The first step to a great talent management plan is a great hiring plan. There are so many nuances to a hiring plan that it would be impossible to go into detail here. As it is related to retention, there are a few aspects that should be considered when hiring.

When reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates, look at talent for their experience, not their pedigree. Just because someone attended an Ivy League school, does not make them any more qualified than someone who went to a state school. It is the experience that matters.

Also, check ageism at the door. Do not write off older candidates because they may not be as current with today’s technology or may have a shorter tenure with the organization. Not only are today’s older employees technologically savvy, but they also make excellent mentors to the younger team members. In fact, Millennials perform better when mentored by Baby Boomers and Generation X colleagues.

When looking at your talent management plan, first take a hard look at your teams. Determine who your most valuable assets are. Leaders do not necessarily possess a formal title; however, they are your best asset.

Talk with each team member individually to learn about their strengths. Find out what aspects of their work give them energy and joy. Make every attempt to position your entire team to work to their strengths. Doing so will give meaning to their work. Meaningful work is one of the most desired aspects of a position that all talent is seeking. Employees also like to see a project from start to finish. If you do not give it to them, they will look for it elsewhere.

Many times, employees either feel like they are left on an island or are being micromanaged. Often, they can feel this at the same time based upon the project they are working on. Be clear with your expectations. Allow for autonomy, challenges, and feedback. Let them know when you are available during the day so they can manage their days accordingly.

Hiring based on experience, regardless of age and allowing teams to work to their strengths are two great ways to build a solid talent management plan. In the final article of this series, we will review rewards that can be incorporated into any retention plan.

David Klein is a leading Executive IT Recruiter & Headhunter with over 15 years of industry experience.  As Manager of Recruitment Strategy for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. David has successfully led, trained and introduced many in the art of Executive Recruitment and Headhunting. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact David at 646-650-2833 or