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The Talent Management Secrets of 5 Top Companies

Attracting and retaining the right talent can be tricky for any organisation, however, there are some companies that seem to have it all together when it comes to managing their top talent, causing the rest of us to wonder how they do it.

If you’re an HR professional looking to develop and improve your talent management strategy, we give you a look at the talent management secrets of 5 top companies to give you a better idea of the practices you can implement in your own organisation moving forward.

Shaking Hands At Business Meeting

1. Microsoft

Perhaps one of the organisations best known for their superb talent management is the multinational tech company, Microsoft.

While this corporate giant is recognised for its quality products and stellar reputation, when it comes to talent acquisition they believe the bigger the talent pool the better, hiring upwards of 124,000 employees - both internally and externally - each year.

This may seem a large number, however, Microsoft is among a growing number of major companies that no longer exclude those candidates that don’t have post-secondary degrees. Instead, they choose to screen candidates that may have the skills necessary to excel in the company (even without the diploma to prove it).

In particular, Microsoft - not surprisingly - puts a heavy focus on digital transformation, meaning they’re looking for candidates who have or are willing to digitally transform as the demand for individuals who can support that continues to go up as does the demand for these very specific skills, including:

  • Digital foundation skills
  • Communication and business acumen
  • Critical thinking and problem solving, and
  • An in-depth understanding of data analytics

On top of hiring individuals with a high potential for digital transformation, Microsoft also excels at workforce planning, redeployment, utilising HR analytics, and leveraging the power of social media to attract and recruit new talent.

Cup Of Starbucks Coffee

2. Starbucks

Known as everyone’s favourite upscale coffee shop, Starbucks has taken the retail industry by storm, making a role in service all the more desirable with their approach to talent management.

At a fundamental level, Starbucks’ big wigs believe that their baristas are key to the success of their organisation. To this end, they offer a variety of training programmes to provide employees with the skills they need to communicate effectively with customers while gaining vast product knowledge and coffee expertise to provide great customer service and to keep people coming back.

What keeps employees at Starbucks, however, is the fact that they offer an abundance of incredible - and often uncommon - benefits to their staff, including:

  • Income protection and savings plans
  • Partner discounts and free drinks
  • Alternative medical treatments (i.e. hypnotherapy and naturotherapy)
  • Health care, dental, and vision insurance
  • The Adoption Assistance Program (which reimburses employees part of the fees incurred during the child adoption process)

They’ve even gained admiration and recognition by being one of the first companies to offer these same benefits to part-time workers and full-time workers.

By developing these HR and talent management practices, employees not only have better relationships with their managers but feel more connected to the company as a whole. This, along with their incredible training and benefits is proven to increase employee motivation, engagement recognition, and retention - ultimately decreasing employee turnover.

It’s no wonder that Starbucks stands out from its competitors, considered an employer of choice over convenience. That being said, mocha latte, anyone? 

Hotel Receptionist

3. Marriott International

We feel that this international hotel franchise deserves a place on this list because aside from being one of the earliest pioneers of employment branding (and one of the few companies that still maintain a dedicated focus to it), their talent acquisition strategies in relation to diversity recruiting is second to none.

While hiring with diversity, inclusion, and equity in mind has only recently become a priority for many businesses, Marriott International has been dedicated to it since 1927.

They do this specifically by promoting ‘UNITY and Family’ and creating an inclusive environment that supports the recruitment, retention, and development of their staff - actively engaging in practices that develop a diverse workforce, owner, guest, and supplier base, such as:

  • Developing multicultural tools and resources that assist managers in further understanding and building awareness around cultural differences.
  • Working and engaging with organisations that support and provide opportunities for veterans and people with disabilities.
  • Being an active corporate member of a number of multinational oganisations that represent diverse and historically excluded suppliers (i.e. the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council).
  • Hosting and supporting conferences, seminars, events, and forums to further evolve global supplier diversity.
  • Focusing on nurturing and developing a multigenerational and multicultural workforce.

Taking proper care of their employees, partners, and guests is part of Marriott International’s values, putting their wellbeing above all else so that their employees will feel good about themselves and their work-life balance, their working environment, and the company’s role in society - driving their commitment to putting people (of every race, gender, ethnicity, and background) first for generations to come. 

Google Page On Tablet

4. Google

It comes as no surprise that Google (you may have heard of them?) is among the most prestigious companies to work for in the world, making it no wonder that working there is a dream career for many of those in tech, engineering, advertising, and marketing industries (among others).

What’s their secret, however, to recruiting and managing top talent?

Well, to begin with, Google typically puts each potential candidate through a minimum of four interviews - with a mind-boggling ratio of recruiters to employees who excel at candidate assessment, ensuring that successful candidates are dedicated, high performers who are interested in working with the company long term.

While attracting and retaining top talent gives Google a competitive advantage in the market, the reason why employees stick around is without a doubt due to their growth opportunities and the many, many perks of working for the tech giant. These include:

  • A diverse and inclusive working environment
  • Free food & cooking classes
  • A free onsite gym (with classes)
  • Onsite medical staff and massage therapists
  • Nap pods (i.e. ‘decompression capsules’)
  • Fully paid paternity and maternity leave (up to 22 weeks)
  • Event discounts and charity opportunities
  • A dog-friendly work environment
  • Onsite haircuts and laundry, and
  • Full access to a stellar recreation room (plus a swimming pool!)

If it’s not obvious, Google offers their employees just about everything they need to be comfortable at work, even implementing the philosophy of 80% work and 20% play - emphasising how much they care about their people and how much it pays to work hard and play hard too. 

Shaking Hands In Office

5. PepsiCo

Responsible for soft drink and snack favorites such as Doritos, Wotsits, Pepsi MAX, and 7Up, this food and beverage company not only does wonders for our taste buds, but wonders for its employees too.

One of the main reasons employees are initially attracted to PepsiCo is because of the company’s commitment to bringing their products to market while simultaneously doing good for the environment and countless communities.

To add, they’re a leader in diversity recruiting and engagement, making it a standard business practice with a presence in 200 countries and territories including India, Europe, South Africa, and North America; using their platform to offer candidates and employees alike ample opportunity to grow, to make a meaningful impact in the company and the world, gain new skills, and build successful careers in an inclusive workplace.

To champion these ideals, they focus on innovation, social impact, and sharing employee accounts of their experiences at the company - a true example of transparency with a smile.

On their website, for instance, you can find examples of how they champion:

  • Celebrating different abilities
  • Veteran hiring
  • Supplier diversity
  • Women with purpose (in Latin America), and
  • Commitment to pay equality

All in all, what sets PepsiCo apart is their belief that what makes their employees unique, makes them better - a powerful message that will attract and retain employees for many years to come.

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