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What is Total Talent Management?: The Myths and Realities

Posted by Travis O'Rourke, Head of Hays Talent Solutions, Canada on Monday, Oct 16, 2017

Myths and realities of total talent managementDriven by a number of market forces the contingent workforce is growing rapidly, and those companies who learn to better navigate this new landscape will gain a distinct advantage. This is where "total talent management", or TTM, comes in. TTM is a progressive workforce strategy that aims to optimize the management of a mixed permanent and contingent workforce by combining all hiring processes into a single pipeline, giving a holistic view of the workforce and the talent pool. A lot of organizations are considering TTM but few have fully committed, partly because of a lack of understanding. Based on our client experience, here are a few common myths about TTM, and the reality.

Myth: My organization will be shoehorned into a fixed process
Reality: There is no one-size-fits-all process, program or formula when implementing TTM. While it’s important to have a clear process, every company is different, from their sizes, industries, locations, the nature of cyclical demand, how often they face skills gaps, and many other factors. Therefore, every solution will be unique. When building out a TTM approach to managing a company’s workforce it is important to consider the requirements of all internal stakeholder while taking the company’s individual needs into account. Leveraging third party solution providers can provide proven methodologies and systems to help. In addition, agility is key because your company’s needs will change and TTM offers one of the best opportunities to incorporate flexibility into your strategy.

Myth: I will lose strategic oversight and hand over decision-making to a third-party
Reality: Actually, with TTM you will increase your degree of strategic oversight. Many organizations know little about their contingent workforce, and hiring - especially of temps - is typically done in a decentralized, siloed manner. The right partner to help you implement TTM is just that - a partner, someone who helps you get a bird’s eye view of your talent supply and talent demand. In TTM, you own the program and the strategic direction, while your partner manages the day-to-day tactics and implementation.

Myth: TTM will be costly to implement
Reality: There are upfront costs, but in the long run TTM will actually drive cost savings and boost productivity by getting the right workers into the right roles at the right time. For example, say you have a lot of cyclical patterns to your workforce levels - maybe you bring in adjusters or benefit administrators every six months - imagine if you could use the same talent each time. You’d save money training new people, and reduce risk because you’ve already seen them on the job. So while you may find that initially you need to invest in new technology or your employer value proposition, through the course of the program you will see a significant return on investment as you eliminate unnecessary headcount, consolidate spend, and decrease overall third party costs.

Myth: Since TTM is new to North America, the best move is to let other companies go first, and wait until suppliers have a clear track record of success
Reality: Talent scarcity is real and the contingent workforce is growing, as is the need for larger companies to be able to respond quickly to market needs. This is the reality of the situation now - why don’t you have a strategy for this? It’s much better to proactively plan ahead than to apply reactive, band-aid solutions after problems arise. Furthermore, as a first mover, you can position yourself as a progressive organization that understands and accommodates the desired working patterns of today’s workers. TTM is common internationally, so look for a supplier with international experience and case studies so you can be confident in their capability, while still being at the forefront of recruitment innovation.

How to implement TTM
The key to the successful implementation of TTM is to pick the right partner. Just because a company is a good MSP doesn’t mean it has the resources to be your total talent management partner. To be fully effective you need a company that has big-picture expertise, industry and functional experts, as well as the database capabilities and tech support to help you be successful. In addition, a solution provider that is willing to challenge conventional norms around talent management will deliver the creativity and innovation which drives success.

Hays has 20 specialist divisions, as well as global knowledge and local expertise. We’d love to talk to you about how TTM could benefit your organization - contact us today and take our diagnostic to identify your recruitment pain points!

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