Talent Strategy

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What Is Talent Strategy?

Talent strategy is the holistic and strategic approach an organization takes to source, hire, onboard, engage and retain talent. Your talent strategy should match your organization’s goals, reflect your company’s values and clearly define what type of talent the organization needs to fulfill its mission and vision. 

Design a Talent Strategy in 6 Steps

  1. Identify your strategic drivers.
  2. Identify the key activities that will deliver each strategic promise.
  3. Determine the required resources.
  4. Make your talent strategy foolproof.
  5. Socialize the plan and build sponsorship. 
  6. Execute the strategy.

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What Are the Key Elements of a Talent Strategy?

A comprehensive talent strategy:

  • Directly connects to organizational goals.
  • Offers a compelling employee value proposition.
  • Supports and enhances the employer brand.
  • Includes effective and unbiased talent acquisition approaches.
  • Focuses on learning and development opportunities for new and existing employees.
  • Guides and informs the performance management process.
  • Uses data and analytics to inform, iterate and improve.

With these components, a talent strategy can elevate an organization’s talent management beyond essential activities like talent acquisition and performance management to support critical talent growth, managed talent relationships and an inclusive talent system.

 

How to Design a Talent Strategy 

Designing a talent strategy involves six steps that produce a clear, ambitious and value-creating set of promises. 

 

Step 1: Identify Your Strategic Drivers 

Map directly from the business strategy to core talent management deliverables. Discuss the explicit strategy of the business and how the talent management group can best support that. Talent strategy requires a clear plan, coordinated efforts, influencing ability and a willingness to tie your bonus (and perhaps career success) to true outcomes. 

 

Step 2: Identify the Key Activities That Will Deliver Each Strategic Promise 

There should be a timeline associated with each of those key tactics that results in a clear complete-by date for the promise. 

 

Step 3: Determine the Required Resources 

Accurately determine the additional resources you’ll need to achieve the desired outcomes of key activities. The resource requests should reflect the additional resources you need to accomplish each strategic promise. There are three resource costs you should estimate: people, short-term expenses and capital expenses. 

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Step 4: Make Your Talent Strategy Foolproof

Identify the primary barriers and put a mitigation plan in place to ensure your strategy can overcome any potential challenges. 

 

Step 5: Socialize the Plan and Build Sponsorship 

Review your plan with key business stakeholders and HR leaders to hear their preferred changes, additions and deletions. Start socialization with the HR business partner population and pay special attention to those who support the functions, regions or business units most affected by the plan. 

 

Step 6: Execute the Strategy

List the three or four deliverables the teams will produce that support the strategy. Hold a monthly status review to track the team’s progress against the strategic plan’s timeline and take corrective action where deliverables are falling behind or not having the intended effect.