By Jim Wong, CPA | July 2, 2013

As a growing organization (especially if you’re small to mid-size), talent management should be a key consideration within your business strategy. If overlooked, it can quickly become problematic, and potentially harmful to your business.

In fact, many times, companies “don’t recognize until it’s too late just how much value is being lost owing to immature talent development, retention, evaluation, and recruitment processes.” cautions Forbes contributor, Bill Millar.

Even with the proper tools to recruit and retain top accounting and finance talent, many companies struggle to ensure those they hire are the right fit for their organization’s business model.

Talent Management Needs Strategy
According to a recent Forbes Insights report, only one in ten companies, making $50 million to $500 million in revenues, have a talent management strategy aligned with their business model.

Accurately assessing talent is often overlooked due to success in other aspects of the business. This can detract from the overall importance of role preparedness. And, when a company gets to the point where they can no longer operate as a small business, it’s often too late to sit down and think about a talent management strategy.

This process has to be proactive. Unfortunately, even in larger organizations, the “mindset is still small-company, so the management won’t act until it starts to really hurt the company,” CEO of Korn/Ferry International Consulting, Ana Dutra.

It’s Never Too Early to Be Strategic 
Regardless of what stage of growth your organization is in, a strategic talent management program can help to achieve business objectives. Millar suggests three tools for companies to consider when implementing a strategy for talent:

  • Objective Metrics: Clearly define roles and goals, and address incentives and advancement.
  • Strategic Alignment: Ensure your strategy is measurable, and can be tied back to your business strategy. This helps talent see the affect they had on the business and their relevance to the organization.
  • Targeted Training and Development: Establish a program to mentor high-potential employees, and consider rotational assignments to afford them exposure to a wide range of functions within the company.

The Time for Implementation is Now
Ideally, the time to invest in a talent management strategy should be before the onboarding process begins. Take a critical look at your business strategy, and begin to develop required roles. Then outline the ideal qualities expected of candidates you’d like to fill those roles.

To avoid the pitfall of recruiting individuals for immediate needs instead of looking for long-term roles within your organization, be proactive and strategic. Immediate hiring can create a layer of mid-management, but it is not a reliable strategy for future leadership growth.

It is essential to the success of your organization to have a talent management strategy in place. Review the amount of time spent in business strategy, and compare it to time spent in managing talent and leadership development. Strive to make these investments as equal as possible, and commit to acquire and keep the best talent for your organization.

What’s your talent management strategy like? If you don’t have one, why not?

This article originally appeared on Clear Focus Financial Search.

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