Talent management is a critical aspect of any business, regardless of its size. While large enterprises often have the resources and infrastructure to implement comprehensive talent-management strategies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can also adopt successful techniques to attract, retain and develop top talent.
Chandrasekhar Mukherjee, CHRO, Bhilosa Industries, enunciates that talent management is crucial for businesses, irrespective of their size. Large corporations have advanced talent-management processes, starting with automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) for efficient recruitment. Similar technology can be adopted by SMEs too to enhance their hiring processes.
Mukherjee also shares, “Talent-management software used by large firms identify potential internal candidates, streamlining succession planning and talent mobility. SMEs can benefit by incorporating data-driven tools into their talent-evaluation processes.”
“Large companies use data to distinguish top performers from others, while SMEs often rely on manual methods. Technology-driven performance systems provide insights and enable targeted interventions for struggling employees”
Chandrasekhar Mukherjee, CHRO, Bhilosa Industries
He further mentions, “Large companies use data to distinguish top performers from others, while SMEs often rely on manual methods. Technology-driven performance systems provide insights and enable targeted interventions for struggling employees.”
Shaleen Manik, CHRO, Transsion India, says, “Large corporations excel in the talent-management area, starting with efficient talent acquisition using applicant-tracking systems (ATS). SMEs can learn from this by implementing similar tools for better recruitment.”
Manik also agrees that large companies use data-driven talent-management software for succession planning and performance evaluation. SMEs, however, often rely on manual methods, missing out on the power of data.
He further adds that technology aids performance management in large firms, distinguishing top performers from others and providing insights for improvement. SMEs too can benefit from adopting technology for a more efficient process.
Assess talent needs and align them with business objectives: Large enterprises typically have well-defined talent strategies aligned with their long-term goals. SMEs can adapt this approach by identifying their specific talent needs and creating a talent strategy that complements their business objectives. How? They can begin by assessing their current workforce, understanding their growth plans and determining the skills and competencies required to achieve their goals.
“Large corporations excel in the talent-management area, starting with efficient talent acquisition using applicant-tracking systems (ATS). SMEs can learn from this by implementing similar tools for better recruitment”
Shaleen Manik, CHRO, Transsion India
Invest in recruitment and selection: Large companies often have dedicated HR teams to handle recruitment and selection. SMEs may not have the same resources but they can still adopt effective hiring practices. They can develop a structured recruitment process that includes clear job descriptions, targeted job postings and a rigorous interview process. They just need to consider using technology, such as applicant-tracking systems, to streamline hiring efforts.
Build an employer brand: Well-established employer brands attract top talent towards large enterprises. SMEs can build their employer brand by showcasing their unique culture, values and opportunities for growth. They can leverage social media, their website and employee testimonials to highlight their company’s strengths and values to potential candidates.
Onboard effectively: Successful onboarding is crucial for retaining talent. While it is understandable for large companies to have comprehensive onboarding programmes, there is no reason why SMEs can’t create effective onboarding experiences too. They can develop a structured orientation process to help new hires integrate into their company culture, understand their roles and feel engaged from day one.
Offer competitive compensation and benefits: While SMEs may not always match the compensation packages of larger firms, they can still provide competitive pay and benefits within their means. A thorough research of industry standards can help them ensure that their compensation packages are fair and aligned with their talent strategy. Flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities and a positive work environment are some of the non-monetary benefits they can consider offering.
Focus on employee development: Large enterprises often invest heavily in employee development and training programmes. SMEs can create personalised development plans for their employees if they are able to identify skills gaps and provide relevant training, mentoring and coaching opportunities. They can encourage continuous learning and career growth within their organisation.
Promote a culture of recognition and feedback: Recognition and appreciation of employee contributions are vital for morale and retention. To foster a positive work environment and motivate employees to excel, SMEs can implement recognition programmes. Regular feedback mechanisms can also help to acknowledge and reward high performers.
“The most advantageous course of action in talent management for SMEs is to prioritise continuous development and upskilling of employees, ensuring they are equipped to perform effectively,”
Atul Mathur, executive vice president, Aditya Birla Capital
Embrace technology: Employing advanced HR technology for talent management is not new to large enterprises. However, SMEs too can benefit from using cost-effective HR software to streamline administrative tasks, track employee performance and gather valuable data for decision-making. These tools can help SMEs make more informed talent management decisions.
Foster employee engagement: Employee engagement is a key factor in talent retention. This can be done by creating opportunities for open communication, gathering feedback and involving employees in the decision-making processes. All that is required is to encourage a sense of ownership and belonging within the organisation.
According to Atul Mathur, executive vice president, Aditya Birla Capital, the most advantageous course of action in talent management for SMEs is to prioritise continuous development and upskilling of employees, ensuring they are equipped to perform effectively. This approach should be driven by a genuine concern for employee well-being and should incorporate features that anticipate future needs. Given the rapid changes in technology and the disruptive nature of various industries, strengthening digital and capability aspects is paramount.
“When addressing talent management, SMEs should avoid merely attempting to replicate and just copy-paste practices from larger agile organisations because the contexts and scales are dissimilar,” emphasises Mathur.
While small and medium enterprises may not have the same resources as large enterprises, they can still adapt and implement the latter’s successful talent-management techniques to attract, retain and develop top talent.