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Is Your Company Ready for Talent Review? 5 Practical Cases (Part II)


After we clearly grasp the importance of the talent review process as a starting point for building professional development policies which I discussed in a previous post, “Is your company ready for talent review?”, I would then like to demonstrate all these concepts in this second sequel through a series of practical cases.

To do this we will make use of a talent matrix or a 9-box grid with the horizontal axis measuring employee performance and the vertical axis their potential. This matrix which is configurable to suit each company’s needs will allow us to locate selected employees in their corresponding quadrant based on the evaluation of these two parameters (performance level and potential), and to start designing specific talent plans for each of these groups.

Practical case 1: galactics

This is one of the most typical examples when talking about talent management. We have defined employees who score well above the rest as “galactics”; these would thus be both the key people and future leaders of my organization.

This group requires a specific development and retention plan of actions. We should offer them mobility opportunities for internal positions which provide them with the required experience and motivation as well as initiate coaching or mentoring management or specific training that will allow them to develop skills we will demand in the future.

Similarly when it comes to managing this group, we must not forget their bosses as a key part of managing their day to day work. Hence it is advisable to develop a training plan aimed at our managers to enable them to manage their high potential employees appropriately as well as to communicate and enhance their

Practical case 2: contributors

This is the most important group of employees within organizations as statistically they usually undertake about 90% of the work. However in talent management processes, it is often the least noticed, since employees are the ones who perform normally and possess potential within the usual and acceptable ranges.

To manage this group, we need to design plans of action targeted to maintaining their levels of satisfaction so they continue to perform the same work. They also form part of the pool of our prospective talented employees, so we must be able to spot those in this group who have the capacity to jump towards the quadrant known as galactics.

Practical case 3: low potential

Continuing with our line of talent analysis, here we have one of the groups that organizations are most concerned about. These are employees who have very poor performance and low potential. We should do a thorough and individual analysis on this group to analyze the causes for this status. We may come across one-off scenarios, others that prolong over time, promotions that took place without taking into account the employee’s competencies for the target job, or managers who were not able to assess their teams correctly. After analyzing the reasons, we must develop specific actions to improve performance for this group, as well as consider plans focused on proactively facilitating their departure in the most extreme cases.

Practical case 4: risk of leaving

Here we find employees who want to stop working in the organization. As for the previous group, it will be necessary to study each case individually and analyze the possible reasons leading them to leave. In such cases we may find key talent who are in our interests to retain; for this group it will be necessary to design retention plans. If this cannot be done then we would have to analyze the impact of leaving and implement a succession plan. For employees with low potential, yet another option would be to prepare a plan for favour their departure from the organization. Finally, it is advisable to conduct a cost analysis of retention actions in comparison with actions to promote substitutes.

Practical case 5: Candidates for a new office

To set up a new office obviously the first thing we have to analyze are the minimum knowledge and skills that will be required for employees deciding on the new office. For example, if we are going to open a new branch in Russia, this mobility requires selecting employees who are willing to move abroad as well as speak Russian.

Another important factor to consider is the need to properly combine employee potential to move abroad with the development of the work that will be required in the new office. If we select all of our employees with high potential, we can create conflicts since all will have some very high aspirations for growth. Therefore it will be advisable to suitably combine “contributor” type employees with “high potential” ones to have a more cohesive and balanced team. Conducting team building actions and frequent monitoring of the target objectives will also be two vital issues to consider in these selection criteria.


Alfonso Mazariegos

Alfonso Villalonga Mazariegos is a blogger focused on talent and knowledge management. An HR consultant at Meta4, a firm specializing in the implementation and deployment of HR solutions in enterprises, where he worked in customer projects covering recruitment, training, performance management, career development, benefits and time management. A veteran pilgrim of the Way of St. James and an avid football fan of Atlético.

Alfonso Mazariegos Villalonga es bloguero especializado en gestión del talento y del conocimiento. Consultor de RRHH en Meta4, firma especializada en la implantación y despliegue de soluciones de RRHH para la empresa, dónde ha trabajado en el área de proyectos entorno cliente en las áreas de Selección, Formación, Evaluación, Desarrollo de Carrera, Beneficios y Gestión del Tiempo. Peregrino veterano del Camino de Santiago y futbolero empedernido con sangre rojiblanca.

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