employees who can easily fit into an organisational culture:
•    Look out for employees who have good human relationship and possess value for good team work
•    The selection of employees should be based on confidence that they are capable of good job delivery
•    Make sure the employees have personal outlook and values which can easily fit into the organisational policies, culture and values.
•    There is need for a very good assessment of employees during recruitment

In conclusion, it is important for human resource professionals to always be sensitive to opportunities of attracting and retaining talents. They also need to devise means of developing strategic ways of keeping valuable workers in order to be ahead of the highly competitive business world of today. As you work hard to keep up with the competition, remember that “the last man standing is the best man after all.” Business leaders should ensure they have a talent management programme in place across the entire employee lifecycle. They should ensure that this programme is linked directly to the wider business strategy. Also, they should ensure that they have the means in place to deliver the strategy by providing efficient HR processes, smart HR technologies and solid HR services.