How to Create a Strategic Talent Plan

Abbie Martin

Most organizations work hard to develop a strong strategy that will help them reach their goals in the coming year or years. One area some companies overlook, however, is the development of a strategic talent plan. Making better hires will result in a stronger path forward for your organization as a whole and more in-sync and complimentary team members who will be with you for the long haul.

Assess your Current Recruitment Strategy

Hiring managers and CEOs need to be honest with themselves about their current recruitment strategy. Do you have a high turnover rate? Do you struggle to find good candidates for key roles? Do candidates lose interest in the job during the interview process? It’s important to know what may not be working for your recruitment strategy and to remember that it’s never too late to start over. Now is the time to start thinking of ways to improve your strategy.

Align with your Company Strategy

To be successful, your talent plan must align with the overall strategy of your organization. Assess what your company goals are and work backward to prioritize, plan projects, and identify the skills required. Once you have reached this step in the process, you can begin asking more detailed questions around your company strategy to develop the skill set(s) you need to hire. Consider asking yourself these questions below and how these shifts affect your talent strategy:

  • What are the skills and experiences needed to help you meet your goals?
  • What skills does your current team have?
  • Do you need to redesign existing processes or implement new technology in order to support your growth goals?

Establish a Process (with Flexibility)

If you lost an important player on your team, you may be likely to hire someone quickly because you need someone in place now! Rather than strategically assessing whether this person fits your strategic plan. Hiring in a moment of desperation rarely works out as planned. Creating a process and setting a deadline for when you want to hire and onboard this new team member will help you avoid hiring in a state of desperation. Don’t be too rigid in the process. The candidate experience is critical in today’s market. For example, do you prefer to meet your candidate in person every step along the way? That might not be feasible, especially if they have a full-time job and you have a lengthy interview process. Maybe a phone call is best for them, or consider coordinating interviewers. Be flexible to provide a memorable candidate experience that helps ensure the candidate is eager for an offer.

Invite your Team to be a Part of the Process

Referrals are a fantastic way to add talented candidates into the mix.  Bring your team in on the strategy and execution of hiring new employees with clear boundaries. By seeking referrals from the people that you trust, you strengthen the trust between you and your current employees. Remember, your hiring process should treat all candidates equally and provide each candidate with the same opportunities. Giving your team a voice is imperative, but always make sure you are hiring the right person who is aligned with your talent strategy, rather than the person that is everyone’s friend.

There is no foolproof way to know that a candidate is an exact fit for your organization or if they will be a key part of your team for the long-haul. However, the more you and your organization reflect on what goals you want to achieve and how you can improve on your previous recruitment strategies, the better you are setting yourself up for success. And you will be in a much stronger position to drive the future success of your organization.

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