It’s difficult to sustain talent long enough to determine if they are able to develop into future leaders. It’s an even more taxing endeavor when there’s not enough talent to fill your company in the first place. But once you’ve got the talent you need for right now, you need to start hiring for tomorrow. It might seem like a lot of work at the moment, but you’ll be happy you developed your talent pipeline later when you need new leaders. These are 5 things you need to remember when creating a talent pipeline:
1. Begin with a Business Strategy - Where do you want the business to go? How do you see the development along the way? Unfortunately, 33% of companies either have a poor or non-existent talent pipeline; they are unprepared to fill gaps in leadership, should they appear. Your talent pipeline has to support your organization’s business strategy for development. Remember, the leadership your organization needs now isn’t the same leadership you’ll need 15 years down the road.
2. Address Talent Gaps - You might have gaps in your workforce now, but how will that translate over the next decade? Currently, only one-third of of the oldest Baby Boomers are still working, and that number is only going to decrease as the younger of the generation begin to reach retirement age. Since Baby Boomers are retiring (or have already done so), you’re bound to see a mass exodus of employees. Be prepared to fill these current and future gaps by building a strong talent pipeline.
3. Hire for Now, Hire for Later - Predicting what the company might need later on can be hard, however it’s necessary. It’s easy to hire for immediate needs, but will those new employees fit the leadership roles you anticipate later on? Delineate a clear list of skills and abilities the position needs by consistently updating the job description so you can advertise appropriately. Assess talent for future potential, not just immediate skills.
4. Integrate Talent Management into Business Culture - Because the talent pipeline isn’t a stagnant business entity, it should be a continuous conversation among leadership. Where will the next round of leadership come from? How can we develop current employees into the management teams we need? When high potential employees are in development programs, measure and track their performance so you have a better understanding about their future place in the company. Dr. Anton Franckeiss, Global Business and Practice Director at Acuity Global Development, said:
“A coherent talent management strategy aimed at identifying, shepherding and nurturing a company’s individuals at all levels, benefits each employee and is clearly good for the organisation. Aligning talent management with the business strategies sets a course for individuals to achieve their potential and identifies their possible future fit within the business.”
5. Identify and Develop HiPo Employees - First and foremost, understand the difference between high performing employees and high potential employees. In fact, only about 20% of high performing managers are considered high potential to move up in the organization. High potential employees have the capacity to be successful in the next level. They are keen learners, able to master tasks quickly, and are engaged with the organization. Identifying these employees is crucial for the sake of building an internal talent pipeline.
Even though creating a talent pipeline takes a bit of time and effort, there are things you need to keep in mind as it comes to fruition. Remember to integrate it into the business strategy; you’re not just hiring for immediate needs, you’re hiring for employees that fit needs now, and can fill leadership gaps in the future. The future ease of success for your organization is dependent upon your robust talent pipeline… are you ready?