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9 Best Practices for Effective Talent Management


Businesses and researchers are finding more and more that people are not just the heart of most companies but the indicator of the company’s success. Despite this, according to SHRM, 83% of HR professionals have difficulty recruiting positions, and according to the US department of labor, the turnover rate in 2020 was 53% making effective talent management (or the practice of recruiting and retaining talent) even more important for businesses to grow and thrive.

What is Talent Management?

Talent management is how companies manage and plan their human capital needs by recruiting, hiring, and retaining talent.

Top 9 Talent Management Best Practices for 2021

This year companies are balancing different priorities. Many companies are focused on DEI initiatives and deciding between remote workforce or bring talent back into the office. Setting your company up with strong talent management can help you be successful in the shifting objectives every year by having a foundation of top talent.

1. Develop an Organizational Culture That Supports Talent Management

The first step will be to develop an organizational culture that can support talent management. The Harvard Business Review highlights two common pitfalls: companies either don’t anticipate needs for talent or rely on a bureaucratic system to move talent through promotions and succession planning. Neither system works because it doesn’t account for modern-day business- and the more volatile business environment. Simply creating a culture that recognizes talent management roles and assigns those roles can help with its success.

2. Set Expectations and Business Goals

Effective talent management begins by anticipating your company’s needs. As you set yearly goals, consider the people that are needed to accomplish those goals. Then decide what roles and talent are needed and what recruiting and retention will have to be to fill/keep those roles. When you look ahead, you also give yourself time to hire the right fit and time to accomplish those goals. Talent management should be interwoven with your business goals.

3. Get More Strategic in HR

Having an HR that is strategic about its plans, company culture, and talent needs to help the talent management function. For some organizations talent management will be one function of an HR team, while other organizations may have talent management tasks divided among teams or as one part of a team member’s objectives- regardless you’ll want to create a strong tie between talent management and HR.

Specific strategy and questions your team may want to consider:
  • Forecasting talent needs
    What headcount will be needed? What are department goals- and what talent is needed to hit those goals? What was our retention rate last year, how many will we need to hire to replace?
  • Cost-effectively developing talent
    What’s the professional development budget? How can we use inside resources to up-level talent? What resources/training will we need to outsource?
  • Hiring internally vs externally
    How do we see roles being filled? Have we done a talent assessment?
  • Reducing bottlenecks in internal talent promotion
    How many employees were internally promoted last year?

4. Implement Talent Review and Feedback Process

A key part of effective talent management is review and evaluation- without a talent review, it’s incredibly difficult to plan and make decisions around talent. A talent review is a chance for your company to map out where you see talent moving, and assess what talent needs you to have. To implement a talent review, you will want to decide the timing and evaluation process. For timing, you could decide yearly, quarterly, or when positions need to be filled, but as we mentioned before, the sooner you can anticipate these needs the faster you can fill positions. For evaluations, many companies use the 9 box grid to evaluate talent in a review. This grid is based on performance and potential. The 9 box grid system, when effectively used, can help inform future promotions and needs within the company.

5. Provide Consistent Support and Performance Appraisals

Providing consistent feedback and support in the form of a performance appraisal and other feedback can help keep employees engaged and retain employees. According to research done by Sage HR, 39% of the workforce feels underappreciated and undervalued and workers that receive no feedback are 98% more likely to be disengaged. To combat these feelings, consider how often feedback will be given (most experts encourage more than once a year) and how you will support employees between performance cycles. Creating an effective feedback loop helps keep employees and engaged and committed to your company.

6. Conduct Surveys to Measure Employee Satisfaction

Just as you review employees, you should review your company itself. Employee surveys and satisfaction checks can reveal a lot about the company and what areas need support. Especially given the pandemic and the shifting needs of the workforce, a survey is a great chance to anonymously check in with your workforce. Employee surveys help with engagement, but creating action from that survey is even better so as you assess surveys be sure to determine what tangible action you can take based on the survey on a survey.

7. Encourage Professional Development for Employees

Employee development should be a staple within talent management practices. According to SHRM, 75% of HR professionals say there is a shortage of skills in candidates for job openings making job training at any level (and community partnerships for talent creation long term) necessary. Creating or maintaining a budget for professional development is important both culturally and competitively. For company culture, professional development can indicate to employees their value and support DEI initiatives by reskilling diverse groups. From a business sense, professional development helps keep your company competitive by keeping up with talent needs. It also reduces turnover and can help with productivity.

8. Increase the Visibility of Talent Management Initiative

If talent management is to truly be a part of your company culture, the goals and actions must be known by the company or at least some awareness.

9. Measure, Optimize, and Monitor Talent Management with Software

Talent management software can improve companies’ recruiting and hiring practices. Top talent has high expectations for companies, and with the tighter labor market, you need to meet those expectations to find the right fit. From the first time they interact with your company all the way to being hired, it’s a culture you create. The software can automate processes so you can focus more on individual time and move talent through the funnel.

Streamline the way you evaluate, hire, and onboard talent with CAVU

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is Talent Management Important?

People are the biggest asset companies have; thus, how people are hired, onboarded, promoted, and retained all is crucial to a company’s success. Talent management creates a strategy for each of these buckets so companies can find and keep their biggest asset.

How Does Talent Management Differ From HR?

HR as a department runs multiple functions, including compensation, employee relations, labor laws, etc. Talent management happens to be within HR as it’s one of the many functions that fall under HR.

What Is the Role of HR in Talent Management?

HR needs to lead talent management efforts. However, because HR serves so many critical business operations and company culture functions, how those functions intersect with talent management should be considered.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting, or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.