Few businesses were prepared for the upheavals caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Some businesses shut down; others focused on sustaining themselves and finding new ways to work virtually. But many paused their talent processes, thinking they weren’t essential for the organization’s survival.
Now, the opposite has proven true: supply of talent is just as critical as supply chain. During and after a crisis, organizations can learn the answers to two key questions about talent:
Knowing the answers to these questions is critical as we recover from the pandemic. You can start answering them by following these three tips that will help you rethink your talent management processes. In turn, you’ll be more prepared to thrive, keep your organization ahead of the pack and build the workforce you need for the world today.
Now that most organizations are in crisis recovery mode, there’s no better time to evaluate your leaders. Did they rise to the occasion under pressure, challenge the norm and venture fearlessly into uncharted territory, or crumble under the pressure?
For those leaders who withered in the crisis, look back at your talent management processes and ask yourself the following questions. Do you follow a data-driven talent acquisition process and assessment process? Did you follow that process in hiring or promoting this person? If you have a process and followed it, then you need to question whether you have the right data to make smart talent decisions.
Even if you do have the right data, you may be using it to make the wrong decisions. So, if your data goes against the prevailing viewpoint in your organization, your managers might tend to dismiss the data and go with their gut.
The key purpose of your talent management process is to determine who is best positioned to lead your organization now and into the future.
To assess your leaders and high potentials, conduct virtual talent reviews and consider how they are responding to the challenges of the pandemic. If the data, both qualitative and quantitative, shows that they aren’t responding well, have the humility to challenge your assumptions and the courage to make decisions based on the data.
As you rethink the future of leaders in your organization, consider what other capabilities will be critical to your future success.
To ensure your assessment process remains objective and data-driven, create and assess candidates against a Success Profile.
When you conduct your reviews, look for the following characteristics in your leaders:
When COVID-19 hit, organizations had to immediately implement virtual processes to sustain their business. However, HR talent management processes don’t lend themselves to being dropped into a virtual setting. If your organization recruits virtually and offers e-learning, it’s likely taken years for your talent acquisition and learning and development teams to refine their approach.
So, instead of trying to accomplish your talent reviews the same way you would on Zoom as you would in person, you need to consider how you’ll engage employees and encourage a dialogue when you’re not in the same room. Here are some suggestions to plan out your virtual talent management processes based on our own experience with delivering assessments:
Our clients tell us that they believe in-person management processes are essential for talent reviews and senior executive coaching. They think physical presence is required to create intimacy, so they’re reluctant to move to a virtual talent management process.
That runs counter to our experience. We’ve helped many clients conduct virtual talent reviews. And, in most cases, leaders report that the virtual environment is liberating. Unlike face-to-face meetings, which can become competitive and defensive, leaders find virtual meetings to be a safe space where they can be curious, remain open to different views and engage in dialogue.
The key to a successful virtual talent review is twofold. First, shift your mindset and think about how you can work to build credibility, reliability and trust on screen. Second, look for technology platforms with features and functionality that make it easier for participants to connect and share.
You probably hadn’t thought about how to crisis-proof your talent management processes until the pandemic struck. But it’s never too late to respond — nor is it ever too early to prepare for the next crisis. No matter how your business has transformed, you need the right leaders to guide you, and that means you need the right talent management processes to identify those leaders.
The tips mentioned here and in our downloadable guide will help you make preliminary steps towards transformation. But if you’re ready for a deeper dive, get in touch with our consultants and we’ll show you how to develop processes that will prepare your organization for whatever is next.