When building and growing your organizations people are the difference between mediocrity and wild success and, in many cases, they are the difference between success and failure.

Business is really all about people. Capital, facilities, technology, intellectual property and “good ideas” will not carry the day. Businesses need top notch people able to work together in a collaborative manner.

Recruiting, interviewing, hiring and retaining people are vital functions to any business but sadly, they are often treated as an after thought. Many times, by the time you’ve recognized the need for additional talent, it’s too late.

I recommend to all of my clients that they develop a Talent Life Cycle Plan and organize to leverage it.

Here are some of the major elements of the plan. Consider them “food for thought” as you assess your talent needs.

Talent Life Cycle Management

The Organizational Plan

  • Defines the categories of people are you are going to need in the future to meet and/or exceed your business plans.
  • Defines the specific skills and skill levels required for each position.
  • Defines the job goals and standards for each position type.
  • Determines the average cost (salary & benefits) for each position type.
  • Quantifies how long each job type traditionally stays with the organization.

The Recruiting Plan

  • Based on the Organizational Plan, determines when to begin the recruiting process for job types in the business plan.
  • Identifies sources where you have been most successful in finding each category of employee.
  • Formalizes the process for initiating, approving and commencing a recruiting program.
  • Determines why candidates decide to join or not to join your organization and documents this information.

The Development Plan

  • Ensures each job type has objective standards of performance and that career directions for each position can be clearly identified.
  • Ensures each employee has an individual development plan and that managers and supervisors hold direct reports accountable for achieving each objective in their plan.
  • Ensures every employee has a formal career plan.
  • Structures regular coaching sessions between managers/ supervisors and their direct reports.
  • Rewards managers/supervisors for achieving developmental success with their direct reports.

The Retention Plan

  • Aligns rewards and recognition systems with individual performance and development plans.
  • Surveys employees regularly to benchmark employee satisfaction and determine changes in attitudes and motivators.
  • Ensures action on survey results.
  • Rates and rewards managers/supervisors for successfully retaining qualified, successful employees as well as for making the numbers.
  • Ensures all key positions in your organization have a formal, active succession plan in place.

The Assessment Plan

  • Ensures each employee is formally assessed periodically throughout each year.
  • Compares each employee to established standards, behavioral and cultural norms, and rates each employee within a job type against their peers.
  • Ensures that development plans are in place for all employees and that corrective action plans exist for under performing employees.

The Outplacement Plan

  • Determines when a job type is no longer required by the organization and moves to eliminate it immediately.
  • Determines when a job type has changed sufficiently to warrant a reassessment of the employees currently filling those positions.
  • Determines when an employee is no longer meeting requirements in a given job type, and moves to improve performance, transfer the employee to another job type or outplace the employee.
  • Determines why people are leaving the organization on their own and take steps to improve negative situations.

The Feedback Loop

  • Design a feedback system that has input points throughout the employee life cycle and that captures relevant data, establishes trends and provides managers and supervisors with usable data.
  • Determine the most common reasons employees leave.
  • Build a database to identify and track trends.
  • Provide individual managers/supervisors with detailed feedback on employees who leave their areas of responsibility.

Every organization is only as good as their people. Consider moving the job of attracting, hiring and retain top talent to the top of your priority list.

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