Making Talent a Top Priority – From HR Department to the C-Suite


The war on talent will not be an easy one to win. Dr. Greg Barnett, SVP of Science at The Predictive Index, shares tips to align your business and talent strategies to achieve success.

When thinking about your company’s business goals for 2020, do the words talent strategy come to mind? If not, you’re not alone. Most companies don’t have talent strategiesOpens a new window , and those that do aren’t mapping those strategies to business objectives. In today’s war on talent, businesses that align talent and business goals are more likely to attract and retain exemplary employees while also cutting costs. This year, when devising a talent strategy to achieve optimal business results, it is essential to keep the following things in mind.

Bad hires are prevalent

A recent reportOpens a new window found that employees are a company’s most significant expense and most valuable asset. While you might think this is a given, in 2019, executives shared that 51% of employees hired did not end up being an excellent behavioral or cognitive fit for the company. Ask yourself, what percentage of your company costs can be attributed to employee-related? You will most likely find that over 60% of your company’s values are related to employees and labor costsOpens a new window . Now imagine almost half of that amount being thrown away. On the face of it, this seems inherently inefficient and yet business leaders end up repeating this process year after year.

Once a talent strategy is in place, how can business leaders bolster retentionOpens a new window ? The same report also found that when companies implement talent strategies, turnover rates dropped to an average of only 17%. Losing high performers slows down strategic initiatives, hurts morale, and increases costs. Research from Cascio (2006)Opens a new window and Mitchell, Holtom, and Lee (2001)Opens a new window estimated that the direct and indirect damages of turnover could be anywhere from 90-200% of the exiting employee’s salary.

Keep your entire organization aligned

Now that you have a talent strategy, what’s next? Too often, there’s a disconnect between strategy creation and execution, which ultimately leads to business inefficiencies. Think of the talent strategy as part of the blueprint of your company.  It needs to work in tandem with your financial plan and organizational structure to build a robust framework that will help your company succeed.

Everyone within your organization must understand your strategies inside and out. From the C-Suite to junior staff, everyone needs to know how their work contributes to the success of the business. This alignment starts at the top and flows down to the hiring process. You can go through hundreds of applicants that have the right talent for the open position, but will they fit into the culture? It is critical that before a single interview is held, that all levels of the hiring team know what qualities are required to find the right fit for the company.  Executives can make the process easier by clearly displaying the business’s goals and strategies to the entire organization to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Learn More: 9 Best Strategies to Retain Your EmployeesOpens a new window

Engagement is everything

Employee engagementOpens a new window is essential for unveiling how companies can get the most out of their people and retain top talentOpens a new window . With 58% of U.S. employers unable to find skilled talent to fill job openings, understanding how to keep existing ability engaged is vital. According to a recent report, only 71% of the U.S. workforce feel engaged at work. When an employee is involved in their work, they go the extra mile to move the company’s mission forward. Most executives think that they have to choose between employee fulfillment and employee productivity, but this is not true, both can be achieved with the right tools.

Creating a motivating company culture, providing opportunities for growth, communicating employee feedbackOpens a new window , and providing your employees with a healthy work-life balance are just a few ways you can improve employee engagement within your organization. Employee experience surveys can also be an excellent way for senior business leaders to learn what areas of the business strategy are working best, and which ones need to be improved. These surveys might bring to light what employee’s within your organization value most. For example, while free snacks might seem important, employees may prefer leaving early on Fridays to beat traffic. The sooner you embrace the idea that engagement is beneficial for employees and employers alike, the sooner you can address engagement gaps and see results.

Learn More: Added Value of a PEO: Ensuring Better Recruitment and RetentionOpens a new window

The key to unlocking results

Talent strategy isn’t some buzzword that’ll come and go. It’s becoming a permanent fixture of executive planning. As a car needs fuel, businesses need both a business strategy and a talent strategy. When these strategies are aligned and put into action, overall business performance will improve.

Do share tips for aligning your business and talent strategies with us on FacebookOpens a new window , LinkedInOpens a new window , or TwitterOpens a new window