High-performing junior staff and high potentials are vital for the survival of any company. They fill key positions and shape transformation processes. Thanks to their outstanding performance, the company can react faster, more creatively and more nimbly to the challenges of the time. Their productivity is particularly high, and their skills are critical to the success of the company. But these special team players are rare on the labour market. The term “war for talents” is well known. It was coined in 1997 by the management consultancy McKinsey and is more topical today than ever. The competition for talent is fierce. Especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, which must compete with large corporations on the labour market. To find and retain talent and high potentials, to empower and promote them, strategic talent management is a core task. And some even see it as the top issue of the future for companies.

Talent – what is that anyway?

“Talent” is a word that smacks of the elitist. After all, who has talent? Isn’t there hidden potential in every human being? Even if the definition of talent varies among scholars, there is a consensus on one point: a talent excels through special achievements. The Latin “talentum” translates as a special gift or ability. But having the potential is one thing. Using it in such a way that it generates the desired and potentially significant added value for the company is another. This requires a holistic and strategic talent management that is closely interlinked with competence management.

Implementing Talent Management Systematically

Talent management is about filling the most important key positions and thus about the future viability of the company. It is developed from the corporate strategy and is not only the task of HR managers, but also the responsibility of the company’s management. The development of a suitable talent management concept is based on qualitative and quantitative personnel requirements: Which talents does the company need for which key positions? Which retirements in critical positions are due and when? Are expansion plans to be considered? A systematic approach is used to analyse which specific positions and roles need to be filled by high potentials in the short, medium, and long term. The required competences and requirement profiles are defined for the needs. Once a company knows the current and future demand for talent, the search for talent begins: How does the company find the right talent? And which talents does the company already have on board?

Finding, Promoting and Retaining the Right Talent

The search for qualified and suitable talents is about finding the employees and potential future employees who fit the company’s requirements with their special performance and high potential. The goal of talent management is to systematically and in a focused way find the special employees that the company needs to achieve the set company goals. Talent and position in the company must be a good match. To achieve this, the focus is on the achievements, the current performance, and the individual goals for the future. With a clear profile of the requirements and the key position to be filled, the necessary transparency is created to find the right talent for the company. Systematically identifying and integrating high potentials is an important basis for succession planning. Especially for critical roles and positions in the company, it is important to act with the appropriate lead time. If it is foreseeable that a key position will have to be filled in the future, the suitable successor should be identified at an early stage. Sufficient lead time can prevent valuable knowledge from being lost in the succession process.

Challenges in medium-sized Companies

Recruiting new talent is also about the external impact of the company: Does the employer brand have the desired external impact? Is the company attractive for talents? This is where medium-sized companies face challenging competition for talented employees from large corporations, as their brand, product or service is less well known. With a well-thought-out employer branding strategy, they open up the best possible opportunities to attract talent. In addition to the right personnel marketing, suitable personnel planning and development also pave the way.

SMEs have a wide range of instruments at their disposal for developing and retaining the talent they have acquired, such as transparent career paths, regular feedback interviews, specific on-the-job training, targeted management development or suitable further training measures. Development plans tailored to individual requirements and needs, non-material rewards and meaningful tasks are important criteria for long-term talent retention. THE MAK`ED TEAM develops a holistic talent management concept for its medium-sized clients that has proven itself in corporate practice. Our HR experts know how to efficiently design the interfaces of needs-based personnel development processes within personnel management. We implement structures that enable medium-sized companies to identify, optimally promote and retain talent in the long term. Because one thing is clear: talent management is not just a topic for the big players. It is also a decisive competitive factor for medium-sized companies.