Talent relationship management is the future

By now, it’s clear that companies target younger and younger audiences in order to build a faithful and loyal consumer or lifelong client.

The fast food company McDonalds has done this cleverly with their happy meals for kids. The cigarette brand Joe Camel made an overt attempt to target a younger crowd and get them hooked on cigarettes (at a time when health concerns and government legislations, such as the public smoke ban, cut into the bottom line of the tobacco industry).

Speaking from personal experience, parents nowadays receive countless offers from insurance companies, giveaways by post and the likes …all to gain customer loyalty. One insurance broker said the bank even had a plan to target babies by selling parents child insurance packages, with the ultimate objective to get the child, soon to be adult, to become a lifelong client and invest their pension with the bank–frightening? I think so!

The examples of companies that target kids are many. Now, employer branding professionals are starting to think long-term and actively build relationships as soon as possible. Some may think this is unethical, but from another perspective, isn’t it great to provide career inspiration from an early age? Surely, an individual is still given the free choice to decide what’s right for him or her, and the parents are always there to provide further guidance. For employer branding professionals managing relations from the start is a clever thing to do. If you want to secure your talent pipeline, it’s best to do it by targeting youngsters and trying to maintain the relationship along their path of personal development–by doing so you not only secure a potential future hire, a top talent, but also a loyal consumer. And if the relationship is mutually beneficial, your prospect will value your brand for life and speak highly of it to others–surely, that must be invaluable.

So who does this? We saw in previous UQ articles examples of companies that target them young and get involved in education to ensure the quality of future talent. The National Institute of Health in the US and the European Space Agency believe that as well as an end-user interest, they have a duty to promote science and engineering education to young people. The cooperation between government and the private sector to ensure that future generations meet the skill requirements needed by companies is well-known in several markets around the world. But can anyone recall, companies going to their school to speak about what it’s like to work there, aside from a policeman or a firefighter speaking about the importance of road safety and fire prevention? Most of us don’t have one single memory of an employer inspiring us to work for them and true enough most of us probably aspired to be policemen, fire fighters, teachers or nurses at first. That was back in the 80s but perhaps that’s now changing. Or can we assume that employers are still not doing enough and are too short-term focused?

For today’s parents, we will see if any employers inspire our children to work for them, and leave a lasting impression. World demographics are going through seismic movements in several countries, as the reverse pyramid becomes no longer a forecast but a reality – a good example of this is Japan. Employers might be able to fill all positions today, but what will happen five to ten years down the line? Does your company have a strategy to build relationships from the beginning? If not, you better wake up and smell the coffee.

What is talent relationship management?

Let’s define the words individually. Talent can be defined as a group of people with special abilities. A relationship involves a connection, association, or involvement with talent in some manner or form. And management, last but not least, is how one person or department controls and directs the whole process from identifying the talent to creating engagement. In short, it’s how and what organizations do to build relationships with talent—both with people inside the organization and those outside.

Externally, talent relationship management would involve maintaining some sort of communications and contact with people who might be a good fit to your organisation or who are potentially interested in joining one day. Instead of ignoring external applications or sending standardized responses, candidates should feel that the company appreciates their interest in a position. For the hard-to-fill positions, employers should spend appropriate time to build a relationship with candidates, like giving them an inside tour of the company or an opportunity to mingle informally with co-workers.

Internally, employers need to build a strong relationship with their top performing employees. Employers should always look internally to fill positions so employees don’t look elsewhere and managers should have the foresight to help their people in their team progress in their career individually. Retaining your key performers is essentially done by continuously recruiting them to stay.

This article, was originally published by Universum Communications.