Talent Management: How to attract and retain the next generation of talent

Talent management is a relatively recent term in the business world. Although it was coined a few years earlier. It was not until the late 20th century that it acquired greater importance and became common practice in most businesses.

When we talk about talent management, we refer to HR processes used to search, recruit and embed new employees into the company. In addition, to retaining workers in the organization.

It is considered a key element to improve competitiveness and profitability of a company. It can be applied to different degrees in almost any type of organization.

There are many advantages of having talent management in our organization. Having the right people in the right job avoids or reduces the gap between the competencies, needed to do a job/task and the skills of the employees performing them.

Its impact is felt both day-to-day and in the long-term, as it improves effectiveness and efficiency in employees and teams.

Talent and company culture

The management of talent can also improve company culture. Employees commit to it and establish clear objectives that everyone will aim for in a coordinated way.

If we can succeed in making this company culture grow and take hold, we will be able to create a more positive and constructive work environment.

In addition, this leads to an increase in personal satisfaction. Where employees understand they are part of something bigger with common values ​​and vision, they feel proud to belong.  This helps to reduce staff turnover and means the company can retain talent more easily.

Therefore, when searching for candidates, we should always bear in mind that the most important aspect is to find the right person for the right position. This helps us to have qualified and committed employees within the organization.

How can we attract and retain the next generation of talent?

If our purpose is to attract young talent to our company, we have to focus on capturing the attention of millennials. They are a digital generation, with extensive knowledge about new technologies. Their expectations are quite different from the previous generations.

At Alight | NGA HR we are implementing two elements that enable us to attract talented individuals from the next generation.

The first is empowerment. Younger employees are looking for companies that provide them with the opportunities and tools to develop professionally as well as flexibility and responsibility. This can be put into practice by implementing flexible hours, working more on goals and less on routine daily tasks, etc.

Secondly, you must give them the opportunity to join our company through university or graduate internship programs. In our team, from January 2021 we are implementing a program called SPARK!

SPARK! will look for talent and incorporate them as if they were permanent employees. They will have the same rights, whist they are receiving training and learning about our values and vision.

Once we have succeeded in attracting young talent, we must try to retain them in our company for as long as possible.

Maintaining employee satisfaction

To do this, we consider factors that help maintain a high level of satisfaction and motivation among our employees, so they think less about leaving.

The first factor, is to avoid rigid hierarchical structures and to manage by example. It is better to give tasks than orders and we must demonstrate examples of commitment, professionalism and teamwork.

We should not forget to encourage horizontal mobility. There may be people who wish to continue in the company, or even in the same project, but with a different role to learn something new. They may see a problem from another angle or seek a new challenge.

Another aspect to take into account when joining a company is the commitment to corporate social responsibility.

We acknowledge that younger generations are more sensitive to working in a company of which they can be proud. Values ​​previously considered moral or ethical, nowadays have to be a fundamental part of a company’s culture.

Creativity is something we cannot forget.  As a company, we help people be creative in their workplace in different ways: motivating them to face difficulties by applying a different point of view or listening to them when we give them different tasks.

In short, we have confidence in them so that when we give them a task we let them show us what they can do. If they feel gratified, they will surely do their best.

And finally, the salary. We know that money is very important when hiring a person. But increasingly people are looking for other benefits such as opportunities for professional growth and ongoing training.

How can companies manage talent?

There are two fundamental points when it comes to managing talent.

The first thing to keep in mind is that talent management is not something that can be improvised. It is essential to create a plan where you can review the state of the company.

Review your needs. Decide what tools to implement and any new internal processes required, not only in HR, but in the rest of the business.

The second fundamental point is technology. It can help greatly in all phases of talent management. We are an SAP partner for implementing Talent Management and SuccessFactors. As a result, we have a suite of applications that can manage all processes during an employee’s tenure within the organization.

One tool that is part of this suite can help us look for new talent. This is either internally from another team, or externally for candidates currently on the job market.

Once the position has been filled, it is advisable to get the onboarding tool ready as soon as possible. This helps get the employee up to speed quickly. They can therefore be efficient from their first day at the company.

We know that moving to a new company or team can generate anxiety since we are leaving our comfort zone. Having an onboarding tool that accompanies employees in that process from day one is essential.

By doing this we ensure that new employees have all of the system access, tools to work and is aware of company processes.

Within the Talent Management suite there is also a tool for developing talent. This development application means we can generate a training plan to improve skills or create new opportunities for the employee.

Another tool is Performance and Goals. This can measure the performance of employees or identify development areas where an employee may need more help or where they can create new value.

In summary, by creating a strategic plan and using market leading tools to support the process are the key elements that any type of company needs to manage talent.

Francesco Robba
CDS, Advisory Practice Leader Spain, LATAM