As we move past the current crisis, it's important to reshape your talent strategy to meet the new challenges and help future-proof your organisation. This article outlines tactics to start building a proactive talent strategy that will allow you to secure the talent you’ll need to meet your business needs.

a growing need for a proactive HR department.

During a crisis, many HR departments are scrambling to cover short-term needs such as filling unanticipated vacancies or performing unplanned layoffs. But it doesn't have to be that way.

With the right HR strategy, HR teams can become much more proactive and prepared for unforeseen events.  A proactive strategy is all about securing a properly balanced workforce that optimally supports fluctuating production needs in the long term – and staying happy doing so. Moreover, transitioning to a proactive planning approach will have a significant impact on your company's bottom line, KPIs, and resources.

how to become a more proactive HR department?

A proactive HR strategy is a prerequisite for being able to grow in uncertain times as it allows you to adapt to market fluctuations.

As Deloitte noted in its 2020 Global Human Capital Trends report, businesses need to invest in 'resilience for uncertain futures' if they want to succeed in a world where the only constant is change.'

More than half (53%) of the companies surveyed by Deloitte said at least half of their workforce would need to change their skills and capabilities in the next three years.

By reshaping your talent strategy, you can make sure that you have the right talent at the right time. Below, we have outlined four steps on how to become more proactive as an HR department. 

align with your main business goals

As an HR department, you have the essential task of predicting which skill sets will be required in the future. Therefore, you need to work closely with strategic decision-makers to align your HR strategy with long-term business goals. Only then can you predict which roles and teams will most likely be hired next.

By having a close dialogue with senior management, you can create a forecast for your staffing needs in the coming years.

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find a suitable candidate

submit a vacancy
A group of people in a meeting
A group of people in a meeting

build a talent pipeline 

When you have identified the roles and made a plan for your future staffing needs, the next step is to make sure you can fill these roles quickly whenever the staffing need occurs. To do this, you need to take a proactive approach to build a talent pipeline. By establishing a network of potential candidates, you won't have to waste time sourcing candidates when vacancies suddenly arise. 

There are different tactics to build a talent pipeline. For example, you can send representatives to networking events and conferences, request referrals from your current employees, or bookmark interesting profiles on LinkedIn.  With tools like Brazen, you can even do this online.

Once you've identified potential candidates, explain that while your company doesn't currently have any openings, you think they'd be an excellent fit in the future. Then, make sure you stay in touch until a need arises.

Colleagues in the workplace
Colleagues in the workplace

leverage flexible talent 

To future-proof your organisation for unforeseen events, you’ll need to add more agility to your sourcing strategy. This is why the flexible workforce is growing in popularity compared to the traditionally permanent, employee workforce. A flexible workforce gives you access to the right competencies at the right time and offers significant cost savings. 

Research by American Express has shown that 75% of businesses think hiring contractors, freelancers and temporary workers will be an important part of their employment practices in the coming years.

strengthen your employer's brand 

If you have a strong employer brand, you’ll attract more qualified candidates. That's why you constantly need to plan how to communicate your culture, perks and benefits. Many millennials are looking for meaningful work and digitally advanced companies that offer ongoing opportunities for learning, development and growth.


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