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Talent Management

The Truth about Integrated Talent Management Strategies

Clare Hopping

Paper PlanningIntegrated Talent Management Strategies are the hot topic in HR right now, but are they a breakthrough in people management or an impractical and cumbersome technique?

There are always new ways to approach talent searches. The most recent, according to Bersin.com, is integrated talent management, “an integrated approach to recruiting, development, performance management, compensation, development planning, and learning.”

In layman’s terms, this involves taking all aspects of HR and making them work together. HR Magazine calls it “whole systems thinking,” – gathering diverse initiatives, from incentive schemes to succession planning, and consolidating them into one cohesive plan.

What Does an Integrated Talent Management Strategy Look Like?

The ideal Integrated Talent Management Strategy (ITMS) combines all of the Human Resources functions needed during an employee’s lifecycle. ITMS provides a high-level HR overview, allowing a company to locate their most effective resources and strategies, and to create coherent company guidelines across all levels.

This is the ability to say, “Team X works well. Let’s apply those concepts and hiring policies as we build Team Y.” The result is an end-to-end people management process that’s synergistic, collaborative, and ready to respond.

When executed with temerity, ITMS has measurable benefits. Eremedia.com quotes a Bersin and Associates Talent Management Factbook that quantifies the advantages:

  • 144% lift in ability to plan for future workforce needs.

  • 156% increase in creating the best managers

  • 40% lower turnover of valued employees.

How is an ITMS devised?

To build a an ITMS strategy, the first step is to create a business overview – org charts, business plans and forecasts are all excellent places to start. A top-down approach is also essential, according to a separate HR Magazine article; forward-thinking decision making requires future predictions available only to the C-suite.

And as with any planning process, an audit of existing processes is necessary. Sometimes, the ingredients for an ITMS strategy are already in place, but not broadly understood or utilized. Here, the key is integration; everything must flow seamlessly.

No IT RFQ Required

It’s possible to set up an exemplary ITMS without the help of the IT department; here, tech is useful, but not essential. Either work with existing systems to join the dots, or, if necessary, a well-constructed, paper-based system. Again, integration and communication are key – a good plan brings together all departments and all levels, from the MD to the hiring manager to the new part-timer in Accounts.

That said, If budget allows, an IT-based solution will really help your project take off. But technology for technology’s sake is useless, and a tailored plan is essential in creating an effective tool. A new IT system or intranet can make all aspects of your process visible and available to the whole organisation (if you want it to be). Raising awareness and encouraging adoption across the organisation is undoubtedly easier with a computer system.

The idea that an Integrated Talent Management Strategy will be a silver bullet for all your HR problems is probably wishful thinking. Only with a huge cash injection and an unrealistically clean company structure could a strategy totally relieve administrative burden while also making the tea.

That said, on or offline, properly integrated talent management systems can make HR teams more effective and more unified, while avoiding the cost of duplicated efforts. Taking the time to establish an ITMS could end up revolutionising your personnel management practices.

Main image source: Graham Holliday/flickr

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.