Perfecting Talent Management

While business leaders are often knowledgeable about the best ways to use their financial capital, they can often neglect the human capital of an organisation. Talent management addresses the immense value people bring to businesses by creating compassionate and supportive cultures that foster greater productivity and engagement.

What is talent management?

Talent management is a process that strives to attract, recognise, develop and retain the top talent within your organisation. Rather than seeing staff as disposable, a talent management strategy helps you realise the unique potential, skills, and interests your employees have and helps them towards their goals within the company.

Intelligent HR software is integral to a successful talent management process. It provides one source of data that ensures you can make consistent and accurate evaluations of your staff’s strengths, weaknesses, and progress. It ensures high-performing employees are recognised for their efforts and those who are underperforming are given the support they need to improve performance.

Benefits of a talent management programme

Hiring and retaining talent

A talent management strategy communicates your organisation’s commitment to its employees and prospective candidates. It helps you retain the talent you have, as studies show that continuous opportunities for developing both professional and personal skills within an organisation are a major factor in the decision to take and remain in a job.

When it comes to retaining talent, research from The Center for Creative Leadership shows that being identified as a high potential employee has a very positive impact on employees. High potential employees are those among your staff who show capacity for leadership roles in the future through their ability, organisational commitment and motivation.

Businesses can identify high potential employees through a strong talent management programme with the help of HR software that gives an accurate and impartial view of your employees’ performance. Individuals who have been identified as high potential for leadership roles report feeling more committed and engaged in their workplace.

It’s also important that high potential employees are formally identified as such, as the same research conducted by the CCL also found a crucial difference between employees who had been formally identified as having high potential in comparison to those who self-identified as one or who had been informally notified of this status.

The survey found that 33% of staff who had not been formally recognised as high potential were looking for alternative employment, compared to 14% of staff who had been formally identified.

It’s also worth noting that 84% of those identified formally further supported their company by helping to identify and develop other high performers. Therefore, it’s clear that there’s a great deal of value in formally identifying staff members who possess the drive and talent to develop into leaders within your business.

Addressing multi-generational needs

A successful talent management strategy manages multi-generational needs in the workplace. By 2025, millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, will make up three quarters of the global workforce, and with this shift in demographics, expectations for career development are also shifting.

While lack of promotion prospects is a key reason for leaving current employment across all generations, millennials view this as especially important. In comparison, baby boomers, who currently hold many leadership roles, are more concerned about title, status, and salary. That is why being aware of the needs of different generations within your organisation is increasingly important.

Your company’s financial performance

Apart from helping you take full advantage of your human capital, having a talent management programme in place can also improve your organisation’s financial standing. Research conducted by McKinsey & Company shows that respondents who said that their company had an effective talent management process in place reported higher total returns to stakeholders and were more likely to identify their employer as outpacing competitors.

This study highlighted three key indicators of a successful talent management strategy:

The 17% of respondents who reported their employers having all three in place were not only 2.5 times more likely to rate their organisation’s talent management programmes as effective but also much more likely to report their company as financially outperforming their competition.

It’s also worth noting that successful talent management programmes lead to more motivated and loyal employees, which in turn means higher productivity and lower staff turnover, both of which can have a considerable financial impact on your business.

Important factors for a successful talent management strategy

When it comes to building a talent management programme that works, it’s important to consider a couple of different things:

Collective leadership results in everyone taking responsibility for the success of your company as a whole, rather than just their own areas of expertise. It helps promote cross-functional experience and creates opportunities for identifying high-performing employees with the ability to encourage others. It’s also a good way to bring more diverse voices into decision-making processes.

Setting up a talent management process


A comprehensive talent management programme can be an important draw for potential candidates, and modern human resources software is very helpful in this regard, as it communicates to applicants that you have a formal and impartial system in place to recognise and develop talent within your business.

Having a strong talent management strategy means fully understanding your business vision and strategy needs. Use this to your advantage in the hiring process by searching for applicants that not only have the technical know-how to do the job but whose aspirations also match your company’s ethos.

