Talent That Fits Like A Glove

Finding talent that will be perfect for your company.

Determining your size for getting the right pair of gloves requires careful measuring of your hand. You measure around the palm of your hand underneath the knuckles. It is best to use your dominant hand to get the best fit.

Similarly, when searching for the right talent for your organization, you must know the “size” or full talent capabilities required. As you size up the people in the marketplace, both you and they instantly will know whether they fit like a glove for your company or not.


Gone are the days of reactive recruiting when you hired for a position simply because of an immediate vacancy or specific job need. It goes beyond assessing candidates against job requirements, standardized interviewing procedures, and attempts at longer-term workforce planning.

Today, talent acquisition (TA) is all about integrating a talent focus into everything—including your company branding and social media campaigns— and investing in the many TA products and services to create a complete talent program.

The future of managing talent is having an active talent pipeline, along with knowledge and insights. This allows you to be on top of strategic company needs internally while equally aware of external factors affecting the marketplace.


Like tracing your hand on paper, you need to know the profile picture of the talent you are looking for. Your goal is to find people who are the right “job fit.” Chuck Russell, in his book, “Right Person Right Job: Guess or Know,” defines job fit as “the degree to which a person’s cognitive abilities, interests, and personality dynamics fit those required by the job.”

But first, you must know your company’s future business plans and current challenges. This requires talent management professionals to have a positive relationship with business leaders, so they know the talent gaps to fill.

You then create a talent map profile of the kind of candidates your company needs now, and what’s expected for the future. It means identifying the competencies, attributes, and knowledge required to be successful in the targeted positions and future growth of the company. Now you are prepared with defined profiles of your ideal candidates.

Next, you actively search the marketplace and evaluate the current workforce talent demands and availability. It’s all about identifying companies with people who fit your desired profile. You create a pool of possible talent-fitting individuals you can invite and connect with to show your company’s interest in them and how they can help your business.


Depth and quality for talent acquisition may surpass the skills of most typical HR practices. This is no longer just a recruitment exercise.

A key to this shift in thinking is developing a talent strategy. Having a talent strategy allows you to articulate the long-term talent purpose for the organization. By defining the specific talent and types of people your company is willing to invest in, you end up gaining the best people who have the potential for making a positive contribution.

Armed with a talent strategy, you can develop a talent management system. This consists of all necessary procedures, systems, and processes to help you zero in on the talent you need. As you make talent management a procedure, you won’t have a talent problem any more.

Besides evaluating potential candidates for their talent fit, you also are looking for talent management to invest in your people and achieve the business goals and excellence you are striving for.


Talent management is an ongoing, never-ending, and cyclical process. Skills needed involve continuously sourcing, networking, talent branding, relationship building, and utilizing social media— all to the end of growing a viable talent pool for your company.

It is no longer relying on job descriptions. It is not about filling positions. It is everything to do with building careers and achieving strategic goals.

Talent acquisition professionals have to get their hands dirty by knowing everything about performance management. They must be able to identify the behaviors of top-performing and non-performing employees. They evaluate the competencies required for successful results in each role and also know what typically causes poor performance. And through a strong rapport with managers, they find out the expectations and performance measures for each position. They must know the positive character traits of each position by using psychometric testing tools. There is a lot involved with talent management.


Talent management doesn’t end with actively identifying, seeking, and hiring great talent that fits. It is also about keeping and sustaining talent.

This requires promoting talent internally besides looking outside the company. It’s about active career planning that engages people and gives them opportunities to connect with leaders, top performers, and positions they are unaware of. Are there opportunities for formal and self-development? What are leadership development plans? Great talent wants to learn what they need to know to fulfill their role. And they want to learn all they can to progress on their career path.

A built-in marketing perspective of making the company an employer of choice should be part of the talent strategy. Does the company have a strong, clear purpose and values? How is organizational culture continually being improved? Do leaders and employees commit to and take pride in making the company a great place to work?

Succession planning is also an essential component of talent management. Typically, only a third of all executive positions and a quarter of all senior leader positions have succession plans in place.

Getting the right-sized glove for your hand is a rather simple task. Finding the right fit employee is a far more complex operation. Never take for granted those employees tasked with talent acquisition. They have learned to work hand in glove with the leaders of your organization to make everyone fit well.

Roy Saunderson is author of “GIVING the Real Recognition Way” and Chief Learning Officer of Rideau’s Recognition Management Institute, a consulting and training firm specializing in helping companies “get recognition right.” Its focus is on showing leaders how to give real recognition to create positive relationships, better workplaces, and real results. For more information, contact RoySaunderson@Rideau.com or visit www.Rideau.com.

Roy Saunderson, MA, CRP, is author of “Practicing Recognition” and Chief Learning Officer at Rideau Recognition Solutions. His consulting and learning skills focus on helping companies “give real recognition the right way wherever they are.” For recognition insights, visit: http://AuthenticRecognition.com. For more information, e-mail him at: RoySaunderson@Rideau.com or visit: www.Rideau.com