Talent management strategies for 2013

by 18 Dec 2012

Will your talent management strategies support key business priorities in 2013? Sean Conrad provides his tips.

In their 15th Annual Global CEO Survey, PwC identified developing a leadership and talent pipeline and improving organisational efficiency as two of the three top priorities for CEOs. And in their Next Generation HR Report, The Hay Group stated that HR's priorities for the next five years included developing future leaders and enhancing employee performance.

So what are you doing to get ready for 2013?

If you're following the research, two of the key talent management strategies every HR team should have in place to address these priorities are effective leadership and talent development, and goal management.

Preparing for the futhre with talent pool development

Effective leadership and talent development requires a long term view. While it's important to have development programs in place to address short term needs, what's more important is to address longer term needs. And one of the best ways to do that is through talent pool development.

With talent pool based leadership development, you identify high performing, high potential employees in all areas of the organisation, assign them development plans to prepare them for career advancement, and periodically assess their progress. What's important here is to develop a talent pipeline for all critical areas of the business, leadership being only one of those.

So you need to start by looking at your organisation's strategic plan, identify knowledge and experience areas that will be important to future success and competitiveness, develop competency models for each of these areas, and design learning paths/curricula to develop these competencies in increasing degrees. Then, match your high performing, high potential employees to the areas that best suit them, and start developing them.

What you'll end up with, is a robust talent pipeline, with employees at varying stages of development/readiness for advancement – which is exactly what you need to ensure your organisation's future, support growth, and attract, engage and retain top talent.

So, add talent pool development to your 2013 resolutions/priorities.

Enhancing employee performance with dynamic goal alignment/management

The second key talent management strategy that every HR team needs to have in place is organisation centric goal management.

Research from Gallup and others shows that employee engagement and performance is enhanced when employees know what is expected of them, feel that their job is important to the organisation's mission, and get regular feedback on their progress.

So if you want to drive up employee performance, set up a process that ensures:


  • organisational goals are clearly communicated and are accessible to all employees
  • every employee has clear individual goals
  • individual employee goals are clearly linked to organisational goals so employees see how they are contributing to organisational success
  • employee progress on goals in monitored and communicated
  • organisational progress on goals in monitored and communicated


You really need all five of these elements for effective goal alignment/management that encourages high performance. Yet it's surprising how many organisations still fail to link employee goals to organisational goals. And among those that do, many still fail to monitor and communicate progress on goals – which is one of the best ways to keep everyone engaged, accountable and aligned.

Resolve to be better at talent management

So to get ready for 2013 and beyond, make sure you've got talent management strategies in place that support your organisation's strategic plan, as well as the top HR priorities identified by global research. These basic actions will drive your success as well as your organisation's.


About the author

Sean Conrad blogs about talent management trends and best practices for Halogen Software's Exploring talent management blog, as well as for leading industry blogs. You can read more of his posts here.