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Talent management, a key strategy for manufacturers

The pandemic has brought its share of upheaval, particularly in the relationship to work. While many industries are still suffering from a skills shortage, it's in the best interest of companies to implement a talent management policy. Talent management helps to retain and engage the workforce while remaining agile in an uncertain environment.

In this article, we explain what is meant by "talent management", why industrial companies should be interested in this topic, and finally, how to implement this strategy.

Talent management

What is talent management?


Talent management aims to attract, retain and engage employees within a company. It is a strategy that goes far beyond recruitment issues.

Before going any further, let's look at the term that will interest us the most: a talent.

A"talent" is an employee who is both competent in his or her work and has the ability to evolve. For example, a person who is an expert in his or her field, and who has demonstrated a certain level of soft skills, which are increasingly valued in recruitment. There is no precise definition of a talent, because each company values different know-how and soft skills depending on its sector of activity.

In short,talent is a key resource that companies do not want to lose. That being said, we understand that managing this talent is a real strategic issue.

However, talent management is not simply about identifying the most promising employees. The company must create an environment that is conducive to the development of each individual's potential, particularly through continuous training. Talent management is therefore not only about the present, but also (and above all) about the future! By being fully aware of their talents and how they can evolve, companies are better equipped in a context where everything is changing rapidly.

All organizations are affected by talent management. In the rest of this article, we'll focus on the case of industrial companies, where the stakes are perhaps even higher.

Talent management,
indispensable for manufacturers?


If you're wondering how talent management can impact a manufacturing company, we'll answer with a number: 67%. That's the percentage of business leaders in the manufacturing industry who say they will have difficulty recruiting in 2022 (source: Insee). This is the first time in more than 30 years that this figure is so high.

Added to this is the problem of the skills shortage, which is growing every year. In the industry, certain key positions require a high level of technical know-how, which recruiters are struggling to find. The market is also weighing in favor of employees, since there are more job offers than applications.

Finally, we should remember that the industrial sector suffers from a poor image and has difficulty attracting new generations.

Faced with these difficulties, industrial companies have every interest in focusing on talent management, for at least three reasons:

Reason #1: To avoid the loss of key skills

Talent management involves a thorough understanding of the skills and abilities required to perform each job. A company that is fully aware of the skills it has at its disposal is more likely to cope with a work stoppage or retirement.

Reason #2: Attracting top talent

Talent management is also about employer branding. Indeed, the latter is closely linked to the monitoring of each employee's career path. Talent management allows us to ensure that employees can develop in a relevant way within the company.

Reason #3: Motivate and retain employees

This third reason is strongly linked to the previous one. Motivation and retention are not just about the paycheck. Employees who feel valued and who are offered career development are less likely to leave the company than those who do not.

In 2022, talent management is therefore essential for industrial companies that want to remain competitive. But how to implement it?

The 7 keys to creating a talent management strategy

Implementing a talent management strategy doesn't happen overnight. Let's take a look at what you need to pay attention to.

1. Define the talent you need

As mentioned above, each company has its own definition of talent. It is up to you to define yours: what are the most relevant skills and know-how for each job?

It is also an opportunity to find out if these talents are already present in the company.

2. Attract the right people

Attracting talent obviously requires communicating your search. Think in particular about writing an attractive job offer that is in line with reality. Also propose an appropriate and competitive remuneration compared to competing offers. Finally, keep in mind that the employer brand can be an important decision factor for candidates.

3. Take care of the on-boarding

According to a Hay Group study, 22% of new hires leave the company after 45 days! This figure decreases drastically when the company takes special care of newcomers.

4. Continuous training

It is often easier to develop the skills of your current employees than to hire new talent. That said, even newcomers can benefit from skills development if it is in line with their professional project and the company's strategy. (Read more on this subject: Moving from GPEC to GEPP in 2022)

5. Measuring performance

To be effective, talent management strategy must be based on metrics. In industry, it is interesting to define metrics to evaluate the performance of the production line. In addition, a regular dialogue with employees allows you to identify those to whom you could give additional responsibilities.

6. Tracking skills and clearances

An effective talent management strategy goes hand in hand with a strong understanding of the skills within the team. This can help managers position operators in the most interesting positions, while facilitating the career management of their teams.

7. Anticipating the future

Talent management is a long-term strategy. It is important to establish a regular dialogue between operational teams, managers and management to ensure that key competencies remain in the company. Involving employees in the transfer of knowledge is a good way to achieve this.

In practice

A talent management strategy requires a global view of the skills present in the company. This is often a challenge, especially for managers who lack visibility. Investing in a talent tracking tool helps solve this problem.

Mercateam provides an accurate mapping of the talents present in the company, but also of the talents that will be missing in the future according to the evolution of the business. To learn more, please ask us for a demo.

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