Talent Strategies for a Global Business

Training and retaining staff is all important in an international economy

An effective talent strategy lies at the heart of any successful business. This is a concept generally recognised by industry leaders, demonstrated by the extensive recruitment and retention policies in operation at some of the world’s top corporations. And it’s not a difficult concept to grasp. Most organisations recognise that the skills of their employees form the most critical aspect of their business. Tapping the Talent Pool
Finding and developing the right people is an essential part of the process but being able to do it effectively in a global marketplace is becoming harder and harder. Three decades ago Western organisations could source talent from all over the world through a combination of better opportunities, better wages and better development prospects. The shift in the global economic axis and emergence of new economic powers in Asia and South America means everyone is fighting in a more competitive market than ever for new talent. But companies can adopt strategies to help mitigate these changes:

Identify your exact needs: Talent development should be focused on areas which are of direct benefit to the business. By directing development funding towards very specific aims organisations can make sure they are developing the right people in the right way. In an increasingly globalised world where even SMEs are able to operate in an international market is there perhaps value in looking for multilingual staff? Questions like this can help hone in on the specific requirements of an organisation.
Make sure you’re looking for the right things: All too often businesses will see the CV of a candidate and make an immediate decision on based on MBAs and Firsts with Honours. But while academic achievement is important it doesn’t necessarily lead to business success. A few years ago Google had a policy of only recruiting the best and brightest from the best schools. However, when they analysed the effectiveness of this hiring policy they discovered their best performers were not necessarily those with the best grades and consequently changed their policy to focus on other factors top performers had in common. The lesson here is to be aware. Rather than throw money at HR or L&D and expect results, organisations should make sure they’re focusing their efforts on things that work and optimising their training processes.
Future proof through diversification: In difficult economic circumstances it’s easy to focus on the now, but the best organisations succeed because they plan for the future. The business world is changing as a new generation enters the workplace and those in a position to take advantage of the different skills Millenials bring will be best placed to succeed in the coming years.
Holding on to the good ones
Retaining your very best people is critical to the long-term success of your business in a competitive global market. The cost involved in losing such people is significant, more so as you go further up the managerial ladder. If you are creating an environment in which your best people can grow, contribute and shine, your chances of keeping them will increase dramatically. Here are just a few things to consider…
Provision quality supervision / leadership: People leave managers and supervisors more often than they leave companies or jobs. By the same token many will stay with employers because of a manager they’re committed to. Supervisors have a critical role to play in staff retention and need to avoid making employees feel undervalued.
Encourage a culture of openness and welcome input: Does your organisation solicit ideas and provide an environment in which people are comfortable providing feedback? If it does, you will find employees offer ideas and will feel free to criticise and commit to continuous improvement.
Utilise their skills and talents: An employee who’s motivated will want to contribute to work areas outside of their specific job description, and there are probably several people in your organisation who could contribute far more than they currently do and are more than likely very eager to do so.
Provide opportunities to grow: Without the chance to try new opportunities within the company, employees feel they will stagnate. A career-oriented, valued employee needs to experience growth opportunities within their organisation.
Provide exposure to senior management: A common point made during exit interviews is that employees never felt senior managers knew they existed. Take time to meet with new employees to learn about their talents, abilities and skills. Meet with each employee periodically.
Reward and Recognition: Your staff members need to feel rewarded, recognised and appreciated, and one of the simplest ways of doing this is just to say ‘thank you’. Frequently saying thank you goes a long way, and monetary rewards, bonuses and gifts make the thank you even more appreciated. Understandable raises that are tied to accomplishments and achievements will also help to retain staff. Commissions and bonuses that are easily calculated on a daily basis, and easily understood, raise motivation and help retain staff.
Remember, it’s all about strategy

The real key to implementing a successful talent strategy in a global business is remembering to be strategic. Just getting by and working in the short term cannot produce long-term success. By ensuring there is a coherent, consistent and well-planned programme in place organisations can mitigate any market changes or new developments and incorporate them simply into their existing system.