Loopline Systems Blog

Winning the War for Talent by not Fighting It

Posted by Sarah Lindner on March 25, 2015


“You don’t have to fight to win“

Applying Bernhard Moestl’s account of ancient Shaolin principles to Talent Management may seem like a stretch – but we believe that is exactly the answer to decades of discussion on the War for Talent.

Moestl describes how, in certain circumstances, it can be wiser to not go to war with bigger weapons and new techniques. Sometimes, he argues, the smartest way to win the fight is to move from the battlefield.

If your talent management strategy is to constantly try to find better, stronger and more innovative ways to source talent, your recruitment costs will rise to enormous levels. To prevent getting caught up in the spiral of fluctuation and continuously having to recruit new talent, we propose tackling the problem in a different way. Great talent management is not about hiring alone but managing the talent you already have. We are convinced that prioritization of talent management in your organization is the key to success.

What Situation are We Confronting?

The term “War for Talent” is hardly a new one. It was first coined in 1997 by Steven Hankin of McKinsey and Company- and yet, nearly two decades later, it is still more relevant than ever.

Specifically, the “War for Talent” refers to an increasingly competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining employees.

The phenomenon has only intensified since the term was first implemented, primarily due to demographic shifts, especially in the United States and Europe, as well as an aging and shrinking labor force. As a result, HR departments are facing a shortage of qualified employees to replace retiring Babyboomers.

43 percent of executives surveyed worldwide maintain that talent sourcing is a moderate to severe challenge, making it one of the biggest risk factors in achieving high performance for their companies. In fact, nearly 60 percent of HR departments envisage changing their Talent Acquisition or Analytics platform within the next two years. (1)

Investing in Talent Management is the Solution

There are three distinct steps you can start implementing today, in order to increase your chances of retaining top talent.

1. Change of Mindset: Prioritize Talent Management in the Whole Organization

Ilaria Gregotti, global lead for talent management at KPMG speaks of a “need to take a more strategic approach to addressing talent management activities within organizations” compared to just five or ten years ago.

“In our point of view, talent is everyone in the organization, and focusing on the top 5-10% of high potentials isn´t enough to address capability gaps.”

Therefore, Gregotti says, talent management should be owned at the executive level, rather than simply making HR responsible for it. Ideally, HR would support and guide the business by providing key insights, but the business as a whole should own the talent agenda. (2)

2. Offer a Platform of Growth and Success

So what now? Having the whole organization on board in your mission to manage talent is an important first step but not a very actionable one. Next, you will need a platform to help managers implement talent management into your organization. By helping them lead via performance management system, you will be able to decrease your turnover rate by 15.2% per year. (3)

3. Let them Prosper!

With your new management mindset in place and an effective performance management system to work with at hand - you are ready to develop and thereby keep your best employees. As Millennials tend to ask what a company can give to them, rather than what they can give to the company, those were vital steps retain your talent: You offer a perspective of growth and development.

Superior talent will be tomorrow's prime source of competitive advantage, so your efforts will be rewarded. Following the steps above will help maximize your success of winning the ongoing war for talent- by not fighting it.


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Topics: HR Trends, HR Solutions

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