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Building a talent ecosystem: 3 dos and don'ts

Building a talent management ecosystem sounds like an ambitious project at first, perhaps even a major challenge. But in fact, all it requires is a shift in thinking. When HR managers recognise how truly interconnected all talent management processes are, and strategically align them instead of keeping them in silos, then a talent ecosystem naturally starts to bloom.

    What is a talent management ecosystem?

    Building a talent ecosystem means taking a holistic approach to managing your organisation's workforce. That includes every element of employee experience, from the moment a candidate first hears about your company to a former employee’s impressions after leaving. Of course, this encompasses a huge number of HR processes across different functions and teams, so it’s no surprise that talent management traditionally takes place in silos.

      Why should you build a talent ecosystem?

      A silo-ed approach to talent management inevitably leads to a fragmented employee experience and significantly hinders business growth. Take the disconnect between recruitment and development, for example. According to our latest Europe-wide research, 50% of employees say they received no training whatsoever during the past year, while 49% of employers say they currently lack the personnel to get the job done. Without a talent ecosystem, internal mobility never becomes an option.

      With that in mind, we’ve put together 3 dos and 3 don’ts from SD Worx experts: 6 tips in total to start building a talent management ecosystem that helps your business thrive.

        DO take a cross-functional approach to problem-solving

        Start applying ‘ecosystem thinking’ when talent management challenges arise. That means, the best solution can only be achieved through co-operation and collaboration between different teams and departments. Let’s say you’re experiencing a rise in attrition, for example. Taking an ecosystem approach means being thorough in investigating every possible cause of dissatisfaction, from overly high workloads to lack of benefits to IT problems, or anything else. You can then use all relevant resources and strategies from different teams to solve them.

          DO keep the employee journey in mind

          Employee experience forms the core of every well-functioning talent ecosystem, and the outcome of a successful ecosystem is a great employee experience from start to finish. By now, it’s more than proven what a difference that makes on business growth and success. Building a talent ecosystem means considering how each operational process could potentially affect employee satisfaction at different stages of the employee journey.

            DO leverage technology wisely

            Applicant tracking systems, talent management software and data analytics tools can help you identify the right candidates, track employee performance and engagement, and ultimately make data-driven decisions that help you stay competitive and efficient. Data helps a talent ecosystem bloom by providing insights into trends and opportunities within your workforce. Look for tech solutions that can be integrated into your existing HR stack to access the richest data and best user experience.

              DON'T underestimate the value of feedback

              Transparent yet supportive communication and feedback are crucial for a well-functioning talent ecosystem. Constructive feedback helps us all to understand our strengths and areas for improvement, while also creating space to collaborate better on problem-solving. That’s why it’s important not to overlook regular project reviews and evaluations: then you can adjust your ecosystem over time to better meet the needs of HR, people, and the business alike.

                DON'T neglect your internal talent pool

                While traditional, externally-focus hiring methods like recruitment firms and job boards have their place, relying on them exclusively significantly limits your talent pool. What if your best talent is right under your nose? Don't overlook the value of internal mobility, which draws from a pool of people who already meet your requirements for culture fit and industry experience.

                  DON'T try to do it all by yourself

                  It’s tempting as a leader to work on a new strategy until every detail is finalised, before eventually rolling it out within the organisation. But this is one area where too much theorising can actually hold you back, because it’s difficult to predict how changes to talent management decision-making and problem-solving will be received, and how they should be optimised. Hit the ground running by handling real-life talent challenges, and remember you can always get advice and support from an external partner when you need it.

                    Every ecosystem is always evolving. Building a talent ecosystem is not a case of restructuring your organisation dramatically overnight, but instead of implementing small, continuous changes. It’s about embracing and enhancing the interconnectedness of talent management processes, so they’re aligned towards common goals for business growth. The best place to start is learning by doing, so what are you waiting for?

                      Want to learn more about building a talent ecosystem

                        Check out our expert report
                        Azra Ahmed - Corporate Content Creator at SD Worx

                        Azra Ahmed

                        Brand Content Creator at SD Worx