Total Talent Management 101

Wiggli Team
May 22, 2023
Total Talent Management

There are many ways to see success in the employment world. Recruiting highly-qualified and skilled workers is one of them. But with the changing paradigm where flexible working is increasingly holding prominence, the new normal is contingent workforce management (CWM). More importantly, it’s the corporate world’s gateway to top-tier talent. How? Well, thanks to the everlasting impact of technology on modern business, the workforce is no longer confined to a company’s walls. And as reported in The State of Contingent Workforce Management 2018 by Ardent Partners, 40 percent of the total global workforce comprises the gig economy. It includes non-permanent workers like contingent workers, contractors, and freelancers. This workforce agility has led to the birth of the total talent management (TTM) strategy. Besides being a driving factor of a company’s talent acquisition (TA) strategy, this approach also covers the use of innovative hiring techniques, leading the recruitment landscape towards a total talent future.

Total talent management is all about redefining the workforce solutions industry by integrating permanent and contingent talent. It transcends the barriers between permanent and non-permanent workers – creating an all-inclusive approach to managing talent. However, another important (and often overlooked) component of this strategy is non-human talent such as software, bots, robots, and automation.

What is Total Talent Management?

In the absence of total talent management, steering business growth without contingent workers and non-human talent was a missed opportunity. But with the recent prominence of this concept across the world, organisations are progressively valuing talent of all types disregarding their employment status and existence. 

So, while defining total talent management, let’s consider it a critical driver of complete growth. With all, for all.

5 Ways Total Talent Management Fills the Growth Gap

Optimising a workforce ecosystem has a lot to do with the right deployment of talent. With total talent management, companies can break the silos and experience multiple benefits. Before we dive into them, let’s discuss numbers.

A Randstad Sourceright report titled 2021 Talent Trends found 97 percent of companies surveyed with a total talent approach were “extremely” or “very satisfied” with the model. At the same time, 77 percent say that their talent strategies are now more focused on workforce agility than ever before.

Source: Randstad Sourceright

Total talent management, thus, ensures that your business — and everyone involved — grows.

Now, let’s dig deeper and discuss the various benefits this model offers.

1) Brings Cost Savings

By leveraging all the talent, a total talent management approach helps streamline operations and reduce costs. Having this approach means you can optimise the supply and demand of human capital, standardise your talent operations, and ultimately, achieve economies of scale. Companies can also significantly reduce the investment in permanent staff with this model. 

The outcome? 

A better ROI with full utilisation of the top talent in the industry.

2) Translates Into Higher Productivity & Performance

Imagine easy access to top-tier talent. This is what total talent management makes possible. This approach ensures that your business can utilise talent more efficiently through proper talent acquisition and allocation. Plus, it takes the load off the permanent hires’ shoulders when you want to scale your business operations. 

As highlighted in the External Workforce Insights 2018 by SAP Fieldglass and Oxford Economics, 62% of executives say their external workforce enables them to improve the company’s overall financial performance.

Therefore, by making space for the external workforce, total talent management can significantly improve business performance. Perhaps, that’s the reason why more and more companies are spending money on the external workforce. That’s what this illustration from the study by SAP Fieldglass and Oxford Economics tells us.

Source: SAP Fieldglass & Oxford Economics

In fact, if implemented right, this model can help your company meet dynamic business needs without compromising quality and expertise.

3) Prevent Skills Shortage

According to the SHRM Skills Gap 2019 report83 percent of respondents had trouble recruiting suitable candidates in the past 12 months. 

Total talent management helps you avoid the pitfalls of a skills shortage. It enables you to make quick and adequate changes to your workforce ecosystem by helping you gauge the skill availability across your company. 

Thus, filling the talent gaps becomes possible when you have a total talent management model in place.

4) Strengthens Your Employer Brand

Embracing the non-traditional workforce strengthens the employer brand of an organisation. By declaring to the world that your company has proudly integrated both permanent and contingent workforce, you portray your business as an employer of choice. Your company’s values towards a modern work approach are reflected, and it gives you a competitive edge in attracting and retaining top talent

5) Total Talent Management Makes HR More Strategic

The HR function in any organisation has long been recognised as a key success factor.

By focusing on an integrated talent approach, total talent management leads to strategic talent decision-making. It also helps to cut the inefficiency that bad hiring practices and processes often bring in tow. 

With total talent management, the contingent workforce no longer remains a procurement function. It is prioritised and cherished just like the permanent workforce.

This workforce planning and faster talent delivery have made HR more strategic through total talent management than otherwise.

Achieving Total Talent Management: Spotlight on Implementation

Winning with your talent pool is easy. You just need to push your talent management. And at Wiggli, we help you do that by linking you with a total talent supply chain framework. We’ve helped several companies scale their operations globally, with total talent management acting as a catalyst.

Here are a few best practices to prepare your talent strategies despite the growing focus on corporate belt-tightening:

1) Tap into the Power of Technology

Although technology seems to be ubiquitous in any modern business, there’s still a long way to go when it comes to total talent management. Backed by analytics, technology can help you harness talent like never before. 

Begin by investing in cloud-based technology to utilise workforce data and find loopholes in your current talent strategy. Also, consider using AI-enabled tools to streamline talent acquisition and management. With machine learning serving as your aide, you can also make the application process for permanent and contingent workers pretty straightforward. 

2) Build a Talent Network

Cultivate a pool of interested leads through a talent network. Apart from helping you deploy a direct-sourcing strategy, it’s also beneficial in creating a community of independent talent. A talent network works great in fetching data about candidates’ interests and skills while building a database of talent that you can count on at any time in the future. 

Whereas for the candidates, it’s an excellent way to receive ongoing communication about new jobs, projects, and events. In short, it’s a win-win!

Check out The Bloomberg Talent Community for some inspiration on how a simple talent network could be a great start to creating a talent community.

3) Frame a Special Plan For Contingent Talent 

Talent leaders need to look beyond the traditional approach of hiring to make total talent management work. Besides opening every possible sourcing channel, companies need to be available to contingent workers in as many ways as possible. 

Be there on popular social media networking sites, leverage online forums, create a compelling website, and do all you can to identify, attract, engage, and hire a contingent workforce. And make it a continuous process.

4) Redefine Your Company Culture

Remember, total talent management doesn’t end at hiring. It extends beyond that. Companies need to cultivate a strong work culture —inclusive of both permanent and contingent workers— to make it a success. That’s because a company’s culture has a direct impact on workforce productivity and engagement.

Traditional corporate culture often tends to skip its focus from contingent workforce onboarding. Top management and HR leaders must redefine the company culture and incorporate all talent types into the company. 

5) Showcase Your Employer Brand

Adding to the above point, HR leaders need to build a community representing the employer brand. This helps all workforces understand how a company delivers value across the talent supply chain, including different workgroups.

See what Dotdash (formerly does here with the company’s “Careers” webpage. Besides adding a compelling statement of how they are looking for like-minded people to be a part of their team, they have special job sections for the contingent workforce, including interns, contractors, and freelancers.

Managing Total Talent with Wiggli

As HR leaders worldwide look for ways to curb talent shortages, Wiggli helps them lean on total talent. Let’s help you find, attract, and retain talent throughout your recruitment and hiring funnel. 

Be a part of our total talent management revolution and let every talent count.

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