gradireland Talent Summit: Employers recognising value of developing and engaging their employees

Today, Wednesday March 25th, saw the hosting of the second Halogen Software/gradireland Talent Summit, with input from industry insiders and debate from the broader talent management community. The questions of what the core challenges would be in terms of talent management for the 12 months ahead were central to the morning’s discussion, and what any possible answers would mean for both employers and employees.

The first presentation of the morning was from Katie McGrath, an account manager with Halogen Software, presenting on the future of strategic talent management. In October and November 2014  Halogen conducted a poll of talent professionals and found that less than half had a talent management strategy. 30% of the 237 polled felt that their talent strategy was not working well and 40% of those respondents said that they expected to increase their overall talent management budget as economic improvement continues. “Talent management is clearly returning to the top of employers’ priorities,” said Katie, but what are recruiters’ priorities when it comes to actually managing their employees?

Talent management priorities were identified by the Halogen research as employee engagement, training, performance management, recruitment & retention of the right people. So what does that mean for the jobseeker or employee? It means that employers are again embracing the reality that it will be hard for them to attract and retain the talent they need for their businesses. Which is good news for jobseekers with the right core skills that the employer wants. Employers are also realising that they need to engage with their employees, according to Halogen’s research only 14% of companies saw their levels of engagement as high, with 64% agreeing it was very low.

It’s interesting to see that employers are now focusing on engagement and personal development as one of their main tools in attracting and retaining talent, because Mark Mitchell, gradireland Publisher, presented research which showed that “respondents to the gradireland/Trendence student survey also viewed development and fulfilment within a job as preferable to earning lots of money and opportunities and development as preferable to perks and amenities. This reflects research into the importance of ‘buy-in’ amongst young employees. It’s not enough to do the job, they need to have a significant level of belief in the job and trust in the organisation’s goals,” said Mark.

Indeed, speaking of trust, the closing speaker at the Talent Summit was John Ryan, CEO of Great Places to Work Ireland, who spoke about the cultures and core attributes of companies what had been recognised as unique and rewarding places to work. It was trust, clarity and recognition which was most commonly identified by employees, again pointing to the importance of engagement and development. Of course, in return for this investment in employees, companies will expect to be rewarded by loyalty and performance. Striking the balance of this relationship will be increasingly important for job-hunters, employees and employers in this time of changing workplace dynamics.

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