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Growing talent internally can help you avoid skills crisis

There is still a lot of talk in our industry about the war for talent being a looming crisis for which we must all prepare. Well, it is my belief that it is already upon us. Finding the right person for the right job in the right place is no mean feat these days.

Yet many global organisations, AppSense included, already have the right people for the job, but they are not always in the right place. So how do you use your internal talent management tools to optimise your global workforce? The answer is that your organisation must become more organised and efficient in using its human capital information to fill all the talent gaps, regardless of location.

The first step is to identify talent and then grow it internally. Not only will this help to fill the gaps but it will also increase retention, improve the business's technical capability and ensure a steady pipeline of capable candidates for hard-to-fill vacancies.

It will also force you to ensure you are identifying high-performing individuals and candidates with potential. For these individuals to remain engaged, their career paths need to be planned out and they need to know that the organisation is investing as much in them as they are into it.

You also have to cultivate talent, young and mature, to ensure diversity. Our company often finds that it is in diversity that innovation is born. AppSense provides a number of one-year work experience placements for university students with clear goals to achieve and recruits a small number of graduates each year to technical roles. This helps to identify the best new talent and helps us contribute to curbing the rising youth jobless figures seen in the UK and abroad.

People in our youth talent initiatives complete work in key functions, such as sales, technical roles and marketing, to help them identify their career paths. It also arms them with relevant knowledge, skills, experience and behaviours. It is a fairly similar process we follow in our general talent management programmes. We map out career pathways by career level. This enables us to create personalised development plans. We also give staff opportunities to move to different parts of the world to help fulfil organisational goals and further individual careers.

Using the career paths approach globally, organisations can ensure that they can support global mobility and share talent across the organisation too.

At the same time organisations, especially global ones operating in complex and diverse markets as individual units, cannot lose sight of the fact that they are all linked. Each unit has to manage its people issues, using its individual internal objective-setting mechanism. This mechanism ensures the personal development goals of staff are linked to the corporate goals of the organisation.

AppSense has open access to a global HR system, in which every team around the world can see who's working on what and how it all fits together. This system will also allow us to share information on talent within our regions and help us fulfil our workforce optimisation goals.

As HR professionals it is imperative to find a way to connect and assess how you are using talent management tools to optimise and improve your global workforce. This is the way to overcome the challenges of the war on talent.