What Are the Benefits of and Barriers to Total Talent Management?

Recently, our VP of Strategy, Taylor Ranchandani, spoke with Human Capital Institute (HCI) about the importance of total talent management and how to integrate this model into your overall workforce management. Here, Taylor runs us through the basics of total talent management, exploring what it is and how it works. 

What Is Total Talent Management?

Taylor Ramchandani: We hear that word thrown around all that time, but what does it actually mean to you and your organization? For now, when I’m talking about total talent management, I mean the organization and management of personnel across the organization, regardless of employment type.

Often, when people hear the term total talent management (or TTM), they think of it in terms of an acquisition strategy. They wonder, ‘How am I going to efficiently source talent across both my contingent and full-time workforce?’. This is definitely a key component but it can mean different things based on your organization.

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Sourcing Contingent Labor

TR: Setting up and establishing your contingent workforce involves procuring the right systems like a vendor management system, aligning yourself with strategic staffing suppliers, and determining which roles you wish to fill on a contract basis.

For already established programs looking to combine talent types, this could mean looking at agencies to source across talent types. Or you could push difficult requisitions across systems.

While sourcing is an important component of a total talent strategy, it’s only half the battle! The next step is determining what aspects can be centrally managed across your workforce to drive that strategy.

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Why Adopt the Total Talent Management Approach?

TR: You may be asking yourself why total talent and, more importantly, why now?

The first thing to consider is the rise in the use of contract labor over the past decade. According to Forbes, 91% of organizations are using some form of outside labor. As the use of an extended workforce rises, this area of staffing moves from a secondary consideration to a full-on component of your workforce strategy.

In addition to the organizations already using temp workers, 32% of businesses plan to transition some of their workforces from full-time to contingent in the near future. This will no doubt be fueled by some of the uncertainty that the pandemic has brought (and continues to bring) as we gradually get “back to normal.”

If you’re thinking about implementing a total talent management strategy, you’re not alone. In a recent survey done by Randstad, 69% of human capital leaders are thinking about implementing TTM strategies to control costs for their programs. Cost and visibility are two of the main reasons organizations look at total talent strategies.

In addition to cost, 40% of employers are looking at total talent as a way to expand their sourcing pool and bring in top-tier talent in a more efficient manner.

We’re all feeling the tight labor market as we try to get top talent. Many organizations face a major struggle right now, with more jobs open than there are candidates to fill them, so it’s time to get creative.

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What Are the Barriers to Total Talent Management?

TR: So, with all this momentum, why hasn’t everyone kick-started their TTM strategies?

Working across departments is a key component of a successful workforce strategy. But it’s also a key barrier to 75% of people asked by Deloitte when trying to launch a TTM project. In addition to siloed organizations, getting the buy-in from stakeholders can be difficult even when they’re willing to work across departments.

Another huge barrier 46% of organizations face is the lack of data available to start a total talent management program. It can be challenging to manage what you can’t see, and this is often a deterrent to getting started. However, I believe it should actually be a motivator to get the clarity you need.

On top of all this, as many as 39% of organizations don’t have a strong enough business case to get started. Even those that do are often not sure where to start.

The last reason we hear is the risk of co-employment. There’s this lingering idea that managing your workforce together is automatically co-employment. B, but people fail to realize that the chances of co-employment are very low. This is especially true if you’re not the employer of record and have a clearly written benefits plan outlining exactly how you want your benefits to be distributed. If you’re uncertain, speak to your staffing agencies to create a true partnership.

Want to learn more about the total talent management approach to contingent labor? Read through our ebook ‘4 Steps to Incorporate Your Contingent Workforce Program Into Your Total Talent Strategy’. Download your copy now.