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The requirement for today’s businesses to prioritise speed-to-action and agility is echoed in talent management and recruiting. While the need to adapt quickly is not new, ongoing changes in the talent marketplace have meant flexibility is now fundamental for every organisation. 

Agility in talent management

An agile talent management approach requires adapting strategies and processes in line with the changing needs of the business, the talent landscape and other external market factors.

Agility requires talent management to be scalable, meaning employers must have a plan to handle both a higher and lower volume of work as well as shift their cost structure up or down to meet the new reality. 

Defining the concept of agility is one thing, but what does it actually look like? Here are five key indicators of an agile talent strategy:

1. Internal Mobility 

The best employers understand that the greatest source of talent is already inside their organisation. Nurturing an existing skills base and redeploying talent to other areas of a business when necessary not only reduces the time and cost to hire but can go a long way in boosting employer branding. 

The key to achieving business agility through internal mobility is having an acute understanding that transitioning internally does not always mean an upwards move, but sometimes a lateral one.00p

2. Learning & development

The most agile businesses understand that new skills need to be introduced regularly to ensure not only business growth but also survival in today’s challenging and competitive environment.

Although many companies will already have a learning & development process in place, this only works for employees with clearly defined needs. Agility means being prepared and ready to take immediate actioniwhen faces with changing needsl and, in turn, any learning & development strategy must complement this. Some of the best companies use data analysis to accurately identify the skills required for particular roles so that they can suggest to employees the kinds of training and future roles they may be suited to. 

3. Contingent workforce 

A crucial component of agile talent management is the flexibility to add or release labour in line with changing needs. To get this right, businesses must take into account the following: 

  1. Discovery. Identify who is working at the company, what they are doing and how much they are being paid. Some larger organisations implement a Vendor Management System (VMS) to track all contingent talent. 
  2. Optimisation. Ensure they are engaging their contingent workforce in the most efficient manner. 
  3. Future-proofing. The ongoing ability to record, monitor and govern the use of contractors or temporary workers to make rapid decisions. 

Omni’s Contingent Workforce Audit contains a 3-stage process designed to help employers take control and ensure the most agile contingent workforce. 

4. Labour market data 

COVID-19 highlighted the critical need for businesses to look more closely at the impact of external factors. In the case of the pandemic, these changed on the daily, meaning employers had to understand and respond to everything from local infection rates and unemployment figures, through to managing the minutiae of changing public transport timetables and new cleaning protocols. 

Those companies that are used to gathering and understanding the insights gained from global and local labour market data are in the best position to make rapid, informed decisions. Businesses can effectively access data through a variety of methods, including implementing in-house expertise and technology, expert consultancy, market benchmarking reports and workforce audits

5. Established talent channels

Agile businesses acknowledge the need for robust talent pipelines and immediate access to specific skill sets that are not available internally. It is for this reason that employers partner with trusted and reputable talent specialists that can react quickly to business needs. 

In today’s changing environment, agile businesses are increasingly exploring Project RPO options that are designed to quickly provide talent without having to increase the size of an internal resourcing team. Such solutions complement the short-term or specialist recruitment needs of an organisation and can be utilised as and when required, guaranteeing ultimate flexibility.

Achieving agility

Over the coming weeks, we will explore how organisations can maximise business agility through effective talent management. Our experts explain how businesses can gain a complete understanding and take control of their talent supply, including:

  • Identifying talent strengths and gaps 
  • Forecasting future skills needs in the business 
  • Building a robust contingent workforce strategy 
  • Developing collaborative partnerships that deliver 
  • Establishing an employer brand and Employee Value Proposition (EVP). 

Stay tuned to the Omni blog to find out more. Coming soon: our comprehensive guide Adapting to Agile: The Flexible Solutions You Need to Ease Business Recovery.