Aligning Talent with Strategy: Tips for Successful Recruiting

Talent alignment is a series of practices that will enhance how you recruit, hire, involve, manage, and lead your employees. These processes have a focus on goals that your business should want to achieve within a predetermined timeframe.

Business owners know the importance of hiring and onboarding the right people, and making sure that they use their talents to achieve company goals. With several processes simultaneously taking place within an organization, business owners must ensure that everything is on track.

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What are the benefits of talent alignment with company goals and strategy?

It improves hiring and onboarding of employees. When an organization maintains strategic alignment with its goals, HR personnel understand why they are hiring and what new hires are expected to accomplish. When tasks and responsibilities are specified, onboarding becomes quick and easy.

It helps increase employee productivity. When employees have a clear picture of what they are expected to accomplish and how they can contribute to the company’s success, this often leads to an increase in productivity levels. When a strategic alignment platform is in place, executives can see what every employee is working on. Employees are aware of this and everyone becomes accountable for his or her work.

Employee engagement is improved. According to 2016 statistics, 74 percent of all workers are satisfied with their jobs, while 66 percent are still open to new employment. When employees feel that their work is valued within the organization, this can lead to increased employee engagement.

It improves allocation of resources. When an organization uses a strategic alignment platform, executives can see if a plan or strategy is not working. This allows them to change plans and better allocate company resources in order to meet business goals.

Communication within the organization is better. Using a talent alignment platform brings everyone in the organization together in working toward attaining company goals. All executives and employees can visualize these goals on a daily basis. This helps everyone work better together to reach common goals.

What can employers do to achieve talent alignment in their workforce?

Recruit the right people for the job. All job requirements should be more focused and specific. Established employees should not feel threatened by new hires because they know what the newest recruits are working on and working towards.

Communicate clearly with your workforce. All the teams in your organization should link their efforts to company goals on a daily basis. This approach will help empower employees because they can visualize how their tasks will help achieve business goals.

Build trust among your employees. When goals are clear to all employees and the tasks and responsibilities of each person are specified, everyone becomes accountable and part of a working unit. This helps build trust among members of your workforce.

Remove tasks that do not contribute anything to company goals. According to experts such as Samuel Culbert, Professor of Management and Organizations at UCLA, annual performance reviews are “dishonest and fraudulent.” Culbert says reviews focus on making employees please the boss instead of achieving desired results.  While not all business leaders share this view, some suggest that instead of these performance reviews, organizations should have a continuous exchange of feedback between employees and management. This type of open communication will help address anything negative within teams at an early stage. This can also help employees improve their work quality through better communication.

Nurture, Train, and Grow. When the organization has hired the best talent for the workforce, management should make sure that these people remain engaged, be given proper training, and are encouraged to grow with the company.

How can employers integrate talent alignment/management with their business objectives and strategies?

In order to be successful in integrating talent alignment with business strategies, business leaders and human resource professionals must deal with a number of variables affecting the organization’s ability to achieve its strategic objectives.

Completion of a workforce plan. Specific steps need to be taken when creating a workforce plan. An analysis of the workforce implications of a business plan must be completed, and proper solutions should be developed to address them.

  • Analyze your organization’s strategic goals.
  • Determine the competencies needed to achieve those goals.
  • Assess the capabilities of your workforce.
  • Conduct a labor market analysis.
  • Identify the gap between your workforce’s current capabilities and the needs of the company.

Organizational capability assessment. This assessment focuses on the organization’s ability to attract, motivate, and retain talent needed to achieve organizational goals. The following are confirmed ways for employers to attract to their organization:

  • Create or refine your employment brand.
  • Communicate through people, process and via technology:
  • Reconnect with college friends and organizations
  • Direct talent scouting
  • Participate in referral programs
  • Partake in special events such as open houses or career fairs
  • Take advantage of mass media
  • Utilize internet services (via social media or job sites)

Motivating employees.  Employers should know what motivates employees. The following are motivating factors frequently cited in expert conducted research:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Pay and benefits
  • Communication
  • Training and development
  • Equal opportunities and fair treatment
  • Immediate management
  • Performance management
  • Health and safety
  • Cooperation
  • Family friendliness

Retention.  Your organization must develop and implement strategies that encourage, support, and require managers to be responsible for employee retention. Managers should hire individuals who mirror the values of the organization and demonstrate those values through their behavior.

Organizational capability assessment.  Business leaders should conduct a quantitative and qualitative analysis of their organization’s capabilities in achieving defined business goals. This involves job design, skills analysis, role- clarification, and performance measures. For example, human resource professionals must analyze redundancies within the organization, and be willing to make tough decisions such as workforce reduction. In cases like this, the organization must be prepared for lower productivity as a result of “survivor guilt” among employees who were retained. The organization should still continue to attract and retain customers and maintain corporate and social responsibilities despite reducing its workforce.

Diversity and inclusion.  Historically, the focus of diversity efforts of organizations was mainly on visual diversity which includes gender, age, race, national origin, physical ability, sexual orientation, and religion. Today, however, organizations should also consider how they can become more competitive by understanding and exploiting the differences of employees for the benefit of the whole workforce as well as the stockholders, customers and the entire community.

Change management.  Many organizations fail in implementing strategies. Sometimes decisions are made to conduct business in a different way. The best way to implement new ideas is via change management. Change management has been defined as, “the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes”.

Businesspeople working in office at the table

According to professor of business and director at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, Edward E. Lawler III, change management is one area wherein HR can add support and value to organizational performance by acting as a strategic partner.

Today’s innovative leaders know that real-time talent alignment is something that organizations need to do in order to attain business goals. It is not easy but it is a common challenge for all types of organizations in different industries.

Fred Coon, CEO

At SC&C we offer Career Analysis to help senior decision-makers from all walks of life identify strategies and tactics to increase their value-add employment potential.