4 Questions to Start Identifying, Promoting, Developing, and Managing Talent to Drive Organizational Success

How to use talent assessments to understand your organization’s talent

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Many organizations hire and promote on little more than gut instinct. Hard data and analytics typically don’t factor into the equation, which is surprising considering most of these organizations rely on data analytics to understand their customers and market conditions. For some reason, however, they don’t use similar tools and insights to gain a better picture of their own talent.

So what’s the better way? Talent assessment. 

Talent assessment and analytics provide objective, actionable insight by determining whether your existing leaders and future leadership candidates have the right capabilities and the extent to which they can learn and apply new capabilities. You will discover if there is a need to invest in broader development or if you need to hire external talent to meet leadership needs. With in-depth, objective information about your people, you can make smart, informed investments to help ensure your company has the right talent in the right roles. 

Here are four questions you can use to start identifying, promoting, developing, and managing talent to drive organizational success.

1. What are your company’s strategic imperatives? 
First, identify your organization’s goals, both short- and long-term. These outcomes must be achieved, in some form, by your talent. If you are not clear on what your company needs to accomplish or the implications for your talent, you will have a hard time hiring, promoting, or developing effective leaders.

2. What type of leaders do you need? 
Now that you understand your company’s strategic priorities, you should document the talent capabilities required to effectively lead. To do this, work backward to identify what leaders must do to achieve your organization’s goals and then pinpoint what capabilities will be required to do so.

3. Do your existing leaders have the capabilities to meet those strategic imperatives?
Once you know the kind of leader required to meet business objectives, you will need to evaluate your existing leadership bench to determine if you have the candidates with the right capabilities. Or, if not, whether they can be developed into the right leaders. This will involve using assessment tools and analytics to capture specific information about existing leaders. There are some key questions you will need to answer:

  • Do your existing leaders have the right capabilities to execute against your current and future strategic plans?
  • Do you have enough “ready-now” talent to fill leadership roles that will become open in the next 12-18 months?
  • Beyond leadership, how can you cultivate a talent pool ready to drive the transformation your company needs to stay relevant and fuel growth? 

4. How do you ensure your leadership development programs have impact and that they evolve with the organization?
This is the most important, yet most overlooked, component of managing talent effectively. If you have linked your business and talent objectives through quantitative talent assessments and tracked business metrics, you can determine what impact your talent decisions have on business outcomes. You should be able to answer questions like these:

  • Which leaders increased new product revenue the most, and what capabilities do they have that less successful leaders lack?
  • Are leaders driving better results within their teams?
  • Are you retaining recently promoted leaders or exiting them because they don’t measure up to expectations?

Those organizations that leverage talent assessment and analytics to find and develop the right people to drive success will win the war for talent and establish themselves as market leaders.

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