Aging Out: How to Prepare for Inevitable Talent Loss

Organizations want to keep tenured employees as long as possible. They are typically the most knowledgeable, best networked and most willing to take on big responsibilities. But as human beings, they rightfully and inevitably want to retire someday.

This knowledge keeps HR leaders at many companies awake at night, because retirement time is approaching for large portions of their workforce.

Skilled talent is on the verge of “aging-out” across multiple industries and geographies, creating an uncertain future for many organizations and intensifying the competition for capable replacements. The solution is to develop talent communities that support strategic workforce planning. Simple, right? Just find capable candidates, engage them and get them in your organization.

Creating a Robust Talent Pipeline is not Rocket Science

But when the talent you need is not locally available, or the organization does not see a need to invest in the creation of these talent pools, HR leaders are often at a loss for how to proceed.

Here are three steps you can take to garner support for, and start developing, a proactive global talent pipeline that prepares your organization for long-term success.

Build a Robust Business Case

While HR leaders are experiencing the most heartburn from the impending departure of tenured employees, it is a problem with which the entire organization should be concerned. Departing leaders can affect the bottom line in multiple ways, including the potential loss of that leader’s team members, ramp-up time for the replacement and so on. Some companies, or departments within them, even hinge on the knowledge and capabilities held by a handful of individuals.

It is up to HR leaders to build a robust business case so that other leaders within the organization understand the value of a global talent pipeline initiative and support it by providing information and material for ongoing engagement with target communities.

Develop a Marketing Mindset

Marketers often use a “persona” to direct their marketing efforts. A persona in the marketing sense is an amalgamation of known customer traits into a single ideal customer, which becomes the target audience the marketers create messages for. The idea is to create messages that feel personal and speak to the individuals that matter most for the purposes of the outreach efforts.

This mindset is effective for HR leaders and talent acquisition professionals as well. You will need to have an employer value proposition that is consistent and unchanged, but you should tailor your messaging for your segmented target audiences. Technology can help you achieve this, but remember that the tech is only as good as its user. Make sure your team is capable of handling this effectively, or consider partnering with an outside group. Cielo’s “Technologize the Process, Humanize the Experience,” whitepaper goes into more detail on this topic.

Understand the Necessity

Inevitably, we see individuals or organizations that think this is too much work. Something that is nice to have, but not essential. Unfortunately for them, they are wrong. Talent pipelining minimizes major risks to an organization and equips it for the future. It provides the capability to be agile, innovative and wield an enhanced brand. Without it, your most valuable employees will likely leave a gaping void in their absence, rather than a strong replacement.

Creating a robust talent pipeline is not rocket science. Nor is it too difficult or expensive to start. If you have not put the work in already, it is time to get to it!

Did you find this post helpful? For more information, check out our whitepaper: "Talent Pooling for Critical Skills.” It sets the scene for the in-flux talent landscape and includes several case studies for reference.