Talent Planning: The Key to Future Organisational Success

Today’s challenging business climate has resulted in a shift of focus from Career Transition/Outplacement to Talent Planning, with organisations focusing on internal capabilities, high potentials and organisational capacity. HR Directors and business leaders are planning for the future by focusing on building sustainable talent pipelines, developing high potentials and implementing talent planning initiatives.  

An increasing number of HR Professionals and companies realise the growing importance of evaluating, understanding and developing existing talent, a process which is even more essential in a downturn. I have partnered with a number of these pro-active organisations and would like to share my experience with you by way of a case study.


A global organisation implemented several new strategies to drive growth, including company acquisitions and general expansion of its service range. It wished to put a robust Succession and Talent Planning initiative in place to enable the organisation to identify a pool of suitable talent from which future leaders could be selected to drive and achieve the ambitious growth targets of the business. The aims of the Talent Planning initiative were to:

  • Assess talent and bench strength across different levels
  • Understand key motivators for all participants
  • Identify unknown high potential employees
  • Profile all participants to inform HR Strategy
  • Map all participants against the competency framework
  • Assist high potential employees with future career planning
  • Develop Personal & Professional Development Plans for all participants


I worked with our highly experienced team of Occupational Psychologists to design and deliver a best practice methodology and approach comprised of 5 phases:

  • Phase 1:  Online Psychometric Assessments
  • Phase 2:  Career Planning/Coaching Session
  • Phase 3:  Talent Centre
  • Phase 4:  Feedback and Completion of Personal & Professional Development Plan
  • Phase 5:  Coaching

Phase 1 & 2

Following completion of the psychometric assessments, participants engaged in 1:1 coaching which provided them with a structured process of self-evaluation, reflection and exploration. This “taking stock” enabled them to identify alternative career paths internally and undertake the first steps in the completion of a Personal & Professional Development Plan.

Phases 3, 4 and 5 – Talent Centre, Feedback and Coaching

This Talent Centre comprised of a 1 Day Assessment and Development Centre delivered by our Occupational Psychologists and company Human Resource Team. Participants had the opportunity to participate in exercises that simulated real business scenarios and included group exercises, individual analysis exercises and business case presentations. All activity was conducted, measured and mapped against the company competency framework. 

This was followed by Feedback and Development Coaching Sessions during which the Occupational Psychologist shared a detailed Feedback Report which highlighted the individual’s key strengths, derailers and areas for development against each of the competencies on the framework. Each Manager completed a Personal & Professional Development Plan which clearly stated their short, medium and long term development objectives. A Triad session was then held with the participant, Coach and Line Manager to ensure that the development objectives were realistic and in line with departmental objectives and to obtain line management buy-in and approval.

Overall Results and Outputs

The project was a great success with a number of key outcomes:

  • A comprehensive Cohort Analysis Report which scientifically identified high-potential employees for the talent pipeline
  • A Talent Audit and Map which provided a clear picture of current capabilities and an analysis of competency gaps for current/future roles
  • A more agile, mobile and flexible workforce strongly positioned to respond to changing business needs and strategic goals
  • Each participant identified their top 2 most suitable internal roles and projects where they could make the greatest contribution to the organisation in the next 3 years
  • Each participant completed a comprehensive Personal and Professional Development Plan which addressed their training and development needs
  • Company and each participant received a detailed Leadership Report which outlined their leadership styles
  • Participants understood their value proposition which resulted in more engaged, focused and motivated employees

Your Take-Away

A well designed and delivered Talent Planning initiative will uncover hidden talent, highlight high potentials and ensure that the right talent is nurtured and developed. Far from being a cost – it is a key contributor to sustained business success and profitability. 

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