Identifying, Attracting and Retaining Talent in a Competitive Environment: Communiqué of Jobberman HR Breakfast

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May 26 2016:

Leading HR professionals in Nigeria have expressed serious concerns over the fate of talents in Nigerian companies as well as their ability to function optimally within competitive environments.

At the recently concluded Jobberman HR Breakfast, a cross section of professionals highlighted a broad spectrum of issues that bordered around the theme ‘Identifying, Attracting and Retaining Talent in a Competitive Environment. They also tendered strong pointers towards resolving challenges around this.

The key challenges highlighted with talent management were:

  1.  The Talent mine
  2. Management Process flow for talents.

On the issue of discovering talent, one of the keynote speakers, Titilola Ologe, Group Head, Financial Institution, Access Bank maintained that some of the key areas to look into include demographic constraints, the nation’s existing educational system, attracting the best talent as well as harsh economic conditions in the country.

Talent (1)

To retain talent when they are found, emphasis was on the gap between organization’s goals and employee’s goals, the need to create a suitable working environment and the problem of high work pressure.

Other related issues that were hinged on this are the movement for higher salary, improper matching of employee and role and poor and opaque company policies.

It was clearly established that there are crucial questions that should be asked towards finding new talent and retaining them.

Some of these questions include: Are sure what we are looking for? Is talent development just a slogan? Will these new talents take over our jobs? Does employee satisfaction improve company’s value and brand?

The perception of orientation of quite a number of companies has done very little to improve the process of talent management and they were classified into three broad categories – Companies that claim to be winning the war for talent, companies that see it as an endless struggle and the percentage of companies that have given up on the struggle.

3D Talent Idea Crossword on white background

Highlighting the issue of ‘Driving Employee Engagement, Improving Satisfaction and Retention,’ Adegoke Baiyere, Group Head, Human Resources, Boulos Group noted that there is a strong relationship between engagement and intent to leave the company. He posited that a highly engaged workforce is a more stable workforce adding that most highly engaged employees have no plans to leave their current jobs

It was also agreed that disengagement of staff poses two distinctly retention risks for employers:

Losing key people – Disengaged staff are usually active in the market seeking other positions. This is a very worrisome fact if many of these individuals are in critical jobs.

Keeping disengaged and non-productive people – Some disengaged staff are open to other opportunities, but are not actively looking. A company could have a very large group of people not only marking time themselves, but adversely affecting performance by spreading their own negative views and behaviours to others.

One of the most salient points raised on employee engagement and retention was the submission that contentedness is merely job satisfaction; and though satisfaction is generally enough to retain employees, it’s not enough to ensure productivity. On the other hand, employee engagement does promote increased productivity.

Customer care, care for employees, labor union, CRM, and life insurance concepts. Protecting gesture of businessman or personnel and glass cubes with icons representing group of people.

In what she titled, ‘Winning the War for Talent,’ Bolanle Ibitola, Head, Human Resources, United Capital flagged off her presentation by identifying who talents are by explaining that not only will companies have to devise more imaginative hiring practices; they will also have to work harder to keep their best people also known as talents.

She identified ‘Baby Boomers,’  ‘Generation X’ and ‘Millennials’ as one that covers all generations in the workplace.

To win the war for talent, there is a need to develop and offer superior Employee Value Propositions (EVP) as well as having a talent oriented mindset.

Companies were tasked to figure out the talents you are aiming for, and make sure their brands are tailored to the talent segment they seek to attract.

Ibitola beamed her torch of enlightenment on the fact that companies need to develop people progressively and effectively.

Organisations must cultivate a learning environment, use coaching, training, stretch jobs, job rotation and using job experiences to drive personal development.

Still on the issue of winning the war for talent, she posited that companies seeking to win have to learn to leverage innovative learning methodologies such as games, simulations, reverse mentoring, e-coaching, peer-to-peer learning, and informal learning, to accelerate learning across your organisation.

One of the prominent points of the event was the line from Ibitola when she said establishments should learn to ‘hire for aptitude and fire for attitude.’

Nathan Jeffery