Business Tips··7 min read

Explained: Talent Optimization And Hiring

Explained: Talent Optimization And Hiring

There are many buzzwords related to the recruitment process – one of them is talent optimization. If employee performance at your company is below average, then this is one of those buzzwords you should absolutely pay attention to. But what exactly does talent optimization and hiring involve?

Read on to find out more about talent strategies and optimization.

What's talent optimization?

Talent Optimization is a new and increasingly popular discipline that allows you to align your business strategy with your people strategy to maximize organizational performance. In the past, most businesses made the mistake of solely focusing on developing their business strategy while failing to optimize their workforce.

That meant there was no shortage of "people problems" in the workplace which inadvertently affected business results. The truth is that companies and business leaders can not achieve the business goals they want without mapping people to their business strategies.

Fortunately, talent optimization provides the framework and tools to create effective teams and hiring processes.

The right talent optimization strategies enable you to assess the level of engagement and implement corrective actions that steer the company toward desired results.

As a four-part discipline, talent optimization paves the way for a strong culture that helps you easily attract and retain the best talent. It all starts by prioritizing employees and linking business strategy to business results.

How to integrate talent optimization into your hiring strategy

You can achieve optimal business results by integrating talent optimization into your talent recruitment strategy in the following ways:

  • Be clear about job requirements. It's essential to clearly communicate what the job entails to set the right expectations. It's often encouraged to use the talent optimization maturity model to assess your organization's performance when defining and communicating job requirements. Make sure you hire people who can help you reach your business goals, as well as being a good culture fit for your team.
  • Use candidate data to make informed decisions. How do you know a particular candidate is the right fit for your company when hiring? Too often, companies dive into the hiring process and make offers without factoring in things like candidate skills, behavioral profile, values, and cognitive ability. This is a typical example of talent optimization gaps that ultimately result in poor job performance.
  • Provide training for recruitment teams. Many hiring managers and recruitment teams lack the know-how to attract and engage top talent. Therefore, it's necessary to prepare and equip the people in charge of hiring talent. For instance, the company can partner with a talent optimization support center to drive profitable hiring decisions. You can also provide management with talent optimization workday materials that facilitate better talent acquisition.

Four things you should know about talent optimization and hiring

To help you further understand how talent optimization works, here are some things to keep in mind.

Talent optimization has four essential truths

When the topic of talent optimization comes up, these four essential truths are often mentioned in terms of achieving business success:

  • Talent optimization occurs within the business context. This only means that your business strategy is part and parcel of your talent optimization activities, and there's a strong link between the two. Talent optimization guides your people strategy as well as your actions and decisions. Hence it can only exist within the business context.
  • People data powers talent optimization. To implement effective talent strategies, you need to collect and measure people analytics data. Otherwise, you can't make objective decisions or predict how well your team will perform or fit within the organization. From senior leadership and business executives, all the way to individual contributors, you should collect data.
  • Talent optimization requires everyone to participate. The only way to ensure your talent optimization efforts are successful is to encourage leaders and employees to embrace this discipline. Be transparent with people data to raise awareness and motivate the right behaviors. so you can create a company culture your employees can believe in.
  • Talent optimization combats disengagement. Every company should strive to improve employee engagement since it impacts productivity and the bottom line. Talent optimization addresses the key causes of employee disengagement, such as misalignment with the job requirements and failure to get along with management or the team.

It sets you up for business success

Why should you care about talent optimization? The best answer is that it gets you the business results you want, and there can be no greater motivation than this. In a nutshell, talent optimization promotes employee engagement. An engaged workforce is crucial to achieving valuable and profitable results.

Recently organizations have been feeling the effect of talent shortages, so it's necessary to develop an effective talent optimization and hiring strategy. This keeps your business competitive and helps you stay afloat when the economy gets tougher, so you can safely continue crushing your business objectives.

When things are going well, you want to create the kind of organizational culture that attracts applicants, so in times of crisis, that company company culture can attract the kind of people you need.

It comprises four aptitudes

Here's a quick look at the four phases of talent optimization:

  • Diagnose. Talent optimization is backed by people data. By collecting relevant people data, you can pinpoint the root cause of people problems. Early diagnosis also nips potential problems in the bud before they cost the organization. Overall, diagnosis helps you understand people better, which has a bearing on other crucial phases of talent optimization.
  • Design. You can design and create an effective and efficient people strategy when you have relevant people data on hand. When designing your people strategy, always remember it must align with your business strategy. The talent optimization process should describe what kind of people you want to hire, what team performance and business outcomes you want to achieve. Based on that, you can take improvement actions or create plans for hiring your future employees.
  • Hire. During this phase, you need to define and communicate job requirements clearly. You should also assess whether the candidate is a good fit for the organization based on various factors. In addition, leaders should have the training and know-how to engage top talent. In this stage, you'll find out if there are any blind spots in your organization, such as skill gaps preventing you from reaching key business goals and the best financial performance.
  • Inspire. After hiring for key roles, you still need to inspire your team to perform better. You can do this by continuing with efforts to understand your team better and focusing on employee-centric activities that improve the employee experience. Make sure individual employees know how they contribute not only to business operations but also to the overall business venture success.

The talent optimization framework includes five assessments

Here are critical factors you need to assess with the talent optimization framework:

  • Behavior: a behavioral assessment helps you understand candidate personality traits so you can help employees succeed in their roles. Hiring people with the wrong kind of behavior can lead to problems such as poor client service or even worse, creating a toxic workplace culture.
  • Job description: Job assessment is crucial to ensure the requirements and the selected candidate are a good match. Creating great job descriptions is one of the most important talent optimization tools for your workforce strategy.
  • Cognitive abilities: This helps you choose candidates with the required cognitive abilities for a particular role. Having the right cognitive abilities is the key element for all individual contributors to be successful in their career paths, as well as helping reach your company's strategic goals.
  • Employee engagement: Employee engagement assessment checks the level of employee engagement and prompts corrective action where necessary. You can improve by enrolling employees in training programs such as online courses and showing them the impact they have on business growth. Make sure to run an annual survey (or more frequently) to determine the engagement levels.
  • Strategy: Strategy assessment helps you to align teams with your business strategy. Effective leaders make strategic decisions about hiring as a critical aspect of company growth.

Time to develop your talent optimization strategy

It's natural for successful companies to have high-performing teams. That's why HR professionals should never ignore their biggest assets – the people that strive daily to achieve company objectives.

If you want to maximize ROI, improve job satisfaction and find best-fit talent, you can never go wrong with talent optimization. Now that you have a better understanding of talent optimization, it's time to close the talent gap and get the results you want.

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