Not so long ago, “human resources” was the go-to term for describing the broad spectrum of recruitment, retention and development of a company’s workforce. More recently, “talent management” has become more widely adopted among businesses seeking a fresh perspective by which to maximize their most valuable asset – the men and women hired to help their companies grow.

What elements constitute the core of talent management? According to organizational development consultant Susan Heathfield, the list includes:

Having a viable talent management system in place can attract better candidates. Why? It demonstrates that your business “promotes employee engagement and job satisfaction—especially when workers see that professional support, development, and growth are top priorities your company."

So what talent management strategies can you adopt to make your workforce more productive and efficient? Here are best practices to keep in mind:

Determine key performance indicators (KPIs). Every position within your company should have detailed KPIs in place, so you can hire wisely and then assess a new hire’s performance during the critical first 90-160 days of employment. Such KPIs can include a comprehensive description of the departmental role, expected deliverables, stated project deadlines, etc.

Keep a high profile on social media. Qualified job candidates routinely use social media as a way of gathering information on the most desirable employers. If your business consistently posts fresh, relevant content and engage with your followers, you’re more likely to interest these job-seekers in further exploring what your business offers.

Design a methodical hiring process. Many businesses falter when it comes to hiring, because they go about the process in a haphazard way. By contrast, a systematic hiring process applies the same requirements and techniques across the board, thus ensuring a more efficient way of going about this time-consuming process.

Getting support from all key stakeholders (department managers, co-workers, etc.) can help identify key components of the process. Also, using digital technology to compile and analyze past and present hiring data can help frame the approach that best serves your company’s unique needs.

Focus on cultural fit. Every organization has its own culture and an effective talent management process ensures that only individuals who “fit” into that culture are hired. You may identify “a talented individual with tons of experience, but if their objectives don’t match yours, they won’t serve your organization the way you need,” notes business writer Sammi Caramela.

Cultivate the talent you have. Companies sometimes overlook the potential of their current employee roster, seeking instead to consistently recruit new candidates for open positions. Talent management emphasizes cultivating the people already working for you. Look for every opportunity to instill a sense of meaning and purpose in these employees. This may include:

These same talent management best practices also achieve the highly desirable goal of improving employee retention. The men and women who work for you are far more likely to stay with your company if they feel the work they do contributes to your overall success, if they feel recognized for their hard work and if they can meet their own professional goals within the organization.

Talent management is (or should be) an essential component of any business’s growth strategy. Whether you approach the process using your own internal resources or turn to a qualified third-party talent management provider, it’s vital to improve the ways in which talent grows inside your company.