A talent management strategy can help you diversify your staff. This can be achieved by doing a generational demographic audit of your existing staff. As discussed earlier, different generations have different needs and wants for their employer. Failing to address this in the recruitment process means you might miss out on talent.

To reach the next generation of business leaders, consider every step of your recruitment process. When it comes to advertising positions, review your job description and how you talk about your business vision, benefits and development opportunities. In the interviewing process, consider utilising modern recruitment practices to assess candidates based on how they fit in with your company culture and corporate vision.

Examples of this include online or phone screenings, several in-house interviews with different members of staff and trial days, all of which can prove useful in finding candidates who possess not only the know-how but also the cultural fit to succeed in your company.

Talent allocation

When it comes to developing the talent your staff has effectively, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:


Identify those employees who have the ability, motivation, and commitment to succeed in more senior roles within your business. Leadership skills to look for include:

  • The ability to drive others to succeed
  • The capability for conceptual and strategic thinking
  • Fit for specialised leadership roles.


Once you have identified high potential candidates for leadership roles, communicate this to them, as formal identification for high-potential employees has a positive impact on their work and decreases their likelihood of seeking alternative employment.


Consider your staff appraisal process, as frequent staff appraisals allow for quick talent allocation. Frequent employee appraisals also give you an important opportunity to touch base regarding employees’ career goals and identify training and development needs.

Talent development and deployment

After you’ve formally identified those among your employees who possess high potential for leadership roles, it’s important to establish goals and a roadmap for their development. Your employees need to know what the next steps are for them in terms of development, experience and movement within their organisation in order to remain satisfied and engaged.

This is where a comprehensive talent management system can support your efforts. It provides a single source of data with the necessary insight into the progress employees are making and where they may need support. This ensures that your high performers know that their efforts are recognised and that you are taking steps to provide continued development.

Common ways your business can develop staff quicker:

An effective talent development strategy is paramount for retaining your top talent, as without a clear plan for career progression, you risk losing your best and brightest to your competition.

It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t only offer development opportunities to high performers. If you do this, you risk the rest of your staff seeing themselves as less valued. Instead, you should consider ways to make leadership more collective in order to empower your employees to take greater ownership of your company’s objectives and success. You should also give your staff opportunities to experience different parts of your business to ensure they gain deeper insight into your business’ goals and priorities.

Succession planning

Succession planning goes hand in hand with an effective talent management programme and guarantees the continued success of your business after its current leadership leaves or retires. It provides a safety net for your organisation that protects it from critical gaps in business insight and leadership skills.

To incorporate succession planning as part of your talent development programme, you should pay special attention to those high performers who have the ability to not only drive themselves but also others. This is a key indicator that they have the people skills and ability to deal with complexity that are vital in leadership roles. With cloud-based HR software from Sage, you can forecast your future company growth and take the guesswork out of your succession strategy with accurate data and an overview of high-potential employees’ past performance and progress.

Discover talent management software from Sage

The right software can make building and managing your talent management programme a breeze. It helps you automate processes vulnerable to human error, such as data entry and provides a single source of information based on your accurate and up-to-date data.

It provides an objective view of the top performers in your organisation and helps you provide them with the development opportunities they need to stay satisfied and challenged in their role. The right talent management system helps you provide them with the support to grow into your future business leaders. You’ll also be able to easily track your entire staff’s development and see where further support, such as specialised training, is needed.

You can also expect a boost in staff morale from the introduction of intelligent talent management tools as your employees can see your commitment to their career development and formal recognition of their hard work, as well as increased productivity due to the streamlining and automation of key tasks and workflows with the support of intelligent HR software.

Here at Sage, we understand that your human capital is your most valuable asset. That’s why we develop software that helps you as a business leader discover the full potential of your staff and safeguard your company’s future success with the necessary talent management tools to keep your workforce motivated and engaged. From factual reports that grant you visibility into the high performers within your employees to overviews that offer valuable insight into any gaps in knowledge and leadership skills, our HR software products help you make your business vision a reality.

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