When it comes to talent management, what do high performing companies do well?

When it comes to talent management, what do high performing companies do well?

These days everyone is trying to find the magic wand that allows a business to hit unprecedented levels of success. There are many examples of companies who have caused intense industry disruptions and others who have quietly crushed the competition. What sets these leaders apart from the rest of the pack and allows them to reach the goals they set for themselves? There are many factors that contribute to the achievements of a company but this year, McQuaig focused on investigating one specific area tied to corporate success: talent management.

Does a company’s approach to talent management offer any insights into what high performing companies do differently from their competition? To help answer that question, data was gathered from 500 talent professionals from around the world on 16 topics related to talent management and acquisition (to download the full 2018 McQuaig Global Talent Report please click here). Based on their responses, companies were then grouped into three tiers. High performers were defined as those who had no problem staffing open positions and found it an easier task than in the preceding year. Moderate performers saw no change between 2018 and 2017 and low performers had more trouble filling open jobs at their companies than the year before. Mining the insights from all three tiers helps us gain a glimpse into what high performing companies are doing in terms of talent management that sets them apart from the fray. But the question remains, what  are the best habits to adopt from your high performing competition?

What do high performing companies do differently when it comes to talent management?

Candidate experience: 87% of high performers claim they are effective at providing a positive candidate experience. Evaluating the candidate experience is an area that has been gaining more attention recently and the impact of a positive experience cannot be overstated. Today’s candidate is vetting potential companies just as thoroughly as companies are vetting them in an interview. With the ongoing “war for talent” in full swing, attracting the best employees can be a struggle. A negative experience can lead to wonderful applicants withdrawing before an offer can even be made. 75% of high performing companies provide timely feedback about hiring decisions to all their candidates, even those they don’t move forward with. By comparison, moderate performers only do this 55% of the time on average. High performers are also 1.6 times more likely than low performers to provide a mobile friendly application process for candidates to reach them. What does the candidate experience look like at your company?

Read more: Having a positive candidate experience can benefit employers directly

Bandwidth: Most companies have a never ending to-do list of tasks and projects that need to be accomplished. Bandwidth, however, is a limited commodity so when it comes to hiring the right employees, where is your time going? Across the board, all three tiers of companies report that their most important task is interviewing. That’s no great surprise given the time it takes to go through a round of interviews. However, when it comes to the second most important task, we see more disparity. Moderate and low performers both agree sourcing is their second focus. But high performers report theirs is creating job profiles, a step moderate and low performers both rank fourth. High performers are more likely to take the time to create a strong and detailed job posting before they even think about sourcing or recruitment strategies. With this approach, high performers know from the start exactly what they are looking for and candidates know exactly what sort of qualifications or skills will be required. Sourcing can then become more targeted as only certain channels might be needed to fill a position.

Assessments: It is always difficult to decide whether a candidate is right on paper, or even in person, and whether that will translate into an effective employee. Because the process can be subjective, it often seems like everyone has a different approach to conducting interviews. Some companies rely on screening and references. Others give homework assignments or workplace tasks to determine job fit. What do the high performer companies do? Turns out 92% use personality, behaviour, or psychometric assessments in their selection process. 46% of high performers report using cognitive assessments, compared to only 26% of moderate performers who do. However, moderate performing companies are more likely than high performers to ask additional questions upon application, perhaps offsetting their more limited use of assessments. Adding an assessment component to your interview process helps the interviewer gain deeper insight into the candidate and tailor questions more specifically to that person. It also gives a better real-world view of how the candidate is likely to react or behave on the job.

Pro Tip: Looking for some new recruitment strategies? Marketing might be the best place to find them

How do we become more like high performing companies?

When it comes to talent management, what lessons are there to be learned from high performer companies and what they do differently when it comes to finding and retaining their staff? While these are only 3 areas explored of the 16 total covered within the 2018 McQuaig Global Talent Report, we can see that high performers are spending more time on the planning and initial steps of a search process. They are thinking about the overall candidate experience and designing it for success before a potential new hire even walks through the door. This includes taking the time to create detailed and specific job descriptions as well as using strong assessment tools during the interview to provide a deeper level of insight into a candidate.

For a full view of high performing companies across 16 areas of talent management including topics such as turnover, onboarding, training, employee development, recruitment marketing, and more, you can download the complete report below.


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Want more? Check out the other blog posts in this series:

1. 5 insights from the 2018 McQuaig Global Talent Report

2. Surprise! Did you know about these 5 talent trends?

3. When it comes to hiring with assessments, are you ahead of the curve?


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