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Sourcing talent, succession planning and the key to hiring the best for your business

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As we have read the UK's skills shortage is becoming more acute and therefore risks becoming a barrier to economic recovery. It is essential that we learn to utilise all of the tools available to not only source the correct talent where and when we need it but also to ensure that we are providing opportunities for this talent to be nurtured and grown once acquired to make sure that our businesses strive for excellence and reach their potential. This is not only true for growing businesses but also for the large multinationals where successes are won by individuals performing at their best. This can only happen by inspiring those within the business to prove themselves and offering them rewarding careers within the organisation.

We have seen in previous blogs by The Consultancy Group, how sourcing this talent initially can be a challenge but it can be overcome by building trusting and effective partnerships to provide you with the best talent in the market for your requirements.

Our first and best line of approach is obviously to ensure that we hire the best talent initially. As mentioned previously the talent pool for extraordinary hires is rapidly shrinking and competition for these sought-after employees is stronger than ever and we can see this clearly in the market with candidates receiving multiple offers at any one time. We cannot rely purely on the strength of our brand to secure the selected candidate. A good method to ensure that you have a strong pipeline of talent in the business is to determine your most important and frequently recruited roles and begin talent pools in these areas and build effective succession planning programmes around this to make sure you cultivate this talent in the best way possible. 

Hiring manager and recruiter skills combined are the most important influences on quality of hiring so we must work together to make sure that we source the best talent in the market. We must measure candidates' motivational and behavioural capabilities (A combination that can serve as a very good indicator of whether a selected candidate would be a 'high performer') in order to ensure that initial hire is the right one.

With the search for 'top talent' in our markets becoming ever more important it is inevitable that businesses will lose this talent to competitors and this is where succession planning and building a successful talent pipeline becomes increasingly important. The only way to reduce the effect of lost leadership is through a strong succession planning program that identifies and fosters the next generation of leaders through mentoring, training and stretching assignments, so they are ready to take the helm when the time comes.

It is important to get the balance right though. It becomes tempting to invest heavily into the select few that are identified as 'future leaders'. The benefit of focusing on high-potential workers is you can channel more resources and coaching toward those employees with the greatest promise. The risk is that you overlook great people and alienate and frustrate the rest of the employees, which can impact morale and turnover. The most successful organisations focus on everyone. 

It's not just recruiting. After recruiting, it's building an environment that makes people feel that they are surrounded by equally talented people and their work is bigger than they are. The feeling that the work will have tremendous influence and is part of a strong, clear vision is key. We must take advantage of all the avenues available to us to ensure that we source and nurture talent across the market to give our employees the best chance to succeed in the workplace and as a result allow our businesses to retain talent and knowledge within the organisation which is the key to success.

We would welcome your comments and personal views relating to this topic.