Acquiring top talent for project-based businesses is a necessity. With the best teams in place, projects are run more efficiently, completed timely and ultimately profitable. While getting these key players on board is crucial, keeping them inspired and engaged is just as significant. If your firm incorporates career paths as part of its HR Talent Management strategy, then employee development becomes a priority and retention remains high.
What are Career Paths?
Career paths are plans that lay out the steps to get to the next place in an employee’s journey with your firm. Your top talent needs to feel that there is growth potential within your organization. Using Deltek Talent Management, employees can see jobs they want to aspire to and other lateral roles they may need to undertake first. With career path software, everyone is informed of where an employee currently stands, and where he wants to be down the road. This keeps all parties accountable for employee development.
The Key is to Start Early
Developing career paths should begin at the talent acquisition phase. Is this candidate a fit now and potentially down the road? What are the motivations and incentives to be part of your firm? What are the cultural desires? HR can use Talent Management to review skills and competencies and determine what gaps need to be filled to move further down the career line. There should be a three to five-year duration of the career path. What would be the immediate placement of this candidate and what would provide growth?
When establishing career paths, it is necessary to set guidelines to target competencies and identify skill gaps. There must be clear objectives and deadlines to reach these goals. Mentoring by firm leaders and developing new skills are essential to acquiring needed competencies. However, employees can also use professional associations in their industry to further develop their knowledge base. Development can happen year-round.
Reviewing Career Paths
While the firm should provide opportunities for development and mentors to help talent learn new skills, the employees need to drive the effort. Both lateral and job promotions are necessary parts of the career path. It is just as important to spend time in different jobs at one level as it is to move to the next. Continuous feedback sessions should be part of the career path process with roadblocks included. Finding out how the employee is contributing to the firm shows engagement.
Career Paths Contribute to Employee Retention
Career paths help make employee development a priority, and they can be updated as needed. Employees can even be included as part of succession planning in their career path. Remember that in creating career paths, authenticity is key, and communication is vital. Employees must know that you value them and how they can grow with the firm. In exchange, excitement for career potential will keep employee retention high.