The objective of a talent assessment process is to reach a conclusion about each potential member of the talent pool in the following terms. Are they:
- Ready Now for their next role
- Will they be Ready Soon for their next role, typically meaning in two/three years
- Will they be Ready in the Future, typically in around five years time
- A Key Contributor – someone whom the organisation would find great difficulty replacing if they resigned
- A person that should be included in the pool for Developmental purposes
(The words in italics are usually employed as the category heading in talent pools).
Notice that this approach sorts on the basis of time to readiness. However, the mere passing of time does not necessarily result in any person becoming better qualified for a given target role! More focused approaches to accelerating talent development have, therefore, begun to consider the critical experiences and learning support services that need to be made available to people in the talent pool.
The critical experiences may be particular postings, secondments or job moves that are known to be highly correlated with success in a given, future role. These experiences might be broadly defined (“living and working in a francophone country”) and be quite specific (“has managed a revenue account and grown income by a factor of x over a period of y”). Where this approach is taken the emphasis on “time to readiness” is often progressively overtaken and more attention is paid to “paving the way” to a given, future role (or roles) with suitable experiences.
Learning support services
It is well known that two people can experience what appears to be the same occurrence and one will learn a tremendous amount from the experience whilst another very little. It is also evident that people learn in different ways and may be more or less active, pragmatic, and reflective or articulate about what they have learnt. Given this variety of approaches to learning it not surprising that a range of learning support services are now used to accelerate development. These services include mentoring, coaching, good management practices, journaling, action learning (for groups in a talent pool), assignments and so on.
Assessment for what?
Assessment serves three fundamental purposes in talent and succession management:
- It helps to confirm potential by indicating what kind of talent has been nominated into the pool.
- It helps target development by allowing you to understand the relationship between individual capabilities and business objectives. This enables you to select highly targeted development solutions for each individual and for them to be captured in a motivational (leadership) development plan.
- It helps in making placement decisions. This facilitates the selection of just the right experiences, job challenges and assignments and in providing the most appropriate support to the individual.
Need advice about any aspect of talent and succession management? Contact √itas Consult.