Notes on Talent: Talent Management Strategy

“Notes on…” is a series, based on notes I took during courses I completed.
Each post highlights a key takeaway I took from the course, along with my own notes.


key Takeaway

The right people, with the right skills, in the right roles.
That’s such a powerful reminder and one that rings true from my own experience. Before coming to Squarespace, I was a lead at Meetup. I remember our Succession Planning meetings, which touched on this very thing. Each month, we assessed people on our teams - to anticipate potential future gaps, share career interests we heard from people on our team, and then find ways to address both.
This course really opened my eyes to the talent pools within a company and the talent pools outside a company. Paying attention to and cultivating both are crucial to the success of any organization.


Build Your Talent Management Strategy

What is a talent management strategy?

Retain key talent and have greater productivity; earning is usually higher than their peers

  • Talent management guides...

  • Recruiting and hiring

  • Performance management

  • Career development

  • Succession planning

  • Learning and development

  1. Identify Talent Needs: new roles, new types of leadership, new skills, how many new people are needed

  2. Identify Existing Talent Gaps: enough people? Right people with right skills? New leaders? Can our talent learn new skills quickly?

  3. Design Recruiting and Hiring Plans: Bring on the right number of people with right skills; fill new roles and vacancies

  4. Develop Internal Talent: Use talent review and succession planning to identify who can step into new roles

Build a Successful Plan

Better talent at all levels allows companies to outperform their competitors.

Business leaders (not HR) needs to drive talent management. Often only seen as an HR responsibility.

  • Involve leaders in the talent management strategy development process. How you’ll address top business priorities

  • Make sure leader’s role is simple and practical

  • Put metrics in place to demonstrate the impact of TM

Share internal metrics (compelling data): internal promotion rates, hiring and recruiting costs, turnover rates, and EE scores

Train and equip leaders to manage talent (a learned skill)

Build Your Talent Management Plan

Identify Talent Needs

The right people, with the right skills, in the right roles

HR and business leaders work together to identify needed roles - anticipate

  • Determine what new skills are required

  • What does success look like in each role?

  • What skills and knowledge are necessary?

  • What experience is required?

Assess Existing Talent

  • Help managers use talent effectively

  • Identify employees for new roles

  1. Define the skills that are needed

  2. Choose the assessment that corresponds to them

Skill-based assessments used during the hiring process: Technology, marketing campaign ideas, assess leadership skills (360 feedback). Outcome of assessments become a development plan

Performance management process: Identify where the employee has strengths and what’s missing/needs to be improved

Talent review during succession planning: Leaders look at employees to see how they can be developed

Recruit and Hire The Right People

Have a talent pipeline: Employees and potential hires outside the company.

  1. Build a Workplace Plan: Outlines what kind of talent we need for now and the future; how many people and types of roles

  2. Build a Recruiting Plan for Each Team: Work with business leaders to validate and update the plan as business needs change; have detailed job descriptions

  3. Build a Talent Pipeline: Identify external candidates and current employees that can be promoted or moved

Promoting from within is more effective (turnover is higher when hiring externally)

Develop Employees To Meet Talent Needs

  • Employment Development Programs

  • Help company keep up with change

  • Know latest technology

  • Stay ahead of competitors

  1. Leadership Development: Leaders needs the skills to move business forward; prepare individuals for promotions and new assignments

  2. Skills-Based Training Program. Train for specific skills (sales, project management, coding, financial analysis). Offer programs that are critical need

  3. Career Development Program: Formal training, Hands-on development,

Implement A Succession Planning Process

A process to identify employees who are ready or will be ready to step in when you need them

  1. Identify Critical Positions: senior leadership, mid-level, positions that require unique skills, specific knowledge

  2. Identify Qualified Employees: Their strengths and development areas, experiences they’ve had (use the 9-box grid)

  3. Build Individual Development Plans: For each individual identified as a successor; address skill gaps and get them ready - Include training, mentoring, and coaching

Talent Management Best Practices

Focus on Engagement and Retention
How can you increase EE as part of your TM strategy?

  1. Comprehensive onboarding program: Orgs lose 1 in 6 of their new hires in the first six months. Give them a motivating onboarding process

  • First day of week: inspiring and motivating - mission, culture, vision goals

Share customer stories and success stories for teams

Create a program tailored for first 30, 60, 90 days

Explain employees how they fit in and contribute

Set expectations and review evaluation process

  • Focus on Career Development

People want opportunities to grow and advance

Start talking about advancement immediately; outline available training and development

Create an action plan to meet their goals

Increase Talent Visibility

  • Formal - Talent review process as part of succession planning

  • Engage business leaders to talk cross-functionally about talented people

  • Informal - discuss strengths, achievements, and career goals

  • Discover new ways to give talented individuals new experiences

  • Support employees moving to other teams

  • Assign to high-profile initiatives

Challenges the status quo:

What are the values that guide how we behave at work everyday?