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Talent Optimization: How to Know Which Companies Are Doing It Well

Indre Ozalinskaite

Indre Ozalinskaite

August 09, 2022

A strong strategy and business plan give the organization a direction, but the people keep the business going. Therefore, people strategy requires just as much attention as a business strategy.

It involves more than hiring the top talent for specific roles. Having top talent doing the bare minimum is not what will help the organization become successful. To achieve key goals and have high-performing teams, business leaders need to also commit to creating a prospering work environment.

One of the frameworks that help companies achieve this goal is talent optimization.

What is talent optimization?

Talent optimization is a framework that helps companies align their people strategy with the business strategy to achieve the best results.

It's an ongoing process of how a company plans, finds, and motivates its employees to achieve the key business goals.

Talent optimization goes beyond the simple goal of having enough people to run business operations. It also covers how businesses identify the potential of their employees and help them develop and use their skills to the maximum in alignment with the business objectives.

Talent optimization is an excellent way to avoid shortfalls and get better.

What are the key components of talent optimization?

A common approach to the talent optimization process is based on 4 disciplines:

  • Diagnose
  • Design
  • Hire
  • Inspire

Talent optimization is an ongoing effort. However, depending on the company's maturity level and business context, a company might sometimes need to focus on improving a specific part of it.

talent optimization

Diagnose

Diagnostics ties all parts of talent optimization together - it's the principle of regularly monitoring a company's people data and how it aligns with business objectives to spot issues and to keep improving the existing processes.

The identified challenges give direction for further planning and actions.

A company should have talent optimization techniques and tools that help HR professionals and other responsible teams spot such issues as low employee engagement. Otherwise, the forces of such disengagement, toxic workplace culture, and poor productivity could result in poor client service and other business problems.

People data or people analytics refers to the data gathered in the organization to identify employee issues and better understand their influence on overall business goals. The depth of this data can vary depending on the organization.

A company may measure employee engagement, the correlation between workforce and organizational performance, or other factors reflecting talent optimization success.

Design

Having the required people data and knowing what challenges the business is or might be facing in talent optimization lays the basis for creating and improving its people strategy.

Here's where another part of the process, also referred to as design, comes in. It aims to define how talent, leadership, and organization's culture can help achieve the key business goals. The main goal is to ensure alignment in the organization's strategy to have high-performing teams.

According to Statista, in 2021, the key elements ensuring employee satisfaction were work-life balance, career advancement opportunities, and employers' ethics and talent.

A data-driven approach helps the company plan its people strategy that involves the points mentioned above, and identify how certain talent optimization goals will be achieved.

Hire

Hiring success is not only about filling the open job positions. The most beneficial hiring process outcome for the business is to hire the right candidates who thrive in their roles.

To make good hiring decisions, companies need reliable and high-quality data for talent recruitment, which allows them to evaluate internal and external factors related to specific roles.

office space

The easiest way to gather this information is to use innovative tools that help the organizations analyze how their existing employees are doing and hiring automation tools which help them find the best-fit talent.

When a part of a company's strategy is to grow its workforce significantly or hire for key roles, it's also beneficial to evaluate the landscape in which the company is competing for talent.

That's where high-quality employee data can help. It can show who the organization is competing against, and help source the-best fit talent.

Coresignal has over 600M employee records from 4 public web sources. To get an overview of our employee data, download the free sample below.

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  • See the sample structure of our employee JSON record
  • Explore the main employee data points
  • Find out the definition of each data point

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Inspire

This component of talent optimization focuses on how the company is inspiring people.

People who manage employees should have knowledge and talent optimization tools to inspire them and help them thrive in various career paths. Having a supportive and motivating environment is important to both new team members and existing employees.

Almost 1 in 5 workers say they would consider leaving the job because of the lack of recognition, according to G2.

people working

Talent optimization is closely following the dynamic aspects of the business. If the situation of the company changes, how is it going to affect talent?

Let's take the COVID-19 pandemic as an example. The pandemic was an unexpected external factor that shook companies across the globe, and it affected them in various ways.

The way companies adapted to the situation by implementing measures like remote work, online engagement activities, or helping employees gain new skills to adapt to the new normal is a good example of how talent optimization works.

Some challenges affected the business and the people. In order to keep working efficiently, the companies needed to diagnose the challenges, design the plan for how they will adapt, ensure that they have the people with the right skills, and inspire them to keep the teams motivated.

4 ways to evaluate talent optimization efforts in companies you're monitoring

Optimized talent management in the company is a sign of well-developed internal processes. When looking for companies to invest in, analyzing the competitive landscape, or doing market research, organizations look for reliable data about companies they are interested in, such as firmographic, company funding, or company employee review data.

At Coresignal, we offer millions of data records in 8 categories that can be used for extracting valuable insights about companies and their talent. Let's go over some talent-related metrics, which can be evaluated and monitored using alternative data.

Company employee reviews

Reviews by company employees reflect the internal environment of the company. You can see what areas or even departments of the company are in poor condition, how the leadership treats the employees, and what sentiments they have towards the organization when they work there.

Positive reviews can be interpreted as a signal that the company's HR leaders are doing well in terms of talent optimization. Therefore, it's less likely that the company is going to crumble when met with workforce-related challenges.

Headcount growth

Historical headcount growth reflects how the company is growing its teams over time which is an important metric indicating overall company performance..

Talent movement

Talent movement in companies can show significant changes in the organization and even the exchange of talent between different organizations.

Consistent growth without significant talent losses shows stability in the company, and rapid headcount growth can show that a company is doing well as well as which departments the company is strengthening to support its strategic direction.

Changes in company structure

Changes in company structure signal significant changes in the company. Most companies are planning restructuring when they are implementing a new business direction.

What's also important is what's happening with key roles such as C-level positions. Sudden or frequent changes of management are a signal of an unstable environment or period in the company, which might be worth investigating.

Conclusion

Talent optimization exists in most companies in one way or another. To do it well, many companies follow a four-part discipline, which helps them create a high-performing team, have self-awareness about how the company is doing, and achieve optimal results.

A data-driven approach allows organizations to avoid misinformed decision-making, which often stands in the way of having engaged top performers across different levels of the organization. Talent optimization protects companies and the four forces of this framework gradually make organizations more resistant to challenges. 

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