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5 tips for putting in place good talent management

Alexandre Diard

Dealing with a large turnover of staff is never an easy situation to resolve. The management of talent is an essential element for companies to deal with in order to avoid employees leaving for other companies with better prospects. Talent management is crucial for retaining employees.  

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Why should SMEs concentrate on the management of their talent?

Large companies have the means to commit to talent management and high potential by creating management lines and sectors of expertise to attract and retain the talents that are critical to their core business. But SMEs don't have the same means regarding the management of talent and must make choices based on limited resources.

"Small business" means "small workforce". When a company’s know-how relies on just a few employees, each resource, taken individually, becomes a critical talent and skill. And when one of the employees is no longer able to perform his duties, the entire company is threatened. This is why it is essential to pay particular attention to this and to reflect on the management of talent and key skills.

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Moreover, in times of crisis, what makes a company attractive to talent and young graduates is the security and career development prospects that the company provides. When talent management is neglected in favor of old-fashioned management, it affects turnover as well as individual and global motivation.

What customers are looking for in their collaboration with an SME is expertise first and foremost and also flexibility. These elements should be found in talent management and, among other things, in the process of developing skills, and making employees expert in their role.

The positive differentiation for SMEs is therefore the management of individual key skills that, when put together, will produce a truly unique overall collective set of skills.

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What are the obstacles to the effective implementation of a good management of HR talent in an SME?

There are multiple obstacles of various natures. First, HR professionals are generally "stuck" in the day-to-day management and administration of the company's human resources, so they very rarely have the opportunity to think about this and even if the right questions are asked, these HR professionals usually have neither the time nor the human and financial resources to change the situation.

As a result, the CEO is often the only real player in the management of talent, but unfortunately he is not always available to concentrate on this and his priorities are often elsewhere.

Because the idea of adopting a talent management solution is usually long, time consuming and expensive, SME managers want to save themselves the arduous task of implementing a solution they only deem suitable for large companies and are often led to create their own tools by "reinventing the wheel".

What matters most is not the highly specific nature of the tool but the way it is used and the corresponding results.

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What solution is recommended for SMEs?

SMEs need to stop multiplying tools and adopt a unified platform from the start that focuses on skills, implements best practices and can be up and running in less than 6 months via a methodology based on the "quick win" logic that is associated with a fast pace.

Thus, with this first structuring step completed, SME managers can begin to delegate within a flexible and secure framework. The human resources manager will have the opportunity to focus on the effective management of his talent and will quickly benefit from the unified dashboard model, crossing different HR dimensions that are conducive to decision-making.

From a financial point of view, it is necessary to opt for a cost model adapted to the use and small budget of SMEs in which the initial investment is almost zero. Mutualization is also a key cost-saving factor that SMEs should consider.

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How to make a global approach in less than 6 months?

First of all, by choosing the right partner, HR professionals will be able to make recommendations without unnecessarily mobilizing the SMEs resources.

Then they can adopt a preconfigured "turnkey" solution, with business-specific skills models, training content, and key processes that reflect industry best practices.

The SME will thus obtain sound foundations on which it will be able to build, over time, its own talent management policy and introduce its specificities.

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What are the tangible and short-term benefits to be taken away from this solution?

For companies with 50 to 1,000 employees "a turnkey approach" including advice, technology and assistance is the fastest and most effective solution.

The company will thus be able to quickly evolve and respond to requests by being aware and informed of the skills within its teams, and employees will be more proactive in their training and career development.

This plays a big role in terms of motivation and has an immediate and strong impact on productivity while reducing the turnover of good employees.

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