Now more than ever, talent is a business critical function. The Great Resignation looks set to continue, with 51% of people telling us they plan to leave their job in the next 12 months. And the number of Americans quitting their jobs reached an all-time high of 4.5 million – 3% of the US workforce – in November of last year.
Why? We know that the pandemic caused many people to re-evaluate their preferences and priorities in relation to work; at the same time, most industries are undergoing (usually technological) transformation that requires new skillsets. Additionally, the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion cannot be overstated: the new generation of employee (and consumer) will vote with their feet.
But for those companies that take the time to understand these fundamental changes to the way we work – and act strategically – the opportunity is huge.
To truly understand and serve the talent both inside and outside your organization, you need to take a holistic approach, considering and managing the whole talent lifecycle – from hiring, to development, to exit. The businesses that take this chance, and use it to build up a coherent long-term strategy, will gain the edge in the race to attract, develop, and retain the talent they need now and in the future.
What is Talent Lifecycle Management?
Traditionally, each part of the HR and talent function has acted in a silo: recruiters recruit, people partners develop, and employee experience teams focus on wellbeing, culture and DE&I. As a result, understanding of talent has been fragmented – there’s no clear overview of the existence and development of skills throughout the business, and talent efforts are divorced from wider business goals.
Talent Lifecycle Management is about taking a holistic, joined-up approach to your talent strategy. It’s about developing long-term strategies for managing talent across its whole lifecycle – from attracting potential candidates at the top of the funnel, to development of employees, offering internal mobility opportunities (i.e. a Talent Marketplace), and engaging with your workforce alumni. And it requires you to understand talent at a skills level, not an experience level.
Why is Talent Lifecycle Management important?
88% of business leaders in our Talent Trap survey said that hiring and retaining talent was now more important to their business than it was 18 months ago.
Thinking strategically and taking a talent-first approach puts more power in your hands as a talent team. By focusing on skills, you get a more realistic view of talent, and a richer data source to make smarter decisions: you can start to forecast your skill needs, better pinpoint hiring requirements, and enable more tailored internal development journeys.
The nature of recruiting has changed. Talent teams used to be largely outward-facing, expending most effort on acquisition. Now, more than half of hiring involves internal hires or “silver medallists” (previous candidates who were a good fit but didn’t quite make the cut first time around). So understanding and nurturing the existing skills pool in your business – strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for growth – is a must.
Our research finds that 54% of people who left a company, due to feeling unhappy or unfulfilled, have regretted doing so. Retention is a big challenge, but a surmountable one. If you give people the opportunity and resources they need to learn and grow with your business, they’re more likely to stay and feel fulfilled.
Opportunities for internal mobility keep your top talent engaged.
Another key benefit of this holistic approach is that it makes it easier to align your talent strategy to your wider business goals. You can move beyond the traditional metrics of time-to-interview and time-to-hire and look to the more business-aligned metrics that are allowed by skills-based and lifecycle management data. What percentage of our workforce have we upskilled? How much have we increased retention? Where are the skills gaps, the risks, the opportunities? How likely are we to meet our DE&I targets?
Good Talent Lifecycle Management connects up all your talent efforts and ties them to business outcomes.
How to adopt a Talent Lifecycle Management approach
First, you need to understand the status quo: the skills your company already has, where they are lacking, and what it needs now. Once you’ve started to create an inventory of skills, home in on the ones that will really move the needle in the business, and think about how to attain them. Do you need to hire in those skills, or have you got the potential in house to fill the gaps through upskilling or cross-skilling?
To capture this data, and to make the best use of it, you need the right tools. A centralized talent data platform acts as the single point of truth for talent-related information: a database that unifies information from different data sources, and serves up meaningful, reliable data to every other HR and recruitment platforms you use. That way, every team that consumes talent data – from people experience teams to recruitment event managers, as well as the wider business – is working from the same view. There’s a shared understanding of what skills you have as a business and where the gaps are, so you can develop your talent throughout its whole life cycle in a coherent way.
With this single view, you can start seeing talent as individuals with a living, evolving set of skills. Rather than a static snapshot of skills fulfilling a role, you see a trajectory: where they’ve been so far, and all the potential they have to grow – and how you can help them get there. Indeed, AI can be deployed across your connected dataset to predict and divulge where people will add (and find) the most value in your organization.
This allows you to improve your internal mobility and make the most of the skills sets – and latent skill sets – you already have in the business, so you don’t have to rely on competing with everyone else for the same top talent externally, and keep current talent engaged with talent acceleration programs.
The last two years have thrown up a host of new challenges for talent teams, but have also created a big opportunity for those willing to take it. By taking the time to understand people at the level of skills, and consider the whole talent lifecycle, you can create a long-lasting talent strategy that moves beyond just a tactical response to the pandemic – a strategy built on understanding what each individual wants and working out how to help them get there, and helping you to turn attrition into attraction and retention.
To learn more about Talent Lifecycle Management and how it can help you attract and retain the best talent, download our Talent Lifecycle Management Whitepaper.
Beamery can help join the dots when it comes to understanding your full, global talent pool. Find out more about a Talent Lifecycle Management solution that brings internal and external resourcing together, with our latest acquisition.