Managing your talent

It’s much cheaper for any business to retain talented individuals and allow those employees to flourish within their organisation, rather than having to continually replenish the workforce with new staff. Caroline McEnery of The HR Suite explains how best to achieve this goal



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15 October 2015

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Sunday Times - Caroline McEnery – Managing Director MBA, BBS, Assoc. CIPD The HR Suite · Pier 17, Dingle Road, Tralee, Co. Kerry. Phone: 066 7102887 Mobile: 087 9694837 Photo By : Domnick Walsh ©  Eye Focus LTD ©  Tralee Co Kerry Ireland  Phone  Mobile 087 / 2672033 L/Line 066 71 22 981  E/mail -

Caroline McEnery, managing director, The HR Suite

While there is no comprehensive all-inclusive way of managing talents across organisations, management and HR professionals must understand the strategies and dynamics of managing talent to achieve best results in today’s global competitive economy.

Managers and HR departments have the difficult responsibility of making their respective companies significant in the markets they operate in.

Retail stores face huge competition from other retail giants including online retailers from within and outside the EU. So, managers in these organisations must understand international best practices which enable them to hunt down the best talents and identify strengths and opportunities. Also, they should put an effective communication system in place which incorporates the business’ mission and values, if they are to succeed in today’s challenging industry. They must be ready and prepared to crystalise their priorities and make them align with the company’s strategic objectives on daily basis.

Market dynamics

It’s common knowledge nowadays that retail organisations compete in a very clear manner with each other in various forms, with a view to achieve a competitive advantage by gaining customers. Although this creates demands on each business to compete at a lower cost price, on the flip side, healthy competition like price reduction strategies, superior customer care and competitive advertising, are commonplace.

Undoubtedly, creating a competitive advantage starts from your employees. Gaining and maintaining the best talent the market can offer by providing better working conditions and pay is the traditional way of retaining employees.

Research has shown that the ability to hire, retain, develop and engage talent at all levels is really the only competitive advantage an organisation possesses. More so, it is nearly impossible, to replicate a high-quality, highly engaged workforce” without this. Therefore, your HR strategy should be at the forefront of any competitive initiatives.

This is inescapable for managers and HR departments in retail sectors and it is imperative to familiarise oneself with best management practices which have been proven to yield positive results.

As Wellins S. Richard et al indicate, an organisation is “likely or very likely to suffer in the near future due to insufficient leadership talent. Considering the costs associated with recruitment and selection, including time and resources, the key is to retain top talent rather than continuously replenish it.”

Harnessing talents

The traditional linear (top – bottom) management approach has been shown to be ineffective, if not harmful, to harvesting top talent. Finding and harnessing talented motivated employees to align with an organisation’s needs does not function effectively in the traditional approach. The fact that many businesses still rely on the old way of running a business shows a lack of understanding of basic business strategies.

To ensure talent is managed in your organisation, management must lead, coach, show the way and get others involved promoting an environment of inclusion in a strategic focused manner. This is more of an involved cyclical approach to management. The employee in turn will feel valued, are allowed to provide feedback and are more interested in the company wellbeing. Employees develop a sense of belonging in this kind of system and this has been known to provide extra drive and motivation which in turn promotes retention of staff.

Adopting strategic tools

Managers and HR departments who harness individual talents in an integrated fashion to meet corporate objectives adopt ‘proving practical tools’ to start straight away, building a talented workforce all the way. Some of the identified proving practical tools include:

  • Have a recruitment process designed to get the best talents i.e. use assessment tools, use a rating system, use a trial period etc.
  • Aligning specific talents with strategic jobs i.e. create core competencies.
  • Having a continuous training system in place – perfection they say comes with practice.
  • Create and maintain a clear communication system which is inclusive and gives room for goal sharing and collaboration.
  • Create and maintain a constructive feedback system to allow the business to track performance and give clear feedback on performance in line with the organisation’s objectives.

These approaches can promote healthy competition within the workplace without damaging employees’ expectations.

Invariably success, both at an individual and organisational level, is built on individuals performing to their highest standard on a continuous basis and the onus is on the company to identify, harness and  mobilise these talents to create an advantage for the company in both the short and long term.

Don’t rush the process

Building the right workforce can sometimes be a daunting exercise. However, knowing how to go about it simplifies things. It is advised that it is more desirable to dedicate time and resources to talent management strategies and get knowledgeable insights of how to hire, train, promote and retain talented people rather than rush things. Once you have allocated resources into building the right workforce the key aspect is to maintain it. Effective talent management can be achieved and it can produce business success given dedication and time.

For advice on talent management, recruitment or other HR related issues for employers contact any of the team at The HR Suite on 066 7102887 to discuss your requirements. 

The HR Suite also offers an online option, you can access this by logging onto





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