Author: Sophie Schaedel/Tuesday, March 19, 2024/Categories: Quinton Anthony

Talent management extends beyond attracting external candidates. It is a comprehensive strategy enhancing business performance by nurturing employee potential and performance, whilst also building an external community of engaged talent. Recruitment plays an important part, particularly in times of business and industry growth. However, given the sustained demand in the market for talent, a shortage of quality candidates, and escalating salaries make it difficult for businesses to keep pace with competitive pressures when prioritising hiring from outside the organisation.

A Focus on Construction

Employment in the construction industry has grown steadily over the past 20 years and with 1.3 million employees and 9.5% of the Australian workforce, it’s critical to have a strong industry talent pipeline. (Reference: Jobs and Skills Australia)

The industry is facing ongoing and significant talent challenges. An ageing workforce, combined with younger generations finding the industry less appealing, and a persistent lack of diversity (women comprising only 13% of the workforce, a figure even lower in technical and senior roles) highlights the need for a change in approach.

Efforts are underway, led by public investment, industry groups and individual companies to attract a larger and more diverse talent pool to the industry. But achieving change requires a sustained commitment and time.

With a small talent pool and reduced industry engagement, focusing on external recruitment for the same positions can be costly. To address these challenges, there is a strong argument for investing in building capabilities for internal progression. Additionally, working to increase the size of the talent pool by opening pathways for new and diverse entrants to the industry. These individuals would have transferrable skills and the capability profile to ensure a successful transition to fill a growing number of vacant roles.

Building a Sustainable Talent Strategy

Businesses experiencing the most success are adapting their approaches with investment in internal talent engagement and exploring more innovative means to attract external candidates. By shifting focus, they are reducing their dependence on external recruitment and building their own talent capability.

Balancing external recruitment with internal talent development is crucial for businesses to maintain a sustainable workforce. Dan Copping, Head of Talent Management at Quinton Anthony Consulting (QAC), considers initiatives and ideas to help achieve this balance.

1. Optimise Resources – Identify critical business roles to enable early identification of role and capability gaps, and map against existing talent.

2. Analyse Talent – Using workforce data to make informed decisions to effectively identify and manage talent.

3. Build Talent Communities – Showcase the business and build a network of talent that is informed about opportunities, creating pathways for new entrants to the industry and those with transferrable capabilities.

4. Diversity Focus – Apply a diversity lens to talent decisions to enable consistent internal decisions and engage with diverse talent in the market.

5. Unlock Talent Potential - Use of talent mapping and succession planning to optimise the full potential of your people, using consistent language and a focus on capabilities with an agreement of what good talent looks like in the business.

6. Increase Talent Investment – Commit to create opportunities for talent to gain experience, develop professionally, and increase capabilities in preparation for advancement.

7. Mapping Capabilities – Mapping role capabilities trumps past performance and years of experience as a measure of future success in a role. A capability framework confirms the essential capabilities for that role or work stream.

8. Accelerate Talent Mobility – Once talent is mapped, explore alternative career paths and roles for critical talent, moving the most capable people into strategic positions to gain experience.

9. Cultivate Talent Leadership – Ensure that ‘developing talent’ is a capability for all people leaders and provide coaching on effective talent management practices.

10. Harness Technology – Leverage AI-enabled tools to facilitate external talent acquisition, capability assessment, talent mapping, and resource planning.

Engaging an external Talent Partner

A growing number of businesses are looking externally to bring in a talent partner to help deliver on their talent strategy. These partners can bring all elements of the talent strategy together. Dan Copping highlights the importance of finding the right partner who meets your specific requirements and can deliver the right solution for the business.

“Engaging the right talent partner is business critical. At QAC, we work with businesses who are looking for a personalised and comprehensive solution that will deliver a tangible return on their investment. Our focus is on mobilising our talent managers and organisational advisors and combining them with our search methodology, recruitment capabilities, and innovative technology to increase business performance and deliver great results.”

For more information on our Talent Management Solution, get in touch.