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Data Provides Talent Management Solutions

I have met with a number of HR leaders over the past couple of weeks and each of them was curious about hot HR topics and initiatives within other organization’s Human Capital Departments. This is one of my favorite topics of conversation because every company’s structure and culture is different and this leads to many different solutions to issues around Work Force Planning, Change Management, HR Transformation, and Talent Management.

For the purpose of this blog, I’d like to focus on Talent Management.

Talent Management:  It is not 2008 anymore. (Thank goodness.) Most companies had to downsize their employee base during that time. As businesses have grown over the past six years, most companies have done this with a leaner staff.  Now that there is more confidence in the economy, companies are realizing they have made it through the lean times and can justify hiring onto their teams. However, before they make hires, I see companies wanting to take stock in their employees and be very deliberate with whom they hire.

Hiring leaders want to identify their best employees and hire more of that profile. Leaders are asking themselves, “Who are our best employees and how can we help them grow?” and “Who are our employees that we need to coach up or coach out?”

What is the key to identifying these two types of employees in an objective manner? Data. Well, data and a consistent sustainable process in which to gather and assess the data. Some companies use 9-boxes, some use competencies, some simply use a red-yellow-green rating system based on manager feedback.

Performance management can help you ensure that your company culture is what you want it to be.  It helps you “inspect what you expect” and hold your workforce accountable.  The most important factor in creating a talent management program is sustained leadership buy-in. Don’t let your managers just “check a box” and move on. Don’t let them dismiss the importance of constant communication with their teams.

A solid Talent Management process can change a company from a “shoot from the hip” performance grading culture to a fully engaged management force that looks forward to providing real-time, honest feedback to their employees.


  1.  Define the competencies or methodology upon which you want to measure your people.
  2. Get leadership buy-in. They need to own it and execute it.
  3. Be consistent in leadership timing of execution and delivery.

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Photo Credit: Can Stock Photos