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We Ask the Experts

What is the foremost consideration in talent management?

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In Deloitte’s in-depth whitepaper Talent Matters, which covers why talent management is so important, the authors’ research found that organisations who have a thorough talent management strategy address performance issues more quickly and with better outcomes.

While the talent management process – from acquisition to successful retirement with the company – should absolutely be a holistic company effort, with everyone pulling together toward the end goal, not having a dedicated HR-focused approach to talent management could leave your employees unsatisfied and your skills gap even wider.

With that in mind, we’ve asked some of the best and brightest in the sector to share their take on the topic.

Pamela Hutchinson,

Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Bloomberg

Ensure that you have a talent management strategy in place that is consistent, inclusive and equitable with the needs and ambitions of your talent at the heart of it. We often make assumptions about the motivations and aspirations of our talent, and that can be demotivating when there is a disconnect. As leaders, we need to be accountable for creating a culture of success where individuals feel invested in, can thrive and be their true self in order to do their best work.

 

Pamela Hutchinson,

Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Bloomberg

Ensure that you have a talent management strategy in place that is consistent, inclusive and equitable with the needs and ambitions of your talent at the heart of it. We often make assumptions about the motivations and aspirations of our talent, and that can be demotivating when there is a disconnect. As leaders, we need to be accountable for creating a culture of success where individuals feel invested in, can thrive and be their true self in order to do their best work.

 

Steve Butler,

CEO, Punter Southall Aspire

Flexible, remote and hybrid working is the cornerstone strategy for managing talent today. This is simply because it enables so many people who would otherwise be excluded from the workplace to bring their talents to the fore and maximise their personal and professional potential. Most people want (and often need) to accommodate other pressures and activities in their lives. Therefore, it has to be a key consideration in recruiting, retaining, and providing the environment for individuals to flourish.

To embed a long-term flexible working strategy, requests for flexible working arrangements should be considered as ‘reason neutral’, and not based on a judgment whether someone’s situation is worthy or not, and with managers designing flexibility into jobs as standard practice.

Flexibility needs to go beyond part-time, or hybrid working and instead be embedded in the culture. This means managers encouraging staff to agree a daily agenda with their partners that allows childcare shifts to be agreed around work. In addition, employees should be able to agree with their managers, the times of the day when they may not be available, so that managers focus on productivity rather than the number of hours worked.

All of this is only possible if managers are supported in building their capabilities to manage flexible and dispersed teams through training and mentoring. Middle managers will only believe in the strategy if senior leaders are championing the benefits and role modelling a flexible working pattern themselves.

Steve Butler,

CEO, Punter Southall Aspire

Flexible, remote and hybrid working is the cornerstone strategy for managing talent today. This is simply because it enables so many people who would otherwise be excluded from the workplace to bring their talents to the fore and maximise their personal and professional potential. Most people want (and often need) to accommodate other pressures and activities in their lives. Therefore, it has to be a key consideration in recruiting, retaining, and providing the environment for individuals to flourish.

To embed a long-term flexible working strategy, requests for flexible working arrangements should be considered as ‘reason neutral’, and not based on a judgment whether someone’s situation is worthy or not, and with managers designing flexibility into jobs as standard practice.

Flexibility needs to go beyond part-time, or hybrid working and instead be embedded in the culture. This means managers encouraging staff to agree a daily agenda with their partners that allows childcare shifts to be agreed around work. In addition, employees should be able to agree with their managers, the times of the day when they may not be available, so that managers focus on productivity rather than the number of hours worked.

All of this is only possible if managers are supported in building their capabilities to manage flexible and dispersed teams through training and mentoring. Middle managers will only believe in the strategy if senior leaders are championing the benefits and role modelling a flexible working pattern themselves.

Andrea Smith,

HR Grapevine Advisory Board

It sounds obvious, but how you attract, retain and invest in talent should be the foremost consideration for talent management. People managers need to recognise that recruitment strategies which widen talent pools to attract skills from diverse backgrounds, will lead to different perspectives and innovation.

Internal talent programmes should be crafted for those beyond leadership roles, as talent should be nurtured across all levels, and the design of such programmes should demonstrate growth in development as a form of talent progression, in order to further enhance capabilities.

 

Andrea Smith,

HR Grapevine Advisory Board

It sounds obvious, but how you attract, retain and invest in talent should be the foremost consideration for talent management. People managers need to recognise that recruitment strategies which widen talent pools to attract skills from diverse backgrounds, will lead to different perspectives and innovation.

Internal talent programmes should be crafted for those beyond leadership roles, as talent should be nurtured across all levels, and the design of such programmes should demonstrate growth in development as a form of talent progression, in order to further enhance capabilities.

 

Arti Kashyap-Aynsley,

Global Head of Health and Wellbeing, Ocado Group

When managing talent I think the foremost consideration we have to make is in relation to the individual themselves. It is about truly understanding the individual and that means who they are, how they work, support required, their professional goals / aspirations, etc. In our personal lives today we often seek personalisation and in many ways employees are looking for that same care from their workplaces. They want to be seen as more than the task they perform and be in an environment that drives a level of psychological safety that allows them to showcase that.

Arti Kashyap-Aynsley,

Global Head of Health and Wellbeing, Ocado Group

When managing talent I think the foremost consideration we have to make is in relation to the individual themselves. It is about truly understanding the individual and that means who they are, how they work, support required, their professional goals / aspirations, etc. In our personal lives today we often seek personalisation and in many ways employees are looking for that same care from their workplaces. They want to be seen as more than the task they perform and be in an environment that drives a level of psychological safety that allows them to showcase that.

Rebekah Martin,

SVP of Reward, Inclusion & Talent Acquisition, Astrazeneca

Organisations should look to create an environment where their people feel confident to step outside their comfort zone, speak their minds and are valued for the difference they bring whilst also valuing the difference in others. When you foster a culture of inclusion and belonging, people feel confident to share ideas and help each other grow and learn. One of the ways we do this at AstraZeneca is through coaching and ‘feedforward’, we phrase it in this way because we believe in the power of looking ahead to future possibilities, not behind us.

No matter what stage of your career you might be at, we believe everyone brings something unique to the table. While you might join a company for a particular role, it’s important to provide opportunities for future growth so all employees can achieve their full potential.

 

Rebekah Martin,

SVP of Reward, Inclusion & Talent Acquisition, Astrazeneca

Organisations should look to create an environment where their people feel confident to step outside their comfort zone, speak their minds and are valued for the difference they bring whilst also valuing the difference in others. When you foster a culture of inclusion and belonging, people feel confident to share ideas and help each other grow and learn. One of the ways we do this at AstraZeneca is through coaching and ‘feedforward’, we phrase it in this way because we believe in the power of looking ahead to future possibilities, not behind us.

No matter what stage of your career you might be at, we believe everyone brings something unique to the table. While you might join a company for a particular role, it’s important to provide opportunities for future growth so all employees can achieve their full potential.

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