In today’s workforce, Baby Boomers are beginning to exit the workforce. With their physical exit so too does their knowledge and skills… This steady decline is expected to continue until around 2050. This movement will have significant implications for an organisation’s internal talent pool. In 2015 it was suggested that 75% of the British workforce were considered passive job seekers, meaning they are always looking for growth opportunities and are not merely being reactive to changes as they occurred – the picture in South Africa are very similar.
When wanting to develop an internal talent pool, one needs to answer three key questions:
- Have you identified your critical roles?
- How visible is your talent pool?
- Have you got a pipeline for these critical roles?
When considering what your critical roles are, one can take the following points into consideration:
- Those roles that take a long time to fill;
- Those that have higher attrition, perhaps due to headhunting by other companies; and
- Those that have the biggest bottom line impact.
It is extremely important to collaborate both with HR and the business partners, when looking at quantitative and qualitative analytics which will inform the decisions. This can also be referred to as Talent Intelligence. Once a critical role has been identified, it is crucial to assess what the organisational needs are. This will inform what talent enters the talent pool .
Once this is in place, it is vital that the talent pool is visible organisation-wide. Three ways in which this could be addressed are:
- Provide employees with a full view of new opportunities that are likely to arise in the future;
- Constant communication with management regarding high-performing individuals or individuals likely to leave; and
- Employees need to be told how sources of talent are identified.
Technology is an enabler that should always be considered in making talent pools transparent. Examples of this is utilising the intranet to enable an expression of interest portal or do internal advertising, a software that can filter talent by different skills or the use of social media (Employment Office, 2013).
Once talent has been identified and interest is shown by a feasible employee, an organisation cannot simply assume they have a filled talent pipeline. This is in fact where all the hard work begins. For one employee who is identified as potentially filling current and future talent the following should be in place:
- Constant communication and check-ins to keep the employee interested and engaged;
- Training and development opportunities to further develop skills;
- Continual tracking and assessment of performance;
- One-on-one coaching to discuss career pathing and aspirations ; and
- Practice of a culture that is nurturing and attractive to employees.
Employees need to feel like the organisation they are currently in is investing resources into their growth and development, but also that the organisation has a genuine interest in their goals.
The above is one way of ensuring your key internal talent stays internal and does not leave to find better opportunities elsewhere. Only those organisations who value talent and invest in creating and nurturing talent will have a true competitive edge.