The Evolvement of Talent Management

Published December 16th, 2018 - 09:11 GMT
Employing talent and giving them a solid salary just doesn’t cut it anymore, skilled and qualified people know exactly what they are worth now and are asking for more than ever before. (Shutterstock)
Employing talent and giving them a solid salary just doesn’t cut it anymore, skilled and qualified people know exactly what they are worth now and are asking for more than ever before. (Shutterstock)

Alternative scenario:

*Ahmad walks into his manager’s office “Sarah” and closes the door behind himself *

Ahmad: “Hey, Sarah, I’m so sorry for your loss.”

Sarah: “What? What loss, Ahmad?”

Ahmad: “Me, Sarah… I leave in a month. Here is my resignation letter. Salam.”

Sarah: “Wait! What do you mean? Why? You’re such a talented, hardworking employee and we’ve always had a great relationship, even before I got promoted as manager”

Ahmad: “Yeah, well, it’s not about that. I’m just tired of being so underappreciated and not being given any opportunity to develop and grow. I feel like my career is stagnating, and I don’t want that to happen. Not to mention how detached and unengaged we are as a team.”

Sarah: “Ahmad, I’m so sorry to hear that! You know that I’m still new at this job and I’ve just been so preoccupied with meeting our targets and keeping our shareholders happy, that I’ve somewhat overlooked my senior level employees such as yourself. I simply thought you didn’t need my assistance or constant attention. I apologise, I totally understand where you’re coming from and I will work harder to get more engaged with all of my employees. It would really be such a pity if you quit, please reconsider.”

*Conversation continues for a while* 

Ahmad: “Well, okay, when you put it that way… I am willing to reconsider my decision and stay. Thanks for clearing things up and taking my issues into consideration.”

One might think that Ahmad is overreacting and being quite dramatic, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The concept of talent management has come a long way, where not only has the demands and expectations of employees changed, but also corporate cultures have also changed, deeming old traditional approaches inapt. Employers who don’t adapt will be faced with employees in a situation just like Ahmad’s, running on fumes that is. And I know what you’re thinking, no, getting your employees a ping pong table won’t do the trick.

But, how has it changed? And are the new strategies effective? We are here to help answer that. Stay tuned.

How has Talent management evolved?

If we take a step back in time and look at how talent management used to look like, we probably won’t even be able to recognise it. Back in the day, the scope of talent management was much narrower than what it is today, where we now take a whole host of factors into account when dealing with today’s increasingly demanding workforce such as engagement, culture, empowerment, leadership and the overall environment of the workplace. Rather than just focusing on providing employees with a workspace and the typical list of benefits like employers used to previously.  

Nowadays, with the so-called “war on talent”, the whole talent management process has reformed, where talent are at the heart of the equation. What can you as an employer do for the employee? Why should they be loyal to you? What do you have to offer them that others don’t?

Employing talent and giving them a solid salary just doesn’t cut it anymore, skilled and qualified people know exactly what they are worth now and are asking for more than ever before. They don’t just want a job for the sake of getting employed, they want you to want them. They want to be a true part of a company. They want to feel valued and appreciated. They want a healthy work environment where that can have the right to freedom of speech and conscience, the ability to learn, develop and grow. They want an experience. Thinking about it, they do have a point. Wouldn’t you want all that as an employee?

What went wrong?

Many employers these days don’t seem to be doing a great job at managing their talent. Look, according to the Infographic: Employee Retention in the MENA Workplace60% of respondents state that employee retention rate is lower than what is used to be in previous generations. And 44.7% state that the turnover rate in their company is “very high” and 54.7% state that they want to leave their current job immediately.

Also, 41% of respondents to the 2018 Job Seeker Confidence Index state that they are dissatisfied with the current career growth opportunities, and  50% of respondents claim to be unsatisfied with the training and professional development.

Looking at this kind of data, it’s only fair to wonder what went wrong. Where is talent management headed? Are the new strategies of talent management any good?

Well, to diagnose the issues with talent management we’ll need to break it down into different dimensions to get a better understanding.

If you want to successfully manage your talent, you need to understand these dimensions first:

  • People are different

Generally speaking, people prefer to befriend and deal with like-minded individuals and form groups with people they feel relaxed around and whom they enjoy their company. These groups employees form definitely play a role in setting the common ground of how employees operate and function. These groups can be seen in all levels of seniority within an organisation, even at the upmost senior levels, where managers and directors can be seen to hire and promote employees according to familiarity rather than raw expertise.

Firstly, employers need to acknowledge components to talent management like this and that their involvement in it is crippling their talent management efforts. Then they can appropriately form strategies that can increase involvement and engagement of all employees together, and reduce biased decisions, especially when it comes to recruiting and promoting talent.

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  • Compliance kills originality

When employers start leading their organisations according to the norms and narrative of their groups, and start prioritising employees that have similar traits, that’s when the situation just gets worse and worse. This is when talent selection turns into drafting carbon copies of people with common quality traits, and that work within certain set guidelines that coincide with the group.

 Essentially, when it comes to talent management in this day and age, organisations in a way or another tend to tame and pacify their employees to become what they want them to be. To make them “fit” their social society. They place them on an already set path with set rules, with endless dos and don’ts, which ultimately perpetuates a “fake it till you make it” culture, where employees have to work and operate in a certain way to fit in. They call this “compliance.” This can turn an organisation’s professional culture into a fear culture, where employees are afraid of being themselves and expressing how they really feel, which can have a huge toll on their morale as well as their creativity and innovation, as they’re basically being told how to act and how to think.

What you can do

  • Employer branding

According to the Poll: Employer Branding in the Middle East and North Africa93% of MENA jobseekers research a company online before applying for a job. This study can emphasise the extent to which employer branding can make an impact on attracting the right kind of candidates when hiring.

We have already established that top talent know their value and worth and aren’t interested in working at a place where they can’t have a sense of meaning. By having a solid employer brand that portrays your organisation as a place where people can belong and grow, be appreciated, and live the employee experience to the fullest, that’s when top talent start flocking in.

In addition, According to the Poll: : Employer Branding in the Middle East and North Africa, nine in every 10 respondents claim that online employer branding helps “increase talent retention rates.” This study by can help shed light on how much of an influence employer branding can have on your current existing employees. Where employees of an organisation with a sound employer brand tend to be prouder and validated to work at a reputable organisation, and thus are more motivated and engaged.

Thankfully, is able to offer employers with an effective online Employer Branding Platform, where they can create their own personalised company profiles and show off their company culture and brand.

  • On boarding

Paving the way for new hires to adjust to their new jobs and integrating them with your organisation’s work environment can be a difficult task, especially with the high demands of today’s workforce.

Having a solid onboarding program is arguably one of the most important factors that can influence talent productivity and retention. On the other hand, having an ineffective onboarding program can cripple your new talent’s productivity and increase turnover rates.

Onboarding is becoming increasingly important now more than ever with the rise of employee demands, where candidates often have set expectations for a job they are apply for that aren’t met once employed, which can hinder the whole onboarding process. Employers should clearly specify job responsibilities, objectives and timeframes during the interviewing process in somewhat of a pre-boarding program. Which should also include exposing the candidate to general work environment of your organisation as to give them a taste of your corporate culture and how things go around, which is proven to reduce new employee anxiety.

Also, you should provide your new hires with the ideal conditions and tools that they need with real-time feedback through a comprehensive onboarding platform such as AfterHire.

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