The “war for talent” stretches across most companies. Rightly so; top performers are arguably the most critical element of your business. Therefore, recognising inside talent is more important than ever.
Spot Talent from Day One
Most of the true signs of talent fail to appear on a resume. Studies have shown that the main predictors of job performance are having strong problem solving ability, high levels of industriousness, and the ability to handle stress. Assessing candidates for these skills is key to both a successful hiring process and long term employee development.
After hiring, set your employees up for success. For example, if you have hired a brilliant, creative, hardworking employee, who is highly introverted, ensure your management styles makes space for her to show her talent. Don’t miss out on raw talent due to a lack of self-promotional behaviour, on the part of the new employee. Alternately, give creative people the time and space to come up with big ideas. Offering employees tasks that stretch their ability and experience will allow them to excel.
Promoting from Within
There are many benefits of promoting inside talent:
- You already know more about the people in advance, save money on the search, and get people who already understand the corporate culture
- Firms that promote more people internally are known to have a higher shareholder value
- External hires are often paid more but may perform less well than internal promotions due to ‘getting up to speed’
The caveat is to ensure that the talent chosen will succeed in the new position. Too often the top talent in a branch of a company is promoted to management, because they were experts in their field. While this may be true, it is an assumption that they will be able to extend this knowledge and be teachers/managers to new recruits. Your top grossing salesman may not have the skills to teach, nor does it mean that his ROI will increase as a manager over being a top salesman.
Before promoting, vet your current employees in the same way as your new applicants. If your company is using assessments to determine inherent traits, revisit these results in addition to performance reviews, before offering promotion.
Encourage Talent to Emerge
Encouraging talent shouldn’t stop after the hiring process. Talent-spotting means being able to compare employees’ performances and attributes. Paying attention to successes, failures, personalities, and interactions in between annual reviews, will serve your company well.
Having a concise company road map will encourage consistency in both your company and your talent pool. Maintain clearly defined goals for your business for the coming years and match these to your hiring requirements.
Developing a clear ‘career matrix‘ where the responsibilities and requirements of jobs at different levels will allow employees a path to follow and offer a baseline from which talent can emerge.
Looking inward to promote your current employees can offer a cost effective win-win solution. In the war for talent, you might find some of your future all stars are already working inside your front lines.