In order to identify key roles moving forward, you should start by establishing an open dialogue with the leadership team in your company. Speaking with these individuals about your company's strengths and challenges provides a better understanding of which areas need to be addressed. You could also ask top performers how they think improvements could be made in the organization's functions. Establishing open conversations from the beginning, and checking in with leadership and top performers, keeps you "in the know" about necessary talents and skills. Additionally, the conversations will give you a better understanding of leaderships' thought processes regarding the organization, allowing you to more accurately anticipate future needs.
Annual employee surveys and qualitative information can also shed some light on your talent needs. Employees may be more aware than leadership of key skills needs. Delve deeply into unfavorable responses by talking with employees about the results. This helps you determine specifically any areas in which additional skills and talent are needed.
Once you identify the needs, consider how to find the best fit for the job. Think about the time and resources it takes to recruit a new candidate and whether you can find a good fit among your current employees. Talk to your top performers and ask them to suggest other ways they could contribute to the organization. Sometimes talent needs can be filled by current employees that take on more specialized roles. You should create a detailed outline of the role, including necessary skills and the position's impact on organizational outcomes. This lets those employees understand how they directly contribute to the overall goals and strategy of the company. Furthermore, develop an advancement and succession plan as part of the redefined role. Employees will appreciate being able to see how performing in a particular job helps advance their careers—and it ensures your organization is prepared to fill the role when it becomes vacant.
You likely will have a variety of applicants, should you decide to fill the role with someone outside the company. Keep these candidates on file for future talent management needs. Although these people may not be appropriate for the vacant position, having a list of their skills should help you fill more quickly fill future jobs. And it provides current goals to help these folks prepare for future opportunities when they arise.
SOURCE: Murat Philippe, director of workforce consulting services, Avatar Solutions, Chicago, Illinois
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