Firms must treat talent differently, claims Head Light

Head Light warns that too many HR teams adopt a mass market approach to talent

A marketing mindset can help employers to develop more effective talent relationships and create competitive advantage, says talent management software specialist Head Light.

Headlight will be presenting at the CIPD software show next week. On Thursday 18 June, Professor Nick Kemsley, co-director of the Centre for HR Excellence at Henley Business School and a non-executive director of Head Light, will highlight from his research at Henley Business School the key trends that are challenging traditional approaches to talent management and pushing HR teams to develop a marketing mindset. His presentation, entitled Seeing Talent as ‘Consumers’, will challenge delegates to view their Talent differently

“Talented people with in-demand skills are in an increasingly strong negotiating position and they’re beginning to act like career consumers,” said Ian Lee-Emery, managing director of Head Light. “The same principles that marketing teams manage their relationships with customers can be used by HR teams to create better relationships with existing talent and also to showcase the organisation to potential employees.”

A typical marketing strategy will involve identifying customers, segmenting their needs and creating an appealing proposition.

“These principles apply equally to talent,” said Lee-Emery. “You have an audience, you need to understand what they want, and you can segment them according to their needs and create a proposition that will engage them. The secret is having the right data. Just as marketers will use insights about consumers and the marketplace, HR teams can use talent insights to better understand the needs of talented employees and to create a more consumer-led approach to career management.”

While marketing teams will aim to treat customers as individuals, Head Light warns that too many HR teams adopt a mass market approach to talent.

“Organisations need to treat talent differently, using an individually-tailored approach, not a one-size-fits-all process.

“It’s vital that line managers can engage with individuals, have a proper career dialogue with them and listen and respond to their needs. A key challenge for HR is to help line managers to move away from a ‘lowest common denominator’ approach and instead provide more flexible and tailored support for each individual. This is where talent management software can make a real difference, as it helps to have readily accessible information on people’s capabilities, how they’re performing, their career ambitions, how engaged they are, what motivates them and whether their needs are being met. Predictive analytics and insights can also help to determine future needs, so that better talent management decisions can be made.” 

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