Candidate Pools & Proactive Recruiting

How to Use a Talent Pool

Once talent pools are filled with a diversity of high-potential employees (HiPos) at various stages in their careers, it is tempting to think that the work is done. Where this model of succession planning demonstrates its real value, however, is in what you do with the talent pools.

By Joanne Wells, Manager, Learning Center of Excellence, Halogen Software

In short, implement the learning strategies identified earlier to help each candidate reach his or her potential. Using an organizationwide automated tool will help to provide visibility and oversight in the development of HiPos.

The data-driven talent pool approach to succession planning enables an across-the-organization view of talent to diagnose strengths and gaps and to identify opportunities for moving talent to fill those gaps as well as meet development needs. Regular reviews of data and discussion of candidates are conducted at increasingly higher levels of the organization.

This approach, when HR and leaders gather to review talent pools, facilitates viewing talent as organizational rather than departmental assets, with managers willing to discuss, commit to develop, and share talent across the organization.

Ensure the Future Success of Your Organization with Talent Pools

Talent pools are useful, but keep in mind that they are filled with individuals. HiPos are placed in pools to enable accountability, focused attention, and consideration in filling positions—but that does not mean they should be treated as a group rather than as individuals. Pay attention to individual needs, rates of progress, and career aspirations.

Managers are key in conducting regular one-on-one conversations about career and development goals and in assessing retention risk. Managers can also help their employees apply newly learned skills to assignments and projects and by regularly debriefing employees to assess progress, review plans, and identify developmental needs.

Mentors outside the regular reporting relationship are also helpful career accelerators, helping HiPos make networking connections and providing guidance and insight. As HiPos progress, they can themselves serve as mentors to earlier-career HiPos, benefiting the development of both parties.

Research by Bersin by Deloitte indicates that organizations with the most mature succession planning strategy emphasize a systematic relationship between talent and data that is aligned with organizational strategy and is integrated with the entire talent management system with a goal of increasing talent engagement, productivity, and retention. Making succession planning best practices an integral part of strategic planning and talent management will ensure bench strength capable of future-proofing the organization’s mission and vision.