How a talent manager guides managers

As a manager, you often have limited time to guide starting professionals in your company. A talent manager can significantly ease this responsibility for you. While you, as a manager, monitor the development of the young professional from a wider perspective, our talent managers focus on the personal growth of the young professional. Lieke Galema, our Head of Talent Management, explains why a talent manager is a valuable asset for you as a manager.

The role of the talent manager

When a young professional joins your team, they receive two years of intensive guidance from a talent manager. This ensures the young professional is primed to maximise growth during this period. Initially, the talent manager collaborates with the client to ensure the young professional settles well into their new role. This allows the young professionals to focus on their work and fully realise their potential. Lieke notes, “We closely monitor the young professional, assist with practical matters, and provide in-depth guidance for the development of soft skills.”

Lieke has been one of our talent managers for five years now and, like Sophie, Tim, and Floris, she oversees a group of young professionals. “It’s remarkable to witness the growth of young professionals up close. The transition from student to full-time employee is significant, and they face many challenges. Talent management is crucial to ensure this smooth transition, thereby relieving the young professional’s supervisor of this responsibility.”

Managers often need more time to mentor juniors. Especially for managers who have advanced from technical roles, guiding young professionals in their personal development can be quite challenging. Our talent managers, with their HR background, support you as a manager by coaching young professionals in soft skills. This enhances their effectiveness, clarifies their ambitions, and ensures they are better positioned within the company. This translation captures the informative and professional tone of the original blog, focusing on the practical aspects of talent management in a workplace setting.

What do you, as a manager, gain from a talent manager?

A talent manager keeps the supervisor actively informed about the young professional’s development. “Every three months, we organise a quarterly meeting where the young professional, the manager, and the talent manager come together. This is when we discuss the young professional’s progress,” explains Lieke. Before these meetings, Lieke speaks with both parties to gauge the current situation. By taking on this role, you can focus more on the young professional’s development of hard skills, namely the technical aspects of their job. The talent manager coaches the young professional on topics like MBTI, helping them discover their personality style, and how to handle setbacks. Lieke adds, “We work collaboratively around the young professional. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship that creates a dynamic synergy.”

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Recognising and highlighting talent

Managing talent is crucial. “As talent managers, we serve a signalling role, both positively and negatively,” Lieke elaborates. “When a young professional is doing well, I explore how we can further their growth using our study budget.” From smaller trainings like Power BI to more intensive courses such as Financial Risk Management (FRM) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), the needs vary from person to person.

However, the talent manager also intervenes when things aren’t going as well. “High workloads and long hours can make personal issues more apparent, especially during the significant transition from study to work. Within the work context, we can provide support. Still, if there are psychological issues affecting their work, we suggest that the young professional might benefit from external help,” Lieke clarifies, emphasising that they are not psychologists.

Lieke illustrates with an example: “A young man we placed at ABN AMRO as a business analyst worked incredibly hard in his first year. The manager noticed but didn’t fully recognise his potential. This young professional was a real gem.” Therefore, Lieke’s coaching focused on encouraging him to be less modest and more visible. She proudly adds, “He has since been promoted to a lead position and now hires young professionals himself.”

There are many more success stories. Peter Ahsmann from ABF maintains close contact with the talent manager of his young professionals. Read about his experiences.

Why talent management should be customised

Different generations require distinct forms of leadership. As people have grown up in different eras, they value different things. The stability sought by a Gen X’er in the workplace contrasts with the constant growth opportunities valued by a Gen Y’er. Gen Z places more importance on hobbies than previous generations and desires to have time for these pursuits. Additionally, having partly grown up during the coronavirus pandemic, the younger generation is less tied to fixed working hours and locations. By understanding the needs of different generations, you can facilitate this flexibility or stability. But how do you, as a manager, ensure you achieve this?

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Building bridges between cultural differences

With increasing internationalisation, customised talent management becomes even more crucial due to cultural differences among employees. Lieke explains, “In our work, it’s vital to address the impact of culture on work and work experience. For instance, discussing personal achievements with someone from a collective culture may not be effective. The skill lies in building a bridge between the culture an individual is familiar with and the way things operate in the Netherlands. The talent manager is well-equipped to practise this.” In the preliminary phase of the young professional’s traineeship, the talent manager also involves the manager in bridging these cultural worlds.

Like our other talent managers, Lieke has undergone training to enhance her coaching skills for international staff and to provide better guidance to their managers. Therefore, the talent manager plays a key role in helping an increasingly international team navigate and resolve cultural differences in the workplace. Lieke adds, “We strive to think along with managers, especially now as more internationals and Gen Z talents enter the workplace. We collaborate based on knowledge sharing.”

Want to know more?

Interested in discovering how talent management can revolutionise your team? Lieke is eager to discuss this with you. Our expertise extends beyond just recruiting and selecting young professionals for your organisation; we also offer comprehensive mentorship to ensure their success.

Let’s talk